I had a problem with my neighbour. Actually problem isn’t the right word because I liked her; I mean I really liked her and as she is openly gay and I’m single there shouldn’t have been an issue except that she’s also my best friend (yep, that old chestnut) and as far as she knew I’m straight.
Let me fill you in on some details. Eight years ago I married a wonderful guy called Rob and our marriage was as close to perfect as it gets. We both had high earning jobs and no kids, so money wasn’t an issue; we not only loved each other but respected each other, we had a nice house and a great group of friends and our sex life was great. Unfortunately Rob was taken from me suddenly by a massive brain hemorrhage 2 years ago.
Jane had moved in next door about 6 months before Rob passed away and the three of us had quickly become good friends, often going out as a foursome with Jane and a date. Rob and I often joked about having a threesome with Jane (who wouldn’t — she’s gorgeous!) but it never got further than a joke and we never mentioned it to Jane. I’ve never been averse to the idea of a relationship with a woman, I just never had the chance but the thought of sharing Rob sexually was something I’d have struggled to handle.
After Rob died I actually coped quite well initially; there are so many practical things that need to be taken care of after a death that they kept me pretty busy and gave me something to focus on; however after about eight weeks I started to crumble.
After the funeral many of our old friends seemed to drift away – I think they found it hard to know what to say, but Jane was there for me through thick and thin. If I was having a bad day she wouldn’t just say “there, there, it’ll be alright” she would make me do something to occupy myself. We did gardening and DIY; we went for walks; or to the pictures or out for a meal; we worked out at the gym or went swimming and you know what? It was exactly what I needed.
In the two years since Rob passed, Jane and I have become incredibly close and have done everything together, I’ve cried over Rob and she’s cried over a lover she thought was “the one”; we’ve been each other’s friend and confidant, plus-one partner at parties and events; had some lovely holidays and shared pretty much everything going on in our lives.
So here is the crux of the matter. How to tell Jane that I’ve fallen in love with her without blowing the best friendship I’ve ever had.
This is how that dilemma played out…..
“Ellie?” Came a familiar voice from downstairs; we have keys to each other’s houses and don’t stand on ceremony.
“I’m up here in the spare room.” I called back. I was currently sitting on the floor surrounded by boxes of crap that I’d dragged down from the loft. The previous owners had left all this stuff up there and I was finally getting around to sorting through it and chucking it out.
“Oh Honey!” She has no idea of the effect that calling me honey has on me. “You look like you’ve been dragged through a hedge backwards!”
I was soon laughing with her as I stood and looked at myself in the full length mirror, seeing the smudges of dirt on my face and dust all over my clothes; my hair sticking out at odd angles.
“What the hell is all this stuff?”
“I’ve found boxes of books with subjects as diverse as taxidermy and gardening, a suitcase full of old shoes, ratty Christmas decorations, and this latest box is clothes that I’m assuming must have been for an amateur dramatics society!”
Jane crouched down next to me and picked up a moth eaten paisley waistcoat from the top of the box, revealing the largest spider I’ve ever seen. Before I could register that it was dead I’d squealed and launched myself in the opposite direction, losing my balance and knocking Jane over along the way, ending up sprawled on top her.