A/N – Wanted to update this story with some sort of ethical resolve to the awkward incident the characters shared.
I avoided Rebecca in the coming days. Not because I didn't want to be with her or that I didn't care about her, but because I was truly overwhelmed by shame, guilt and remorse regarding our drunken Man Cave encounter, convinced that I had taken advantage of my friend in her vulnerable condition.
I waited for a text, call or e-mail from her but it appeared that Rebecca had gone quiet too, despite her assurances on the steps of her backyard deck that all was well and we were now a couple instead of friends. Rebecca was probably having second thoughts about that and that's why she was avoiding me.
It was summer and we had our jobs - Rebecca working at the Farmer's Supply Company in Greenville while I split time as a cook and a driver with Hillsboro Pizza - so it was easy to stay busy and occupied and there was always something else to do with other friends but I knew I couldn't avoid Rebecca forever given that we lived across the street from each another.
Besides, she deserved better from me. The last thing I wanted Rebecca to think was that I was rejecting her because of having sex together even though I feared that Rebecca hated me for what we had done and that's why she went dark.
I wished I had a friend to confide in. Rebecca, of course, was that friend until now. I didn't want to violate her privacy by telling any of my guy friends what took place between us. I could just hear Hildy now.
"She took a piss at the urinal and you watched?"
Hildy was the kind of guy who could never let stuff like that go.
I knew my mother would be disappointed if she learned of my behavior - and it wasn't something I would want to talk to her about anyway. My Dad doesn't like talking about anything besides sports not that I would bring this up with him either. My parents raised me to respect, value and honor girls and I don't think they would think much of me watching Rebecca take a leak.
It was times like this when I wished I had a sibling to bond with. I admired Rebecca's relationship with her four older brothers and it made me wish I wasn't an only child. I couldn't bring this problem to any of Rebecca's brothers, of course - they'd beat the shit out of me and stuff me in a trash can for taking advantage of their sweet sister.
"When did it not occur to you that she was drunk?" I could hear Vic ask right before he punched my lights out.
I finally realized that the only person I could talk to about what happened with Rebecca was Rebecca herself. But had I let too much time pass? Would Rebecca feel rejected by my avoidance? Did she hate me all the more?
I figured Rebecca was embarrassed and humiliated by what she had done under the influence and she certainly could blame me for taking advantage of her in such a state. After peeing together, we got naked and went all the way in a drunken fucking that was romantic and intimate only because we were too drunk to know any better. My mother would tell him that I should have known better.
I had Hildy drop me off in the Farmer's Supply Company parking lot. I knew Rebecca's schedule and I had an extra key to her car in case of emergencies so I unlocked the passenger door and took a seat, even though it was about 80 degrees outside and 120 degrees inside the car.
Rebecca emerged from work a while later and she was surprised to see me sitting in the vehicle.
"You trying to kill yourself?" She frowned when she got into the car. "Why didn't you turn on the A/C?" She turned the engine on and blasted the air conditioner.
"Maybe I wanted to suffer," I replied.
"They would have blamed me," Rebecca complained. "Like one of those forgetful parents who left their kid in the backseat or a jerk who let the dog cook while they were inside shopping for jewelry."
"Why didn't you call or text or e-mail or facebook?" I demanded, trying not to sound hurt (as if I was the victim here!?).
"Probably for the same reason you didn't," Rebecca replied.
"I could have gone to Sun Rise Lake School for Boys." I revealed the secret I had never told her before..
Rebecca gave me a look.
"My parents really wanted me to," I said. "Better education, higher class of people, all that happy horseshit."
"You didn't want to go?" She asked with surprise. "That would have been quite the opportunity."
"I didn't want to be a prep boy," I admitted truthfully. "Some snobby jerky stuck up who thought he was better than everybody else and deserved whatever he wanted."
"That's a little harsh," Rebecca rebutted.
"Isn't it true?" I asked. "Remember that party Hildy dragged us to last year? Those were Sun Rise Lake guys." (It had been an Animal House type frat party at some house out in the middle of nowhere).
"There were some assholes there," Rebecca admitted.
"I also didn't want to leave you," I added sheepishly (but honestly).
She sat back in her seat and let out a sigh. She was wearing skin tight jeans a green Farmer's Supply Company tee-shirt. Her hair was pulled back in a ponytail.
"What are you doing here?" Rebecca wanted to know.
"I wanted to apologize to you face-to-face," I informed her.
"You mean for ignoring me?" She asked with resentment. "You mean for dumping me after what happened?"
"I didn't dump you," I said defensively.
"I haven't seen you or heard from you," Rebecca said forcefully. "What was I supposed to think?"
"I felt bad," I mumbled.
"About what happened," I shrugged. "I was drunk. You were drunk. I took advantage of the situation. I could have stopped you. I should have stopped you. Instead, I turned into an entitled prep boy who took advantage of the situation." I gave her a pleading serious look. "I don't want to be one of those #Me Too guys ten years down the road being outed for taking advantage of a vulnerable girl in an awkward moment. I respect and value you too much to want you to think of me in that way."
"I don't," she said quietly.
"You don't hate me?" I worried.
"Of course not," she sighed. "I don't disgust you?"
"I love you."
I was surprised the words came out so easily and suddenly but admitting the truth was the best way to deal with what happened between us.
Rebecca was momentarily at a loss for words. She swiveled her lips for a moment and then put the car into drive. "Well, I guess that settles that," she finally said as she drove the car out of the parking lot.
"What do we do now?" I needed to know.
"We deal with it," Rebecca decided. "It's true. We were both drunk and uninhibited. We both did things we probably wouldn't have done sober. But it is what it is."
"I didn't mean to complicate things," I said.
"Complication is an indication of when a person becomes an adult no matter what their age," Rebecca stated.
"I had nobody to talk to," I sighed. "The only person I can go to for advice or when I'm in trouble or have a problem to solve is you. I really missed you."
"I missed you too," Rebecca said.
"Did you talk to anybody?" I asked.
She shook her head no. "I jogged," she reported.
"I hoped it would turn out okay," I said, giving her a look as she drove. "Has it?"
"We've both delivered our embarrassed apology," Rebecca said.
"So, we're good?"
"I remember when my parents first let me walk to school on my own," Rebecca said. "I felt so grown up. Now I realize that being grown up is not always going to be easy."
"But if we get through the hard stuff we'll be okay," I said hopefully.
"If we navigate the world together," Rebecca agreed as she pulled the car into the driveway of her house.
She left the car running for the air conditioning and she turned and looked at me. "It wasn't your fault," Rebecca said. "I could have gone upstairs and used the bathroom or just gone home when I realized how drunk I really was. It would be a cop out for me to blame it all on you. I made my choices and my decisions but I don't want to lose you because of them."
"You won't," I assured her.
"My parents trust me," she said. "They believe in me."
"I do too."
"You've always been my serenity," Rebecca told me.
"And you're my rock," I replied.
"If we died today, would anybody remember who we were?" Rebecca pondered.
"Those who knew us," I assured her.
"There's nothing wrong with discovering parts about yourself," Rebecca reasoned. "You find out who you are even in drunken moments in A Man Cave."
"There are always journeys to parts unknown," I said. "Like Anthony Bordain."
"I just don't want you to judge me," Rebecca said with concern.
"Never," I promised.
"Okay," she said with relief, turning off the car engine. "I'll see you," she said, opening the door to the car.
"You'll see me," I vowed as I got out of the car too.
I walked around the car and stopped her from going into the house by wrapping my arms around her and pulling her into me. I boldly leaned in and kissed her.
"No shame?" I asked hopefully.
"No shame," she answered.
"Is this the right thing for a guy to do?" I asked.
"If the guy loves the girl," Rebecca answered. "It should be a guy's thing," she said. "To make sure the girl is onboard. To make sure they're both on the same page. I really appreciate you thinking that much of me to feel bad about The Man Cave because we were drunk," she said. "That's when I knew you were the guy I want to be with."
"It means so much more when we're sober," I said, kissing her again.
"Yes," she agreed, leaning in and kissing me in return.
I watched her head for her house and then I walked down the driveway and across the street to my house glad that one drunken night in The Man Cave hadn't cost me everything.