"Have you ever thought about it? Kissing a guy."
Ephram says, "No."
"Don't be so glib," and Laynie rolls over, stares at Ephram with those big brown eyes like she always does - lamps right on his face. She says, "I'm serious."
"I am too." he shrugs, and looks at the bedspread. It's some kind of green, a pastel. Ephram suspects someone in the know would call it mint green. It reminds him of spearmint gum. He doesn't really want to tell Laynie this story. "One of my friends in New York, he used to hit on us guys. And it wasn't anything, it was just who he was. He wasn't out or anything. Just." Ephram shrugs. "Anyway. One day at a party one of the girls caught her boyfriend making out with him."
She's quiet for a second. "What happened?"
"On, nothing that bad." And then Ephram gives a little laugh, the half-smile he makes when he thinks something should be funny, at least to someone - but he doesn't get the joke. Laynie can't imagine half the horrible possible outcomes for the situation. Ephram says, "The girl was furious, which, okay."
"I guess," she says. "It's kind of fair. Her boyfriend was cheating."
Ephram looks at her and nods, and then looks at the bedspread again. He really doesn't want to tell Laynie this story - but he knows her bedspread well enough to be bored of the color. It's give and take. "I always felt sorriest for her boyfriend, though," he finally told her. "I mean, my buddy was a total moron - the guy *was* taken. Way to score, man." He shrugs again. "But her boyfriend - I just kept wondering, if he was with that girl when he secretly didn't want to be? or whether he was lying to himself, or what? I dunno."
Laynie's quiet for another minute. She leans down on her elbow, staring up at him. She asks him, "Was that boyfriend you, Ephram?"
Ephram isn't lying. "No, no it wasn't." The guy, his name was Calvin or Cory or something stupid. For a fleeting second, Ephram thinks maybe his name was Colin - but if it had been, Ephram's sure it would have hit his radar long ago. It wasn't Colin. It was just some guy. Ephram tells her, "My friend though? My best friend, really. I always half-suspected he wanted it to be, y'know. Me." He's embarrassed, and it takes a moment to say, "And I never knew what to say. Because I never considered it."
Laynie's still leaning on her elbow. Her bedspread is mint green, Ephram decides. He vows to never have a pastel duvet. "Wow," she says.
"Anyway," and he rolls over, onto his back so he can stare at the ceiling, which is white. "So I've never thought about kissing a guy, but I've thought about a guy kissing me. But not in the way you meant, I don't think."
Laynie has these pauses in her speak, where Ephram knows she's gearing up to say something one of them won't like. This time, he knows it's something she doesn't like. "I kinda slept with a girl once."
He turns to face her. Ephram can't see himself in the mirror, since it's on the other side of the room from the bed and the lights are mostly off, but he really wishes he could. He'd like to be able to gauge the reaction on his own face, and modulate it to a better frequency, one that won't anger or upset. Finally, he says lamely, "I thought you weren't a lesbian."
Laynie sits up. "Sleeping with a girl doesn't make you a lesbian. It makes you open to new experiences, possibly a little drunk." She looks sheepish there. "And, maybe lonely."
"Wow," he says. after a moment, he puts a hand on the small of her back. Laynie sits up in bed, and Ephram runs his fingers slowly along her spine.