I raised a glass that no one clinked. The girl left and we headed to a different bar. After another round of drinks, I found myself dancing provocatively with his friend. As soon as my fake cousin noticed, he grabbed the friend and said, "Dude, watch yourself. That's my cousin." I got nervous; this was something a real cousin might say. But then he continued, "If anyone's gonna dance like that with her it's me." He took my hand and suggested that we leave.
Once safely inside a cab, we got onto the subject of his girlfriend. He insisted that they weren't together. But then he told me about another girl he is seeing, while simultaneously placing his hand on my thigh. His face only inches away, he asked me if I wanted to spend the night. As I fumbled for an answer, he told me I could sleep on his air mattress. I started to think that being cousins was the least of our problems. Should i still keep dating my cousin?
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When we got to my grandparents' house, he got out of the car to say goodbye. The motion-activated glare from the garage served as the opposite of mood lighting. With moments to spare before my grandmother showed up, he leaned in to kiss me. He seemed mildly surprised when I kissed him back. There was nothing cousinly about it. Subsequently, my grandmother materialized, looking thrilled that the kids were getting along so well, and pouring cold water on whatever flames might have been sparking. Are You Affectionate In Front Of Your Family?
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Now, back in our respective parts of North America, our relationship has dwindled to the occasional glance at his Facebook profile when new pictures are up. Facebook often nudges me to "catch up" and "send him a message," but I forget all about it as soon as I hit refresh. I might see him at some reunion in the future, but it's pretty clear that dating's hard enough without involving family.