“…And you’re sure?” Daisy asked me over the phone.
“100%.” I respond, my voice full of confidence I didn’t know I had. “Anything to update from home?”
“No, everything has been pretty normal. I have barely heard from her.”
“Are you doing alright?” I asked her as a formality.
“I appreciate your concern, but I think you don’t need to worry about me right now,” she answered honestly. “You need to worry about both my sister and yourself.”
“I mean, that’s what I’m doing, yeah?” I asked her with a shrug.
“Yeah.” she answered softly. “For what it’s worth, I think you’re doing the right thing.”
“I sure hope I am.” I replied. “So, I guess I’ll talk to you when I… talk to you next.”
“Yup. Daisy replied. I waited for her to hang up, but she didn’t. Instead, I heard a chuckle from the other end of the line. “You know, I’m not sure if I want to see you again down the road or never again.”
“I guess that won’t be up to us to decide.” I told her.
“Yeah. Fate can be a funny thing. I’m content to let it guide us, just this once.” she said. “Well… goodbye.”
“Goodbye, Daisy.” I told her, and heard her hang up. After the call ended, I went to her contact page and pressed ‘edit.’ I held my finger above the ‘delete contact’ button for a few seconds before thinking better of it and just shutting my phone off.
I drummed on my knees in mock excitement, looking Mira straight in the eye. “Yup, everything’s been arranged.” I let her know.
Mira nodded and wrote a few things down. She didn’t say anything for a bit. “I commend you on your initiative.” she told me.
“I hear a ‘but,’ in that sentence.” I told her humorously.
She smiled. “You heard right. I’m just wondering if you’re changing your life too drastically to service one issue. You have a right to your own life. You are your own person.”
“I mean, this is a decision I made myself.” I told her. “Plus, it’s not like I don’t have other things I’m working on in life.”
“Yes, I remember that.” she told me. “Do you want to talk about your situation with your father?”
“I did exactly what I said I wanted to do with him too. Blocked his number. My stuff was all moved out of his place anyway. I don’t know if there’s any way he can force himself into his life, but anywhere I can resist, I will.”
“Well done.” Mira told me, writing some more notes down. “How are you feeling about that?”
“Free. Exhilarated. I should have done it years ago.”
“It also means he won’t be paying for your tuition anymore, correct?” Mira asked me.
“Correct.” I answered, surprisingly full of confidence. “I’d rather have student debt for years than continue to live feeling like I have to appreciate that guy anyway.” I continued. “I’m… you’re right. Setting healthy boundaries is fucking great.”
Mira laughed supportively. “I am glad you’re accepting the practice of realizing and limiting negative influences in your life. Would you say you’re feeling less trapped?”
I had referred to feeling ‘trapped’ multiple times in our last few sessions. “Absolutely.” I answered. “Dad had this coming for a long time coming. In terms of the thing with me and Molly, I’m holding fast. This is the best thing for us.”
Mira blinked twice. “Molly? Who’s Molly?”
I sheepishly scratched the back of my head and laughed nervously. “So, uh, Molly is… the actual name of my housemate. I figured using a codename was safer.”
“I can understand and appreciate that.” Mira nodded, then thought to herself for a moment. “It obviously breaks confidentiality to talk about who’s seeking our counsel, but if I were speaking to a friend, I would mention that I think I saw someone named Molly checking in to book a counselling appointment a little bit ago.” She smiled at me.
I smiled back. In truth, that was actually great to hear. I wasn’t sure if I could trust Molly 100% that she did in fact book an appointment, even if she told me she did, given she had a history of saying anything to salvage a situation. Knowing that she actually did book a session was music to my ears.
“That’s fucking great.” I replied, smiling from ear to ear.
“I understand if you feel you don’t need to book another appointment with me, but if you wish, you know my email address.” Mira continued. “It’s good to follow up with a counselor when things are going well too. We’re not just crisis workers, and it’s as important to note patterns of security as well as insecurity, and make sure the security continues.”
“You don’t have to give me the hard sell. I’ll book another one.” I told her. “You’ve really helped me. If Doctor was a purely respect-driven title, I would have called you Doctor from the second session onward.”
Mira chuckled. “Well, thank you. I just felt the need to let you know that. Too many clients think that as soon as they’re better, the need for counseling ends, but in too many cases that’s when counseling is the most important.”
“I get you.” I replied, standing up and offering to shake her hand, which she gladly did. “I’ll see you soon, Mira.”
“I’ll see you soon, Aaron.” she warmly said back to me as I left her office.
As I passed the waiting area beyond her office, I did a double take. A familiar face caught my eye – Holly. I hadn’t seen her in so long, but even her conniving expression was still just as familiar to me.
I wasn’t sure what was the dominant emotion I was feeling at that moment. I felt a feeling of karma as I realized she was likely here because of her own appointment, but instead of laughing at her internally, I was proud of her. She was working to try to better herself too.
I also felt a slight pang of worry as I realized Mira could have meant Holly booked an appointment instead of Molly, but in that moment I also realized I needed to trust Molly. She said she booked an appointment. She seemed to be conscious of her problems and was actively working on solving them. She was not only fucking up on her own terms, but unfucking herself on her own terms too. I needed to give her the space to do that without my paranoia getting in the way.
I gazed back at Holly one last time. I was tempted to say hello, to catch up with her and see if she was doing better. After all, I all but told Chris to do the same. In that moment, though, I think I understood why Chris said reaching out to his old friend was an impossibility. It felt too wrong. Holly was a past chapter, and I didn’t want to open any fresh wounds, especially right before a counseling session, by reappearing in her life when she probably wasn’t too happy that I was involved in her life in the first place. Plus, who knew if she was actually better? Who knew if she would yell at me or plot to make my life worse somehow? I had a right to move on just as much as she did. Thinking about my own needs, I realized that I didn’t even want to say hello to her in the first place, it just felt like an obligation to be polite and do so. Well, I was the master of my own destiny now, and I was sure to internally remind myself of that over and over as I left the building.
I took in a breath and realized I’d probably remember this day, and this moment, for a long time. It was going to be one of those things that replays in my mind, over and over. I cleared my mind and steeled myself as I knocked on Molly’s door.
Molly opened the door and gestured inside. “Hey. Come on in, if you want.”
“Sure.” I replied, coming in and sitting down on the bed. “How’s life?”
“I think things are actually going pretty well.” she told me. “I’m definitely calming down. No more meltdowns. I’m playing video games a bit more, that’s kind of helping, although it makes me feel guilty for not being productive.”
“Stiff.” I joked.
“You’d know. Anyway, I’m feeling more relaxed. I’m also planning on hanging out with a friend I met at AA tomorrow.”
“You’re hanging out with a friend that you haven’t even met yet? Woah, next level socializing.” I joked.
She stared at me blankly for a bit, before breaking into a smile and rolling her eyes. “Dork. I made a friend in AA recently, and tomorrow we’re hanging out.”
I was grinning. “I get what you meant.” I told her.
“I’m also drinking less.” she told me. “I don’t know if it’s just how things are going, or if AA helped, or even if you helped.”
“I doubt I did much singlehandedly.” I let her know.
“Still, you were there for me.”
“That could be seen as a good or a bad thing.” I held up a finger as I told her.
She smiled lightly. “I think it was a good and a bad thing.”
I shrugged. “The Good, the Bad and the Molly.” I joked.
She winced in pain. “That was fucking terrible.” We both shared a laugh. “I think it’s because I’ve seen how destructive I’ve seen it be.” she continued. “Like, the drinking leads to such awful stuff. At some point, after you see what damage it causes, you really have no choice but to stop, you know?”
“I really do.” I nodded. “Hey, speaking of, I’m thinking maybe now that things have changed, we should take another stab at taking a break from sex again.”
Molly nodded slightly as she stared at me. “This time it’s something you want, huh? Not just a me thing.”
“You could tell immediately, couldn’t you?”
“I saw it in your eyes.” She broke out into a smile. “I’m proud of you, Aaron. I really am.”
“Before it always felt like you were always just trying to guess what others wanted and you were trying to fit your own needs in like a puzzle piece that didn’t fit. Now it shows that you’re actually valuing yourself and your wants.” Her smile didn’t wane. “I hope this is okay to say, but this is the first time in a while that I’m thinking, ‘wow, we’ve really changed since last year’ and not thought of it as a purely bad thing.”
“Hey, I’ll take that.” I smiled. “So, that’s what I want. But I’m completely ambivalent on this next part – would you like to stop now, or would you like to do it one more time? A kind of a ‘last hurrah,’ if you will.”
“‘If you will?’ What, is this a business proposition?” Molly laughed. “I think… I’d like to do it one last time. I mean, who knows, we might be weak and go back to this again, but it would be nice to try again.”
Part of me wondered if Molly was just accepting we would keep having sex like this over and over. I knew I was making a genuine effort this time, so it seemed only appropriate to offer, as I put it, a last hurrah. Still, with smiles and a little bit of awkwardness, we approached each other and just embraced, looking at each other as we held one another.
I smiled and sighed, half in bliss and half in sadness. “What if this turns out to genuinely be the last time?”
Molly’s smile faded. “It wouldn’t undo what we are.”
“Then what are we, Molly?”
Molly’s look became frustrated. “Touché.” she spat bitterly. “Are you worried that without sex we’re nothing?”
“I’m worried about what we’re making each other.” I told her, giving her a light kiss on the forehead after. “Especially since I have genuine romantic feelings towards you, and this will be the second time we had sex that was even ‘fake happy’ in a while.”
“It’s not fake, Aar-”
“Yeah, poor choice of words.” I interrupted. “Um, like a facade of what we are. We know we’re not a couple. We know that this is… like, it’s a coping mechanism for you, right?”
Molly’s smile reappeared as she shook her head. “Hey, dummy.” she began. “Maybe you haven’t noticed, but you like to talk about these things head-on. I like to avoid them. There’s no real way of compromising, but if you want to have sex with me, maybe we shouldn’t talk about this kind of stuff beforehand.”
I chuckled slightly. “Yeah, maybe we shouldn’t.” With that, I lifted her chin and kissed her tenderly on the mouth. “You still want this?”
“Yes.” she told me quietly. “Kiss me.”
Gladly I did. I savored the feeling of her lips on mine and her hand caressing my face as we began what may very well have been our last time together. It wasn’t with animalistic fervor that we graduated to making out, but slowly and with meaning. Maybe Molly and I weren’t in love, but that didn’t mean that our kisses at this point meant nothing.
Over time, our bodies got closer and closer until they couldn’t, with both of us aching to have our bodies be even closer, our arms wrapped around each other as our kisses became more and more passionate and we became hotter and hotter. When we broke the kiss, we both knew exactly what the other wanted and ditched our clothes as quickly as we can. As soon as the both of us were naked, we went back to embracing each other and kissing, no clothes between us, nothing to prevent me from feeling her hot skin on mine. We melted together perfectly.
We broke the kiss off again and Molly hopped onto the bed as I slipped the condom on. Molly was smiling hungrily at me as I crawled over to her, deciding to kiss up her body to tease her. I started at her ankle and worked my way up, temporarily stopping at her sex to give a little attention to her clit, gently of course. Molly shuddered and gripped the bed as I kissed and lightly licked around her clit. I used my tongue carefully ,wanting to tease her and make her want it even more than she already did, but I didn’t want to push her overboard before the main event started.
My kisses trailed up her body, stopping again at her left nipple, only for a quick tease. Eventually, as my mouth reached her neck, I used a hand to guide myself inside Molly and pushed myself in, feeling her envelop me as I heartily kissed at her neck, occasionally giving a little nibble. Molly’s body reacted in turn, arching and slightly writhing as she felt my full self sink into her.
Molly closed her eyes and gave a few sex-chuckles. She shifted her hips to accommodate me, smiling slightly and opening her eyes to look at mine when she felt comfortable. She nodded at me, and I proceeded to slowly pump in and out of her, savoring the feeling of being inside her. Molly savored me just as much, lightly moaning and whimpering at the feeling of me sliding in and out of her.
“Aaron…” she cooed.
“Molly,” I grunted back, voice full of passion, as I adjusted my hands and lowered my head to hers. I slowed my pace down as we shared a deep yet tender kiss. As she kiss ended, I smiled mischievously at her as I pulled my head up and began to quicken, my pace becoming rapid as I rammed myself in and out of her.
Molly reacted with slight surprise and her eyes and mouth flew open as I started pumping more vigorously. Her body reacted immediately, wrapping her legs around me, pulling me closer, aching for me to fill her as best as I could. And who was I to deny her? I worked my hips to give her the ultimate experience, sometimes rotating my hips around to give her the full experience of my shaft, sometimes adding an upward curve to my motions just to keep things fresh. I don’t know if it was that my techniques were working or if Molly was just that worked up, but her moans told me that she enjoyed every second of everything I was doing to her.
“Flip over,” I moaned into her ear after a few minutes of our carnal dance. With a slight moan, Molly complied as I got off of her. She repositioned herself on the bed, getting on all fours, arching her back to allow me better access, biting her lip as she looked behind herself at me. “Like what you see?” she asked teasingly.
“Love what I see.” I answered gruffly as my left hand caressed her slit, feeling just how wet she was. She wanted me badly, and it’s not like I was any different. Not desiring to dawdle any further, I lined myself up with her from behind and sank in again, feeling the pleasure of having her depths accept me. From behind it always feels like you go that extra little bit into someone, and I loved that feeling. From the sounds she was making, I could guess that Molly was loving it too.
I alternated between gripping Molly’s hips and giving her light playful spanks, using my same hip tricks to allow her to enjoy every inch of me. After all, I sure as hell was enjoying Molly’s entire body, it would be unfair of me not to let her enjoy mine.
As I kept drilling her, Molly’s body eventually got into the rhythm too, slamming her hips back against me. I didn’t dare change the rhythm as we worked together, enjoying each other, carnally thrusting our bodies into one another, daring each other to explode with lust first. After a while, I leaned forward and reached around, playing a dirty trick that would put the odds in my favor – finding Molly’s clit and playing with it, rubbing little circles around it at the same time as I thrust in and out of her.
Molly’s normally tempered whimpering and moaning broke like a dam. “Ooh, agh, fuck,” she moaned before starting to collapse into her sex moans. I had her. This was it. The moment I was going to make Molly cum, maybe for the last time. Molly’s legs were shaking as she struggled to keep herself up. I used my hand gripping her hip to help keep her up as I continued my thrusting and my attack on her clit, hoping to break down the fortress.
And the fortress came crashing down. Molly’s sex-laughs eventually gave way to a steady stream of “aah”s, her body quivering as she tried whispering something (my guess was something to the tune of “I’m gonna cum”) several times. Then her back stiffened as I could almost see her orgasm physically rippling its way through her. Molly gave a long satisfied slow moan as her body tensed, then collapsed in a slow wave, beginning from her head down to her hips. For good measure, I pumped a few more times into her, then slowly and gently removed myself from her. Molly immediately collapsed onto the bed, still panting, and I gladly joined her.
“I did alright then?” I joked, and Molly raised her head to see me, looked at me through half-closed eyes, and nodded slowly, still panting.
“Good, just checking.” I replied, almost smugly. Molly caught her breath and we immediately started spooning, barely exchanging a word between ourselves. When we did, it was basically just us recapping what had happened, how much we enjoyed it, and other pleasantries. After a nice little bit of spooning and chatting, we put our clothes back on and resumed the position, still saying little.
“So, let’s see how long we can last this time.” Molly joked.
“Oh, I think we’ll be able to hold out this time.” I replied. “I have a feeling.”
“I can’t tell whether that’s you being optimistic or pessimistic.” she said, rolling over to the other side of the bed.
“Me neither.” I said lazily as I pulled out my phone and texted Chris.
Hey. Everything’s ready. Can you meet me in the kitchen?
“Well, we’ll have to see what the future holds. At least I’m getting my shit together finally, that’s definitely going to be nice.” she continued.
“Yeah, I think I’m doing better too.” I replied. “I think I have made a few decisions that’s going to make life… interesting in the short term, but better in the long term.” As I said that, my phone buzzed with Chris’ reply.
On my way
“Hey, you know what, good for you.” Molly told me, getting up off the bed and looking at me. “So many people do things for the short-term. It’s good to plan ahead. Do you want to talk about your decisions?”
“Nah, you’ll see them pretty soon.” I replied, getting up off the bed.
“Well, that sounds ominous and foreboding.”
I shrugged. “Not ominous, didn’t mean it like that. But hey, while you’re here, I need to go upstairs for something, would you mind grabbing something in my room? It’s just in the middle of the floor, you can’t miss it.”
“Why don’t you grab it?” Molly asked, going over to her computer.
“You’ll see.” I grinned. “Just think of it as another ominous foreboding thing. I’ll be in the kitchen. Pleeease?”
Molly rolled her eyes and smiled. “You’re strange.” she told me. “Okay. Let me just check for an email first, I’m expecting something from Cole.”
“No problem. Thanks. I’ll be in the kitchen.” I practically sang as I exited her room, closing the door behind me. I hurried up the steps to see Chris standing in the middle of the room.
“Yo,” I told him.
“Hey.” he answered, looking around. “You told Molly yet?”
“She’ll find out soon enough. Did you get the last few bags?”
“Yeah, everything’s packed.” he replied. “How’d it go with the landlord?”
“Easy peasy.” I shrugged. “I didn’t even need to explain the situation, which was kind of a relief, since…”
“Since there’s a lot there, yeah.” Chris finished my sentence sympathetically.
“I’ll still pay for last month’s rent, but the room will be-”
“What the fuck?!” rang a voice from downstairs.
“Empty.” I winced, having prepared for her reaction.
Molly’s footsteps thundered up the stairs. “Aaron, what the hell is going on?”
“I made some decisions, Molly.” I replied, sitting down at the table, Chris joining me. “I’m glad you’re getting better, but I think the only way we can truly let things heal is to have some space between us.”
“And when were you planning on letting me know you were just going to move out like this?” she asked me in a huff.
I gestured around me. “Today.” I explained. “I knew that if I told you while I was planning it, I would get cold feet or you’d try to talk me out of it. I mean… neither of us want this.”
“Then why w-”
“Because it’s the right thing to do!” I answered, raising my voice. “It’s the only option. We’ve tried everything else and we keep having this cycle of getting better, enabling each other, and becoming worse than either of us were in the first place. I can’t handle another two weeks of us getting better then watching each other get worse. It’s so hard on both of us. We just need space.”
Molly said nothing, eventually sitting down at the table with us. “What’s your role in this?” she eventually asked Chris.
Chris shrugged. “My usual role in situations like these. The guy both parties talked to, the guy with the advice, the guy that helped pack the car, take your pick.” He noted Molly’s stare. “I didn’t push him to move out if that’s what you’re wondering.”
“That was my own decision.” I told her, shifting her gaze back to me. “I’ll admit it was recommended by my counselor, and I pushed that away, and I tried for us, but I think at this point, me moving out and us having some breathing space away from each other is me trying.”
Molly pouted, thinking to herself for a few seconds. “Yeah,” she eventually said.
“I’d be lying if I said I’m not going to miss you.” I gingerly added. “That said, I think we’ve been missing each other for a while now. And I do genuinely feel like this is the only option at this point. Not just for us, long-term, but also for you and Chris here.”
Chris smiled at me. “You don’t have to speak for me, sweetie.” he let me know. “Whatever happens from this point happens. And I’m willing to give Molly as much space as she needs too.”
Both of us turned to Molly, who was just weakly staring at the table. “Nyeh,” she eventually feebly mumbled.
“And it’s possible you’ll grow into other friends and we may not meet again.” I continued. “I don’t want that, but I think we’re grow apart faster and more violently if we don’t take this break.”
“I’m gonna miss you too.” Molly mumbled, then sighed, bringing her head up. “But I understand. Yeah, fine, maybe it’s for the best.” She shifted uncomfortably in her seat. “But, like, no. This sucks.”
“Yeah, it does.” Chris agreed, wisely omitting the knowledge that he and I were still going to hang out after I moved out, and Molly and I were not. “I’m sorry you had to find out like this.”
Molly shot Chris an angry glare. “He’s trying to help you.” I reminded her. “He has – Molly, look at me.” Molly’s eyes shifted reluctantly from him to me. “He has done nothing to but try to be there for you. If he’s hurt you, communicate when and how he has. He has had nothing but kind intentions towards you, and you in turn have purposefully hurt him. He’s a person with feelings just as you are, the only difference is he feels the need to help others more than normal. And has a tendency to sacrifice his own sanity in the process, like a stupid person.” I shot him a look of my own before continuing. “You two are still going to be living together after I move out. He’s willing to help you, or to back off, but you need to meet him halfway and communicate what you want and need. And here’s something else you can do – you’ve acknowledged to me that you weren’t being kind to him. I think it’s high time you admitted it to him too.”
Molly’s eyes narrowed at my last few words, then turned to Chris. Quickly, they looked away.
“Please, Molly.” I asked of her. “This is going to be my last request from you for a while.”
Molly huffed and turned back to Chris, then her expression melted into one of regret. “I…” she began, finding it difficult to proceed. “I was cruel to you. You absolutely didn’t deserve that. I’m sorry. I don’t want your help anymore, but I shouldn’t have exploded at you like that. Ever. I’m sorry.”
Chris smiled and nodded. “I accept.”
“Thank you, Molly.” I warmly added, standing up. “I’m proud of you, you know. I’m very proud of you. I’m not running away from you or anything. This isn’t me telling you I don’t want you around anymore – if anything, it’s the opposite. I think we both need to find ourselves and unlearn our toxic behaviors.”
“Yeah, you’ve definitely been seeing a counselor.” Molly grumbled bitterly. “You’re starting to sound like one.”
I shrugged and laughed. “It is what it is. Do you want a hug before I go?”
“Yeah.” she replied defeatedly, and stood up. We hugged each other, the hug lasting many seconds more than it would have under any other circumstances. “I’m sorry I wasn-”
“Nope, don’t you dare.” I cut in, still hugging her. “You were fine, you were enough, you were valid. We just need some things right now, and I think being around each other is preventing us from having those things. Did you see what I left in my room for you?”
“Yeah. It was another rose, you cheesy jerk.” Molly replied, breaking off the hug.
I smiled. “You’d better keep it.”
“I’m going to, I promise.” she said. “I, uh… I’m gonna go to my room, I don’t do well with… yeah. See you.”
With that, Molly went downstairs and noisily shut her door behind her. I looked at Chris and gestured to the front door. “Shall we?”
I opened the door for Chris and he walked through. “You didn’t have to ask her to apologize to me, y’know.” Chris pointed out as we approached the car.
“You didn’t have to take that kind of shit from her. We’re even.” I fired back as we got in. “If we’re all looking out for each other here, I absolutely had to do that. I just can’t guarantee anything will change.”
“Oh, a lot will change without you in the house, honey.” Chris assured me, starting the car. “Even if you’re only moving across town.”
“Don’t tell Molly that, by the way. I didn’t let her know how far away I’d be moving.” I hastily pointed out.
“Oh really?” Chris asked with intrigue, a smile across his face. “Aren’t you worried you’ll bump into her or something?”
“Not terribly. If we do cross paths, we’ll probably awkwardly look away from each other or something until we’re ready to accept each other back into our lives, and that’s if we even see each other. I kinda doubt we will.”
“So there’s a point where you’ll accept each other back? Do you have a hard date in mind?”
I joined Chris in slight laughter. “Of course not.” I replied. “Hey, maybe this is it. The most important thing is, this is the way it’s going. The future will be what the future is.” I pulled out my phone and sighed quietly, before deleting all connections to Molly I could find.
“It’s a big step you’re taking.” Chris echoed his earlier sentiments.
“Yeah. Do you mind if I just have a few seconds of silence? It’s nothing you said, but…”
Chris smiled knowingly. “I don’t mind in the slightest. Take all the time you need. I’ll let you know when we’re there.”
Thanks,” I replied, drifting off into thought. For all I knew, this was me saying goodbye to the closest and longest-held friend I’d ever had in my life, forever. To say a new chapter was beginning was an understatement, and on some levels, I felt alone, stupid, and slightly terrified. On the other hand, I knew this was the right move to make, and that this wasn’t the end of either my life nor Molly’s by any stretch of the imagination. Being away from her wasn’t going to make me any less proud or love her any less. It was just just to provide us both with a life neither of could have while living in each other’s vice. I had the rest of my life to live, and so did she.
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