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Lazy Saturday

Even though we had no plans, and it was a lazy Saturday, CK and I finally got motivated to make moves. Hip was on his way back to Brooklyn, and I needed to make my way back to my place at some point. I didn’t have anything with me for a Saturday afternoon or Saturday night. I hadn’t been home in a while, and I needed to get my bearings.

We got our act together and finally made our way to Hoboken. We lounged around my apartment for a little while before we were invited to a barbecue at D and K’s. I asked CK if he wanted to hit it up for dinner. Either way, we needed to eat. This would be a cost/time effective way to grab a bite. Of course we took our sweet old time and found time to cuddle and fool around a little. In the end, we wouldn’t have to cook, and I would gather some food from my fridge to take over. I had a few fillet mignons in the freezer, so I grabbed them and we made our way the few blocks.

There was a small crew already gathering. As we entered, we said hello to everyone. I was noticing how welcoming my friends were to CK as well as how integrated CK was in the group. This brought a smile across my face. He wasn’t shy and quiet and huddled in the corner. I didn’t need to hold his hand through every outing. He would strike up his own conversations. He was part of the crew.

We made our way out to the backyard, and everyone helped out in typical fashion. Some people manned the grill, others poured water, others began bringing supplies downstairs, and others over-manned the grill. D always flipped out on the people who insisted on opening the grill lid and flipping things too many times. I learned long ago, when you are at another man’s abode, he is the king of the grill. You do not touch that thing unless you are requested to. I was thrilled to not be manning the grill considering in previous years, all the barbecues were at my apartment since I was the only one with outdoor space.

When the food was ready, we all gathered around the table to eat. We poured cocktails and enjoyed the food. I looked around at all of my closest friends and my man sitting next to me, and all I could do was smile. CK turned to me and said, “What?” I told him, “I’m just so happy!” He smiled back and stroked my knee as we both leaned in for a kiss.

While we ate, everyone began chatting about their plans for the evening. CK and I had a discussion not long ago about having better lines of communication. We weren’t going to put each other on the spot to make public decisions. I was very conscious of this as they all chatted. I told them we hadn’t decided what we were going to do yet so we could talk. “We haven’t even thought about what we want to do tonight yet. We got up late this morning. We may head back into the city, but we don’t know…” I added. I wanted CK to feel this was a pressure-free decision. We would talk about it when we got back to my place. If he wanted to stay in Hoboken, we would stay. If he wanted to do something else, I was game. Obviously, I was leaning toward sticking around Hoboken for a pub night with my friends, but I’m not so sure CK was thrilled with the idea.

In the end, we to stayed in Hoboken. It made sense too, because K invited us to her parent’s lake-house the following morning. Everyone was headed to one of my favorite bars, Cooper’s Union. I was happy to go there since the bartender takes good care of me and my friends. CK had to borrow a teeshirt since he didn’t pack anything to go out for the night, but he looked great and totally fit the part. When we got there, no one was playing shuffleboard, so I suggested we hit that up. CK seemed to be moping a bit. While I’m sure hanging out in a pub with my friends wasn’t his ideal situation, he didn’t offer up an alternative.

As the night went on, CK began to liven up. We made our way to McSwiggans for a few drinks and to dance in “our spot.” Every time a big group of my friends and I head there, we take over the only spacious part of the bar and form our own dance circle. Nobody is bustin’ a move, but we all move around, make fun of each other and have fun while we drink. I never truly felt comfortable there being publicly affectionate with CK. I wasn’t hiding my affections for him, but I certainly wasn’t making them obvious. We were never making out on the dance-floor, but we did dance together and have our arms around each other periodically. I could feel the eyes on me from time to time, but I learned to look past them. CK taught me that. I no longer cared what others thought. I was with the man that made me happiest, and that was nothing to be ashamed of.

When a few of the girls were tired of dancing there, they suggested we head next door to the Shannon. I was adamantly opposed to this. I hadn’t been there in over two years, and for good reason. That place was never anything I enjoyed. We entered, and it was like a porthole to the Jersey Shore. Shockingly, CK was having a blast. I told him of the similarity to the bar and the Jersey Shore, and he added, “If this is what it’s like, let’s go!” You could have knocked me over with a feather. I’d had a blast at The Shore, but I never expected him to want to go. I was blown away, however I was also thrilled to see him having such a good time.

I know we weren’t out with his friends and it took a little more effort on his part to hang out at the bars I liked going to, but none of that went unnoticed. I witnessed the sacrifice and the effort, and it made me love him even more. When we were finally exhausted, we made our way home to my apartment. We were already invited to hit up the lake the following day, so we needed to get to bed at somewhat of a decent hour so we could wake up in time to go.

Both of us were hoping my roommates were away so we could have our own raucous party — In my bed. Sure, we had a hot night in his bed the night before, but we were on a roll. Great sex was inevitable, and that night, it certainly didn’t disappoint!

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“I Love You”

No matter how many times it happened, I never grew tired of waking up next to CK. The night before concluded with the most passionate lovemaking we shared to date. Everything felt amazing!

It was late in the morning, but I was still reeling from our late-night romp. I could only dream every time would be like that from there on out. Warning: The following may be too graphic for some. When I woke him with my kisses, he ran his hand down my torso until he noticed my morning excitement. He grabbed hold and squeezed, expressing his delight in his discovery. He pulled the sheets down, followed shortly by my boxer briefs. As his head bobbed up and down between my legs, I let out moans of pleasure. What a way to wake up!

Apparently, neither of us got enough the night before. We were both still excited about how amazing it was. It made me excited and hard just thinking about it. We both wanted a sequel.

He climbed on top of me, and we began passionately kissing. Of course, things escalated from there. It wasn’t long before I had him on his back, and I was deep inside him. The sex was great that morning. It wasn’t quite like the epic romp we had the night before, but it was great. We flipped, and he had his way with me.

When we finished, while we laid in the bed together, he took hold of my head and said, “[O.G.A.A.T.], I love you.” Even though I suspected it was coming, nothing could have prepared me for that moment. No man had ever told me they loved me before. I knew he meant it. I stared deep into his eyes — Deep into the eyes of the man I loved too. “I love you too, Babe,” I added. We hugged strongly and kissed passionately. It was an incredible moment, and I began to cry a little. He reacted by comforting me. I think he was a little panicked. He didn’t know how to deal with that, but that didn’t really matter. We were in love. That was all that mattered.

Because of this and the sex, we were very late for our plans to meet P on the pier. When showered up, ate something and packed our bags for the pier. P was there waiting for us when we arrived. We apologized for being delayed and hinted at the reason. She gave a giddy laugh and scolded us.

P and CK decided to hit up one of the food trucks/ice cream trucks after a while. They came back with all sorts of things and an ice cream sandwich for me. While they were gone, I played with P’s dog, Baby, and I texted the rest of my friends to see who was up for a day on the pier. A few responded explaining they’d be on their way shortly.

I told the other two everyone’s whereabouts and plans. CK asked about my sister, but I told him she hadn’t responded to my text. He was very concerned with her perception of him. They’d only met for a short while at the Hoboken Arts and Music Festival a few weeks earlier. Even when prompted, she still had no opinion. This worried him.

After some time, my friend G joined us. I also got ahold of D and his girlfriend. They were in the city for brunch, but they would join us on their way back home.

CK and I decided we wanted to have some refreshing cocktails to go with our small picnic of snacks. Just as D and his girlfriend were arriving, we made our way to the liquor store to get some prosecco. I had a great idea to mix this with a few flavors from Rita’s Italian Ice.

While we walked, CK and I discussed him meeting my parents. They were coming into the city in early June for a Broadway show and dinner. I wanted him to meet them. I invited him to the dinner a few days earlier. I explained to him my sister’s reaction to his invitation, as well as my parents. My parents had no issue, but my sister thought it was too soon. In telling CK this, I realized I made a big mistake. He immediately expressed to me, “OKAY! Now, I’m definitely not coming!”

“WHAT!?” I protested. I was not happy with that. I was very excited for him to finally meet my parents. I’d met his mother, and it went swimmingly. On top of this, he meant a lot to me. I wanted my parents to know this. They’d never met any of the guys I’d dated in the past. In my protest and explanation, I think I was able to bring him back around.

We grabbed two bottles of prosecco and made our way to Ritas. We got watermelon and mango peach ice to mix with the prosecco. We planned to make refreshing summer drinks for all.

As we walked back to the pier, he still didn’t give up on the fact my sister wasn’t joining us. He was harassing me to invite her, but because of her snarky email telling me I shouldn’t invite my boyfriend to dinner, on top of other things, I was annoyed with her. Then I checked my phone when I went to invite her and realized I’d already done so when I reached out to the others. She didn’t respond. I told CK this, and his guilt was alleviated.

When we got back, we shared our drinks with everyone in improvised vessels since we forgot to get cups. Everyone was talking and having fun. CK was fitting in nicely. I loved seeing him with my friends and how he interacted with them. He passed my friend test swimmingly. I care a lot about them, and if he could’t hang with them, it wouldn’t last. He was able to hold his own and impressed me to no end.

When the sun was going down, everyone was ready to head home, including CK and I. We made our way back to my apartment, telling each other how much we loved each other along the way.

We decided to plant ourselves on the couch and watch Immortals for the evening. We ate dinner and cuddled on the couch until it was time to head back into the city to his place. We didn’t plan for him to stay over. It was very late, but he had nothing for work the next day. Since he was close to my office it only made sense to spend the night there.

We got to his apartment and got ready for bed immediately. I brushed my teeth and climbed in between the sheets. It wasn’t long before I dozed off, but I was thrilled to be in his arms. I never got tired of sleeping with him, and hopefully, there would be infinite nights in the future we spent the same way.

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Is Something Bothering You?

That Tuesday, I woke to the sound of my alarm. I was going to go for a run, but the sound of my alarm wasn’t all I heard. It was raining outside. I turned off the alarm and looked out the window to see rain pouring down. I checked my phone to see if CK texted, but he hadn’t. Who knew what happened? I sure didn’t.

I wanted to text him when I got to work, but I decided against it. He knew where I was. He was the one who suggested plans that evening. He would be the one to hit me up and clue me in on those plans.

Finally, around noon I got a text: “Hey sexy.” I didn’t see it until a little later. I responded, “Hey. How was the rest of your night?” Apparently he’d gotten tipsy at the work event he called me from. He went home and passed out in all his clothes including his shoes. When he woke at 4:00am, he properly put himself to bed. The he apologized for not calling me back and asked how my night was. I mentioned my cancelled run, and he expressed interest in going for an early run with me sometime. Tthat would be the only way he’d do it since he’s not a morning person. I told him we’d both just stay in bed because I’d just be tempted to lie there with him.

I then asked him if we were still on for that night. “I’m game. What’s the plan?” he responded. I reminded him he set the plans, and I was waiting for the details. He decided he’d rather stay away from alcohol, and I asked what he wanted to do instead. He was eating his lunch, so he asked if he could get back to me later. 5:00 rolled around, and I still hadn’t heard back from him. I certainly wasn’t feeling very special anymore. That’s when the phone rang. I was heading into a meeting, so I sent him a text. When my meeting ended, I called him but got no answer. At 6:00, I finally got a call back. He was heading home and wanted a quiet night in with me. I wasn’t opposed, but I wasn’t thrilled either. I was beginning to wonder if it was all about sex with him. He needed time to straighten up his apartment, so I made my way over there around 7:00.

When I got to his apartment, I stood in the hall waiting for quite some time before he answered the door. I hadn’t called to tell him I’d arrived. A small part of me was surprising him on purpose. He just happened to be getting out of the shower.

He greeted me with a giant hug and a big kiss. I removed my shoes and got comfortable. He finished toweling off and joined me on the bed. We cuddled a bit until he asked me if everything was alright. I lied and said everything was fine. He pointed out I seemed short in my text messages. Big kudos to him for noticing the subtleties in my mood. We continued to hug until we discussed what we wanted to do for the evening. He mentioned watching the sunset, and I told him that’s exactly where my head was.

I had ulterior motives. When we got to the roof, I would find the appropriate time to bring up my concerns that arose since Sunday. He also asked if I wanted to smoke, and I shook my head yes. “Are you sure everything is cool?” he added. I told him I was short in my texts cause I was actually working all-day and apologized. I didn’t really think I was being all that short. We smoked and finally made our way up to the roof about a half hour later, Coronas in hand.

When we got to the roof, we continued snuggling on the outdoor couch. We talked about the surrounding buildings in an “I’m high” kinda way. The conversation never really had any direction. Then again, he brought up my mood and asked if everything was alright. I didn’t think I was being that obvious with him, but I also wasn’t being myself. That’s for sure. I didn’t know how to let myself be free with him anymore. I started to close myself off to ensure I wouldn’t get hurt. I was shoving distance in there with both fists.

I finally told him how I was feeling. I explained how I thought his sentiments came out of nowhere on Sunday. I told him I thought it was a bit early to have that conversation, but now that it’s been had, a few issues were brought to top of mind. I addressed my feelings regarding him being on Grindr and how that made me feel. I told him I felt as if I wasn’t enough for him. I told him I didn’t need to be on there, and while I wouldn’t dictate to him to not be as well, I just didn’t understand why he felt he needed to still explore it.

I was having a hard time expressing my feelings, but I think I got the point across eventually. I told him because of what he told me, I was afraid of getting hurt. I wasn’t able to be myself and give him the real me if I felt vulnerable to pain. I wanted to be myself with him. I wanted to give him the real me. I needed to feel safer than I did. “Since meeting you, you’ve made me feel incredibly special. Since you told me what you did on Sunday, I no longer felt special,” I told him.

He looked a bit shocked. “The last thing I want to do is make you worried or scare you. What I said to you on Sunday was not calculated. It was just how I felt at the time. You are incredibly special, and that hasn’t changed. You are… an aspirational boyfriend. I’d be insane to do anything to lose you. Baby, I think you’re incredible. Part of me knows how amazing you are and wants to dive in full force, but another part of me wonders if I still want my freedom. I’ve already started thinking of you less as something to schedule in my life and more as just part of my life.”

I wasn’t expecting him to tell me he wouldn’t hook up with other guys and tell me we were exclusive. I think I just needed him to know how I felt and where my head was. I could see in his eyes that he understood what was in front of him. I would still be patient and let him figure it out on his own. I just wasn’t going to find myself in another Smiles relationship. He needed to know that eventually the Grindr would have to go, or I would have to go. He needed to know that I wanted a boyfriend and not a friend with benefits. I needed to hear from him I wasn’t just a hookup cuddle buddy. I needed to know I was different from the other guys he slept with from Grindr.

We kissed and embraced. I felt a lot better. It was really starting to weigh me down. I think I handled it very well to suit my needs. A large part of me wanted to ignore the conversation we had in the Sonic parking lot. The other part of me, my constantly overactive brain, wanted me to get some closure on the topic. I think I found the sweet spot.

Warning: The following may be too graphic for some. After kissing and embracing, he began to get a bit frisky. He started to undo my pants. There was high risk here. We were in plain sight of the doorway leading to downstairs. One neighbor had already come up to the roof once to smoke. He began blowing me, always keeping one ear out for signal of someone approaching. I undid his pants and began pleasuring his endowment with my hand. Finally, paranoia got to him, and he suggested we move to the far corner of the roof, out of sight of the door.

When we got over there, he pulled my pants down to my ankles and did the same with his. He was pleasuring himself while going down on me. He edged me many times, getting quite close to making me finish. I was picturing my seed all over his chest, just as he wanted it. Alas, I wasn’t able to fulfill his wish. I came close many times, but just couldn’t get over the hump. He stood and suggested we move downstairs. We got dressed and made our way downstairs. I was incapacitated and had a hard time descending the stairs. My legs were jello from the full-body orgasm he gave me. I may not have had the release, but I still received all the pleasure. He laughed at my struggle.

As we walked down the stairs, I realized he had a slight exhibitionist streak in him. The stunt on the roof, sex with the blinds always open… I had a bit of this in me, but in smaller quantity. He was expanding my comfort zone.

When we got downstairs, the fooling around continued until we took a break to order Thai food. It was 10:30. Once that was taken care of, we had sex. I had the first chance on top, and then we swapped. It wasn’t long before he finished all over my back. He was out of breath and in a daze from how amazing it was. I knew I was having a blast, but I was thrilled our time in bed was so enjoyable for him.

Like clockwork, the food arrived. We settled into bed and ate while we watched Smash. I convinced him he needed to see the show so I could talk to him about it. He really enjoyed it, so much so we watched two episodes, eventually switching to dessert. I passed out half way through the second episode. When it was over, we turned out all the lights and went to sleep. I was happy to have the weight off my back after telling him my concerns. I felt comfortable with him once again. I fell asleep with an amazing man in my arms and a smile across my face from ear to ear.

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Lazy Morning

Today is another Fast Forward Friday!!!  

Hope you are enjoying these. It will help bring the blog a little closer to real time. If you’re keeping up with the stories chronologically, please skip down to this morning’s post first, then read this one. I think it’s a good one! Enjoy!

Back to your special edition of One Gay At A Time…

 

Smiles and I had a very special night together sharing dinner in my apartment. We went to be happily in each other’s arms after being away from each other for some time. I’m not entirely sure why, but I felt he’d finally come around to me.

The next morning, we woke up late. I knew I had a very light workload that day, so I was in no rush to wake up. I was also feeling frisky. I tried to seduce Smiles with a back rub. I instructed him to roll on his stomach as I lifted his shirt and began massaging his back. He commented on how my hands can completely cover his back from end to end. This was one thing my big hands specialized in, so I was content putting them to good use. I began to reach my hands under him grasping his pecs in a sensual manner.

The massage didn’t last long and the seduction failed to the grumbles of Smiles’ stomach. I should have remembered that was his first priority in the morning.

We went into the kitchen and brewed coffee while I made us steak and eggs (some of the left over beef from the night before). He continuously hugged my while I cooked. Cooking at the stove for a sexy man while he wrapped his arms around me — What more could I want?

We sat at the kitchen counter and ate while we chatted a bit about what we had to do the rest of the day. I also caught Smiles up on some of the events going on around the world since he didn’t have cable and wasn’t the best at staying informed.

After breakfast, we returned to my room. I needed to get ready for the office, and Smiles needed to get dressed to head home to begin his workday. We started to make out a bit until I pulled him towards the bed. “Do you want to have sex?” he asked. I giggled with a big grin and replied, “Of course. Why do you think I was trying to seduce you before? I always want sex.” That was also my subtle way of letting him know I wanted to have more sex.

During the summer of 2010, after my breakup with N, I was having a lot more sex. I decided to be more economical with my condom purchases and bought a forty pack. I kept them in my nightstand drawer next to the bottle of lube I purchased. Smiles had been in the drawer before, and I’m sure he’d noticed the quantity. But, he never said anything about it until now. He made a comment on how many I had. “Does it intimidate you?” I asked. He simply replied with a “No.” I then gave a not so subtle comment hinting about how I’d like to have more sex. “Well, we could just use them all, and then there won’t be so many,” I exclaimed. Apparently, our conversation about the state of our relationship gave me the confidence to speak my mind when it came to our relationship going forward.

Warning: The following may be too graphic for some. I was already on my back with him on top of me, so I could only assume he wanted to top this time around. I topped the last time, so I only thought it fair to receive this time. I slipped the condom on him as he made a comment questioning whether I was doing it right. “[Smiles]. This isn’t my first condom, obviously,” I quipped.

I lubricated myself and laid back. I hadn’t thought much about my inability to finish with Smiles in quite some time, but I was going to try a new technique this time around. I was going to completely relax and try to enjoy every minute of it. I usually derive no pleasure from bottoming, but for some reason, this time it was working. He felt great, and I could tell he was enjoying himself as well.

I was getting very close as I pleasured myself while he penetrated me. Just as I was about to climax, he said, “I going to cum.” I quickly responded, “Me too.” And with that, as close as I was, I was a mile away from finishing. In that split second of him distracting me, I lost it. I could feel my muscles quivering just before he said anything, but it was gone. Now, it was top of mind, and I knew it wasn’t going to happen.

Smiles would have been so happy. He’d wanted to make me finish for so long, and he would have been the first to do so from topping me. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be. When it didn’t, I could see him looking into my eyes with compassion. The sex was great. There was no pain or awkwardness. I wanted to show him how much I enjoyed it, but I couldn’t. My mental block got in the way once again.

After we relaxed and kissed a bit, he suggested we clean up in the shower. He was getting ready to hop in, and I told him I was coming in with him. My shower has two shower heads and a seat. Everyone that has seen my shower has made sexual comments about it, and I was going to finally get some use out of them.

I wanted to have some more sensual time together, and when I hopped in, Smiles began to wash me. I was very turned on by this. When he finished, I tried to do the same for him, but he wasn’t interested. He rinsed off and hopped out of the shower to dry off. I watched him as he toweled off, and immediately got extremely aroused. He put lotion on his face with his towel on the floor while I pleasured myself in the shower at the sight. When he left my bathroom, I beckoned him to come back in the shower and help me finish. I wanted him to be a part of it. He climbed in and I pressed myself against his back while I tried to finish. Once again, failure.

When we ran out of hot water, we hopped out. He finished applying lotion and brushing his teeth while I masturbated on my bed. I needed to finish somehow or work was going to be hell for me! He came and joined me in the crook of one my arms while I pleasured myself. FINALLY, it came. I thought of him dropping the towel in the bathroom, and it set me off. I was disappointed it wasn’t a direct reaction to something Smiles did, but I was relieved he was there to witness that it was possible and that my climax was something pretty special 😉 .

We quickly finished getting ready and walked to the PATH with my roommate chatting the whole way. The conversation wasn’t as free-flowing between us as much as when it was just the two of us. I wondered if Smiles had issues with PDA and public discussion. It just felt a little awkward.

When we got to his stop, I gave him a peck on the lips to say goodbye. I thought about that morning all day. I was happy to finally finish with him in the room, but I wished it came at Smiles’ hand. I think it would have been an ego boost for him and a big step forward for the two of us. However, it was progress — Baby steps. This something I was going to conquer, hopefully with Smiles’ assistance.

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Those Eyes, Eyes, Eyes

Since before I went away to OCMD, I was chatting with a guy on Grindr. I picked him up in my Grindr deck of cards when I was traveling home to my parents’ before heading to Maryland. He too was in PA, but home was NYC.

I struck up a conversation with him after noticing his picture and his gorgeous eyes and lips. He is a very pretty man with great features, but also had a slight thug look about him. I found it very intriguing.

After chatting, I came to realize he was a really nice guy. Quite the sweetheart. My heart really went out to him because the purpose of his visit home was the funeral of his uncle. I’d like to think I have a really big heart, and when someone is going through something like that, I want to do anything I can to console them. He appreciated my sentiments, and we continued to chat. I tried my best to cheer him up and distract him from what he was going through.

We seemed to have a fair amount in common, but I wasn’t thrilled with the fact that he was so young and still in college. He had been interning over the summer at a hedge fund, so he was looking towards the future, but I worried the age gap may get in the way. However, that didn’t stop me from continuing our conversations.

Days passed and the chatter continued. We talked many times about meeting up when we were both back in the city. The only problem was, he took a few more weeks to make his way back. He had the summer off, so he spent more time at home. Then, when his aunt was heading back to Philly, he drove her. His character was really showing here. He was a really good guy deep down who cared about other people. I find this incredibly sexy! I wanted him to come back to NY so we could go out, but I strongly admired his reason for not being back. He stayed a little while longer to help his aunt get back to her daily life before finally coming back to NYC.

Finally, we found a day we could meet. I suggested he meet me in midtown for lunch since he had an open schedule. I wanted to save my evenings for the working men since it was harder to schedule them in. Yes, I realize how messed up that statement sounds – scheduling men in. Anyway, I told him to meet me at the Soup Man at 1:00. Only problem – my job is very unpredictable. Sure enough, at 12:50, someone came by my desk for a “quick” meeting and needed me to do something for them. I apologized to him for running late, but didn’t feel the need to cancel yet.

I arrived only fifteen minutes late. We shook hands, and I nearly melted from his smile. Meeting him, I realized he was basically a kid, and this would never work, but something about his smile made me weak in the knees. Those eyes were just so enticing.

We ordered our lunch and ate it outside in the small seating area they provide. We talked about my vacation, his time at home, college, internships, etc. It was a nice conversation, but I felt like I just took one of my interns out for lunch. I knew there was no relationship potential there. When we nearly finished, he took a phone call from someone while I just sat there. I understand if it’s an important call, but it didn’t appear to be. I wouldn’t have taken the call with someone sitting there.

After I cleared our trays, I pointed in the direction of my office and asked which way he was headed. I agreed to walk him as far as my office. When we got to the curb across the street from my office, I gave him a hug goodbye and told him we’d be in touch. He eagerly suggested we meet up again soon, and I told him to text me so we could figure it out. I knew he wouldn’t text, so it was a sure way to end it without awkwardness.

Just as soon as I was adding new potential men to the roster, I was knocking them off the other end. Maybe I would need to find a new strategy, but only time will tell…

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