I need to preface my story with a short explanation of my personality — although I am talkative and gregarious, I am very shy when it comes to sex. I don't typically talk about it, and I've never sent anyone a dirty text or taken sexy pictures or anything like that. It just isn't me.
However, this particular spring was gloomier than usual and I was restless. My days were a whirlwind of after-school activities, PTA meetings and appointments. My relationship with my husband was strained and serious financial problems had cast a dark shadow over our family. The stage was set for me to do something ridiculous and impulsive but honestly, I didn't go looking for trouble. It found me all on its own.
Maybe it was due to the telepathy that I believe exists between people who know each other, or maybe it was just a strange coincidence, but at this time an old friend suddenly got in touch through Facebook and told me that he (in his words) had a crush on me. As he was living over 1000 miles away, I told him I was flattered and didn't think much of it. He was a total goofball, but intelligent and well-read. He was also very open about his strong Christian beliefs, but wasn't what anyone would consider preachy. And he had never said anything like this to me before. He got more persistent, telling me I was beautiful and sexy and could he please have my number. No one had said anything like that to me in a long time, and it felt great to hear.
It took a few days, but despite my misgivings I gave him my number and we began texting back and forth. He'd ask things like, "How would you feel about fucking while I recited poetry?" I told him there was a time for poetry and a time that is decidedly not for poetry, while feeling a strange combination of turned on and creeped-out. Among the dirty texts were occasional quotes from the Bible and CS Lewis, which should have made me think twice but I was riding this train all the way to the station. I was soon deleting texts as soon as I read them, in case I died suddenly and people started to look through my phone.
He began calling occasionally when no one was home, and I fell for it when he told me he loved my voice and my laugh. This was another red flag, as my voice is nothing short of grating and my laugh is obnoxious. I ignored it because I felt like I was ten years younger — confident and attractive. I couldn't remember the last time I had been in such a good mood.
After a week or so of texts and calls, he asked to Skype and I agreed. I was hooked on the attention he gave me and loved it in the self-destructive way some people love drugs or country music. It was late morning and being a grad student, he still wasn't dressed. I was sitting on my bed in jeans and a tank top while I made small talk. He wasn't in the mood for small talk.
"Take your pants off."
"What?" I felt surprised even though I had seen where this was going for a week. I did what he asked and I definitely got a thrill from hearing how gorgeous and perfect he thought my legs were. But then he started telling me exactly what he wanted me to say to him, and I wondered if he talked like this to the nice girls from church he dated. I started to feel ridiculous, but I played along as best I could. After the first few statements I started rolling my eyes at each request, but at that point I don't think he noticed. If I protested at all to what he wanted me to say or how he wanted me to pose, he would tell me I was "overthinking" it and at one point he even said I wasn't obedient enough.
As weird as he was, I was still into him — he made me laugh and read me poems — so when he was done jerking off a couple times, I asked him to come to my city and bring all this into real life.
"I'm saving myself for marriage" was his reply.
I couldn't help it, I started laughing so hard I could barely speak. I told him that I was pretty sure after all the sexting and half-naked Skyping Jesus wasn't going to give him a pat on the back for not having real-life sex. He said he was practicing self-control and I laughed even more. I probably shouldn't have because he launched into a very long lecture about how what we were doing was wrong, and he backed it up with plenty of Scripture. He said he would pray for me and for my marriage. I was confused — this had all been his idea! He said he needed a nap and would text me later. I needed a drink.
That evening I was celebrating a friend's birthday with bottles of wine when he texted again. Nothing fun or flirty this time, just him telling me that I was not helping him reach his goal of finding a wife and that we shouldn't talk anymore. I should have felt relieved, because this dude clearly had a lot of problems he needed to work through. My feelings ended up more complicated than I expected.
I was embarrassed and a little angry that I believed it when he said he really liked me. I was disappointed about returning to my lonely, dull life. Deep in the pit of my stomach I noticed another emotion forming and it caught me completely off guard. I was hurt.
I knew I was being ridiculous. What did I think was going to happen, anyway? Life isn't like a movie, and no one shows up on your doorstep to whisk you away from all of your problems. Still I can't help but wish he would call just to say hi and ask how I'm doing.