He was the hottest guy in a five mile radius of my friend group, with a giant stockpile of charisma to boot.
I was seeking anything remotely like machismo to pull me out of a seemingly never ending rut.
I was warned he was the biggest player of the players, the biggest man-whore of the man-whores, and don’t touch or you’ll get burned.
And I looked at that and said, But, actually? Sounds perfect.
We met at a flat party, and discussed video games, and I tried to suppress my nerdom in an attempt to impress, but actually ended up in a half an hour conversation about button masher games. He then invited me to join the group going to see the next Marvel movie together and we freaked out at all the same moments, while our other friends watched and rolled their eyes at the ongoing battle that ensued the entire movie.
I will forever and always be team Iron Man.
He thinks Hulk will always be able to kick Iron Man’s ass.
Had we ever actually slept together, our idea of foreplay would have been discussing the scene in the first Avengers movie where Iron Man throws the nuclear weapon out into space, and then Hulk saves Iron Man’s life. We would have been stripping each other while arguing about which moment was more badass, fuck each other’s brains out, and during the after sex cigarette resume a similar argument as a pump up for round two.
But, alas, we never did sleep together. Not that we didn’t want to.
I was out with a group of girls, he was out with a group of guys, we ended up at the same club. We saw each other, he got me a drink, and we ended up dancing together. He kissed me, and boy was a damn good kisser. We continued dancing, he kissed me again.
It would be the last time he ever did so.
He invited me for coffee the next day, and I was excited, if a bit confused.
What would this mean? Where did we stand?
We chat about nothing for a while before he finally got around to the subject.
He had a girlfriend, which I knew.
He had an open relationship with the girlfriend, which I knew.
He was not allowed to fuck other people he cared about, which I did not know.
Ah. Uh. Heh.
I want to delve into the different types of relationships (polyamory, open, monogamy) in a different post, but I have been fairly open about being polyamorous for about 4 years now. Basically, since I heard the word, did some research, and had that glorious moment of Oh shit everything in my romantic life finally makes an iota of sense.
And I don’t (or at the very least, try my best not to) pass any judgements on other people’s various poly/open/mono setups. I understand that what works for me may not work for you or the next person or the next person.
But back to Hulk boy.
Basically, it flew in the face of everything I had been told about him. And my brain just went to:
So a one night stand is okay, but I’m not okay?
Are you telling me you care about me? That I matter more to you than that?
This question was never entirely cleared up, but I do believe that, yes, I did. He would come over immediately on my days off work, he would sometimes try to hold my hand when he’d had a bit to drink, he would give me a look sometimes, that I know meant something, though what, I can’t say. And I have to admit I liked him too. I was annoyed I was being strung along, sure. But, I have to admit that there was a part of me that liked being liked by him, especially when everyone had said he was incapable of such emotion.
Which is why it really sucked when I found out he’d told his girlfriend’s best friend that I was a “sure thing.”
Don’t talk about any woman, any person like that. I have not, will not, and will never be anyone’s sure thing. Not in the least because as a human being, I am capable of changing my mind at any given moment.
So I froze him out. I threw a halloween party and didn’t invite him. He found out, he asked why I was mad. I told him. We had lunch, he apologized profusely. He refused to eat his vegetables. I added them to my soup.
We were saying goodbye, and he gave me a look like a little lost puppy.
“Are we friends now?” He asked, so sweetly it would’ve melted any lingering annoyance I might’ve felt.
“Of course we are,” And we hugged.
He was a summer…I don’t know what you’d call it. He’s someone I remember with a smile on my face. I remember flirty conversations and playing Kings in my living room with a wonderful group of people. I remember him coming to have lunch with me at work and showing me pictures of his vacation. I remember laughter and light and fun. I remember poker games and pizza. And I’m sad we weren’t anything more, that we never had ridiculous nerd debate infused sex. But, at the same time, maybe it’s okay Hulk boy is just Hulk boy, and not anything more. Maybe it’s okay some people will remain just as they are in your memory, light moments of fun, never to be tainted, and no longer possibilities. They’re people you can think about, and honestly and truthfully still call a friend.