In Andy’s Arms by Pamela Banayoti
It was so nice. He actually cuddled me. He thought I needed one, that’s what he said, so I sidled up to him. We were on the ground at this point. Vertical, so we had a lovely view of the damp. I rested my head on his shoulder as the night lamp flickered. Talking about how much he loved his girlfriend, he stroked my arm, conjuring up a warmth on this cold November night. I got goose bumps even though maybe I shouldn’t have. But he would never cheat on his girlfriend. It was endearing to hear. I cried when he told me he couldn’t play rugby anymore because the amount of injuries he’s racked up has damaged him forever. Even his girlfriend didn’t know. I brushed my thumb across his chest and in the entirety of that minute, it felt like I was for him, and there he was, imparting this piece of himself where I could keep it safe and locked up for him whenever he needed it. The soberer he got, the more he talked about his girlfriend and less about how we had a connection. When dawn broke and the purple of the sky heaved heavy on our night, he realised his girlfriend would probably get mad if she knew he spent the night here, with me, even though all we did was talk. We didn’t come close to kissing. I wouldn’t call that cheating.
London living, London loving. Pam’s past experience includes editorial, public relations, and bringing joy to the world. She has a BA in English Literature and an MA in Creative Writing.