The California sun had long gone down and our hotel room became our stage of conflict. I had no urgency to be up in the morning, so I thought I might go out and explore this unfamiliar city. There was much to see.

At the time I was in a role I thought I could manage; the lusting friend, never so easily accomplished as is intended. She said it wasn’t fair that she had to be up early for her conference. She wanted to go out. I thought that if I stayed, she would see how considerate I was. This is why I took my shoes off and sat in the room quietly while she slept, doing my best impression of a loving boyfriend. I knew she would remember this gesture fondly.

Weeks later I recalled this upon her. I said that I regretted not going out that night, especially in light of what happened after the trip. I stayed to be polite, I stayed because I thought it would change how she felt towards me. It didn’t. To her memory, the incident never happened, just like so many other things never happened. To this day I wonder how present I ever was.