Fuck Buddy(4)By: Scott Hildreth
“So how long has it been?” I asked.
I watched intently as she silently finished cutting a piece of chicken, picked it up with her fork, and let the utensil dangle loosely from her fingertips as she gazed beyond me for a moment.
She grinned. “Three months, four days, and roughly twenty hours.”
Liv’s recent anti-dating stage initially left her with a large hole in her schedule. After a few days of sulking, she filled the void by spending all of her free time with me. I found it hard to believe three months had passed, but time often seemed to slip away from me without so much as being noticed.
I tried to contain myself, but laughed regardless. “You sound like a recovering alcoholic, not a single woman.”
She shrugged and bit half of the piece of chicken from the tip of her fork. I thought of the night I had received the drunken text messages from her, and what had transpired in my life since then. It truly seemed that it had only been a matter of weeks since it happened.
My mind wandered to the time we had spent together since her swearing off of internet dating. “Hard to believe it’s been that long. It seems like, I don’t know, maybe a few weeks have passed.”
I attempted to convert the meals we shared into the amount of weeks that had passed and eventually gave up. “You know, I think one of these days I’m going to look up, and poof! Life’s going be over with.”
She wrinkled her nose and stuck her chin out slightly as she stared at me with eyes of disbelief. “Why do you say that?”
“I don’t pay much attention to time,” I responded.
“You don’t have to.” She waved her hand in my direction as she spoke. “The entire world does, but you don’t. You surf, you sleep, you surf, you sleep. You probably don’t even know what day of the week it is.”
I agreed with her completely. I didn’t know, and not only did I not know, I really didn’t care what day of the week it was.
“I’m not interested in having my life or the events in my life dependent on a clock. Go to work at this time, come home at that time, it’s time to eat, it’s time to get up, I have to run to a meeting at 11:45. I don’t know how people do it.”
Liv had been my best – and only – friend since we were in fourth grade. According to her, we had been best friends since kindergarten, but I didn’t completely agree. My first few years in school were difficult, and even though it seemed everyone wanted to befriend me, I had very little interest in becoming friends with anyone. By the time I was nine years old, I realized to survive I may not need to be friends with everyone, but I certainly needed to be friends with someone.
Liv became that someone.
I picked up a slice of avocado only to have it slip from my fingers when it was half-way to my mouth.
“I envy you,” she said.
“Because I don’t wear a watch?”
“No, because you don’t have a schedule,” she said. “And you should use a fork.”
I reached for the salt, sprinkled a little onto the avocado and picked it up. “I couldn’t live like that. And you doing so is by choice, and nothing more.”
“You don’t have to pay rent, and I do. Big difference, Dude.”
“We’ve been over this, Liv. You could do what you do from home. Independently you could probably make more money, certainly have more freedom, and be happier. It’s your own fault.”
She lowered her fork to her plate and sighed. “I don’t know. I think it’s the risk, it scares me.”
“Don’t complain, then,” I said flatly.
“I can complain if I want.”
I widened my eyes. “You shouldn’t. You have the capacity to change it, and you choose not to take the risk. Complaining only brings disappointment into your life. Why be disappointed if you don’t have to be?”
“You make me mad,” she said.
“Okay, be mad. Mad, and reliant upon others to sustain life. Oh, and single by choice.”
“That’s another thing.”
She placed her fork to the side and reached for her glass of wine. “The single thing. I hate it. It’s driving me insane, but I deleted all the apps off my phone and I swore I wouldn’t do it anymore. I mean, it really sucks. I swear, I have no idea how you do it,” she said over the top of her glass.
As she took a drink of wine, I finished chewing my chicken and considered my response. My being single was no doubt a choice, but it was also something I viewed as a necessity. I fully realized a long-term relationship with anyone would be an impossibility, and therefore chose to live a life of solitude.