tagRomanceHis Best Friend

His Best Friend

bysister_nancy©

For the second time this month Sheri listened to her best friend's tale of misbegotten love and inwardly rolled her eyes. She nodded her head as he continued his talk, but her mind started to wander. Half listening, she gazed into the face of the only man she would ever love, John Michael MacGregor. Mac to his friends.

She focused her attention back on the conversation. "Okay, Mac. So you're devastated about the break up with . ." she paused trying desperately to remember his latest girlfriend's name. It came to her in a flash " . . . Gina! Isn't this the second time you've found true love this month?".

"Sarcasm doesn't become you, Sheri. You know me better than any other person and you know I don't give my heart lightly!" Mac tried desperately to sound dramatic but couldn't repress a smile. Almost laughing, he continued "okay, so maybe my relationship with Gina wasn't made in heaven; and maybe she did seem to have permanent PMS and, well, so we lasted only a few weeks. But I'm still hurt by the breakup. The truth is I want so much to be in love and I was hoping maybe she was the one."

Sheri couldn't believe her ears. 'Dense' is what came to her mind. 'I love you so much, Mac' she wanted to say to him 'can't you see what's right in front of your eyes.'

Instead she just nodded and said "Be patient, Mac. When you least expect it, love will be staring you right in the face."

Obviously feeling better Mac hugged her and said "Thanks Sheri, you always make me feel better. You're the best friend a guy could have!"

Mac didn't notice the crestfallen look on Sheri's face. She wanted to be everything to him: friend, lover, confidant. But since she didn't have the guts to tell him how she felt, she would have to settle for being his friend.

Over the following few weeks Mac continued to date in search of his one and only true love. Frustrated over his lack of success, he called Sheri to complain.

"Sheri, its seems like I'm batting zero again. No luck in the romance department. What am I doing wrong?"

Sheri was glad that this time theirs was a phone conversation. She could mask the emotion in her voice when she spoke, but she couldn't hide the tears that pooled in her sad eyes.

"Why are you asking me?" she answered, a little too sharply. She did not want to continue this type of conversation; thinking about him in love with someone else was like twisting a knife in her heart. Although she would do anything for Mac, she certainly would not tell him how to fall in love with another woman!

Mac continued brightly "Well first of all, you're my best friend, have been since we were kids, and you know me inside and out. And you know the kind of women I like and, you know, since you're a woman you, uh, have an, uh, well you have sort of an inside edge on the whole thing. I thought maybe you could help me figure it out."

For the first time in his life Mac was stammering; caught off guard by what he had just told Sheri. He had a silent conversation with himself. 'Sheri's a woman!' 'Of course she's a woman, you idiot. If you grew up to be a man, then she has grown up to be a woman.' It was as if the realization of what his best friend was suddenly dawned on him. He'd always thought of her as one of the guys.

"Figure what out?" Sheri answered, now becoming a little agitated; she was getting tired of the whole subject.

"You know, the whole romance with the opposite sex thing." He paused for a moment and said "Wait-I have a great idea!".

Mac knew he had the start of a wonderful plan. Being a woman, Sheri must have the same desires that I have, he thought to himself. She has got to want to fall in love too! He continued "We can help each other out with this."

"Okay, I'm all ears." Sheri said aloud to him, thinking to herself that all he would have to do is hold her and tell her how much he loved her.

"Let's get together for dinner tonight and I'll tell you all about my idea then."

"Okay. Pick me up at seven."

Sheri spent the better part of the day pampering herself, convinced that finally Mac had come to his senses and figured out how special she was to him. She spent extra time applying her make up and tried on several outfits before she found the one perfect one: one that would surely make her irresistible to Mac.

As it got closer to seven, Sheri began to get butterflies in her stomach. 'I've waited so long for him to realize he loves me!' she thought. 'I can't wait for him to hold me in his arms.'

Mac rang her bell promptly at seven. Her heart beat faster as she opened the door to what she thought was the beginning of her new life as Mac's girl.

"Hey Sher, you ready to go?" the words seemed to die on his lips as he looked at Sheri. "Why are you so dressed up?" He noticed her bright smile seem to fade and tried to cover up his obvious blunder. "I mean you look great, but I didn't bring a blind date for you tonight! I just want to talk over the idea over a pizza."

Sheri was completely confused. 'If I live to be 100, I'll never understand men!' she thought.

"What are you talking about, Mac?"

"Well, you know, my plan to fix each other up with the perfect mate! I thought since we know each other so well, we'd know what kind of person each other could date!" Even as he was speaking Mac's critical eyes roamed over Sheri. 'When did she get to be so beautiful' he thought 'how come I never noticed before?'

Sheri finally understood what Mac wanted to do. 'He doesn't want to confess his undying love for me. He wants to fix me up with one of his friends What an idiot I've been.'

Out loud she said "Come on in Mac. You order a pizza while I change into my sweats and then we can talk about your idea."

Mac watched Sheri's retreating back and whistled to himself. 'How could I have been so blind not to notice that delectable behind?'

Sheri came back to the living room looking more like her old self, but was very quiet during their shared dinner; she wasn't her normal exuberant self.

Mac was also quiet while he ate and spent most of the time staring at Sheri in a curious way.

Inwardly Sheri felt like the biggest fool that ever lived. 'Thank goodness he has no idea what I thought this evening would be like.' she thought 'I'm not sure I could face him again if he knew what lustful things I had on my mind'.

Acquiescing to him as usual, Sheri broke the awkward silence. "Okay friend, let's talk about your great plan."

Suddenly Mac wasn't so sure his plan was so great. Mac was seeing Sheri in a new light and had to admit he was experiencing a strange sort of protective feeling about her. Suddenly he wasn't so keen about Sheri going out with any of his friends.

"Maybe it wasn't such a great idea." he said in a low voice.

Sheri was intrigued. "Don't be silly. This afternoon you were busting at the seams with excitement about it. I gather the deal is I search for a woman who I think would be perfect for you, and you search for the perfect man for me." Sheri had a mischievous twinkle in her eye. 'I may have lost the battle,' she said to herself, 'but I haven't lost the war!'

"Yeah, that's the gist of it" Mac said unenthusiastically. The more he thought about it, the less he liked it. And he definitely did not like the way Sheri seemed to be warming to the idea. "But, maybe it's not such a good idea after all."

"Don't be ridiculous! I think it sounds wonderful. I can't wait to see who you find for me." The plan was already forming in her mind; she couldn't wait to see Mac's expression when she presented his perfect match to him.

Mac grumbled some more and made a hasty exit. 'This definitely did not turn out the way I planned' he thought.

For some reason he could not seem to get Sheri out of his mind. He thought about her outrageous sense of humor and laughed to himself. He thought about her fierce sense of loyalty and felt his chest swell with pride. He thought her lush curves and groaned.

'What is the matter with me' he said out loud to himself. Have I been so blind not to see what's in front of me. I have been looking for love everywhere and it's been here right in front of me. In Sheri's angelic face.

Did he stand a chance, he wondered. Sheri was eager to date the man he picked for her. How could he have missed the love that was always there for him in her eyes. Was it too late now? Now he wondered why she had never dated anyone steadily. It dawned on him then - could she have been in love with him? Was it indeed too late now.?

Mac suddenly felt better as the answer to his dilemma came to him. 'Okay Miss Sheri' he said to himself. 'I'll fix you up with someone, all right. And you better believe that this guy will be absolutely perfect for you."

Mac and Sheri talked daily that whole week, discussing plans for what they started calling "the Big Fix-up". They both admitted that they had indeed found the perfect mate for one another, and my mutual agreement, decided to keep the identities of the dates a secret.

They decided to meet at a local restaurant the following Saturday night and would bring their "mystery" dates with them. Once the introductions were made, each couple would go their separate ways.

As Saturday approached, Sheri started to have second thoughts 'What if this backfires on me' she thought. 'He'll be there with some other guy and I'll be there by myself.'. She was as nervous as anything, but knew it was now or never. 'Well, after Saturday, I may no longer have a best friend, but at least he'll know for sure how I feel about him.'

On Saturday, Mac took extra time getting dressed; he wanted to look his best for his perfect match. 'Too bad about the other girl' he thought to himself. He hated to play such a dirty trick on someone he didn't know, but as they say, all is fair in love and war. The other woman would just have to understand that there could be no other woman for him but Sheri.

Sheri looked at her reflection in bedroom mirror before she left to meet Mac and his "friend". 'I love him' she admitted out loud to herself; she was terribly nervous. 'Lets just hope he has the good grace not to laugh when I tell him' she thought and then she was gone to meet her destiny.

Mac looked at his watch for the tenth time in the past five minutes as he paced the small foyer of the restaurant. 'Where could they be?' he thought impatiently. Now that he realized he loved Sheri he wanted to tell her as soon as possible. 'I just hope she has the good sense not to laugh in my face when I tell her.' he thought to himself.

Feeling closed in, Mac walked out into the fresh spring evening. 'Spring' he thought 'a time of new beginnings?' he hoped. Just as he turned to go back into the restaurant, he saw her and his heart soared. She was alone.

Sheri half thought about turning back and forgetting the whole thing when she saw Mac standing outside. She couldn't believe her eyes. He was alone.

They both moved as in slow motion. They got within two feet of each other and stopped, each looking into the other's eyes. Sheri was the first to speak.

"Where is your friend" she said husky voice that spoke volumes about her emotional state.

Mac stared deep into her eyes and gently took her hands in his. Before his brain could think better of it, his mouth blurted out what he'd been thinking "Sheri how could I have been so blind?"

Sheri stared at him and hope made her heart beat faster. 'Could this really be happening to me?' she thought.

Sheri started to speak but Mac stopped her. "Let me finish. How could I have been so blind not to realize how important you are to me. Sheri, my best friend, I love you! Although you may not accept it right now, I am your perfect match!" And then he was silent, searching her face for a response.

She was crying and laughing at the same time. "Well it's about time you figured it out, you lunkhead! You notice that I didn't bring anyone with me either because I know that I'm your perfect match! And if you don't take me in your arms this second I swear I'll. . ."

She didn't have a chance to finish because Mac pulled her into his arms and held her as if her would never let her go. He kissed her gently and gazed into eyes that reflected the love that he felt. "You were right, my love. When and where I least expected it, I found love staring me in the face."

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