Nik all but vibrated as he sat down across from me at TGI Fridays. It had become our go-to place whenever we went out to eat.
‘So how was your Easter?’ he asked. ‘Splendid, I imagine, what with getting to spend it with Jørgen and all.’
I couldn’t stop the smile that erupted even if I’d wanted to.
‘It was. Dad was a bit of a dick though.’
‘How so?’ He planted his elbows on the table and rested his chin in his palms, regarding me curiously.
I rolled my eyes just thinking about it. ‘He insisted we had to share a room with him. I get the cabin isn’t that big and that people have to share, but really… we could’ve shared with anyone. Why him? It was just weird.’
‘Well, that sucks.’ Nik grimaced. ‘I remember how that was like when I was little and we had lots of people over at our cabin. I was a child then though, I never would’ve shared a room with my parents now. Especially not with my boyfriend.’
‘It wasn’t ideal, no.’ It’d been worse for Jørgen though, he was the one who had trouble sleeping with people in the room.
‘Speaking of boyfriends,’ Nik said, ‘I might have one of my own.’
‘A boyfriend?’ I blinked, surprised. ‘Wait, you might?’
‘Well, no, not might. I do. I have a boyfriend.’ He grinned. ‘Remember that guy I slept with last year? The one who totally ghosted me afterwards?’
‘It’s him. And he had a good reason for last year. We’ve spent practically all Easter together. It’s been superb.’
‘I thought you didn’t want a relationship?’ I knew he’d said that before—several times.
He laughed. ‘I know, right? How things change. And how quickly. I never expected this when I went home for the holidays.’
I certainly hadn’t either. Nik was all about parties and going on the pull. He’d never given any indication he wanted to settle down with just one guy.
‘This is kind of secret though, he said then, ‘so you can’t tell anyone.’
‘Who would I tell?’ It wasn’t like I had any friends besides him. ‘I don’t even know who he is.’ He’d mentioned something about him being the best friend of Jørgen’s cousin, but that didn’t mean anything to me. I hadn’t met any of Jørgen’s family—he didn’t have much to do with them.
‘True that.’ Nik cocked his head thoughtfully. ‘He’s so fucking handsome, though. Can be a bit of a dick, but he’s got a good heart. Not many people have seen that, I think, but it’s true.’
‘You almost sound like you’re in love,’ I teased, finally opening the menu.
Nik rolled his eyes. ‘Hardly in love. Getting there, maybe. Hell, I don’t know. I’ve never been in a relationship before. What the hell do I do?’
‘What do you mean? You don’t really have to do anything special. Just—be there, I guess. And be faithful, obviously.’
‘You don’t think I can be faithful?’ he asked, laughing.
‘I don’t know. You’ve never been before.’
He snorted another laugh. ‘True that. It’s gonna be hard—especially with him back home and me all the way down here. I’m not used to being celibate. Bloody hell. What have I got myself into?’ He blew out an annoyed breath and scanned his own menu.
The waitress who’d been over with my drink earlier, now came back—and we ordered our dinner.
‘Hw do you do it?’ he asked after she was gone.
‘Do what?’ I’d lost track of our conversation.
‘You know, stay celibate for all this time.’
I gave him a look. ‘You know I haven’t ever—’
‘Remember what I gave you for your birthday? Don’t come here and tell me you haven’t used it? Not even once?’
I couldn’t say that.
So I settled on saying nothing at all.
And everyone knew that meant yes.
Nik started laughing again. ‘Oh damn, you should see your face. Anyway! Now you know, right? So how do you do it? Or didn’t you get to do it with Jørgen at Easter because the bedroom situation?’
‘What—No! I mean… We haven’t—not yet.’
‘Oh my god.’ Nik rolled his eyes again.
‘You’re a precious little treasure, aren’t you?’ He grinned. ‘How long have you been together and you still haven’t done it? I can’t even imagine what that’s like.’
‘I bet you can’t,’ I murmured, wanting to change the subject, but not coming up with anything interesting to say instead.
Nik sighed then. ‘It’s weird. Being… whatever… with someone. And I miss him. Fucking hell. I’ve never missed anyone like this in my entire life.’ He leant back in his chair. ‘No, scratch that. I do miss Ben. I might’ve fucked up our entire friendship when I was home.’
‘Oh?’ I’d never met Ben either, but Nik talked about him sometimes.
‘Yeah. Said some shit. True shit, but I wasn’t very nice when I said it. Drunk off my arse, more like it. He’s been avoiding me since. Which kind of sucks, but it might be good too.’
I had no idea what he was on about.
Nik rolled his head a little. ‘He’s, like, in love with me. But my brother’s in love with him, and they’ve been shagging for years. It’s time he realises what he’s got.’
I’d met Tarjei. He was Jørgen’s best friend. I didn’t really know him though.
‘So I alienated my best friend this holiday, but I shagged Glenn—often—and now I’ve got myself a boyfriend. Life sure is strange.’
‘That’s not how I’d put it.’ It was my turn to laugh. ‘It sucks about Ben, but… getting a boyfriend? Shouldn’t you be happy about that?’
‘I am.’ He sucked in a breath and let it out slowly. ‘Bloody hell, I’ve got a boyfriend. Oh shit.’
‘We should celebrate,’ I suggested lightly.
‘Fucking hell. I need a drink.’ He pushed off the table and headed over to the counter.
I watched him speak to a waiter, who nodded, and then Nik came skipping back.
‘I can toast you with my Coke,’ I teased, lifting said glass to my lips to take a sip.
‘Ha. Ha.’ Nik dropped down again. ‘Everyone who knows me will laugh themselves silly when they find out I’ve landed myself a boyfriend.’
‘Well, I’m happy for you,’ I offered. I wasn’t going to laugh at that, getting into a relationship was something to be happy about.
The waiter he’d talked to came by with his drink.
Nik thanked him, then raised the glass to me. ‘You’re sweet. But for real, like, you’ve got to have sex with your boyfriend soon.’
I glanced around self-consciously. No one seemed to have heard. At least no one reacted or looked at us.
Secretly though, I couldn’t hep but think he was right.
We’d got off during Easter, but only that once, and all our clothes had been on.
I hoped by the time I came home for good, we’d both be ready for it. It would’ve been a year and a half since we met then. It would be about damn time.
But if he wasn’t ready…
I’d wanted another year and a half if that’s what it took. I’d abstain from it all if that’s what he wanted.
I just wanted to be with him.
A few more months now and I will be.