I didn't allow it at the time, of course. I carried on talking as a friend, partied as a friend, said goodbye as a friend and went home with Boyfriend. I didn't let myself think about the DVD and his gorgeous smile and his ever-present laugh. I was sure I could forget the way it felt as if my heart just dropped when I watched that gorgeous smile and heard that ever-present laugh.
Over the next month a friendship grew. There were plenty of parties and socials that kept bringing the group together and multiple reasons for us to be in touch. One evening when we'd all met for another birthday celebration, Beautiful Boy and I had so much to say to each other that we ended up being the last two friends at the bar. As we were discussing my long-term relationship and the benefits of being committed to someone for such a long time, I didn't feel guilty or in the wrong.
Then Beautiful Boy suddenly got up and announced the end of the evening. He didn't even walk me to my car.
Phew! I felt lucky that I'd obviously mastered my supposed feelings for him (or at least hidden them well) and he had none for me. Life could carry on as before.
A twinge of disappointment was unceremoniously suppressed.
Our mutual friends had noticed this 'absolutely platonic' friendship forming, and tongues were wagging. No one said anything to me but Beautiful Boy was called up and made to answer for flirting so outrageously with a girl who was "about to get married". Boyfriend and I were in therapy partly to figure out why we DIDN’T want to get married. To each other. But after ten years together everyone was just waiting for it I guess.
So Beautiful Boy retracted somewhat from our intense chats and I reasoned that our relationship was finding its balance somewhere between flirty and friendly. Which suited me just fine. I was busy enough sorting through an emotional wasteland with Boyfriend and had no time to contemplate new friendships with beautiful boys.