1) The Boy has had all the sex in the world.
2) I'm an idiot.
3) My trip to NYC is just for sex- hopefully.
"I have to see him," I keep telling everyone. That was important, because even if nothing comes about, the fantasy wouldn't have that last leg to stand on, so to speak: "If only we'd seen each other, maybe we could have been something..." Gotta eliminate any chance of 'Coulda Beens' ala Debbie Gibson.
Besides, the plane ticket was already bought.
And wouldn't you believe it, something else absolutely incredulous got thrown into the mix:
The Boy's apartment, which belonged to his roommate/uncle, has been sold. And the very last night that he can be in the apartment IS MY FIRST NIGHT THERE! So, yes, we will be 'homeless' while in NYC together.
Can you stand it?!
It is the eve before my flight. The first snowstorm of the year is forecast for early the next morning, which is exactly when I need to drive down to the Vegas airport. So to be safe I set my alarm for an hour or so early in hopes of missing the storm, cause, you know, people have been known to die. I'm planning on getting 4 hours of sleep, if I'm lucky.
The drive down to Vegas is uneventful. Cross that off the list.
The Boy had already informed me that he could not meet me at the airport because of his teaching schedule. "It's not really a 'meet at the airport' kind of airport anyway," he'd said. Also, he couldn't meet at all until that evening. Luckily, I had a very good friend who lived in the city who was able to meet me at some point between her apartment and the airport. I go to her place and sleep for a few hours, even though I was very jittery.
Red flags aside, I was about to see The Boy.
I wake up to shower and get ready to take a taxi to his place. I'm feeling a very unique type of stage fright for lack of a better term. My sister and I are texting back and forth. She's almost as excited as I am.
I am shaving every part of myself, pumicing my feet, repainting my toe nails, flossing my teeth, moisturizing my entire epidermis.
Then, it's time to go. Oh dear god. How I was able to keep it together, walk, speak without foaming saliva oozing from the corners of my mouth, I'll never know.
I hail a taxi. Give the address. I ride in the back of this taxi feeling like I'm in a movie. I'm watching a movie. Period. This can't be real life.
We're there in less than 10 minutes. Wait! I'm not ready! I guess I have to get out of the car? Oh my god...
I ring, he buzzes me in. I feel like that dude at the beginning of Prometheus, the Engineer who is crumbling.
I get on the elevator. Go up, like, 2 whole floors. The elevator door opens as The Boy opens his door right across the hall.
Here is my internal monologue that came to pass in the 0.25 seconds before we said something to each other:
I hear a door opening. It can't be his door. It IS. There he is. It's him. Him. The Boy. Just stay on the elevator. Close the doors. Run to him. Don't move. Don't talk. His face. His hair. His smile. His nose. His walk. I know this guy. I've seen him before. Yeah, I have. Ashley, this is not going to go well for you.
"Well, hey, look at you," he says casually, but smiling.
"Hey!" I say smiling as well, trying to contain my inner supernova.
I have one piece of luggage, my purse and a bag that I awkwardly try to maneuver through his doorway.
We hug. Did I mention that we'd never hugged before? This was the most we've ever touched.
There is a stool to sit on. That is all. (Remember he's moving? Last night in apartment.)
I sit on it. He stands.
"You look great!" he says.
"Thank you, so do you!"
He asks me if I want anything to drink. I say no. He's drinking wine.
He sits on the floor, and we talk. It's...awkward. Very. I mean, we haven't seen each other in 16 YEARS, PEOPLE.
We leave the apartment to go have dinner. He takes me to a French place. I order what he orders.
The talking is getting a bit more comfortable, but then one of us brings up Mormonism.
The gist was I was trying to explain why I was still hanging on to it. I brought up Joseph Smith. The Boy gets a very a-holey smile on his face to which I stop talking and say, "You know what? I don't want to talk about this with you."
We get back on track somehow with another topic.
We go back to his apartment. He mentions that he has to get up very early, so we better hit the sack.
I go to bathroom. When we'd first started talking about me coming to New York, I pictured myself bringing only hot lingerie to sleep in. After I chilled out, I settled on some polka dot pajama pants and a t-shirt. So I came out of the bathroom wearing that. He was in bed already, which was an air mattress- one of the few things still in the apartment. He's in a t-shirt and under the covers.
We lie there talking, side by side, both staring up at the ceiling.
Then he says that he needs to go to sleep, because of the early morning.
"Okay," I respond, nervously, thinking that we may not be having sex tonight in which case What the fuck am I doing here?
But then he asks, "Can I hold your hand?"
"Yes," is my relieved reply. I can get somewhere from hand holding.
He takes my hand. Our fingers entwined. His grip is strong.
"This feels good," he says.
"Damn good," he continues.
Then, still holding hands, he rolls over towards me on his side and with his other hand, squeezes my upper arm. With my free hand, I touch his arm and slowly start stroking it up and down, lightly. I am patient and cautious.
After several minutes of light touching each others arms and backs and thighs, we wrap our arms around each other tightly and don't let go for a long time. We are squeezing and my breath is becoming fast and audible. I give myself permission to drift back into the fantasy.
The Boy. I am in his arms. I say his name. Over and over. This moment is happening. This moment is real. This moment, that I'd imagined and re-imagined, played out in my head for years and years and years, is reality. I am touching The Boy, and he is touching me. I am here with him.
The squeezing and embracing continues. I then put my face into his neck, rub my nose across his cheek, grab his hair with my fingers. I never stop moving. Nor does he.
Smelling him. Breathing him. Our faces pressed against each other.
Then I put my lips on his neck, on his ear, on his cheek. Whisper his name another time. I move my mouth to his mouth. Our first kiss. Sweet. Perfect. Our hands grabbing each other's hair. Moving back and forth from face to hair grabbing. And way before I was expecting it, his tongue. He penetrates my mouth with his tongue. I knew from the way he did that, we'd be having sex tonight.
Here's the thing. We did have sex. I apologize for not getting more into the details of that. It was wonderful in the moment. Truly. I'm not going to say anything disrespectful, but for those of you who have just GOTTA KNOW, I've since had better. Unspeakably better. Like, I-had-no-idea better. And I've only been with one other man since The Boy, so you can figure it out.
When we fell asleep his hand didn't leave my body all night. No matter how he or I turned throughout the night, he barely broke contact. When I got up to go the bathroom once, his hand stayed on me until I was out of reach.
His alarm went off the next morning. We embraced. It felt so good to hold him and squeeze him. I can't even tell you. We had sex again.
I got ready for the day, while he finished packing up the apartment.
He had to teach all day. And I had lunch plans with some old BYU friends.
That morning, before we went separate ways, was awkward. After my lunch date, I spent some time doing very little. Sat on a park bench for a good while and slept- I was now 2 nights sleep deprived.
We met back up at a bar that night. Things were still strange.
He had reservations for us to stay at a hotel in White Plains which meant a long train ride that he was already annoyed about. We left the bar, both packing our luggage (as we were homeless), and took a bus to the train station and the train to the hotel.
It's very nice. I take off my shoes, relax on the bed, he makes coffee and I pull out some photos I'd brought from high school, just 2 or 3 that I'd taken of him in 12th grade. He kinda laughed at them. I did, too.
By this time it was midnight or so. We start a crossword- we both love crosswords. By 1 a.m. we fall asleep. We were both so exhausted, so we just fell asleep mid word. But I woke up later, looked at the clock- 2 a.m.- and I panic. We're not having sex!
I look at him. He's hugging a pillow, turned away from me on his side, clinging to the opposite edge of the bed. I scootch up against his back, rub his arm...he does not move. I mean, like the dead. I move my hand away from him and think. I touch his hair. He is a statue.
I move away a bit. Stare into the dark. And I start to cry.
I am overwhelmed with feelings of rejection. O-ver-whelmed. I'm trying to not cry audibly. Why am I here? What am I doing? I should have listened to everyone! I am so stupid!
I have NEVER experienced this type of emotion. And I felt ridiculous for feeling it. But someone said to me once, "Feelings are never right or wrong. They just are."
It felt like the end of the world. I was having the most irrational thoughts as this tsunami of rejection washed over me, like, "I've ruined my life" "I must be repulsive" "I'm destined to become a crystal meth tragedy".
I'm thinking that I only have 2 more nights in New York after tonight! I want him as much as possible! I am fully aware that I will probably never see him again!
I toss and turn. I get up and go to the bathroom a couple of times. I wake him up, "Boy?"
"What is it?"
Very quick peck and back to hugging his edge of the bed.
"Boy, is there something wrong?"
"No, there is nothing wrong. I'm just so incredibly exhausted. Just let me sleep please!"
Another night of sleep deprivation.
His alarm goes off the next morning. He's got a full load of teaching again.
Before he gets out of bed, I say to him, "Boy, something is wrong..."
"No, there's nothing wrong! Why don't you believe me??"
"You...didn't touch me at all last night."
"Well, come here," he said and puts his arm out for me to come close to him and cuddle. Which I do. I kiss his neck. I squeeze him with my free arm around his torso.
Then he gets up.
I just lie there.
I am about to open up to him, open some communication lines, which I realize with him is shaky ground. But that is what adults do. Healthy adults communicate clearly and as unemotionally as possible. So here goes nothing:
"You didn't even touch me last night."
He releases the most ridiculously exaggerated sigh.
I go on, "I mean, I thought our first night together was pretty great, and that next morning-"
"It was really great, and you're about to ruin it!" he said...pissed. I mean, just plain and simple pissed.
I'm lying there frozen wondering if he's constipated or has a migraine or has erectile disfunction that he's embarrassed about... There is something behind this unbelievable childish reaction...which continues:
"I heard you sighing and tossing all night! We haven't seen each other since high school!" His tone of perturbation is escalating as I continue to lie motionless, hoping that I am concealing my shock. "What do you think this is?!" I'm not exaggerating with my use of italics and choice of punctuation. Swear to god.
And my mind did that thing again. Because I had no clue how to rationally process his behavior, I shut out the rest of what he was saying, which included something about the exhaustion of moving out of his apartment (valid point) and him accusing me of not understanding that type of stress and fatigue (invalid).
And when he was finished, I waited a beat, understanding that I cannot communicate with him on an adult level, said "okay" to no one in particular, got up, showered, got dressed, curled my hair, did my make-up, looked amazing, turned to him with a smile and said, "I'm ready when you are."
At this point (actually about a half hour before that point), I'm thrilled that I only have 2 more nights with him. I am also thrilled that I was able to emotionally detach enough before I arrived in New York that I could handle the previous incident as well as I did. I mean, I was doing my hair and almost chuckling at how mind-blowingly adult I felt compared to him.
We got in a taxi to go back to the train station. He was stressed, as usual, but I could also sense that he felt a little dumb, as I was clearly feeling just fine. Kinda more than fine.
We chatted about nothing important on the train. Got on the subway. Walked up to street level, and he said, "So I'll just meet you here at 5?"
"Okay," I said with a shrug and a casual smile.
I started to walk away, but he grabbed me and kissed me. Twice. Then just looked at me. Looked at my face. With a look that I couldn't interpret. "I'm sorry" or "Is that better?" or "You okay?"...I don't know.
I said, "Thank you," and crossed the street with plans to see a movie and visit a friend before meeting him again at 5.
End of Part 7