Alexis was not going to kiss Nate. She was not going to flirt with Nate. She was definitely not going to sleep with him. But, god, Alexis was attracted to Nate.
She met him on the campus radio station at the New England university they attended. Nate was 6’4 and crushingly handsome but a little nerdy. He was her type — but she had a boyfriend back home in California. The two fought a lot, but the last time she'd seen him, he gave her a promise ring and swore he wanted to marry her. She wanted to try to make this work.
And then Alexis kept bumping into Nate through friends in common. They started jokey-flirting on GChat.
They became friends easily. He encouraged Alexis's writing, and helped balance out her cynical personality. Alexis decided that the attraction thing was fleeting. What was she thinking? She didn’t want to kiss Nate — that would be like kissing your childhood best friend or something.
When Nate broke his foot playing basketball, he hobbled alongside Alexis everywhere. He even hobbled to go get her cupcakes on her birthday. Sometimes when their hands brushed while walking she felt an urge to hold his hand. But that was normal, right?
One night after a party, Alexis, Nate and some other mutual friends decided to go make gimlets in their dorm-room. Nate almost went home with another girl, but Alexis stopped him with a reminder that he'd left some of his stuff at her place. She didn’t feel bad about "cock-blocking" him. After-all was so hard not to touch Nate, not to just hug him all the time. Not to ... okay yes, she did want to kiss him. They started talking openly about this "just friends" thing.
Alexis felt guilty. She felt like she had already cheated. She and her boyfriend were talking less and less. He wasn't calling her that often and she wasn't sure what to say to him on the phone when he did. The weekend before they both left to go back home for summer break, Nate admitted he was attracted to her. Alexis was leaving to see her boyfriend.
When she saw her boyfriend, Dave, he acted distant and was sour. He knew about Nate because she couldn't help talking about him. Finally he told Alexis that things couldn't go on this way. It was over. She cried and the two spend the night fighting it out. Did Alexis really want to let go of Dave? This guy who she had been with for years? Who wanted to marry her? After leaving Dave’s place Alexis furiously texted Nate and spilled her heart out.
They decided to try this. She would come visit him in Denver and stay a week. Alexis was nervous. What if there wasn't any chemistry? Nate told her not to worry, then they would just spend the rest of the trip as friends.
When she spotted Nate in the Denver airport, Alexis's mind went a little blank, her ears fuzzy with the sound of her own pulse. Her approached her smiling and asked "how was your flight?”
“Good,” she said. “So ... kiss me already.”
Nate is tall and Alexis is short. He leaned down and when their lips finally touched, Alexis thought “Yes, Yes, Yes.” They pulled apart and Nate smiled at her. “I have to sit down after that” he said.
That year they went back to school as a couple. After graduation they moved to Brooklyn where they currently live together and make pesto on the weekends and are all cute and domestic.
Like so many couples they've come to only chat about everyday details like food (even if they are sitting across from each other).
But they still feel a little tingly about the fact that they can make out whenever they want. And they are still best friends.
Chat histories have become the modern version of a cache of yellowed love letters, a record of relationships that endured or went awry. In Love in the Time of GChat, couples show us the online exchanges that punctuated their time together. Want to share your chats anonymously? Email email@example.com.