To Live Again

By: L. A. Witt

They exchanged uneasy glances.

“Fought a lot,” Ethan said.

“We were stuck under the same roof.” Rhett wrapped his arm around Ethan’s shoulders. “That was, uh, not a fun period.”

“I can imagine,” I said. It had been awkward enough, coming by the house while I got my shit together and moved out. Having no choice but to live together through all of this? “That must have been hell.”

“Yep,” Rhett said quietly.

Ethan gave a dry laugh. “That’s probably why we both spent a fair amount of time getting laid.”

“Ethan!” Rhett laughed, his cheeks turning bright red. “Really?”

“What?” Ethan shrugged. “Don’t act like it isn’t true.” Gesturing at me with his beer bottle, he added, “Greg might find it…I don’t know, useful.”

I chuckled. “I have to admit, I’ve thought about it. Becky and I weren’t, uh…for a long…” I exhaled hard, my shoulders sagging. “Guess that should’ve been a sign, shouldn’t it?”

“Sometimes it is,” Ethan said. “Sometimes it isn’t. But all joking aside, it can be good to put yourself back out there, or it can make things worse. I needed to blow off steam. You might need more time.”

“Blowing off steam does sound pretty tempting. Maybe I—” I hesitated, my stomach twisting with panic, but really, if I was going to finally say the words out loud, these two were hardly going to give me hell for it. Could be a good opportunity to get the hang of admitting things about myself that even my wife—ex-wife—didn’t know. I tamped down the panicky feeling and quietly said, “Maybe I need to find a guy this time.”

Rhett choked on his beer, clapping a hand over his mouth as he nearly spat it across the counter.

“I told you!” Ethan laughed. “I fucking told you!”

I blinked. “You told him, what exactly?”

Ethan watched Rhett, grinning smugly.

Rhett finally recovered, clearing his throat a couple of times, and I couldn’t tell if his cheeks were red from coughing or from something else. “We, uh…” He glanced—more like glared—at Ethan before turning to me. “Ethan said a while back he thought you might not be completely straight.”

I lifted my eyebrows. “So what gave me away?”

Rhett turned to Ethan again, silently putting the ball back in his court.

This time it was Ethan who blushed a little. “Uh, one of our house parties last year. I don’t know, something about the way you were looking at Sebastian.”

“Sebastian?” I cocked my head. “Which one was he?”

“The tattoo artist,” Rhett said.

“Oh. Right. Him.” Yeah. Him. I took another deep swallow, hoping they didn’t notice the shiver that ran through me. I’d seriously considered getting my first tattoo just as an excuse to have that guy’s hands on me. “He was, uh, pretty hot.”

“Mmhmm.” Ethan grinned. “That’s what I thought.”

I chuckled into my beer bottle. “That wasn’t the reaction I expected the first time I told someone I’m into men.”

Rhett elbowed Ethan. “Always expect the unexpected with this one.”

“So I’ve learned.”

Ethan just laughed.

Rhett sobered a bit as he met my gaze. “So, are you…gay? Bi?”

“Not gay.” I shifted in my seat. “I definitely still find women attractive. And I’ve, well…I guess you’d say I’m bi-curious since I’ve never actually been with a man.”

They both blinked, and in unison asked, “Never?”

“Never.” I played with the label on my beer again, self-conscious under the weight of their stares. “I’ve been married since I was twenty-two. Didn’t figure out I was even attracted to men until after that, and didn’t admit it to myself until my mid-thirties. So…never had the opportunity. Maybe now’s as good a time as any.”

“Well,” Ethan said. “If you decide you want to hook up with a guy, we can certainly point you in the direction of places to find them.”

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