A man tangled between his old boyfriend who wants to win him back and a dangerous love with his much younger neighbor.
I twisted the ring round and round my finger. It wasn’t an average ring. Unlike most rings, this one didn't have a gemstone. Instead, the stone was an actual stone, in the shape of a heart, with two names engraved in it. My name, Dylan, was inscribed in loopy cursive above the name Klark. Klark was my boyfriend, who was separated from me at the moment. He gave it to me on the first anniversary of our first date. Every time his name came into view on my finger, I wanted to cry. I wanted to take it off, but I couldn’t. If I did, I wouldn’t have anything to fidget with. If I didn’t have anything to fidget with, I’d start thinking too much about what I was about to do. I started to think too much about it when I arrived in this motel room a half hour ago. Those cautionary thoughts stayed with me.
Just because there’s a first time for everything, doesn’t mean everything should have a first time. I’ve realized this as I waited for a man I’ve never seen before to show up at my motel room. I didn’t think prostitution was wrong, intellectually speaking. But I started to think paying for sex might turn out to be very wrong for me personally. A first time for something never guarantees there will be a last. I was afraid, that, once I went down this path, I wouldn’t be able to stop. The easiness of this practice would make me addicted to it. All desires to connect emotionally and intellectually to another man would be erased. I would forget how to be in love. My boyfriend would never want me back. I’d be stuck living in this town forever, damned to rely on paid company for affection. When this was over for tonight, I’d have to remind myself what really made me happy – Klark, when he was good.
Ordering an escort actually disgusted me to the core, which is why I didn’t put much planning into it. But now that a male body was about to show up to satisfy my sexual needs, I regretted not asking him for a picture first.
I wouldn’t let this night define me. It would just be an hour of release. It had been almost a month since I touched a firm ass or played with a nipple on a wide, chiseled pectoral. My dick felt like it had been on fire since Klark kicked me out. I even considered answering Klark’s texts to come back, despite still having issues with the way he treated me. Going without Klark, his body and his affections, had proven even more difficult than I thought. In the four years I lived with Klark, we never went two days without doing it.
The time on my phone said it was ten fifty-four. He should’ve arrived by now. This appointment was arranged through the secretary at a whorehouse, disguised as a massage parlor. I had asked if any men were available. At first she said no, but then she said she knew of a man who was willing to meet me in a more private place. She insisted he was cute. That was enough for me. All the Grindr guys in the area were too gross to touch, even for free sex. I asked for this man's number and texted him. He texted back instantly, asking to be called Brock, and said that sex was going to cost four hundred dollars. That was so high, I almost called it off. I tried to bargain with him, but he was set on his price. I reluctantly agreed. The next step was location. I asked Brock if he wanted to come to my place. He said he didn’t want to know my address, so I would have to book a motel room. That would be another seventy dollars, in addition to the four hundred. This was how desperate I was for sex.
We all have moments when we take a look around us and ask ourselves, how did we end up here? I was having one of those moments. It was the worst time for me to start questioning the chain of events that led me to being a semester-long substitute teacher far away from the gay bubble that was San Francisco. It was all a matter of circumstances. I couldn’t have predicted the epic fight between Klark and I. And even if I had, I wouldn't have predicted that he was going to make me leave our Twin Peaks apartment.
I had to stop thinking about it. I couldn’t linger on that incident now. I’d spoil the only chance I had at an hour of happiness.
There was a knock on the door. He was here! I took a deep breath in and out. I didn’t know if I was doing the right thing, but I did know I needed this to feel alive. I grabbed the doorknob as if I was trying to rip it out, and pulled the door open.
Instantly, I felt my body freeze. I couldn’t breathe. I felt like an explosion was going off in me. At any moment, my insides were going to be ripped into pieces. It couldn’t be. The man standing in front of me was someone I knew!
He was Hugh Martandy, dad of one of my students at Morgan Hill Elementary School.
This had to be a mistake, or I was in jeopardy. I needed for him to say he had the wrong room. Hugh’s face looked like he’d witnessed a murder. It had to be the same expression I had. He also couldn’t speak. Both of us were mortified.
I finally broke the silence. “Hugh...hi.” That sounded so stupid. I obviously wasn’t thinking at full capacity. But that was okay.
Because he struggled for words, too. “Uh...uh....what....uh....uh…” Finally, he managed to push out, “Mr. Hubilear, what are you doing here?”