Brad’s Search : Part 7

Thank God it is December; any warmer and I’d be sweating like a menopausal whore in church.

I break the uncomfortable silence. “Kelly, may I say, you look extremely ravishing.”

“Why, yes, you may.”

She flashes an award-winning smile. I take a deep breath. I hope all those theater classes I took in college pay off.

I take her hand and we walk to the restaurant on the corner. “How did you know I like Japanese?”

“Just a lucky guess.”

The maître d’ leads us to our table and we sit. “Can I get you anything to drink? Ma’am?”

“A vodka and cranberry, please.”

“And for you, sir?”

“A lemon drop. And make it strong. Actually, bring two. Thank you.”

He steps away; the only things keeping me company now are the most beautiful woman in the world and all the guilt and nervousness in the entire universe.

“Brad, I’m so glad we met, and that we were able to meet again so soon.”

“Me too, Kelly. You seem like such a nice person. I was really looking forward to our date tonight.”

“The guys you were hanging out with, what were their names again?”

“Gary and Harry?”

“Yes, that’s them. They seem nice, too. Maybe I could set them up with some of my friends - the straight ones, I mean. Hah. Could you imagine if I set them up with my gay friends?”

I hope she doesn’t pick up on the nervousness in my laugh.

Our server arrives with the drinks we ordered. I take mine from him and down nearly half of it before he even has a chance to set it on the table.

“So, Brad, do you have any plans this upcoming weekend?”

“Actually yes; I’m spending the weekend at a lodge near Mount Rainier. It looks so majestic this time of year - plus it’s been a while since I’ve put my snowboard to good use.”

“That sounds like so much fun! Believe it or not, I’ve never visited Mount Rainier. It’s so close by, but I’ve never had anyone to go with. Most of my friends would rather spend their time in a warm steam room, if you know what I mean.”

Before I could stop myself, before I even realize what I am doing, I ask the question. “Would you like to join me?”

“I would love to!”

Oh shit.

“Excuse me, Kelly; I’ll be right back.”

I finish off the rest of my first lemon drop and make my way to the restroom. Oh God, Gary, please, please, please pick up.

“Brad! How’s your date going?”

“Just fine, until I asked her to join me this weekend.”

“The same weekend with me and your mother?”

I could barely get “Yes” out. I sounded worse than an 84-year-old frog with a tracheotomy hole.

“It’s OK, Brad. Calm down. Everything’s going to be OK. Take a few deep breaths. We have a whole week to figure things out. For now, just go back out there and act cool.”

“OK. Thanks, Gary.”

“No problem, man. Let me know how things went tomorrow.”

I hang up and start heading out before I realize I actually do have to pee. Boy, that lemon drop moves fast.

* * * * *

The rest of the dinner goes pretty smoothly, compared to how it began. I have the lemon drops to thank for that. Well, except for the fact that the two I had in the beginning, and the third midway through, are also doing a good job of impairing my judgment - and balance. I can barely walk out of the restaurant when we get up to leave. I wrap my arm around Kelly - less because I want to, and more because I actually need her for stability.

We walk to the corner and Kelly hails a cab. “How about we head back to my place, Brad?” My head is swimming in such a swirl of alcoholic bliss and intense nervousness that all I can muster is, “That’s cool with me.” A cab screeches to a halt right in front of us, so fast it catches me by surprise. Kelly wastes no time in opening the door. We get in and are on our way to a destination unknown - at least to me.

Luckily I’m sober enough to pay attention to where the cab is going, and I realize we are going into Capitol Hill. “Kelly, you live in Capitol Hill?”

“Yep. I love being close to my friends - and of course, when most of them are gay, that means you live in Capitol Hill.”

“Do you live with anyone?”

“Honey, I know I said I love being close to them, but not that close.”

Just as fast as the cab picked us up - * SCREECH * - we pull in front of Kelly’s apartment building. I’m amazed the cab fare wasn’t higher, considering how many tires they must have to go through.

“How many floors do we need to climb?”

“None. I live on the first floor.”

Thank God. There would be no way I’d be able to do any stairs. I thought I was going to have to hail another magical screeching cab to take me home.

Kelly unlocks her door and we step inside. There’s a faint smell of lavender, which, along with the alcohol, helps to calm my nerves - almost to the point where I’m not nervous at all anymore. Kelly is genuinely a nice woman, just like any of my other female friends I’ve had in the past.

Then, Kelly all of a sudden grabs the sides of my face and plants a kiss right on my lips.

Yeah, just like any of my other female friends - except for that.

“Come on; let’s go to my bedroom.”

At this point, fuck it.

We go to her bedroom. The lavender smell almost puts me in a trance.

She leads me to the bedroom and we lie on the bed. Have you ever been with someone and you can’t tell whose hands are yours and whose hands are theirs? Right now I can’t even tell I’m with a woman. The hands, the touch, the sensation; it all feels so good. It feels so good, I make a cat-like purring sound.

“Is that a lion in the jungle, I hear?”

I chuckle. “I guess so.”

She immediately rams her hand into my pants. I’m so relaxed I don’t even mind.

“Looks like that lion’s got some big meat!”

“He sure does!”

“Come on, lion, attack me!”

And then everything went black.