Friday April 9th
I drove back home. I had planned to leave at stupid o’clock in the morning, but I didn’t end up leaving until 9am. The delay of four hours made it so I could mail in my application for a medical training license while in town, though, so it was worth the wait.
The drive was pleasant. I hate the drive because it is so long, but now I know there are only a few of these left in me before I am settled back at home.
I matched near home. I get to go home. Be with my family, friends, and everyone important in my life.
In less than two months, I’m coming home.
I crashed that night with Baltimore Best Friend. She updated me on her life. I updated her on mine. She invited me to a poetry reading on Wednesday. I tried to delicately lecture her (to no avail) to get the vaccine. It was nice to see her.
Saturday April 10th
I attended my Aunt’s funeral. She had died suddenly a little over a week before; heart attack.
I picked up my mother and drove us both to the services. She looked better; she’d gotten her hair cut and wore makeup. I’m still worried about her, but then again I learned that from her.
It didn’t occur to me until we were pulling up to the funeral home that this would be the first time I had seen family since I matched. In an instant, I realized the day was going to be even more emotionally trippy. Throughout the experience, conversation kept switching between how much we loved and missed my aunt and congratulating me on matching back home. Life is odd.
There wasn’t a repass; nebulous plans were made for the summer after more people got vaccinated.
My mother and I had lunch at her favorite seafood restaurant. She paid.
I dropped her off, ran a stupid errand, but then found myself tooling around the zip code where I had apartment viewings booked. I’d scheduled ten viewings over three days of different options for me to live. I looked at places and mentally decided to cross some options off my list.
And then I saw one complex that I had not seen online, an apartment building I’d been in before I started medical school. An old classmate had lived there. I remembered how much I liked it. I made a mental note to call them on Monday.
Sunday April 11th
I checked into my hotel room. It was closer to my soon-to-be zip code. On my way, I got a text from Gent asking if I was in town.
“What are you doing?”
“Grabbing a cup of coffee from Starbucks and then going to check into my hotel room.”
“Where are you staying? I’m headed back from XXXX.”
I texted him my hotel.
“Got it. Opposite direction.”
In an effort to increase my likelihood of seeing him, I wrote out my schedule for the week and sent him the pictures.
I liked my room. Big comfortable bed. Hot shower. A couch. A desk. All that I needed.
I nested, got food, and relaxed for the night.
While on Twitter, I mentioned I was in town. A local friend invited me to dinner, their treat. Since I had Wednesday lunch plans with Gent and I was to be apartment shopping in the area on Tuesday, I figured Tuesday night would be best. I accepted the invitation.
Monday April 12th
9am Brazilian waxing. I liked the girl who did it. She now has my business for the foreseeable future.
I also discovered where my post office will be.
I called the apartment building I saw on Saturday and scheduled a walk through same day. I love the building. It was just as good as I remembered. New, sleek, all the amenities, and all of my must haves. I applied the same day.
My frame of mind and reference is starting to shift, slowly but it is shifting. It never occurred to me that I would not need a co-signer from my application, that my new doctor salary changed the way people interacted with and treated me. I was approved for the apartment in six hours. Already, I have my new home.
Tuesday April 13th
I had nothing but time. I got my hotel room until Friday because I anticipated needing to visit multiple apartment complexes, but now that was mute.
I called to cancel each appointment and then, with time on my hands, decided to make money.
I drove for Lyft and ended up in an airport parking lot.
Sitting and waiting for a ride, I got a text from Gent.
“Where will you be after 4:30?”
“I’m actually near you right now. Waiting for a Lyft ride. Found my apartment on my first look, so no more apartment shopping needed. My week is free.”
“Cancel the ride and let’s grab a drink.”
I met him on the patio of a non-descript bar. We each ordered a drink, chatted.
“Can we talk about the text message?”
He’d sent me a longer-than-normal-for-him message about three weeks prior.
“Sure, we can talk about it.”
“I read it as jealousy, which is confusing.”
“No, it wasn’t jealousy. Jealousy would imply ownership or me wanting to own you, and we both know if I wanted to have you I could. No, I felt used.”
We talked some more. He had to take a work call. I sat, thinking.
I got a text from him.
“If she stops by can you ask for the check?”
“Stop by my house?”
“What time do you need to get on the road?’
“You’re not drinking so figured there would be easier.”
And then there was this funny exchange where I needed to go to the bathroom but he’d left his wallet and his card on the table while away on his call and I didn’t feel right leaving his wallet but also didn’t feel okay taking it with me because boundaries and his response when I explained this (of course) was “I’ve been inside you. I think we’ve crossed most boundaries already.”
His house is nice; very nice. I roamed around, and we eventually found ourselves on his couch. We chatted. He had this mischievous smile on his face the whole time. Eventually I realized he kept me talking and kept himself at least five feet away so that he wouldn’t touch me and wouldn’t be tempted to have sex with me. “We’re friends, right?”
“So I can do this now? Come over to your place and have tea and chat?”
“Yes, you’re moving back here.”
“Okay, yes. I’ll bring my crocheting and we’ll talk about nothing more.”
I got into my car and saw my friend had postponed our dinner.
I called Gent, asked to come back inside, and chatted for a little more while drinking a cup of tea.
“Now, isn’t it nice that we’re able to do this without having sex?” His words.
As we left, he hugged me.
“What is this with the awkward side hug?” I turned toward him and gave him the normal squeeze.
Okay, I think we can do this: be friends without sex. But I REALLY like the sex, too.
Wednesday April 14th
I made money and then I went to a poetry reading. I learned I am indeed a snob.
Some poetry is frankly amazing. Some people know how to form thoughts and expand on ideas and play on words and capture my attention and imagination and I am in awe. Too many people have no talent and are uncomfortable to watch.
It also didn’t help that two obnoxious guys sat near me and kept talking shit about all the acts.
Four hours of poetry and occasional shitty stand up and a few good musical acts.
I’ll probably go back to support my friend and maybe flirt with one or two of the talented.
If I am brave enough, I’ll read something someday.
Thursday April 15th
I made money and then I went to see my friend for dinner. I learned I like my friends in small doses.
My friend had a new roommate who, it turns out, is also one of my friends. I did not know they were living together. I also did not know they were having issues. Nothing is ever free.
My friend and I sat outside eating Thai food by a fire pit and catching up. Our conversation started with complaining about their roommate and later ventured into complaining about their job.
But it also featured aspirational plans for their tiny house life and distance trips and general happenings in their life. All-in-all, it was an enjoyable evening.
Friday April 16th
I made money and then I drove to Pennsylvania. I learned how much I smelled like smoke.
[As I knew was likely the case, along with needing to cancel our Wednesday plans, I never heard from Gent again during my stay. He had a work trip. He has a life that does not include me. Everyone has their boundaries. Accept them or not.]
I only needed two Lyft rides to hit my goal earnings for the week. So I got up and got on the road to make the small amount of money I needed. My first ride was a big Black guy named Alphonso. In retrospect, I should have given Alphonso my number.
When I say big… Alphonso was at least (AT LEAST) six feet tall. He curled himself into my not-large car surprisingly well. I apologized for the inconvenience. He brushed it off seeing as it was a normal occurrence for him.
“Why do I smell barbecue?”
“Um, that’s me. I had dinner with a friend by a firepit last night.”
We got to talking. Alphonso works at a big box store. Also, for fun, he DJ’s the breakroom, hence his nickname DJ Breakroom. We talked about Baltimore Club vs. DC Go Go music; we agreed to disagree on our respective opinions.
I told him about myself, my life, school and soon-to-be residency. I don’t normally chat in Lyft rides. I listen to podcasts in my earbuds and get people from point A to point B safely. Occasionally, I put on the radio per rider request. But Alphonso got me talking and smiling on a Friday morning.
When I dropped him off, he remarked, “I’m going to mark you as my favorite driver.”
“Thank you. It was really nice talking to you.”
As soon as he closed the door, I said out loud to myself in my now empty car, “I should have given him my phone number.”
Right there and then I promised myself to shoot my shot often and with abandon. Since I want a mine so much, I have to start trying to get one.
The drive to Pennsylvania was mostly pleasant, though I forgot how much more aggressive drivers get as I go farther north.
When I met Doug at his apartment, we hugged outside my car for probably five minutes.
“It’s raining and cold. We should probably go inside.”
Blunt and to the point but in the sweetest way; that is Doug.
I liked his apartment. It was a good size with hardwood floors and a modest balcony.
We needed food and to figure out what our weekend would be. As always, I assured him I would be happy to just spend the time with him in whatever way he could.
We got Thai food, brought it back to his place, and traded turns on YouTube showing music videos we wanted to share with the other. I leaned into new Black rap and R&B hits. He went with nostalgic white rock bands. We are so different, and yet as people we get along so well.
Before dinner, Doug asked me if I was interested in having sex with him that weekend. I didn’t realize he still felt that way about me considering our last visit was just cuddles and hanging out.
When I got into bed, I was wearing underwear and a tank top. Doug got into bed naked. He cuddled up next to me, but never made a move.
I pulled his hand from my belly into my panties. I pulled off my underwear and then my tank top. I asked him, “May I ride your face while I suck your cock?”
I ground my smooth pussy lips against his rough stubbled mouth and chin until I came.
“I love it when you use me like a sex toy.”
His words slammed me back to my conversation with Gent.
Saturday April 17th
He woke up wanting to eat me out again. I let him. He also sucked on my nipples and gnawed at my neck. For as pale as he is, I might start calling him my sweet vampire.
We did nothing big. We never really do anything big. Yet I always enjoy my time with Doug. We ate our Thai leftovers for lunch, got coffee, and then drove to Philly. We strolled around his old neighborhood. He used to live there about a decade ago. He was fascinated to see how things had changed. We ate sushi for dinner and chatted about nothing and everything.
When we got back to his place, I logged him onto my HBO Max account and showed him the first episodes of Lovecraft Country and Watchmen. I think I hooked him.
When we went to bed, I talked to him about my fear of the dark, where my brain goes. He rubbed my back and I fell asleep feeling protected and comforted.
Doug lives three plus hours away.
Doug never wants to get married.
Doug had a vasectomy, so no kids.
I can never only be with Doug.
But, when I can be with Doug, I am happy.
Sunday April 18th
I drove back to school. I hate the drive back. I never want to come back even though I know I need to. Each time feels like a punishment. But at least there will be fewer of these soon.
I gave Doug homework before I left. I wrote it on a Post-It note for him to remember. Reach out to a mutual friend via Twitter. Fill in a dating profile so he can have comfort from other people besides just me once a season.
He says he’s gonna start to visit me once a season once I move back. I would like that.
Before I left, Doug and I ate breakfast at a local diner. We split our meals so we both could have some waffle and some French toast.
Then he led the way to Sheetz. I filled up my tank, got coffee, and we said bye. We hugged for really long again. This time, there was this pop song playing from speakers somewhere above us that colored the experience.
“This feels like some sort of Rom Com moment.” He was right; we both laughed. “Okay, drive safe.”
I got into my car but before I closed my door I yelled, “Love you.”
He yelled back, “Love you too.”
I got on the road. I hated almost everything about the ride. It was a normal drive.
Every time I come back, I have to unpack immediately. I throw dirty clothes here, hang up clean clothes there, put the luggage in its spot, plug in electronics, brush my teeth, and collapse into bed.
This is my way.
I made it back. I’m looking forward to not ever having to come back soon.
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