"Greg, get the fuck out of here!" I laughed. "There's no way."
"Come on man, it will work!" he insisted.
"You know, the sad part is that you actually believe that," I said, shaking my head, but still laughing. "You must to keep bringing it up."
"What have we got to lose?" he asked.
"Hmm, lets see," I answered. "My dignity? Self respect?"
"Jerry, all I'm saying is that we tell Meg and Jen that we've decided we'd prefer to switch who we're dating," he said. "It's no big deal."
"Yeah, sure," I snorted. "I can just see it now. 'Excuse me Meg, we've been dating for three months now and I think it's time we changed things around. I'm going to try dating Greg's girlfriend Jennifer. Oh, by the way, Greg has no problem with it. In fact, he wants to date you in exchange. You see, he's still a virgin and wants to lose it before high school is over.' Yeah, I sure that will go over well."
"Fuck you," Greg said without heat. "I lost my virginity before you did asshole."
"Yeah," I shivered. "With Sara May Kalwalski, the biggest slut in the world. I hope you got checked for STDs afterward."
"Jealous?" Greg grinned.
"Are you kidding?" I asked. "Sarah May is a neighbor. I could fuck her easy, but she just isn't my type."
"And Meg is?" he asked in reply.
Megan was a bit of a surprise. She was this quiet little thing when I met her freshman year. She was pretty and surprisingly funny when you got to know her, but Greg was right, she wasn't my type. That didn't stop us from being good friends throughout high school. I think it surprised us both when we ended up hooking up. It probably had more to do with the situation and our loneliness than anything else.
It was Valentine's Day and I had recently broken up with my previous girlfriend. Meg and her ex-boyfriend stopped dating around Christmas. She took it hard. I think he was her first love. They certainly dated long enough for it to be true.
In either case, we both showed up to this party that a mutual friend was throwing. It quickly became obvious that it was mostly couples. We weren't the only unattached people invited, but we were two of the four. It quickly became obvious that the party was a set up. Oh, not for Meg and I. Not even our friends could see us together.
The set up for me was with Hilda Lowenstein. Megan's unofficial 'blind date' was a guy named Kyle Habner. They were obviously someone's idea of a match for us, but whoever decided that clearly didn't know either of us particularly well.
I guess Hilda and Kyle were both nice enough, but I just didn't click with her, not even on a friend basis. She was just a little too intense for me. I don't know what Meg's issue with Kyle was, but she was obviously not happy with what was going on either.
"Hello?" Greg asked when I didn't respond.
"Sorry," I smiled, coming back to the present. "Let me think about it." His idea was crazy and I doubted I'd go along with it, but Greg could be stubborn. He wasn't going to stop harping on it anytime soon.
"Okay, but don't take too long," he said. "Next weekend would be perfect!"
"You're kidding, right?" I asked in amazement. "You want to trade dates on Prom night?"
"Just think about it," he insisted. "Everyone knows what happens on Prom night and we are going to Dave's beach house afterward. Can't you just picture it?"
"Sure," I snorted. "Oh wait, aren't you the one who keeps telling me Jennifer won't let you get past second?"
"Hmm," he said in mock thoughtfulness. "There is that. On the other hand, although you won't talk about it much, it's obvious that Megan and you are doing it like bunnies."
"No comment," I said, but I was smiling.
"Lucky bastard!" he snapped. "I've been dating Jen for almost two months and nothing. Do a friend a favor and give me a shot at Meg?"
"Asshole," I sighed, shaking my head.
Greg and I were best friends. We had been since first grade. He was a horny son of a bitch and could come across like a jerk when it came to girls, but I knew him well enough to know the truth. He really was interested in Megan. He hadn't known her very well until we started double dating. That was also when I got a chance to know Jennifer. There was something there, or maybe just the possibility of something. I wasn't sure, but I couldn't deny I was interested. On the other hand, I hated to give up sex with Megan. She really was something else! I know that sounds cold, but you need to understand the basis of my relationship with Meg before you judge.
"Let's talk tomorrow," I said. "Let me think about it over night."
"Thanks!" he grinned. Greg knew me well enough to realize I was at least going to seriously think about it.
"You know," I sighed. "Even if I agree, Megan and Jennifer might not. In fact, they might dump us both and tell everyone what kind of jerks we are."
"So?" he shrugged. "It's senior year."
I laughed. I couldn't help it. Greg's view on things just did that to me.
"We meeting at the gym in the morning?" he asked.
"Sounds good," I smiled.
"Then I'd better be going," he sighed and then climbed off of the couch.
"It's not even eight," I frowned.
"I want to give you time to think about it," he grinned. "Besides, I promised my mom I'd be home early tonight. She was really pissed after last weekend."
"You did throw up on the front lawn," I grinned.
"And whose fault was that?" he asked in annoyance. "Some best friend."
"Hey!" I cried. "I didn't let you get behind the wheel. In fact, Megan and I were supposed to hook up and I missed it because I had to drive your drunken ass home! How was I supposed to know you were going to lose it in your own front yard?"
"Next time," he said. "Take me to a diner first and get some food in me."
"Okay," I said shaking my head. "But do me a favor, don't get that drunk again soon."
"I was pretty bad, wasn't I?" he frowned.
"Yeah," I said honestly. "What got into you? You don't usually drink that much."
"It was a bad week," he sighed. "Jen and I were fighting. She's a great girl, but..."
"You're a horny asshole and you need to get laid!" I interjected with a laugh.
"Something like that," he smiled, but from his expression I saw that there was something more. I frowned as I stared at him.
"It wasn't Jen," I finally guessed. "You got drunk because you realized you were falling for your best friend's girl." He didn't bother denying it.
"I know you said you weren't in love with her, but..." he said, not finishing.
"That didn't stop you from 'jokingly' bringing up this great idea of yours of switching dates the next day," I said pointedly.
"I couldn't help it," he shrugged. "Besides, it's not like you weren't interested."
"Being interested and willing to actually do it are two different things," I said pointedly. The truth was that I wasn't particularly happy when Greg brought it up, at least not after I realized he was serious. I did laugh at first, but only because I thought he was just joking around.
"Just think about it," he said.
"I will," I smiled. "See you in the morning."
"Thanks," he said and left.
My parents and little brother were out at friends, but they'd be home sooner or later. I decided to go for a drive. I needed to be alone to think for a bit.
It took me a few minutes to get out of my neighborhood, but once I hit the highway I let my mind start to wander. I thought about a bunch of things. Certainly, the idea of dating Jennifer interested me at least a little. She was far more my type physically than Megan.
Where Meg was short and athletic, Jennifer was medium height and very curvy. Meg had short strawberry blond hair and Jennifer had long dark locks. Meg's skin was pale and freckled. Jennifer's was olive and she had a nice tan year round. In short, they looked nothing alike.
On the other hand, they both were pretty laid back and had a good sense of humor. Greg and my double dates with the girls were a blast. Megan told me that she was surprised by how quickly she and Jen had become good friends in the last month. My mind drifted a bit again.
I found myself wondering how Megan would deal with the idea of switching. I realized tonight that Greg was seriously into her. I didn't want to hurt her with this, but on the other hand I didn't want to get between them if they both liked each other. That was the deal when we first started dating. I started to dwell on just hoe we ended up with this crazy deal, but shook my head and thought about Jennifer instead.
She was a different problem altogether. Greg was going to break up with her in either case. Dating her might be interesting, but it seemed pretty pointless in the end. Senior year was almost over and it didn't make sense to start a new relationship. Besides, things with Meg were pretty good. Maybe we didn't love each other, but we had fun together. I knew that Greg's idea didn't interest me all that much based on what I was feeling.
"On the other hand," I sighed to myself. "He is my best friend and he clearly has a thing for her."
I needed to talk to Megan and see if she was interested in him. I wasn't thrilled at the idea. Oh, I'd probably do it eventually, and I'd step aside if she were also interested in dating Greg. What choice did I have? I couldn't stand between my two best friends. My mind wandered back to last Valentine's Day when we first hooked up...
"Can you believe this?" Megan asked.
"It's kind of funny," I shrugged.
We were both standing outside. Okay, maybe hiding was a better word. Thankfully, it wasn't one of the colder Valentine's Days I could remember, but even still, it was February.
"So, you're interested in Hilda?" she asked in surprise.
"Not since sophomore year when we were both in biology. She took way too much enjoyment in dissecting that poor cat," I replied.
"Well, she is premed next year," Megan laughed.
"I take it Kyle doesn't interest you either?" I asked.
"Well, he's cute enough," she admitted. "But he's one of those guys who loves to talk about himself. After ten minutes alone with him I was sure my ears were bleeding."
"Ouch!" I laughed.
"Besides," she sighed. "I'm not really ready to date."
"Matthew?" I asked. He was her ex-boyfriend.
"Yeah," she said. "Love isn't high on my list right now." I could see the pain in her expression. It was time to change the subject.
"I don't suppose Hilda and Kyle will fall for each other while we're out here?" I asked.
"They dated last year," Megan replied, smiling sadly. "The break up was so bad that I'm surprised they're both here. I heard they couldn't stand the sight of each other any more."
"That's right," I sighed, remembering. "Great."
"We could act like we're into each other?" Megan offered, surprising me. "It might stop everyone from pushing up together with Hilda and Kyle." I looked at her and saw a bit of her typical good humor returning. She was clearly joking. We didn't think about each other than way.
"No one would believe it," I grinned. "We been friends for years. Hell, last year you started calling me big brother in public! Dating you would be like incest, talk about sick!"
"Gee, thanks," she laughed.
"Besides," I continued. "If we were meant to date, it would have happened already."
"I guess you're right," she said. "But it's the last semester of senior year and I'm not up for getting hit on by every jerk in school."
"What do you expect?" I smiled. "You've been off the market for almost two years and you're one of the prettiest girls in school. Of course a lot of guys are going to ask you out. Not all of then can be jerks. Why not just pick one or two and go out? It might be fun."
"No thanks," she said quickly. "I tried that this month. ON the second date the guy start talking about how much he cared about me. Please!"
"So, I take it you're a little gun shy since Matthew?" I sighed.
"You think?" she snorted. "Love is not in my immediate plans."
"I get that," I said. It was time to try and get her to laugh again. "How about sex? Is that in your immediate plan? If so, I'm willing."
"Jerry!" she snapped in surprise, but she also laughed. "Weren't you the one saying it would be like incest a couple of seconds ago? There is no way I'm kissing my big brother."
"There you two are!" Beth cried from the back door before I could respond. "What are you doing out here?"
I was pretty sure she was the mastermind of this set up. It reeked of her touch. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure she meant well, but the girl had no ability to mind her own business.
"Hiding," Megan replied honestly, causing me to laugh and Beth to frown.
"I was so sure you'd all hit it off," Beth sighed.
"It's fine," I put in, feeling bad for her despite my annoyance at her. "Let's go back inside."
"Sure," Megan said, but she didn't sound happy.
Twenty minutes later Hilda was regaling me with her plans for the summer. She had everything figured out. She was bubbly and bouncy and completely annoying. I wondered if she planned on any time for relaxing.
I found myself remembering Megan's earlier comment about being convinced that her ears were bleeding from Kyle's monolog. At the moment, I fully understood. I fought off a grin and glanced over at Megan. She was cornered by Kyle and looked to be having just as much fun as me.
"Hey Hilda," Greg said as he walked up. "I heard Jill wasn't feeling well and went into the bathroom."
"Oh, let me go see if she's okay," Hilda replied and left quickly.
"Thanks," I sighed.
"No problem," he grinned.
"Is Jill actually feeling badly?" I asked.
"How would I know?" he shrugged. "Her and Hank left a while ago, but you know 'doctor' Hilda. She'll spend ten minutes looking for her."
"That gives me just enough time to slip away," I smiled. "I owe you."
"Yep," he grinned. I looked over at Megan and frowned.
"How would you like me to owe you a bigger one?" I found myself asking.
"What?" he asked.
"I can't leave Megan here like this," I answered.
"That's the short strawberry blond over there, right?" he asked, looking at Megan.
"Yes," I replied. "You've met her."
"I know," he smiled. "She's hot, but she was dating someone. I hear she's single now."
"Down boy," I laughed. "Sara might hear you." Sarah was Greg's current girlfriend. I didn't expect her to last much longer. Greg didn't date a girl for more than a month or two typically.
"True," he sighed. "So many women, so little time."
"Just go find a way of getting Kyle away from her," I said, shaking my head. "And quickly before Hilda comes back."
"Yessir boss," he joked, but then moved toward Megan and Hyle.
I don't know what he said, but after two minutes he and Kyle disappeared. I quickly made my way to Megan.
"I'm leaving," I said quickly. "Before Hilda gets back. You coming?"
"Chicken!" she teased.
"Suit yourself," I shrugged and turned away.
"Cock a doodle do," she said, grabbing my arm. "In other words, wait for me." We laughed and slipped out of the party together as fast as we could.
"You need a ride home?" I asked.
"Sure," she replied. "And thanks for getting me out of there."
"No problem," I smiled. "It wasn't me though. We owe Greg."
"Yes we do," she said, her eyes thoughtful.
"What's on your mind?" I asked as we got into my car.
"Nothing really," she answered. "It's just a shame he's such a womanizer. He's kind of cute."
"He's not that bad," I said, but she gave me a look and I laughed. "Okay, he is, but he's a good guy. One day he'll meet the right girl and settle down."
We fell silent as I drove toward her house. It was a comfortable silence. Megan and I got along very well and had for years. We didn't hang out as much as we could, but when we did it was always a good time.
"You know," I said without thinking. "It's too bad we don't like each other in that way."
"And what way would that be?" she grinned. I blushed.
"Very funny," I replied, not willing to back down now. "You know what I mean."
"Yes, I do," she said more seriously. "It is a shame in some ways. We get along pretty well."
"Yep," I said, shaking my head at the silliness of it all.
"On the other hand, with how I'm feeling about men and love these days, I'd probably be hiding from you too if you did feel that way about me."
"There is that," I shrugged. "By the way, it's still pretty early. You want to go out for a drink or something before heading home? Strictly platonic."
"Why not," she smiled. "We're dressed for it and I could use a night out with a friend."
We ended up at a local bar that was big with our school. I thought it would be empty with it being Valentines Day and all, but I hadn't realized the owner turned it into meat market for the holiday. Worse yet, it seemed like every body we knew who wasn't dating someone was here.
We were sitting and waiting for our drinks when the first guy made his way over. Timmy was a friend of both of ours.
"Hey," he said as he walked up.
Timmy made it sound like he was talking to both of us, but I knew he was focused on Megan. Our drinks came as we talked. I sipped mine, but I noticed Megan take a long pull off of hers. I frowned as I realized that she was already a little buzzed from the party earlier. I guess with Kyle doing all that talking, all she could do was drink. It didn't take Timmy long to make his play.
"So Megan, do you want to dance?" he asked.
I frowned and looked around. It took me a moment to realize that the owner had actually cleared a couple of tables in the back of the bar to make way for a 'dance' floor. It was tiny and already packed. The music was pretty bad, but that didn't seem to bother anyone.
"No thanks," Megan said.
"Come on," he said. "It's Valentine's Day."
"And I'm here with Jerry," she replied.
"You two?" he asked in surprise, but then grinned and added, "No way!"
"Why not?" I found myself asking.
"You guys always act like brother and sister," he replied.
"That was before," Megan put in, moving closer to me. She looked at me. Her eyes were begging me to go along with it. I nodded gently, but had a problem not bursting into laughter after our earlier talk.
"Oh," Timmy said, frowning. "Sorry."
"No worries," I smiled and he drifted away.
"Thanks," Megan sighed when he was gone. She pulled away too.
"Timmy's a nice guy," I said. "Why not dance with him?"
"I told you," she shrugged. "I'm not in the mood to deal with men today."
"And yet, here you sit with me," I teased.
"We're just friends," she said.
"Oh no!" I groaned, hiding my smile. "Don't tell me I've become the safe guy girls like to hang out with?"
"Don't worry," she replied, looking over my shoulder. "It looks like Cindy James is giving you the eye. I'm sure she won't think you're safe if you want to go over there and talk to her."
"No thanks," I said quickly.
"Why not?" Megan asked.
"Well, for one thing, Cindy's a bitch," I replied.
"True," Megan laughed. "What else?"
"I'm not in the mood to pick up a girl tonight," I shrugged. "I'd rather just hang out with a friend."
"Oh no!" she cried, using my earlier tone. "Don't tell me I've turned into the girl that guys just want to be friends with?"
"I'm sorry, but it's true," I teased.
"Jerk!" she cried, but she was also laughing.
"Hey Megan," a guy I didn't know well said as he walked up. I couldn't help it. I grinned the entire time he hit on her and was shot down.
"Are you having fun?" she asked in annoyance when the guy left.
"More than I expected," I replied, but then saw her expression and quickly added, "Although this could get old after a while."
"You think?" she asked rhetorically.
"You want to leave?" I asked. She frowned for a moment.
"Not really," she replied. "How about we act like boyfriend and girlfriend while we're here."