The day after my spectacular night and romantic dinner date with N, I was heading home to Pennsylvania for my cousin’s graduation party. It was father’s day weekend, and I hadn’t been home in a month or so, so my sister and I visited until Saturday evening.
Days before I left, N came over and had a serious conversation with me. He told me his roommate was having a birthday party and wanted to invite my friends and I, but this was something we needed to discuss. I could see how uncomfortable he was, but I could also see he really wanted me to come. He said so. But, since he wasn’t out to his roommates yet, he didn’t know how to handle having me there. Who would I be? Why was I there? How did I know Amanda? All questions that would have to be answered.
I looked him in the eye and cut him off at the pass. I said, “Hey. We don’t have to do this. I know you want me there, but if this makes you uncomfortable I get it. And, I’m sure Amanda will understand too. I was in the same position you are in a year ago. I know what you’re feeling. And, trust me. I will not put any pressure on you whatsoever. You have to do this on your own timeline when you feel comfortable. If that means me not coming to one party, I’m ok with that.” Immediately his eyes lit up. I could see how relieved he was. I told him to think about what he wants and let me know when he decided.
So, on my way back to Hoboken from PA, I was texting N to find out his decision. However, I wasn’t really getting a response. In the back of my mind, I knew it was a bad idea, and I shouldn’t go. Even if he told me he wanted me to come, I was probably going to tell him no for his benefit. He made the decision very easy when he didn’t respond. I decided to make other plans with other friends in town.
A friend of mine met a guy at the gym and found out he was gay. I’ve been waiting for this to happen. His immediate response to him was to send him my way. I had my first gay set-up. He told him I was gay and directed him to this blog. So, I hit him up to see if he wanted to join us at the bar. He obliged. This wasn’t to make N jealous or anything. I had a man. I didn’t need another. This guy seemed very nice, and I thought it polite to meet him and maybe make a new friend.
As I was about to walk out the door to go to the bar at 10:00 p.m., I received a text from N saying, “Ok. You can come over, but remember. Be discrete and we’re just friends.” I told him of my other plans and said maybe I would see him later that night.
I met the guy from the gym at the bar with my friends and we sat on the rooftop and chatted. I introduced him to everyone, and he began to tell me his story. He was in a 9 year relationship that didn’t make it for all the wrong reasons. My heart was breaking when he told me his story. I wanted to give him a big hug right there. He seemed a little broken, but I could tell it was helping him to tell his story. I told him about my ex-“boyfriend,” as well as N and how things were going between us.
Then, late in the night, N texted me telling me he was coming to the bar I was at with the birthday party. When he arrived, he came running over, very drunk, and kissed me on the forehead. I introduced him to the guy from the gym. We didn’t hang out much at the bar, mainly because he was there with a bunch of his friends who didn’t know he was gay. I was okay with it. Again, on his terms. On his schedule. No pressure.
At one point, N realized he lost his phone and was panicked to find it. He tried calling his phone and the cab company he used to get to the bar. He wanted to go home to check if he lost it there. I told him I was ready to leave, and we could go back to our apartments so he could find it. But, only after we got pizza. He agreed. We grabbed a few slices and hopped in a cab back to our apts. The cab dropped him off and he ran in, yelling back, “I’ll be over in a few minutes.”
I took his slices, my friend’s and mine, and we went into my apartment. Quite some time passed, and I realized N wasn’t coming over. I chalked it up to one of those nights, got my friend settled on the couch, and went to bed. Alone.Follow @onegayatatime