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We both knew what we wanted - of that there is absolutely no doubt.
We didn't have to say anything, from the start of the week, right up until the point where I was naked in his bed; we both knew.

About two weeks ago Gareth and a few of our colleagues had arranged to have a night out this Friday. We had a pretty tight knit group of 6 who often lunched together at work, but this was one of the few times we were actually going out together. From Monday Gareth was pestering me like he had before: 
"Are you coming out on Friday, are we going out out, are we gonna have a big one..." 
"Yes", I had replied, "of course." And I booked my waxing appointment and blowdry for Friday lunch, my mind made up about what I wanted. 
I had been thinking what would I regret more; sleeping with him or not sleeping with him. I decided on the latter. I'd not been with anyone since Joe left in January and more than that, thoughts of Gareth were continually running through my head. In meetings I would suddenly come to with a jerk having dozed off into reminiscing about his clothed body rubbing against mine two weeks ago.

When he came back from Barcelona it was terrible, I was wracked with anxiety and stress, wondering if he had slept with Naomi. I was snappy and highly-strung, lashing out at every little thing. Gareth noticed and kept asking me what was wrong. I knew he knew why, so I didn't feel the need to respond. 

When I messaged him about it later he said that nothing had happened between him and Naomi (don't worry I don't take his word for it) but having spent loads of time with her had made it difficult. 
I was exasperated more than angry. So I asked him, "Why don't you just tell me to forget everything that happened in the last few weeks? It was clearly just a mistake. That's fine."
"No, why do you think that?"
"Because all you keep telling me is how you might like Naomi! What am I supposed to take from that?!"
"It's not like that."
"I know I pretend to be a brave, hard bitch that doesn't care, but I do."
"I know you do. You don't have to tell me."

On Wednesday we had lunch together and I took the opportunity to speak to him about it face to face. He talked candidly about how tough he was finding it all. Of course I shouldn't have sympathy for a lying, cheating waste, but I understood to an extent. He told me this year had been the worst of his life, how he didn't know what to do, his girlfriend wanted to move in, etc, etc. I told him there was no point in life being perfect, that lessons were good for us, the more shit you go through the stronger you are: just like me.
Just like a mess like me.
"You really fucked things up between us you know," I said bluntly. 
"Did I!? Did I...", he bit his tounge not knowing what to say.
"Yep." I paused to wait for an apology or acknowledgement. None came. "You shouldn't have said the things you did to me. It was really unfair."
"But it was all true."
"NO. You said you knew what you wanted and your mind was made up. That isn't true!" 
I waited.
"Yeah, okay..." He said humbly, "I'm sorry."
I swallowed and looked away. "So I think we should go back to being just friends..." 
He nodded, clearly unable to speak/not knowing what to say.

And it could have been left just there. I cancelled my blowdry on Friday. But then it went back to "Are you coming out on Friday, are we going out out, are we gonna have a big one..."
And I rebooked the blowdry again. 
What would I regret more? 
The game, I still loved playing the game. Whatever happened, the aim of the game was to be the one on his mind on Friday, for him to want me. Always, I just wanted to be wanted.

And so Friday came, and I got my wax and I got my blowdry (Gareth loves curls on me), and I put on my pretty dress. And out we went with our group of friends. Throughout the evening there were moments here and there when I would catch his eye and we would give each other a knowing look. It's terrible that there was never really any doubt in my mind that we were going to sleep together that night. Finally, the others dropped off and Gareth, Kevin, Matt (both work colleagues that were good friends with Gareth - but not part of our original group that evening) headed out to our new favourite haunt - Cargo.

By the time we arrived it was gone 1am so we didn't have much time. The dynamics were quite strange in that Gareth was good friends with Kevin and Matt and made it clear that we would all stick together that evening. Also, I was having a harder time than usual crossing over the drunk line - obviously not stone cold sober, but with a lot clearer head that the last time we had been out. But then our problems were solved... in the middle of the dance floor, Kevin and Matt suddenly disappeared into thin air and we couldn't spot them anywhere. Before I knew it, Gareth was leading me over to the side and pulling me in to kiss. Of course I didn't relent.

Before closing at 3am we started looking for the two lost boys. Despite sending several messages, Gareth was getting no reply so we left and started walking back South. Neither of us mentioned the situation until I finally piped up: "So, would I be able to sleep on your sofa?" He said yes, one of his flatmates was away anyway so I could have his bed if I wanted. 

Shortly before we got to his flat, Kevin called to see where we were. Gareth told him and added that he could come and stay at his too. I was somewhere between shocked and confused. This must mean that I really WAS going to sleep in his flatmates bed and Gareth genuinely had no intention of sleeping with me. I am not going to lie, a part of me was disappointed, but a part of me respected this. When I had asked him if he was going to sleep with Naomi in Barcelona he had said "I'm not doing anything with anyone until I know what I want." I had also told him only a few days ago that we should go back to being just friends. 
It made sense. 
But it didn't make sense. We both knew why we were here, why we'd gone to so much effort to go out and go to Cargo - only 30 minutes ago he was kissing me up against a wall...

So we got to his, went to the kitchen, made a cup of tea and sat soberly in front of the TV. I felt awkward, unsure if he wanted me there, unsure of what had happened before and what to do now.
So I downed my cup of tea, stood up and asked if he had a spare t-shirt for me to sleep in as I was off to bed. He seemed subdued but I didn't know what else to do. I wasn't going to sit there drinking tea waiting for Kevin and Matt to arrive. He bought me a t-shirt and I thanked him and said goodnight, closing the bedroom door behind me. I got changed and got into bed.

Almost immediately, a methodical thudding began. Gareth was kicking a football against the wall of the corridor outside, thud, thud, thud. Two things - frustration and attention. I knew he was thinking about why I had just gone into a different bedroom on my own when we were alone in his flat together. I hesitated for a minute, and then decided I was sure enough in my thoughts and so was he. I poked my head round the door.
"What are you doing?!"
"Having a kick." He carried on, barely looking at me.
"Getting rid of steam."
"Well, go watch TV or something."
"No," he replied almost sulkily.
He stopped and came into the room, and I crawled back into the bed, aware of my state of half undress. He started playing with some of the things in the room, and then started joking and playing with me the way he did when he was trying to get close. Suddenly he paused at the end of the bed and looked at me for a moment.
"I'd like to cash in on the promise you made me about after Barcelona."
"Ohh." I looked at him intently, half smiling.
"You remember that don't you?"
I nodded, "Yes," and he grinned, climbed on to the bed and started kissing me.
"But Kevin is going to turn up at any minute!" I protested, genuinely anxious about him turning up on the doorstep in the middle of the situation.
"They're a good half an hour behind us," Gareth said confidently, "Don't worry."

We'd barely even started to get undressed when the doorbell started buzzing. It was Kevin, a lot earlier than anticipated.
"You've got to answer it," I said.
"It's ok, he'll go away," said Gareth, carrying on.
The buzzing persisted, and after getting no response with that, banging and clanging started. We tried to block it out, but it continued, more and more aggressive and frightening.
"You have to answer it," I insisted again. "He's your friend."
"It's fine, seriously, he'll leave in a minute."
But he was clearly not going anywhere.
"He's going to wake other people up!" I said, genuinely fearful of the absolute racket that was being made.
Buzzing and buzzing, banging and clanging.
I pushed Gareth off me. "I'm sorry," I said, "I can't do this while he's outside making this racket."
It was almost funny; what we'd been thinking about for so long, was so close to happening, and then foiled just as we'd decided to make the leap.

We agreed that I would stay in his flatmates room and he would say that he had been asleep and not heard the noise. He turned the light off and went to let Kevin and Matt in. I hid down under my covers and dozed off.

I was woken up shortly afterwards by my phone buzzing. It was Gareth calling. Confused and half-asleep I answered.
"Well that was bad timing," he said.
I laughed softly, "Yeah.." I asked where Kevin and Matt were and he told me they were asleep in the living room. He told me to sneak into his room next door.
I had fallen asleep before even having had the time or energy to think about what had happened and whether we would get the chance for it to happen again. Gareth had clearly gone back to his room and thought out a plan to get round it easily.

So I sneaked into his room.
"So are we going to do this all over the bank holiday?" he asked. (Gareth, Kevin, me and a few others were planning to go away on a trip at the next weekend.)
"That's the only reason I'm going". I replied.
But all the time he kept holding back - he didn't want them to hear - didn't want Kevin to know - can't go crazy - I just can't relax....
And he asked me to sneak back out  of his room again when it was over - in case Kevin should walk in.
"In the morning, after they've gone, we can go crazy," he said.

But the morning came, and by 11am, I could still hear voices. I wasn't going to try and out-wait Kevin and Matt like a fool. So I got dressed and poked my head round the kitchen door where the voices were coming from. As it was, only Matt was still there, but it was clear that he had no intention of leaving anytime soon. I immediately announced that I was leaving, wanting to get away as quickly as possible. Gareth and I looked at each other. "Ok", he said, clearly both wanting to say more but unable to with Matt there. He said everything he needed to with the sorry look in his eyes.

Then, Gareth asked me if I'd heard any banging last night. "No?" I replied as innocently as I could, and Matt told me how they had been ringing and banging to be let it. "Oh no..." I said, acutely aware that my acting skills were terrible in the heat of the moment. So I backed out as quickly as I could and said goodbye.

A few hours later Gareth sent me a message:
"Hope you got back ok. I am off home for the weekend to see the parents, girlfriend and co. Enjoy your weekend :) "

I chose this with my eyes fully open. We both knew what we were doing.



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