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The silence finally broke.
“Um,” she led with, “can you please explain to me what the fuck just happened?”
Todd stared blankly into the back of the headrest in their Uber. Drunk on red wine and Japanese whiskey, the ride started out quietly. Even the elevator ride down from their top-floor apartment was dead silent until she finally decided to break the silence with her blunt yet justified question.
Todd tried to talk but nothing really came out. “I… babe, I don’t even know.”
“But seriously, Todd,” she reiterated. “…what the fuck just happened?” She even started laughing at the absurdity. “Did they really think we’re… swingers?”
Todd, like her, just started laughing. He put his hands on his head in bewilderment. He could write off the brush of her hand on his shoulders as Claire walked to the kitchen. He could sweep the amount of wine Claire fed him under the rug. But the touch of her foot on his foot under the table and Tom’s insistence that he show her the view from their balcony just seemed… off.
“Like, they’re definitely swingers,” she asked again, “right?”
Todd finally stopped looking into the headrest and finally turned toward her. “I… I don’t know what else they could’ve been?”
He reached over and grabbed her hand. He could tell she was anxious because her palms were slightly sweaty and she just seemed somewhat jittery.
“I mean, I saw her kind of flirting with you which annoyed me,” she explained, “but then I got super weirded out when Tom popped that champagne and invited me to their balcony without you. Like, uh, what?”
Part of Todd thought that they should keep their voices down in an effort to not weird out their Uber driver, but at the same time, he was so caught up in the moment that he had no way of not talking about it openly.
“And like,” she continued, “the weirder thing is that they thought we were swingers too? Is that a thing? Do we put off a swinger vibe?
Todd again chuckled in amazement of what had just happened.
“You’re not into Tom, are you?” Todd asked half-jokingly.
“NO, TODD,” she shot back, “Are you serious? Tom? Can you imagine hooking up with Tom? He probably only does missionary and cries afterward. Ew, gross, like, are you serious?”
Todd couldn’t wipe the smile off his face. Her assessment was correct, and he knew that she and Tom would be a much weirder match than he and Claire.
“You’re not…” she hesitated, “you’re not into Claire, are you?”
“I mean, honestly, she’s hot,” she told him, “there’s no denying that.”
“…are you telling me I should be into her?” he asked.
“No, no, NO!” she told him. “Absolutely not, but like, she’s way better than fucking Tom.”
Frankly, Todd was flattered, and he had the feeling that she was too. But at the same time, both of them shared the sentiment that swinging was a bizarre way to spend a rainy fall night in. After all, they weren’t even married yet. Todd couldn’t just be standing at the alter looking at her bridesmaids only to see Claire winking at him in the background. “Oh, God,” Todd thought.
“What are you going to do about her being in the wedding?” he asked in shock. “Like, we can’t just keep being friends with them after this, right?”
“Oh no,” she assured him, “no no no no no, she cannot be in the wedding.”
“So how are you going to tell her that?”
“Fuck, Todd,” she sighed, “I mean, I don’t know. Like, gross, I don’t even want to follow her on Instagram anymore.”
The next few minutes were oddly silent again. Todd thinking about how he wants to punch Tom in the face, her thinking about how she’s going to go about excommunicating Claire from their friend group despite her minimal involvement. Would she have to ask her out for coffee, or was she just jumping to conclusions that they were swingers when, in reality, they were just a little too friendly at a dinner between two couples?
And then her eyes widened. Her heart stopped. Her hand hit her forehead like a ton of bricks.
“I left my fucking scarf there.”
“Dammit,” he responded with a tinge of relief. He thought it was going to be a bigger deal. “I mean, that’s not that big of a deal, right?”
“No, Todd,” she scolded him, “It’s my fucking cashmere scarf that my mom gave me for Christmas last year. It’s like one of the most expensive things I own.”
Todd knew it was awkward. She knew it was awkward. You can’t just text someone who just tried to sleep with your fiance. After all, for all they knew, Claire and Tom were cleaning up after dinner talking about what had just happened. They were probably trying to decompress from the entire situation in the same way they were in the back of their Uber. Or they scrapped doing the dishes in favor of having sex because they clearly have no shame when it comes to the sexuality department.
“We’ll figure it out,” Todd promised. “I could probably text Tom if you don’t want to text her. But she is in your wedding party so you kind of have to talk to her eventually.”
She sighed again. “Yeah, I guess you’re right. We’ll figure it out again.”
Todd chimed in to the Uber driver, “It’s just two blocks up this way and then you can just pull over whenever.”
It was then that she looked over at Todd with a different temperament than she had before. “I mean, it is kind of hot knowing that there’s another girl out there who lusts over you.”
“Babe,” he whispered, “not now.”
“I’m serious, Todd,” she reiterated with a hint of flirtation in her voice. Her hand reached over toward his lap.
“Here’s fine,” Todd told the Uber driver before opening his door on the curbside and getting out. He grabbed her hand and held it as they walked through their apartment lobby and into the elevator. Todd had a feeling something would happen, but the second the doors closed, she pressed him up against the elevator wall. .