Part II: Ella, the Beginning
A couple of years went by, and that pattern held. Then, I found myself on a long trip with Ella and a couple other students. There were six of us and one professor, but Ella and I didn't speak a word to each other--not a peep. I assumed she must hate me, that the fact that I'd admitted my attraction to Ben had hurt her, the same way it had hurt Vino to know that I was attracted to another guy, when I told him about it. After all, Ben himself had suggested that his feelings for me might hurt his relationship.
Then, the final night of our trip, we all got very, very drunk. Astoundingly so. When I feel guilty and I'm drunk I confess, confess, confess. So I pulled Ella aside and apologized to her--with lots of tears--for any damage I had done to their relationship. She invited me back to her room to talk more. She was very sweet about it, but I could have sworn she was giving me "come hither" eyes. I assumed it was the drunkenness--I mean, she wasn't even speaking to me a few hours before, and she had only shown an interest in men.
We went back to silence the next day, as if the whole conversation had never happened.
After that, Ben warmed up to me a little. I figured my fumbling apology to Ella had done some good, at least. We went out to lunch a few times. One of those times, lunch evolved into drinks, drinks evolved into a hell of a lot of drinks. Ben started telling me that Ella was interested in me. I told him I doubted it--she dated a LOT of people, and none were female. He insisted, but he was pretty much blacking out by that point, so I just laughed at him.
The next day, he didn't remember saying that. To make matters worse, Ella was extremely angry with him, apparently for staying out that late. I wondered, of course, if it was because he'd been out with me, and what that meant. Ben mostly stopped talking to me again.
In the meanwhile, I was intrigued. Ella was extremely attractive, though outwardly unquestionably heterosexual. On the one hand, I figured it could be a scheme to attract men with pseudo-bi-girl action. Ick. On the other hand, she had a hot little body, and it could be a exciting fling, even it was meaningless.
I brought the idea up with Vino. He was incredibly supportive of my potential sexual involvement with other attractive, intelligent women. Go figure.
But I still wasn't sure if Ben had been telling the truth, or had just been delusionally intoxicated.
Then, about a year ago, Ben and Ella showed up at a party together. I kept catching Ella looking at me, but I couldn't tell if it was a glare or a coy glance. I finally looked straight at her and gestured toward the door. She smiled and followed, leaving Ben looking very, very surprised.
And that's how things started. In retrospect, it was all rather careless--I certainly wasn't considering the complexity of my own feelings at that point, nor was I thinking of all the potential repercussions. It was pure, raw sexual attraction, something I hadn't given into since I met Vino years before. But it felt amazing, and for a while, it only got better....