The date is a joke; a dare from other friends who don’t understand our bromance. The dress she wears, though, reveals the kissable swan curve of her neck and the way my hands fit perfectly on slope of her waist. The after-dinner hockey and cookie dough somehow morphs into her fingers twisting in my curls and purring how easy, how surprisingly natural this all felt. We fight stereotypes for a good 6 days. She moves in, and we adopt a cat. I hold her hand when her mom passes away, and she lets me sob into her shoulder when keeping the cat alive becomes cruel. We meet our first daughter in another state with her birth parent and our second at home with a midwife. Before our kids start school, we move out of the city, planning to move back after they graduate. Our grandkids join the family just as she starts to leave. But I make her promise every night to let me go first.