I spent a chunk of time with H recently and as I thought about all the things we did, the places we went I found my thoughts always coming back to one specific place.
When I first arrived at their house (a little apprehensive as it was the first time back after the break up) we greeted each other and H sat down, immediately I asked if I could sit next to them on the sofa.
I didn’t think anything of it, but I’d have felt strange sitting across the room from them.
“Of course.” They replied enthusiastically and as I sat they moved to put their legs over me, as they usually would then paused and asked if it was okay. I acquiesced and they lay their legs over me.
We sat quite purposefully. I pushed against the sofa arm to not rest against their butt. I crossed my arms over my body to not touch their leg. I could feel them holding a little stiffly too. But as we chatted and relaxed, my hand moved onto the back of their calf and we both breathed a little easier.
The longer we spent talking,the easier things got. To the point I slapped the back of their leg a time or two as they wound me up. I did apologise afterwards then begged them to stop saying things to make me hit them but they just laughed at me. Bloody sadist, winding me up.
We had to go out, fuck tales needed sharing but when we got back again, H and I sat snuggled on their sofa watching Eccleston Doctor Whos. But this time, we relaxed into each other even more. I happily rested my closest arm along their hip and thigh and we looked at each other much more than before. Happy smiles that spoke volumes about the casual intimacy we’ve always had between us. I’d missed that a lot.
Some of my very favourite times with H have just been us snuggled on the sofa together. I don’t relax easily, I’m nearly always on red alert, waiting for something to happen and for me to have to leap into action. That’s in part being a carer but also it’s just my anxious mind. I’m always anticipating what might happen. When I’m snuggled up with H on their sofa, watching TV and casually chatting, I relax.
And even though we’d had time apart and even though things are changing, I relaxed there in the crook of their legs and felt at peace.
In the morning I’d been awake a while before H came downstairs. So I’d cleared away my blanket nest and gotten dressed and was sat on the sofa closest to the radiator where I’d slept. When H came in they sat on theirs across the room. In a matter of moments I was up asking to sit next to them and they eagerly encouraged me to do so. They were even more enthusiastic when they realised how toasty warm I was as they were cold and full of sniffles. Poor thing. I became their hot water bottle.
And we relaxed even more into each other. Eventually as the raunged and wriggled around as the cat they so definitely are, I ended up between their thighs, cuddling their front leg and resting my head on their knee. A position I’ve taken many a time on that sofa. They had asked, of course, if it was okay and it really was. We snuggled happily together, watching more Dr Who, me (and sometimes them) drooling over Captain Jack and then David Tennant as the Doctor regenerated.
We’d smile at each other happily and laugh with each other joyfully. I groaned a few times too, but H’s puns have that effect on many people.
Compared to when we first sat together the day before, we were entwined. The space that we’d kept between us for the awkwardness of going from the end of one thing to the beginning of the new had melted away and brought us closer, physically and emotionally.
We’re only starting our new journey together and I don’t know exactly what to expect along the way, but as long as we spend time snuggled together on the sofa, I’m sure our friendship will go from strength to strength.