Do you ever feel your friends get you to do things that you don’t really want to do? Very passive aggressive, not so many words but they get their way and, some time later, you regret following their advice because you realize it was all a big trap? Well, that happened to me and I felt like an idiot after realizing it was all just a way to get me out of my comfort zone.
You see, I wasn’t planning on going out with anyone. And when I said that I mean, for a long time. I just wasn’t interested in having to be with anyone, sexually or romantically. See? I wrote, “having to”, because to me it’s still an imposition. I’m still without couple but things shifted a bit when my friends convinced me to download this new app for my cellphone. I’m gay, so I thought I was an expert on apps to check out people on the phone. And yes, I do mean that as a stereotype that is actually the truth.
Well, anyway, they convinced me to download it and we spent a whole afternoon lying around like idiots just putting yes or no to many pictures until the app decided to stop us from keep doing that. Normally, I would have left it at that. Every time I download an app, I normally erase it from my phone days later because I find it not only boring but also such a fucking lie. I mean, let’s talk here: does anyone not really mock people when looking at all those pictures with sunglasses on, upside down “selfies”, shirtless pictures and so many other classics of the internet.
Anyway, I just went back home and have a good sleep, which I really need by the way, and the next morning I checked my phone, as I usually do. First my emails, then some social networks and finally I reentered the app realizing someone had written to me. I answered and we had a rather normal conversation, very uneventfully. I stood up to have breakfast and forgot all about it. That day, a Saturday, I spent some time home and then I went to the mall with my family to buy some new shoes and a shirt for the upcoming wedding of some cousin or something like that (I don’t really follow that part of my family).
When I came back home I realized the guy had sent lots of messages and even pictures and many questions marks. I didn’t even acknowledge it properly and erased the whole conversation. I certainly didn’t need anyone like that near me and even less if I was consequent with my decision not to have any type of relationship with any man. And there were no exceptions or any kind of weaknesses from my part.
The guy kept on sending messages and I just ignored him because that’s not the type of person that interests me, not even to chat with any day or to go out and have coffee. That maniac behavior is great if you want to be scared for life but I’m just not going for that. So I kept using the app because it was kind of an obsession to criticize people and I’m known among my friends precisely because of that. I’m the one that says what the others only think and I never care if I’m being to over the top or “mean”. I just like to be honest and if that means telling you you have a big nose or your shirt is too small or your pictures are one big fat lie, I’ll say it. It’s not like we know each other.
So one day I was going through pictures and another guy hit me up. We bonded and chatted for hours and hours and he looked cute in a couple of pictures with no filters, really casual photos of him and his dog and him in a beach. He looked like a nice person so I decided to go for it and tell him to me meet for coffee. We did and I have to say I don’t regret it at all. He was such a nice person and we had a blast together, laughing at the same things, sharing interests and even learning a couple of new thing from one another. I have to concede it felt great to feel that again after so many years, to feel that connection with another person and just feel at ease with them.
For the following two weeks, we saw each other fairly often. On the fifth date, we decided to go for cocktails and it was then when things got strange. In a moment, a couple of seconds in which I went out to call home to say I may be late, I could have swore I saw the guy that had sent me all those messages with question marks and so on. For a minute I was convinced it was him but I forgot about that quickly when I started kissing the other guy, whose name was John, and we walked around holding hands and just having a good time that night.
Then, another Saturday, we decided to meet for beers at his apartment. As I’m no idiot, I knew what was going to happened so I shaved properly, I put on the nice clothes and tried to be my best self. No, I wasn’t thinking of anything serious with him. To be honest, it was all such a blast for me but I saw only as kind of a game that we were playing and that may end very soon. He wasn’t ready to have a new boyfriend, having broken up with one just two months ago, and I had never had a boyfriend but wasn’t going to begin like that. Just no.
It’s stupid, isn’t it? But I picture my first boyfriend someone to be very special and me just knowing that is him. And I didn’t feel that with John. However we had a lot of fun and every time I remember those days, I smile because he was such a nice guy and had a great time in every sense possible.
Anyhow, I took the bus and then it happened again. I was so sure one of the people on the bus was the creepy guy from the app. And this time it wasn’t something that happened fast and went. This time I was just two rows behind him and I couldn’t wait to get to my stop and physically run. I didn’t want to know if it was actually him. I just wanted to stop minding about the crazy guy and keep on with my date with this great guy. But I couldn’t, at least not for the whole ride to John’s home. The guy wouldn’t go out in any of the stops and I was staring to get nervous. But finally my stop came and, as I had pictured, I ran to John’s building and told him all about it.
I know it’s very romantic or arousing to talk about a creep you think you saw in a bus, but I just had to tell someone in order not to feel crazy. He was very nice, gave me a beer and told me many guys can’t just get a hint and get obsessed with others. I must have looked even more scared than before because he went on saying most of them just stopped, after finding someone else to annoy so he was sure that would happen in my case.
Then, again, I forgot all about my problems, because we started kissing and, minutes after, we had gone to John’s room, without the beers. It had been a long time since I had had any sex with anyone and, I have to say, it was awesome. Maybe that was precisely because I had nothing to compare with, a foul thing we all do, but I just though it was perfect. He was so tender and loving or so I felt and even when things got a bit rougher, he seemed to care about me a lot.
I ended up staying the night. I called my mom past midnight to tell her that and me and John didn’t go out of bed until eight in the morning or around that. He had fallen asleep hugging me and that has been the only time I seriously thought two things: first, that he might be that person I would decide to have a serious relationship with. Second, that I was able to do things I didn’t know I could. For me, a hug is more personal than anything else. And John did all night, awake or asleep. And he also kissed me a lot and touched me and as a person with a poor self-image, that was huge for me.
When putting on my clothes, I thought I really could like being in a relationship and could use to nights like that. We had some breakfast and bid farewell with a final kiss. In that moment, I didn’t know it was going to be the last time we saw each other. Isn’t that sad? It would be so nice if we knew when that’s happening but I guess that, as humans that we are, we wouldn’t be able to handle it.
I walked slowly to the bus stop, thinking of the night. I was so distracted I didn’t see the man running at me. I only reacted to late, when he tackled me and put something in front of my face. He must have drenched it in some chemical because I felt dizzy fast and I passed out. To be honest, I think it’s great that I don’t remember anything that happened after that. When I regained consciousness, I was in a hospital. They had called my parents and I was too groggy to say or do anything.
Days later, the doctors and I talked, in the presence of a policeman. I told him what little I remembered and they told me what they could conclude had happened: them man, which I recalled been the creepy guy from the app, had taking me somewhere and had raped me. They explained he could have told people I was drunk, for them no to get suspicious. I was left in a park and a homeless man had found me and called the police and an ambulance.
They told me it was probable I would never remember anything and I thanked the drugs for that. I went back to my life but slowly and cut off every link that was too weak to keep holding. I erased all social network profiles, erased all apps from my phone and only played games in my computer. My friends visited me at home and asked about John but I didn’t know nor care. He had paid for something he hadn’t done but I wasn’t ready. And now, I might never be.