I'd spent most of my weekends at that pool, watching couples rub suntan lotion on each others' backs, seeing them kiss when their friends weren't looking, watching the men toss their girlfriends in the water to flirt but accidentally pissing them off instead. I wanted that. I wanted it all. I didn't care if I got water up my nose and came up choking and gagging and doing that weird gross burp thing you do when you swallow too much water. I just wanted my boyfriend to throw me in the water. I wanted someone to rub lotion on my back.
And for the first time, I had my boyfriend there. He rubbed lotion on my back. I rubbed lotion on his. He kissed me even when people were looking. We'd claimed a group of chairs near the shallow end, so I guess I couldn't be mad Cayden didn't throw me in the water. That weird burp thing hurt, anyway.
I draped my arms around Cayden's shoulders while he held me piggy-back style in the water with our group of friends.
"So, you got the job offer?" Cayden asked Chaz.
"I did," he answered with a sigh. "I accepted it."
Chaz had been back from his internship in Germany for a few months and had been discouraged by the job search until lately. A well known athletic gear company in Boston had just offered him a job, and he was torn. He and Rae weren't willing to do long distance again.
"So that means you're both going?" I asked, trying to hide my disappointment. I was already in one long-distance relationship. I didn't need another one with one of my best friends.
"Looks like it," Rae said. "I'll probably stay here for a little while, though. I'm not ready to leave the office, so I'll let him go up there and get settled first."
Rae had recently started a new job as well, and her boss had given her permission to work from Boston. I was happy for them to finally move in together, but I was equally sad that it had to be so many miles from home.
"But there's another company here in Dallas that interviewed me," Chaz said. "So I'm really hoping they give me an offer soon so I can turn down the Boston job."
My face lit up.
"They have to offer!" I nearly yelled in Cayden's ear, nearly spilling my beer with my enthusiasm.
"I know," Rae said. "I'm trying not to get my hopes up, though. I mean, Boston can't be that bad, right?"
I winced as I remembered the winter I spend in NYC. The snow, the slush, the god-awful breathtaking winds. Winter was that bad in the Northeast.
"So you two are going to move in together," Joyce said. "And Joey's moving in to our place!"
Aw, how fucking cute. All the couples were going to get to live together. I was still working on trying to live in the same country as my boyfriend, much less the same house. I clung on tighter to Cayden and tried to be happy for them. He squeezed my knees as if to say, "It's OK. That will be us one day."
"Do you know what tomorrow is?" Cayden whispered to me, in an attempt to cheer me up.
"Of course I do," I whispered back, and then kissed him on the cheek.
The next day was July 3rd. Two years since I'd met Cayden at the bar. Two years since I'd kicked his ass. Two years since I'd unknowingly given my heart away.
And this year we'd finally get to see those fireworks together.