I Feel Like I’ve Been Here Before, Except that I Haven’t

Don’t you hate it when you hook up with two brothers and find yourself sitting between them on a couch in their mom’s house in a city you’re visiting for the first time?

Yeah – the worst.

Here I am, trying to do something with my life. I studied, I slaved, I spent a lot of money, and now I’ve been accepted to post-grad schools around the country. Hospitable student ambassadors escort me around campuses and I purse my lips and nod slightly as we pass the library, as if I’m a wealthy new home buyer and not actually being duped into a lifetime of debt.

Traveling is expensive and I wait tables, so therefore, when I fly, I squat. Not that it’s any of your business, but I became vaguely comfortable with the some of the most sordid tile floors in a past life, which makes accommodating to a stranger’s 2×2 closet space pretty easy.

personal space(via)

I planned a trip up North to check out my top pick school and reached out to a guy whose social circle brushed mine in high school. He was a few years older and our interaction rarely exceeded drunken stumbling into each other at someone’s house after a football game. Oh, that, and I walked out of a Planned Parenthood for the first time with the morning after pill and my first birth control script after a hazy, sleepless night with his older brother. I never saw that brother again, but silently thanked him a few times when hasty pregnancy tests returned negative.

Facebook told me that younger brother increased in attractiveness since our last encounter, so I considered expediting my Brazilian appointment or straightening my hair for safe measures. Then, I counted my sexual partners in the past two years on one hand and remembered I wasn’t 16 anymore, and actually DGAF.

YB picked me up from the airport and mentioned seeing older brother and telling him I was coming, to which OB responded “Who?” I’m not even offended. I almost wiped imaginary sweat from my forehead with the back of my hand, but instead I chuckled and feigned bashfulness.

A few flirty grazes against my lower back and chocolate stuffed pastries later, I was saddled up against his six pack watching a French film I didn’t care about. I fell asleep and woke up to one thing leading to another. He dropped me off at the school the next day and I fell in love with the library, feeling satisfied with my trip and grateful to be flying out that evening.

…Except that I misread my itinerary and missed my flight by two hours….

The next flight left in the morning, so YB picked me up and I apologized/thanked him too many times, while I shriveled on the inside as I pictured how the rest of evening would go. Long distance trysts never exceed an evening, so what the hell was this?

I had no idea my short lived affair would become a family affair.

“I am so sorry, thank you so much for picking me up, I feel so stupid…”
“No problem, but you’re buying me breakfast in the morning! We also have to run by my mom’s house, so you get to hang out with her for a minute.”

Hmm, this is kind of weird, but he picked me up and is providing a pillow as an alternative to a metal airport chairs, so I can get over it.

“OB is there, too I think, so you can hang out with both.”

Oh, fuck.

So, here I am. I’m sitting on a couch that is tall enough to leave my feet dangling like a child. OB wakes up from a nap at 9 p.m. and sleepily hugs me in a way that tells me he does remember me and sits next to me. He wants to know how I am, how everyone else is, and tells me he’s thinking about moving home. YB sits across from me and I look everywhere but at him. His mom sits on her own love seat to my left and she wants to know how we all know each other, and how I like NC, and if I like the north…



Between innocent smiles and subtle searches for anything made with chocolate or bread that I can stuff into my mouth, it hits me that I’m a two hour flight from home, in a city I have never been to, sitting on a couch in a home I have never been in, and I have a history, one long enough for a very awkward hour.

My presence must have seemed pleasant and welcome because every time I looked anyone in the eye, I started laughing out loud. I stifled my cackle and managed to smile really hard at everyone in the face instead, like I could not have been more ecstatic to be exactly where I was. I think I even tapped my dangling feet together like Dorothy, subconsciously trying to get the fuck back down South where a new scandal would start buzzing between lips and ears before I could bless this family’s heart, and I could forget this ever happened.

An incredibly awkward hour later, YB and I shacked up once more for good measure and this little piggy laughed her ass off allllllll the way home!



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