Chapter 27: The Runaway, Part II

Sometimes people come back into your life…

Sometimes men come back into your life right when you need a new story, and that’s what Elijah, The Runaway, did for me. 

If you don’t remember, Elijah was the guy from Orlando that I went out with last year, had a great time with at the arcade bar, but then on our second hangout he literally got up and walked out of my apartment without a word when he realized that I wasn’t going to put out that night. Here’s a refresher if you need it.

So, are you ready to hear about his reappearance into my life? Good, because I’m ready to tell you.

Not too long ago, I woke up to a text from Elijah simply saying, “Hey.” I was bored, so I responded, and he asked me if I was in Boston still, and I said yes. We started talking a bit, and eventually when I had the perfect moment to do so, I called him out on what he’d done to me a year before and asked if he was going to do that again. He said no, and he apologized for the way that he’d left things that night.  

We talked for a bit, and he really seemed to have changed. He seemed genuinely sorry for what had happened, and kept saying that he was surprised but very happy that I had even responded to him. I told him that while it sometimes bites me in the butt, I do try to give people two chances most of the time. But, after those two chances, you’re done. 

Ultimately, after talking for a bit and catching up, we made plans to hang out. Elijah is not the biggest movie buff, apparently, and he has a whole list of movies he’s never seen and was asking me for my favorite Halloween movie so he could add it to the list. Mine is the original “Friday the 13th,” and he said he’d never seen it. So, we decided that he’d come over and we’d watch it together and maybe I could help him cross some more movies off the list as time went on. 

He kept telling me how excited he was, and honestly, I was, too! I had really enjoyed my first date with him, and while in the moment I was too drunk and too focused on my hash browns, I was disappointed when he walked out on me. He was funny, we had a good time, and it wasn’t fun to have him disappear like that. I was really looking forward to getting together again. 

He came over a few nights later, and pretty quickly we picked things right back up where we left off. It wasn’t weird at all, and even though just to be safe I had my pepper spray in my pocket, I realized pretty quickly that I didn’t need it. I felt comfortable and safe, and it was really fun to just have someone to hang out with, joke around with, and cuddle. 

I made a bunch of chocolate chip cookies for him and opened up a bottle of wine, and after catching up for a bit, we started the movie. After a bit of watching, we ended up cuddling, which was totally fine with me. I’d told him going into the night not to expect anything, and he kept saying that he’d be happy even if he got to hold my hand. When I got scared, he hugged me, when he got scared, I hugged him, we laughed at the amazing fashion featured in the movie (apparently I have a thing for jorts?), and he got to cross a movie off of his list.

My cookies are better than these.
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While we were talking before the movie started, he was telling me a bit about some things he’s been working on in therapy, and explained how something they’d spoken about recently made him think of me, which is why he reached out. I don’t want to violate HIPAA and tell you what that is, but I thought it was sweet that he still thought about me and that I was the one that came to mind when he realized he needed to take some responsibility for things. He kept saying he was grateful I’d answered and that I’d invited him over, and I said there were no hard feelings – it was in the past, we can’t change it, we were both drunk, and it was okay. Let’s move on. 

After the movie, he started to give me a massage. He’d offered beforehand, and I’m never one to turn down a free massage, and he said like how I bake for people to show affection and appreciation, he offers massages. Plus, he wanted to show that he really did appreciate me forgiving him. The massage was amazing, and it definitely relaxed me even more, and it was just really nice to be close to someone again after almost 7 months of social distancing. After a bit, he asked if it was okay if he kissed me, and I said yes. 

We kissed, and after a bit, we decided to go into my room. I made it explicitly clear that we would NOT be having sex that night – I wasn’t ready, and it was not an option – and he kept saying that even by kissing me he’d already gotten to do more than he expected. We kept things pretty PG-13/high school for the most part, but it was actually kind of fun and very different from what I’m used to with guys trying to go straight to third base. 

We realized that the T was not running that late, and I didn’t want to make him get an Uber, and honestly I was happy to be borrowing some body heat from a human body and not my pillow so I said he could stay. He ended up spending the night, which was nice for me, the cuddle queen, and in the morning, I made waffles, we ate, and then he left.

While we were eating, I told him about my blog and that he was on it and he thought it was cool, and pretty funny, though I’m not sure he’s going to think it’s very funny now.

Over the next few days, we talked a bit via text and actually, a few times, he even called me on the phone just to say hi, or because he missed my voice. It was so sweet and given how some guys I’ve dealt with make me feel like asking for a phone call is like asking for a marriage proposal, again, it was just nice. A breath of fresh air. 

Even though we had already made out and everything, I did try to keep the talks not too flirty. I didn’t want him getting the wrong idea, but at the same time, I’d said multiple times at this point that I wasn’t ready to have sex, and wanted to take things slow right now, and he’d agreed. But, I felt like it was okay to be kind of flirty from time to time, and I just made sure to reiterate that this was an “if/when” kind of thing, not a “next time I see you” thing. 

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We made plans to hang out a few nights later, the night of the NBA semi-finals, because I have access to cable and he wanted to watch. We also decided to play Never Have I Ever, and since I’d recently been apple picking and had so many apples still, I made us mini apple cobblers and apple cider moscow mules (which were amazing). He did come over with a backpack, which I thought was kind of presumptuous, but I brushed it off. 

We played Never Have I Ever, which was fun to spend more time getting to know each other after playing the question game last time, my moscow mules and apple cobblers were delicious and gone very quickly, and it was nice to just hang out. We cuddled and he gave me another massage, and just like last time, he asked me if he could kiss me, and I said yes. 

After a minute, he asked if we could go into the kitchen. I said yes, because I figured a change of scenery is nice, plus this way, none of the neighbors in opposite corner units from me could see me like I’m sure they’ve caught me having solo dance parties before. On the way there, I said again that we wouldn’t be having sex, and it wasn’t personal. He basically scolded me for saying that, saying that saying “it’s not personal” makes it sound like it is personal, so I apologized. I think that was the moment when it started to really kill my vibe. 

Once we were in there, though, I could tell even with that there was something he wanted me to do. While I did consider doing so for a minute, just to get it over with, honestly, I realized that I didn’t want to, and just because in the past I’ve given into things because it was easier than causing a scene or having a fight, I didn’t want to do that anymore. I wasn’t in the mood, and I still wasn’t ready. 

He could tell I wasn’t in the mood, but instead of reading the room and being like, “Hey, let’s just not do anything tonight,” he then directed me back to the couch and asked if I wanted to show him the kind of porn I watch. Honestly, I don’t watch porn, it’s just not my thing, but I’m not naive enough to not know where to find it or what the types of categories are, and I figured that this was a much more hands-off approach and more my speed at the time, so it was a better alternative. Then things got weird in a way I don’t even want to write about, and AGAIN he could tell I was not feeling it, but AGAIN he tried to steer the night into the opposite direction from where I wanted. 

This time, he asked me if I could show him my toys, and I just went with it because I figured if I did this right and made some juvenile jokes or something, maybe I could kill his mood. I did not succeed in my mission, unfortunately, and we ended up getting into my bed.

Chapter 10: The Cancer

As things were fizzling with Al, I decided to get back on dating apps – mostly Bumble and Hinge – and I matched with a few guys that honestly, were entertaining me more than anything else, so I didn’t really pursue any of them . But once Al ghosted me, I realized I needed to really put myself back out there because I didn’t want to think that all guys were jerks, and I deserved to meet some good ones. So, I decided to start actually going out on some dates. This is what led to me meeting PJ, otherwise known as The Cancer. PJ is an engineer, not from Boston originally, and had recently moved to the area, and is the epitome of the Cancer sign he was born under, hence his nickname. 

PJ and I had been chatting for awhile, first on the app, then via text, and one night, he asked me if I was free for a drink. While I had already kind of settled on that night being a Netflix and early to bed night, I decided to be spontaneous and say yes. He lived a bit outside the city, but offered to drive in, so we decided to meet at the Tavern in the Square for a drink. I quickly dressed, and got there a few minutes early where I witnessed an interesting interaction with a VERY drunk patron and one of the hosts there. After the drunk guy left, I stood and joked with the host about it while I waited. PJ showed up a bit later, and almost immediately had something rude to say about the “pretty boy” host not doing his job and talking to me instead. Clearly, he was jealous. Strike one. But, we had a drink there, talked a bit, and overall, he seemed pretty nice. I wasn’t super attracted to him, but I was trying to be better about not ruling someone out immediately just because of non-existent physical attraction, so I kept the date going. 

After a drink or two there, we decided to go to a bar in Faneuil Hall that does karaoke. We didn’t end up singing, but we met some cool people at the bar and hung out for a bit, talked a lot, and then decided to wander a bit more before ending up back at Tavern for a night cap. We said good night, and I went home.

The next day, he asked me if I liked brunch, which of course I do, so we made plans to have Sunday brunch the following day. We went to a place in Somerville called Rosebud, and while there I started to see more signs that this was not exactly going to be a love connection. We seemed to have different values and priorities, and the attraction was just not there for me, but again, he seemed pretty nice so I decided to just keep enjoying it for what it was and broach the subject when it came up. He drove me home after brunch, and I went about my day.

After that date, I kind of avoided him for a while. I didn’t think I was feeling it, but finally, after him asking to see me several times, I finally gave in. My friends convinced me that I should give someone three chances to decide how I really feel about them, and being totally honest, considering how hard it was to get the guys like Christian and Al to commit to making any plans with me, it was kind of refreshing to have someone so into spending time with me. I decided to give him one more chance.

Cancer – The Crab.
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We went to dinner at Faneuil Hall, then got ice cream, and while I was ready to go home after that he convinced me to go to this outdoor space called The Lawn on D, so we hung out there for a bit before going to a dueling piano bar across the street. It was actually really fun there, so I was happy I decided to stay out, but PJ had some serious issues with other guys there simply smiling at me or apologizing to me for being in my way. Again, the insecurities and jealousy were coming out in full force. Strike two. Besides which, I felt like at this point if he was really into me he would have tried to kiss me or something by now, but he never even touched me. I will never judge or get mad at someone for being respectful, but it was sort of weird seeing as he seemed to want to date me, but I’d never gotten any sign from him that he was attracted to me either.

After that third date, I was positive that I wasn’t feeling any kind of romantic connection with him and didn’t want to waste anyone’s time anymore. So I texted him and said that he was a great guy, but I wasn’t feeling the spark, and wished him all the best. But he wanted to be friends. I know that 9/10 times that a guy still wants to be “just friends” after being rejected he’s going to keep trying, but I thought maybe, just maybe, he would be that one out of ten. He was not.

This was around when I began referring to him as “The Cancer.” He was borderline obsessed with me. And while I consider myself a confident person, I really don’t understand it. By the last half of our third date, I was disagreeing with everything he said just to get him disinterested in me, and shutting down on him because I didn’t want him to get too attached before I had to tell him I wasn’t interested in him, but apparently to him this was just me playing hard to get because it somehow made him even more interested. He continued to ask me to hang out in settings that seemed much more like a date than two friends just hanging out. He tried to get me to come over and cuddle. A few weeks after me telling him I didn’t see a relationship coming out of this, he asked me to be his roommate – even though I’d never given him ANY kind of hints about wanting or needing a roommate (especially one who didn’t live anywhere near the public transportation I needed, and who has a dog that was way above my apartment’s weight limit) – saying he thought we’d be great roommates after three months of knowing each other… no. He did NOT seem to get that I was simply not interested, no matter how many times I tried to tell him. He was just coming on way too strong, and I felt like I couldn’t get him to back off, no matter how obvious I tried to make it without being downright mean. 

I feel like here is where I need to give a brief explanation of astrology, for anyone who isn’t familiar. I’m a Sagittarius, which is a Fire sign, my rising sign is Cancer, and my moon is Libra. So, while to the world I come across as emotional and sensitive, caring, and intuitive (which I totally am), I see myself as fair, balanced, and idealistic, but who I really am is honest, independent, adventurous, and optimistic. Cancer is a Water sign. Fire and Water do not and cannot coexist in nature. But, a lot of those traits that are due to me being a Fire sign make me very attractive to Water signs. Especially Cancers. When talking to someone who knows even more about astrology than I do, it was basically explained to me that because of my Rising sign, he thought I was more like him than I am, and then when my Sun sign traits started to come out more, they both attracted him but also made him want to stifle me in that area to equal the playing field a bit more. Which then made me mad because above all, autonomy and independence are two of the most important things to me. So once I started to pick up on him trying to make me seem more like what he was because he couldn’t have the same Fire traits as me, the more I got angry and was ready to cut him off. 

Anywho, back to the story. PJ continued to try to get me to hang out with him, even though by this point I felt like I had been extremely clear that nothing was going to happen. I wasn’t interested in being friends because I don’t like being disrespected when I say no, and I was getting very aggravated that he just didn’t seem to care what I wanted because his desperation was more important. I hate not feeling listened to and being forced to be the bad guy, so this was all really getting old and his Cancer-ness was starting to REALLY get to me. 

Finally, I guess my standoffishness finally got through to him because he stopped texting me. But this didn’t last forever. Earlier this year, he texted me yet again asking me to get drinks. I thought that maybe he’d changed, maybe he wouldn’t be so annoying. Besides, I had quit my job that was essentially taking over my life because I had no time or energy to be social, and I really needed to get out of my apartment. So I agreed. 

Sagittarius – The Archer.
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He picked me up and we went to Earl’s in the Prudential Center, and had some drinks. Yet again, his jealousy showed up when he made a face because the bartender was extra nice to me. Side note – why would a guy ever think that’s attractive? It’s not. We actually had a semi decent time. He was still single, I told him about some of my failed dates from the few months before, we laughed at my misfortune, and it wasn’t too bad. I finally told him that he was way too much of a Cancer for me to ever really get along with, and he tried to argue with me and defend himself but he actually just proved my point even more, which I thought was pretty funny. 

Then, he asked me if I’d been intimate with anyone lately, to which I responded it was absolutely none of his business, and he more or less (definitely more) tried to convince me to sleep with him that night. He kept talking about how great he is in bed (maybe this is just me, but I feel like the more you feel like you have to say you’re good in bed, the worse you actually are) and how he’d never left a woman “unsatisfied.” I tried to change the subject or at least steer it away from him bragging about himself, but again, he didn’t take the hint. I told him I wasn’t into that and didn’t care about his “skills” with other girls, but for some reason he still felt like on the way out of the restaurant, he just had to say to me that, “It would be really good if I ever changed my mind,” or something like that. Ew. 

Afterwards, I was hungry so I bought us each a slice of pizza from Eataly. It was there that he tried to bait me into a political argument for reasons unbeknownst to me. He was being very insensitive and not very open to other opinions, including mine. Both of which are serious pet peeves of mine. I also just don’t get why you’d try to start a political debate with someone at 10:00pm. Meanwhile, I’m just trying to scarf down this pizza as quickly as possible so I can get home and away from him. 

The last and final strike came on the drive home. I offered to take a Lyft but he refused, so I went ahead and let him give me a ride. He was so crude the whole ride, very obviously STILL trying to get me to invite him in so he could get in my pants. Then, at a red light, out of nowhere he reached over and tickled me. Fun fact, I HATE being tickled. It’s not like, “Oh haha don’t tickle me,” I actually start to panic and feel like I can’t breathe after awhile, and especially considering how uncomfortable he’d been making me for the past hour, I was not enjoying it in the slightest. I also just don’t like anyone thinking they can touch me without me at least sending some sort of signals that it’s okay, and I can’t think of a single time that I sent him a signal that that would ever be okay. His inability to read the room is unparalleled. 

I freaked out and told him to stop, which he did, but after that, I was officially done. I’d tried being nice, I’d even tried being kind of mean, but he was just. Not. Getting. It. When we got to my building, I barely said good night before getting out of the car and going upstairs. The next morning when he tried to text me, I blocked his number and then blocked him on all social media, too. 

While I still stand by my theory that he’s just the epitome of a Cancer, I’m not convinced that he just also lacks any social awareness. I can’t think of any other reason why he’d continue to text me trying to hang out after I’d been both upfront and passive aggressive about not being interested. Maybe some people are into that kind of borderline obsession, but not me. So, if you’re a Pisces, Taurus, Virgo, or a Scorpio in search of a sensitive soul who’ll “satisfy your needs,” I’ve got a guy for you. Me, on the other hand? I’ll be holding out for my Leo or Aries.