Authors: Shay Kassa
COPYRIGHT © 2012 SHAY KASSA
All Rights Reserved
Andy pointed out yet another hot looking guy in Speedos, and nudged his friend. “How about him, then? He’s got… I dunno, nice abs or something.”
Joe rolled his eyes at him. “I don’t pick up dates at work, man, how many times do I have to say it?’ he said from the lifeguard’s chair. “Can you wait half an hour to annoy me about this? I don’t finish until four.”
“You don’t pick up dates at all,” Andy said under his breath, getting a sharp look from Joe. “Oh fine, I’ll see you in the gym.”
He returned to the pool and did a few lengths, then left for the locker room.
He was lucky to have a best friend who could get him into a great fitness center for free, but every time he saw his roommate here, he had to wonder whether Joe had a sex drive at all. He was tall, body-builder strong, half-Latino and very gay, but in the two years Andy had known him, he had never even brought a guy home to their small apartment. Joe was too easy-going to really tell Andy to quit trying to set him up with someone, and besides, he figured he’d hit the mark a few times but Joe just hadn’t made a move for some reason. Whether it was nerves or confidence or something else, Andy was going to get his friend through it. Celibacy was a good way for a man to go insane.
He started his own workout while he waited. He wasn’t as big as Joe, but he liked to stay in shape. Swimming was his preference, but he had to do some weights to even it out.
By the time Joe appeared, he had worked up a sweat.
“Hey,” Andy said, as Joe settled in on the shoulder press. He stood next to him while he adjusted it. “Look, man, I know I keep saying it, but you gotta get laid. Why is it you never bring anyone home? You know it’s okay, right?”
Joe sighed in exasperation. “Just let it go. I’m not interested in hooking up with random guys, Andy. You know it’s okay to want an actual relationship, right?”
“Yeah, but you’ll never get into one if you don’t take any chances, and in the meantime, you get no fun. That isn’t healthy.”
“I’ll be the judge of that.” He started on his reps. “How’s Carla? You and her going out this weekend?”
Andy knew he was deliberately changing the subject. “Yeah, I’m taking her to a concert. We won’t be back until after midnight. Is that okay?”
“Yeah, of course. Just make sure you’re not too drunk or anything.”
“See, that’s the kind of thing you do in a normal relationship, man - but we didn’t get there by just making eyes at each other, if you know what I mean.” He wasn’t going to let it go that easily. “You know, sexual compatibility is a good place to start if you want to turn a hookup into something more.”
Joe just laughed at him. “Dude, we are not getting into another debate about what makes for long term romance, okay? Just go do your routine, save it for when we’re drunk.”
Andy lingered instead of going back to his workout. He still wasn’t sure why it bothered him so much that Joe didn’t really date at all. He resisted every effort to get him to enjoy himself, preferring to stay in and watch movies with Andy, even though he certainly did enjoy himself on the rare occasions that he did go out. His dance moves and soft-spoken demeanor could have gotten him enough tail to satisfy Casanova.
Perhaps that was the problem. Andy didn’t like the idea of anyone missing that much sex.
Joe finished his reps and stood up. He turned his roommate towards the chest press. “C’mon, Andy, what are you waiting around for? Get going there!”
“You know I’m not going to shut up about your love life, right?” Andy said, smiling as he started to set it up.
“Yeah, but I know it’s because you care. Why else do you think I put up with you?”
On Friday night, Andy had just pulled his T-shirt over his head when he heard the doorbell. He hurriedly reached for his jeans as he heard Joe answering the door and greeting his girlfriend.
“Hey Carla, Andy’s just getting ready, you want to come in for a sec and wait?”
He emerged from his bedroom without his socks or shoes on. Carla stood in the hallway with Joe, playing nervously with the strap of her bag. She was dressed in her usual baggy pants and cutoff top, not the party dress he expected.
“Hey baby, you’re early,” he said. “Something wrong?”
“Uh… yeah. Yeah, there’s something wrong. Could we talk in private for a while?” She glanced at Joe.
His roommate gave Andy a look and snagged his keys from the small table by the door. “I’m just gonna go get something from the store. I’ll be back in a while.”
As soon as Joe had left, Carla took his arm and led him into their small living room. They sat down on the couch.
“This isn’t really easy for me to say,” she began, and it suddenly dawned on Andy what was wrong.
“Are you breaking up with me?”
She took his hand gently and looked sympathetic. “Andy, this isn’t working out. I think you’re a great guy, but I’m just not feeling it. I mean, we have fun together, but we don’t really talk and you’re not ready for a commitment.”
This couldn’t be real. It didn’t feel real. They’d been going out for almost two years, give or take - wasn’t that too early to talk about commitments? Andy pulled his hand away.
“What don’t we talk about?” he implored. “What the hell is this really about, Carla? You can’t just dump me like this and not give me a real reason!”
“This IS a real reason.”
“Is there someone else?”
“There doesn’t have to be someone else, for god’s sake,” she snapped. “This isn’t easy for me, okay? I just know that I’m not the one who can make you happy, and I figure the best way for you to find that person is if I’m out of the picture.” She took a deep breath, composing herself, and tucked her hair behind her ear. “I’ve been thinking about this for a while, and it’s not fair on either of us, Andy. I like you, you’re a great guy, but I don’t love you. And I’m pretty sure you don’t love me.”
He felt like his world was about to collapse. Andy stared at the floor, completely silenced by disbelief. Carla searched through her bag quickly, and put the concert ticket into his hand.
“You should still go,” she said gently. “Maybe you’ll meet someone there. I’d really like if we could stay friends, but… I’ll understand if you don’t want to.” She patted his arm. “I should go. Call me tomorrow if you want to talk.”
Carla slipped away from him. Andy was barely conscious of her leaving.
It felt completely unreal. Him and Carla were… they were… She would come over and have dinner with him. And they’d drink beer and have sex. They’d go out and meet friends and dance. He brought her to a fun fair for her birthday and won her a big fluffy teddy bear.
He wouldn’t get to do any of that anymore.
Two years of being part of something really fun and awesome, gone - no more cuddles, no more sex, no more sleeping over at her place when her roommate was out.
But… not no more talking.
Oh god, she was right. They didn’t really talk. He tossed the ticket onto the floor and slumped on the couch, feeling like he’d been punched repeatedly in the guts.
Andy jumped at the sound of the door opening again, and for one fleeting second he wanted it to be Carla, coming to tell him that it was all just a mistake. But those heavy footsteps would never have passed for his girlfriend - his ex-girlfriend - and Joe appeared with a six-pack in each hand.
“Uh, hey man. Is it what I think it is?” he asked.
“Yeah,” Andy said, hating the shaky sound of his voice. “She’s gone. She broke up with me.”
Joe sat gingerly beside him, in the spot that Carla had so recently vacated, and handed him a beer. “I kinda thought it wasn’t gonna be good. Here, I think you need this.”
“God, this sucks,” Andy muttered, but still took the can. “Thanks.”
“So… what do the straight guys do when they get dumped?” Joe said jokingly. “I’m totally here for you, man, but this is sort of out of my area of expertise, if you know what I mean.”
Andy chuckled half-heartedly. “Shit, I dunno. I haven’t been dumped since high school. What do gays do, dress up in sequins and go dancing?”
“Yeah, well, much as I’d like to lend you my tights… Personally, I get drunk and watch porn. It’s less annoying and you can do it from the comfort and convenience of your own home.” Joe grabbed his own beer, and eyed him cautiously. “No concert, then?”
Andy thought for a minute. Going to the concert would just make him feel worse. The alternative on a Friday night, of going out and getting trashed, held no appeal. “Fuck it,” he said, and downed the beer. “Drunken porn it is.”
It took hours for him to feel better. Joe did his best to keep Andy’s spirits up, and they spent all their time mocking the actors and actresses in the porn movies. As the current one finished, Joe flicked through the DVDs and dug out a few more possible selections.
“I’ve seen all of these,” Andy said. “Seriously man, have we got anything else?”
“Well… I got my own stash, but I kinda don’t think you want to watch the stuff I like.”
Andy tossed his empty can to the floor and grabbed the last beer. “Who cares? I don’t care. Just show me something, Joe, I don’t give a shit any more.” He slumped on the couch dejectedly.
Joe shrugged, and disappeared into his room for a moment. He returned with a handful of DVDs that had more oiled men on their covers than usual.
“Okay, this is my favorite.” He handed one to Andy. “It’s, uh, got a lot of guys in it.”
“Just play it, asshole.”
All the women were starting to grate on his nerves. They all reminded him of Carla. Andy sucked down the beer like it was his last drink, and waited for the movie.
After the usual mediocre setup, the two guys started getting hot and heavy. Andy watched without any real interest. His mind drifted to Carla, and to their two years together, and it suddenly struck him that he didn’t really feel as bad as he thought he should. She wasn’t completely gone, just… a smaller part of his life, now. After the shock was over - or numbed by the alcohol - he felt empty instead of really sad.
Maybe she was right. Carla was pretty smart. It still meant he was going to get reacquainted with his right hand all over again. He sighed. A friend with benefits would be great right about now.
He glanced over at Joe, who looked a little weirded out. “Yeah?”
His friend looked pointedly at his crotch. Andy glanced down and realized that his dick was thinking for itself while his mind was elsewhere.
“Aw dammit… Sorry, man. I was kinda planning on being with Carla tonight.” Andy shuffled around, turning himself away.
Joe seemed nonplussed. “It’s cool, I understand. I mean, you just got dumped.” He paused for a moment. “You know, uh, I could help you with that.”
“Well, I mean, this is sort of my area of expertise.”
Andy turned back to look at his friend in disbelief. “Joe, are you offering to suck my dick?”
Joe rubbed the back of his head and wouldn’t meet his eye. “Yeah, I guess I am,” he said quietly.
“…Holy shit. Like, seriously. Holy fucking shit.” Andy stared at his friend through a haze of alcohol and disbelief. “You, Joe, guy who never ever wants to go out at all, never brings guys home, never has sex as far as I know? Who are you and what have you done with my roommate?”
“Andy, I’m willing to do you a favor because: your girlfriend of two years broke up with you, you’re my friend, and I think I can remember how to suck a dick pretty well. What’s the problem?” said Joe, sounding a little offended. “You know most guys would jump at the chance for a free blowjob.”
“I live with you, man! And you’re a man!” This was surreal, like something out of a bad TV show. Andy started to wonder whether he was dreaming all this - what were the odds of both Carla and Joe acting so crazy in one day? For a second he felt a little weirded out, then remembered that this was Joe he was talking to.
His roommate gave him a flat look. “You’re kidding me, right? I didn’t figure you for being uptight about catching the gay or some shit. What the fuck does it matter as long as it feels good?”
What indeed… Andy stared at his beer, mind blank. He’d been planning a much better evening than just sitting around, drinking beer and watching a couple of guys humping. That original plan had included a blowjob at some point. So he had missed the concert, and hanging out with Carla, and the actual sex, but… he didn’t have to miss everything.
“Promise you won’t tell anyone?” he said weakly.
Joe made the Boy Scout salute. “Cross my heart and hope to die. This is just a favor between friends, okay? I’m not gonna say anything if you don’t want me to.”
Andy gulped down the last of the beer, and carefully put it on the floor. He was still conflicted, but a very big, very petty part of him wanted to let Joe do it. The same part of him said fuck Carla, she had her chance, just take what you can get.