The Date that Never Left
When I matched with Brian on a dating app, I was pumped. He had the lumberjack look down pat and I’m into that. His beard was huge and he wore a flannel shirt in most if not all of his photos. It wasn’t just a look, either. Brian’s a carpenter.
We met up at a local bar walking distance from my place. They have a jukebox and we kept playing songs. I ordered onion rings and he ordered jalapeno poppers. After a few beers, we ended up dancing.
Even though it was a weeknight, we stayed out until last call. When the tamale man came through with his bucket of tamales, we both bought one, then we sat on the curb and ate them. Brian kissed the top of my head and I swooned.
I invited him back to my place with the stipulation that he sleep on the couch. With me living so close and it being so late, it made sense for him to stay over. He was a perfect gentleman and remained in the living room all night. I woke up early for work the next day, and decided to let him sleep. I wrote him a note that said, “I had fun last night, sweetie.”
When I got home at 6 PM, Brian was still there. I didn’t mind though. He’d obviously just showered. His hair was still wet, and he looked even more handsome than he had the night before. Also, he was cooking me dinner. Swoon.
When Brian kept sleeping over, I assumed it meant we were falling in love. I’ve heard of that happening—people becoming instantly attached. I thought I’d gotten lucky and it had happened to me.
We said “I love you.” I gave Brian a key to my apartment. He was always home when I was home and went to work after I went to work. He cooked and cleaned, and eventually began sleeping in the bedroom. I felt like a queen.
After a few weeks, I gushed about him to friends at work. They’d already known something was up because of how happy I’d been acting, but I’d kept it secret. Then one of them asked, “Have you seen Brian’s place yet?”
I was annoyed by the question, but that night I asked Brian if we could go to his place. I realized the only clothes he had at my place were what I’d bought him and what he’d been wearing the night we met. I’d never even thought about his place before, yet suddenly it felt very weird that I’d never seen it and he never talked about it.
He resisted. I pushed back. It was our first fight.
Brian said he loved my place, and loved me, and his lease was about to end, and he wondered if he could move in. I said yes. As soon as he took me to his place.
Brian took a deep breath and said, “Okay, I guess I should admit it. I’m homeless.”
I felt stunned. He claimed that he wasn’t using me and he truly loved me, that he was exactly who he said he was, but had just gotten down on his luck. I told him we could keep dating, but he couldn’t spend the night anymore. A few days later I realized we couldn’t keep dating. Not because he was homeless, but because the trust was broken and I felt used.
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