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Ryan was a friend of a friend, or a cousin of a friend, maybe. I forget how we started out. He was gorgeous, and funny, and easy to talk to. Everything was good about him except that he wasn't right. We'd tried a relationship and the mindset hadn't worked, so now we just fucked.

I had just turned twenty, living in my deceased nana's house by the edge of a lake for the summer. I was in love with this girl who was the worst choice, because I met her through a friend who'd met her at Church. I don't think she even knew I'm into girls, and I still hate having to bring my sexuality into conversation to either confirm or deny. Ryan was going through a phase that lasted 78 days and 3 hours, give or take a few minutes. It started when he called me up once and told me he was horny, and ended when he crossed the ocean for his job. We fucked, and hung out, and one day he called me Sarah.

Sitting by the lake I was getting up to grab a drink, and he, lying back in the sun with his shirt opened just enough to get a look at that which I'd gotten to know rather well, quite casually said
"Sarah, grab me a Coke, would you?"
I faltered in my step and turned just in time to watch his eyes fly open.
"Maddie, I'm sorry." I swallowed and tried to pretend like I didn't care.
"Coke, was it?"

When I came back with his drink and mine he was sitting up, rubbing his hair with his hands. He apologized several times and I, not sure what to say, told him it was okay.
"It's not like you've called me Sarah during sex."
"It's been ages." He calculated and corrected that to the proper time: seven months and a week or two. He hadn't touched his can, so I cracked it open for him and sat it on the rickety sun-bleached table, and told him it's okay.
"She broke my heart. I shouldn't use her name." I shrugged.
"We all have demons. I can take yours."

He never called me Sarah again.

I can imagine him, in twenty years, calling me up, and I'll answer his question with a question: "Your place or mine?"

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