"I can say this now because I'm drunk..."
J is sitting across the table from me, balanced on a rickety barstool, a pint of IPA sloshing over onto his hand. He had three glasses of water at the last bar. I know he's not drunk, but I smile and nod him on. Who am I to stop a guy from getting something off his chest?
"You know I love Tricia. It..."
"...goes without saying." I finish his sentence. Tricia is, without question, the best thing that has happened to him. It does go without saying.
"Exactly. See? That's what I want to say. You know me." J looks over his shoulder at his girlfriend and smiles. "I love her. And I'm in love with her. But you and I connected in ways she and I never will."
I don't know what expression my face is wearing. My eyebrows are raised though. That much I can tell. J reaches for my arm.
"You shaped the way I see... well, almost everything. Movies. Art. People. You know that, right? Remember that time you said..."
J starts recounting a story from three years ago. Something I said about a red Ferrari and I'm shocked by the level of detail in his memory of it.
"That's how I knew you just got me."
We're both quiet for a minute. There's chaos going on around us in the bar. I feel beer spill down into my sandals but I barely flinch. I'm sort of... blank. I hadn't expected any of this (I'd for a birthday party, not a confessional) and I won't even begin processing it until the next day on the train when I slide my sunglasses down and cry a little because I don't know what else to do. Mostly because of what he says next.