“Friends with Benefits” is often presented as a low-risk exchange of soft skills.

If you’ve never had your heart broken, then let me tell you now, this is the greatest risk of all.

This “agreement”, this “transactional arrangement” can squeeze your heart like a vice, it can have you living days, weeks, months, years on the knife-edge of butterflies-in-your-stomach, it can gouge out your insides, it can rip away your will to live, it can, quite literally, KILL you.

And you waft along on into it, driven by impulses, romantic dreams or simple lust.

I did.

“I’m safe,” I told myself, “I could never fall in love with a man like this.”

“You have a fantastic body,”I told him.

“You haven’t even seen me naked”, he responded, without a flicker of a smile.

The face of an angel, a tragic history, the gut-wrenching outpouring of an inadvertent bloody killing one late night in Scandinavia. The hooks were lodged in the soft flesh of my heart in a few short hours.

And I love him still. I love his bravery, his incandescent beauty, his energy, his intensity, his strength, his intelligence.

I loved his strength. I loved the way he caught me like a ballerina and I swung my legs so smoothly and snugly around his waist, laughing at the grace of the fluid motion.

He and I, we needed no rehearsal.