It was a warm March afternoon, and as soon as I left my house I realized I was overdressed. I was sweating profusely; it was a combination of nerves and the weather.
I was on my way to meet Mr. Emotionally Distant, a guy I met through a friend one night at a bar. I never wanted to go to that bar in Jackson Heights, Queens. What’s the point of going to Jackson Heights when my friends and I could do something cool and exciting in Manhattan? Of course I caved (I usually cave for my friends) because my friend wanted to meet up with her boy thing and his buddies.
Now, here I am, on my way to see Mr. ED after months of “dating.” I use the word “dating” loosely because he showed very little affection, and one day asked, “Do you think we’re dating?” I said I wasn’t sure because, well, I wasn’t. “I think we’re more like ‘friends,'” he added quickly. If we’re friends, why do you kiss me, Mr. ED? I thought. And stop touching my butt!
On this warm March day we agreed to watch a movie, order food and relax at his place. I was excited to possibly cuddle with him while watching a movie; I thought, that’s a real couple-y thing to do. I daydreamed about us becoming official, introducing him to my friends and family.
Once I got to his house, he immediately led me to his bedroom and turned on the TV. I suggested we watch a documentary, but he jumped to kissing my neck instead. Like the Netflix screen was still on the home page. I felt nervous again.
He kissed my lips and tried to unbuckle my belt. I stopped and looked up at him. “I’m sorry, I’m really nervous,” I said.
Do I really want to do this? I don’t actually think I want to do this. I want to go home.
He looked at me sweetly and said, “It’s okay, so am I.”
I believed him. I felt so much better. He then took my hand, as if he were about to kiss it and make me feel better – and placed it on top of his penis.
I literally didn’t know what to do. So I just let go. I didn’t want it! But, I didn’t leave. Instead, we continued kissing and he kept trying to jump my bones. I was conflicted. I was 19, and I wanted this guy to like me. I figured he would if I slept with him.
“Wait,” I said. “Have you been tested?” I asked. Breathy and frustrated, he quickly said yes.
“Why? You wanna do it raw?” he added.
“No!” I replied.
He took a condom from his drawer and proceeded. And I didn’t stop it. I was feeling all sorts of things: regret, stressed, scared. I didn’t feel ready to sleep with Mr. ED, but it was too late.
He didn’t make eye contact with me the entire time. We finished and awkwardly cuddled. I was still super sweaty, and for like no reason. My pores were probably crying.
He suddenly shot up out of bed and said he had to go. I promptly started to gather my things and got dressed. I couldn’t find my damn socks but we were out the door within ten minutes. He suggested taking the bus together to the train. Though I wanted to walk to the train by myself, I agreed, and we ran to the stop. More sweat.
It was a particularly crowded bus, and sticky too. Super humid outside, my mustache sweat was on point. I had just straightened my hair, and I could see curls forming in my reflection on the bus window. Sweat now accumulated under my armpits.
“Should’ve just walked,” I thought, while I wiped the sweat off of my upper lip.
He started talking to me about the night before: how we he went out with girls, how he met another girl who wanted to be a journalist, and how he had a ton of friends who wanted to write. Including me.
I’m his friend who wants to become a journalist, I thought. Just another friend.
When we got off the bus, he kissed me on the cheek. “See you next time,” he said.
Mr. ED walked away towards his side of the train. I walked all the way to the end of the platform, sweaty and upset. I felt dirty and rejected. Mr. ED apparently sleeps with his friends. We were “friends.” He was in this for one thing only: sex. Once he got it he was out.
We never spoke again.