I couldn’t believe Dave told Steven. Dave and I had never discussed Steven beyond me telling him that nothing happened between us. I mean, if anything, Dave could not have been under the impression he was stealing his roommate’s girl because he started dating me with such ease and didn’t give it a second thought.
Steven wasn’t happy. He wasn’t angry. He was icy. Dave wasn’t bothered. Home was awkward, but we weren’t. Dave was turning 30, so we went to his hometown, Santa Barbara, to celebrate. We spent the day together walking around town. I had never been, so he did all the driving and showing me around. We ate sandwiches, ice cream and drank pop. It was fun dating him. I still wasn’t getting the tingles, but I was enjoying being with him. For his 30th, he went skydiving. I couldn’t go, but loved hearing about it.
For our next date, we went to a water park. It was really hot that summer, and we needed some relief. I hadn’t been to a water park in ages. Despite the fact that Dave was planning to take off for his trip around the world, and we were uncertain of everything, we were still allowing ourselves to grow close. We were discussing his travel plans while waiting at the top of the platform leading to the slide. He could tell I was growing increasingly disappointed that he was going to leave because I grew quiet. Then he said, in the way that you want someone who loves you to say it, “Why don’t you quit your job and come with me?” I searched his eyes for genuineness. He was serious. “I don’t have the money.” “You can sell everything you own. Your car, clothes.” I thought about it. I didn’t own enough to sell to earn enough to travel with him. I loved the offer and knew he had real feelings for me because of it.
We’d had such a great day, and neither of us wanted it to end. Since I lived with a woman and her 16-year-old daughter, I didn’t feel right going back to my place. So we had to go to his place. Obviously, I couldn’t walk through the front door. He and Steven weren’t on speaking terms, and I didn’t have the nerve to contact Steven and talk to him about what happened. Since Dave lived on the ground floor, I sneaked into his room via the window facing the street. It was crazy. It felt dangerous. We were very quiet in his room. I couldn’t even leave to use the bathroom, so he got me a bucket. It was hilarious, too familiar and romantic. The things people do when they want to be together.
We were lying in bed together watching TV when we started making out. We’d been dating for a month now, and this was the first time. Then it happened. I got the feeling. I finally got the feeling. And the feeling was good. He was very sensual. I never saw it coming. He got on top of me. He knew what he was doing. I could never have imagined him like this. His hand touching me there and there; his mouth in places I didn’t think he’d ever find. It was everything I could want. We stopped because we wanted to wait. We fell asleep while holding each other and making plans for me to meet him throughout his trip. I escaped out the front window early the next morning.
The next day, I talked to my roommate about having him over to hangout. I told her I wanted to be serious with him and entertain him at home. She thought it was a good thing. So he came over, and we watched TV. I made linguine pesto. We got into our first misunderstanding because I gave him some body wash that smelled really good. I told him if he used it, I would get really turned on. He thought I was telling him that he didn’t smell good which I wasn’t. He got really, really sensitive about it, and it was really hard for me to get him to understand I just thought the body wash would smell wonderful on him. This is only important because of what happens next.
We decided to go to Santa Barbara, so I drove him home to get some things. I waited in the car. He took a long time. When he came back to the car, he was disheveled. Steven’s friend, Matt, attacked him in his own kitchen. He pushed him and hit him. Dave wasn’t little, and he defended himself; but he was no fighter. Matt was a little hothead. Dave told me that Matt kept saying “you stole my friend’s girl.” Matt had been one of the friends who would hang out with Steven and me before I started seeing Dave.
I never saw Dave again after that day. He continued to text me, but wouldn’t call like I kept asking. We emailed, but our exchange was dry. The nice guy kind of turned into a dick, but understandably. It was like we were acquaintances who’d met in passing who planned to get together to say goodbye, but couldn’t be bothered to make the time. We exchanged a couple of shitty emails. He had purchased his Eurail pass for his trip through Europe. One of his emails concluded that he would send me updates of all of his travels. I replied telling him not to placate me. I told him I was hurt that he didn’t make time to see me before he left. I told him that I thought he blamed me for what happened. I told him not to send me updates of his trip, a trip I had dreamed of taking with him. He replied, “No problem, consider this my last email to you.” This was August.
In January, 2006, I wrote him. I didn’t want our last emails to be the last ones we’d exchanged. I told him that I’d thought about him through the holidays and how he’d be spending them without his mom for the first time. I wanted to put things right. He replied immediately. He was sad to end things the way we did too. He was in Vietnam. He listed all the cities he’d visited. He’d met Wanessa, his “Brazilian sweetheart.” They were traveling together. He wished me well on my travel plans which was all they would turn out to be until 2010 when I quit my job to travel long-term. I wished him and his love well, and signed off “Better to have warmth in communication than coldness any day!”
Today, there are no hard feelings between us. Since dating Dave, I have completely changed my standards. I know when a man is a player. I can’t do players anymore. I stuck with the nice guy long enough to make a habit of wanting nice guys only. No games. It’s been a slow, but more fulfilling, seven years of dating since Dave.
Have something to say? Email me at kwitch2012[at]gmail[dot]com.