Chapter 16: The Classmate

Timing always ruins everything, doesn’t it? 

My Senior year of college, I was taking one of my last couple of classes to fulfill my Business Administration minor, and in the class there was a really cute guy, whom I’ll call Sam. 

Sam is not American, and very much fulfilled my “type” of tall, dark, and handsome. He was smart, respectful, and even though we didn’t have the same opinions on everything, we got along well. Even though this was right after I’d met Christian and was still hung up on him in a lot of ways, I still had eyes, and Sam was definitely catching mine. 

One day after class, Sam asked me if I wanted to get lunch with him, and I accepted. I’ll never forget walking across campus to grab sandwiches at Rebecca’s (man, do I miss those sandwiches) when a girl ran up to whisper to me that my skirt had gotten caught on the corner of my bag and I was exposing half of my butt to everyone nearby. Somehow, Sam either didn’t hear or didn’t make any reaction (which is funny because I later learned he’s definitely a booty guy), so after adjusting myself and getting myself a bit less flustered, we had a really nice lunch. 

He did ask me out on a more formal date, but given that I was still wrapped around Christian’s finger, and Sam is also a couple of years younger than me, I said no. But, he was really nice about it, and never treated me any differently because of it so we stayed friendly even after I graduated. 

Over the years, even when he graduated and moved back to his home country, we messaged quite often. He’ll be the first to admit that he pretty much always responds to any thirst traps I post, and that sliding into my DMs was his move of choice. I’m not going to lie and say I didn’t like the complimentary comments and messages, because I totally did, and even looked forward to them if I’m being completely honest. I may or may not have posted a few things purposely to catch his attention. Especially as I started to realize what a horrible experience I’d had with Christian, and that he had held me back from other men a lot, I began to think more about what could have happened if I hadn’t said no to that date with Sam back in college. 

So, I started putting out feelers of my own. I began initiating more conversations, allowing and encouraging them to get flirtier as time went on. Obviously, I knew that with him living in another country it would not go anywhere serious, but I felt like I had missed out on so much by not really living my life the way I wanted to, and constantly worrying about what Christian would say or do or think about what I was doing, and I just didn’t want to feel like that anymore. Plus, I had always had a bit of a crush on Sam so if he still seemed interested in me, I didn’t want to miss out on another chance to get to know him better.

After talking for awhile, I learned that he had been starting to think about making plans to come back to the States to visit friends in different cities, and the more we talked, the more it seemed that he was thinking of making that trip sooner rather than later. Eventually, he decided on dates to make the trip (after conferring with me that they’d match up with my days off from work), and we started to talk about what sorts of things we might do while he was in town. 

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As you might imagine, some of these things we talked about doing were of the adult variety, but considering that, from our conversations, I’d come to realize he was much more experienced than me, I was surprised to eventually find out that he was choosing to wait until marriage to have sex, so that was off the table. I would never, ever judge someone for their choices, and again, I like Sam, so I’d obviously never put him in a weird position, so that was totally okay with me, even though I knew it would be hard once he was there. Which, spoiler alert, it was. 

A few of my friends at work knew about “The Classmate” that was coming to town, and considering that this was a much better (and happier) story than The Cheater, I was excited for him to get to Boston. When he got into the city, he came right to my apartment since I’d offered to let him stay at my place (unlike The Host, I do actually have a guest room) for the couple of days he was there before visiting a couple more cities, and then staying at an AirBNB when he came back to Boston at the end to fly back home. 

It was really fun for me, too, because he knew a lot of good restaurants that I hadn’t tried yet. We got burgers in Cambridge, had an amazing breakfast at a diner in the South End, had Greek food, and the most amazing white chocolate macadamia cookies I have ever had. 

We talked a lot, and walked a lot to and from our various dining experiences which gave us more chances to talk, and overall just had a really nice time. He also got me hooked on “The Blue Planet” on Netflix. At that point, I probably felt the most comfortable and confident with him than with anyone else I’d been with up to then, and after the first night, I wasn’t even thinking about how I wouldn’t be getting a “home run,” so to speak, because everything else was more than enough. Plus, he’s a REALLY great cuddler. He was the best at treating me exactly how I like in the bedroom, and exactly how I like to be treated outside of it, which I feel like is hard to find. Of course I’d find it with the guy who lives thousands of miles away, right?

While he was doing his tour of a few other American cities and visiting friends there, we still talked a bit, but I also wanted him to enjoy his time with his friends, and for the first time, I genuinely didn’t feel nervous that we weren’t in constant communication. Maybe because I knew it wasn’t a serious thing or anything, it was just a couple of weekends of fun, but also, I think I just know that he really doesn’t have it in him to be an asshole so I didn’t have to worry about him screwing me over or anything. It was very refreshing. 

When he came back to Boston near the end of his American tour, I stayed with him for a night at his AirBNB where again, the cuddling was on point and the only thing better was the episode of “The Blue Planet” that we watched (or maybe they’re tied). Then, he stayed at my place again the night before he had to leave. 

I still talk to Sam and consider him a good friend, and he has cleared me writing this and given his approval on what I can and can’t share, so I don’t want to give too much away but I will say that after being with him, I now know how Christian must have felt with me at least in the beginning of our involvement when I told him that I couldn’t have sex with him because I was waiting for marriage (oops), so I gave off this innocent vibe, but then I went in a totally different direction when engaging in any of the things that were ‘okay’ to do. Sam is very much the same way, at least with me. Gotta love sexual repression due to your religion, right? 

Actually, in a lot of ways, Sam reminds me of myself and if I had to pick one person who reminds me the most of the male version of me, at least that I’ve had in my life so far, I’d say it’s him. We have similar personalities and values, we’re both empathetic and understanding, and enjoy a lot of the same types of music, shows, and just general interests. Because of that, I’d say he’s one of the few guys I’ve felt like I can truly, 100% be myself around and not feel like I’m walking on eggshells worried something I say or do might piss or turn him off. 

So with all of that, plus the fact that on the last morning he bought us about $50 worth of breakfast foods from The Friendly Toast before canceling plans with friends to spend his whole last day with me, it should be no surprise that I was a bit sad when he left, and I may or may not have cried a little. But of course, he could not have been nicer and told me that even though he would like to come back to the USA someday, he hopes that I’m with a great guy by then because, “that’s exactly what I deserve.” 

Really, I don’t think it was having major feelings for him as much as it was thinking, like, “Really? I could have done this five years ago and instead I shot him down for a narcissistic pothead?” combined with a bit of, “Of course, I finally hang out with someone that I like, and I like how he makes me feel about myself, and he lives in an entirely different country.” But at the end of the day, I did recognize it for exactly what it was – a couple of fun weekends with a genuinely great guy that I’m lucky to still call a friend – and didn’t romanticize the situation too much. However, he did admit that I was the motivation for making his US trip a bit sooner than planned, so for any guys in my future – I will not take your excuses for being too busy to talk to or hang out with me because he literally flew halfway across the world for me. 

So yes, sometimes, timing sucks, but if you’re lucky, it can end up working out in the end – even if it’s just for a weekend or two. 

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