What’s it like looking for love in a hook-up culture? This was the question I asked myself while being nosy. I was sitting next to a 20-something woman when she received a text that simply read, “wyd.” I wasn’t trying to look and my eyesight sucks, so I’m not even sure how I was able to read that, but I did lol. My eyes just literally went there on their own ??♀️, I promise. Anyway she rolled her eyes at the message and put her phone away and from her reaction I was inspired to write a story. I’m not sure if she ever responded. I don’t even know if the text came from someone she’s been intimate with. But the idea for the story came to mind and here is the result. I’ve had this photo saved in my photo inspo stash and thought it was perfect to build on the story I had. I wrote this during that bus ride and forced myself to only edit it twice. I’m a serial perfectionist so the latter is a struggle for me, but I write these stories with no outline, zero character development, and less editing to challenge myself… but I digress.
This month, I have a couple more stories publishing. All with a different take on love. I’m in the minority who believes there isn’t a right or wrong way to fall in love. I do think we can find it in ways that makes us happy and not base our choices on what others feel is right or acceptable. And this story illustrates that.
718-555-0214: Hey stranger. It’s been a minute.
I stared at the text, my brows furrowed, the side of my top lip hiked.
What am I doing?! Living life. Well enough that the ghost of hook-ups past decided to slide in my text messages.
I hate when that happens.
Why does that always happen?
Life is going great for me, skin finally flawless and glowing thanks to me waking up every morning to no man problems. I’m feeling good about self because I’m happy with myself, alone, and here he comes with his wyd text.
“Ohhh.” My girl Stacy gushed. She stretched her neck in my direction while leaning in closer. Being Ms. Nosy. “Who that over there hitting you up at 11:34 at night?”
I kissed my teeth and brought the rim of my wineglass to my lips to take a sip. “Remember that dude I told you about? The one I spent that ‘undressing session’ with?” I scooted my chair closer to her and whispered, “the one who had me… you know.”
“Mm-hmm,” she said, her voice elevated. “You mean the guy who had you squirting like crazy? Had you thinking he broke something down there?”
I closed my eyes tight while shaking my head. When I reopened them, I noticed two bar patrons’ heads turned in our direction. I gave them the universal what-you-lookin’-at stare before slapping Stacy’s arm with the back of my hand.
I glared at her for emphasis.
“Can you say that a little louder next time?” I said through a clenched jaw. “I don’t think the people across the street heard you clear enough.”
She snorted. “Oh, please Danielle. There ain’t nothing to be shy about for squirting. Squirt until your heart is content. Hell, squirt until you’re dehydrated.”
“Oh my God. Really, Stacy?!”
She giggled. “Anyway, what’s he telling you? You know the only reason he’s hitting you up at this hour is—”
“To come through and chill,” we said at the same time, with finger quotes.
“Which is fine,” I added. “If he didn’t go ghost on me… over a year ago.”
I rolled my eyes. “Why would he just blow my mind, claim my body, and go MIA like that?”
“What you mean MIA? Y’all haven’t been talking this whole time? Y’all hooked up so long ago.”
“So… why haven’t you two kept in contact.”
“Because after everything was over with he never called me. The few days after, I’d call him but my call went straight to voicemail.”
“Hmph. See that’s why I change my number every six months. Throws them off my scent.”
My phone vibrated again with the same text notifications on my home screen.
“Shit,” I whispered.
“What’s the hesitation?”
“You wanna meet up with him, huh?”
I dropped my head, disappointed in myself. “You know I do.”
“Well I say do it.”
“You would,” I countered. “But what happens when this ninja smashes and goes missing again?”
“You won’t care this time, if… you fuck him with sense. Meet up with him knowing it’s a booty call,” she explained before pausing to finish the last of her drink. “Unless that man spends the night and offers to make you or buy you breakfast in the morning you need to keep love off the brain. This is only a fuck. That’s it.” She pointed at me. “Understand?”
I stared at her.
“Don’t even look at me like that.”
I giggled. “Sometimes I wonder if you’re really a woman.”
“I’m a woman here.” She patted the space between her breasts. “But I’m a man up here,” she said pointing at her right temple. “Ladies is pimps too,” she rapped.
“Okay, pimp. I got time.” I grinned. “Why breakfast?”
“Any meal really, but since the morning is when you’ll see him after you hook-up again, breakfast will have to do.”
I arched a brow.
“Fucking doesn’t require much talking. I mean… some talking is necessary but nothing to build on besides a nut.” She winked. “Now, sitting down to eat is another story. Unless the chemistry between you two is wack. But if the chemistry is where it needs to be with your clothes on, you have no choice but to talk. And that talking leads to getting to know each other better. Getting to know each other better leads to finding things you like about the person. Finding things you like about the person makes you want to be around them more. Being around them more makes it difficult to imagine life without them being around. Soon after that comes the boyfriend, girlfriend label. Finally… boom!” She slapped her palms together. “You fall in love.”
“Girl.” I laughed.
“You laugh, but you know what I’m saying is true.” She giggled. “You love, love, Danielle. Never learned how to fuck without heart and with sense. You’re always pining for a relationship. It’s a wonder how you’ve been single for over a year. Hmm, isn’t that the last time you two hooked up, water gun?”
“Ugh!” I shoved her. “Whatever.”
Stacy laughed out loud. “Hit him back,” she said, pointing at my phone in my hand. “See what’s up. And remember, unless he’s chillin’ and cookin’ or buying you cookin’ don’t you dare fall in love.”
Text him I did, and he returned one back telling me where we could meet up. In front of the AMC movie theater in Times Square. The bar Stacy and I were at was only a few blocks away from that theater, so the location was perfect.
I met him at an engagement party of all places close to two years ago. He was there to support his boy who was engaged to one of my friends from college. Julian and I first locked eyes outside of the party when he held the door open for me to walk through with my gift.
His eyes drew me in and was the real culprit. They were dark but stunning. There was something magnetic about those eyes. It may have had something to do with his stare he held with me when our eyes met. How engaged his eyes were with mine. Attentive. Like he was paying attention to every word that left my lips. Every syllable uttered. As if he planned to be asked to recite my first words to him after we parted. As he held the door opened he let a sexy smile pull at his lips. And there. Right there is where I’d fucked up. It didn’t take much for him to get my number. All he had to do was ask.
I waited outside the theater for all of five minutes when the back of my neck detected warmth behind me.
“Still look good,” Julian said in my ear. He left a kiss near my earlobe.
I turned to face him and needed to lock my knees in place to keep from stumbling. As if it were possible, Julian still had it. Golden brown complexion, close-cropped hair with neat edges. Expensive cologne to match his expensive winter wardrobe. Over there looking like a snack. And those eyes. Those eyes were mere inches away already going to work undressing me.
The night was chilly. Not the coldest temperature of the season in New York but still cold enough for us to see our breaths in the air. But in that moment it might as well had been Indian summer out there the way he made me tug at my wool scarf to cool my hot skin.
I quickly bit back my smile. “I wouldn’t have to be a stranger.”
He smiled and briefly looked away.
“Julian, it’s been almost two years.” I crossed my arms. “I’m surprised you still had my number saved.”
He turned to glance over his shoulder at the theater’s entrance then looked at me again. “Let’s go in here and see what’s showing.”
I didn’t debate him. I was more curious than combative, eager to hear the excuse he had brewing to justify his convenient disappearance.
We settled on watching a fairly old flick. One that had been in theaters for at least four weeks.
He offered to buy stuff at the concession stand but I passed. There was no need in pussyfooting around when we both understood what we wanted. And what we wanted wasn’t drizzled with butter or powdered in sugar.
While we waited for the movie to start, Julian turned to face me and said, “I’m sorry for not reaching out to you. I figured I’d start with that apology to clear the air.”
I sat silently, waiting for him to continue.
“If it’s any consolation… I never stopped thinking about you or that night.”
And how could he forget? I sure couldn’t.
After exchanging numbers that same night at the engagement party, we texted each other back and forth for over a month. We never had a phone conversation, ever. One night, he asked if he could slide through. I knew what was up and I knew what he was coming to my place for. Never did I think that would be the last time I’d see him… until we linked back up tonight.
Our hookup was explosive. That brother hand delivered sensations I never believed I could feel in waking life. He was like a walking and breathing wet dream. Delivering soul tying orgasms as easily as taking a breath. Julian silenced parts of my consciousness that night that often kept me up at night. Took my body to heights you’d only read about in books. Involuntary bodily movements. Inability to form a thought much less words. Giving me no choice but to be anchored in the right now. The shit was out of this world amazing. So much so, he made my body do something it never did. Squirt. And that must have been the usual because he was so unfazed by it. Pleased even. And he didn’t play to make me do it more than once.
“What’s that supposed to do exactly… you telling me you haven’t stopped thinking about me?” I turned to face him in my seat. “Make me feel better?”
The previews appeared on the screen one after the other as he sat in silence trying to find the right response.
My attention was on the silver screen when he used his finger to turn my face so I’d look at him. “Aight, so here’s what happened. I was—”
“Shh,” an older silver-haired gentleman spat in front of us before turning to look up at Julian and I.
“Shh, what?” Julian asked in a loud whisper. “You need silence for this old ass movie?”
I giggled and tapped him on his chest. “Be nice.”
He looked at me then glared at the guy who had already turned around in his seat to watch the movie. Julian took a deep breath and said, “fine. For you, I’ll chill.”
He lifted his arm and draped it over my shoulder pulling me close to his chest. And I let him. Stayed there inhaling his cologne warming on his skin. Loving the grip of his strong arms hugging my shoulders. He felt good. Too good. So good, Stacy’s words faded in. Those words invited me back to reality. I quickly pulled away from his embrace. I sat up in my seat and pressed my back to my chair. Didn’t even bother looking to my left to see his reaction. It was better that way. But I heard him sigh.
Three hours later, after the movie was over and we grabbed two falafels from a Rafiqi’s food truck parked a block away from the theater, we were standing in my living room. When we arrived, he made small talk. Julian complimented me on my place and my DIY skills. My two-bedroom apartment differed from the one we hooked up in. An upgrade from the studio over a deli. That’s what happens when you focus more on money than men. But I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t lonely. And being in his company made things better. Even if it were only for one night.
After exchanging cordial words, Julian guided me to one wall in my living room.
“That night we hooked up,” he began, “You were giving me a little more than this.” He placed his hand against the v-outline in my jeans. A moan hummed behind my lips. It had been that long.
He traced the fullest part of his bottom lip with his tongue when he heard my reaction. “And I was giving you more too and ended up giving you the wrong impression.”
I wrinkled my brows.
“For me,” he added, “we started out on an attraction. It was only supposed to be physical. But then we got physical, and you served me too much.”
The wrinkles in my brows deepened.
“You were falling, and I wasn’t.”
“No, I was not.” I retorted.
He nodded. “Yeah, you were. And that wasn’t what I was looking for. So after we hooked up, I wanted to call you. Believe me, I wanted to take your phone calls, but I wasn’t looking to build off what we started. So I left you alone.”
I looked away.
He moved closer. “It would have been irresponsible to promise you high without actually promising shit. I’d done it with other females before you, so I knew what the ending of that movie looked like. A lot of wasteful tears and empty threats. Fucking with you again when you’d already caught feelings… that’s what I would have been doing, promising you high without promising you shit. And that would have led to heartbreak and disappointment on your part. I liked you too much so I couldn’t let that happen.”
“Please.” I shook my head while avoiding eye contact. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Why lie to me and yourself? Why you frontin’ for? It’s only you and me here Danielle.”
I looked up at him and we held our stares for a moment.
Finally, I asked, “So knowing that, why did you text me tonight?”
“Because I missed you.”
“But you still only wanna fuck?”
He cringed and stepped back a little. Julian ran his palm down his face and exhaled loud. “I ain’t never had no relationship. Ever. Sex is sex. I get mine you get yours. Done. We go back to our separate beds. When we need it again, we hit each other up and do all that shit again. That’s how I liked to do it.”
I shook my head.
“But I want a little more than that with you, ma. I’m not sure what that more might be, but I’m sure I want it. Like I said, I haven’t stopped thinking about you since that night. Conversation was always rich with you. For the three months we text each other, I got to know you and I liked what I learned..”
He took my hand and brought me close to him. His other hand found a home on my lower back as we stared in each other’s eyes. “And it’s not because you fine as hell.”
He stepped back for a moment to focus his eyes on my breasts and my wide hips. “And got a body that looks like God put in extra time when making you.”
I tightened my lips to keep from smiling.
“I found something in you that I ain’t found anywhere else. So yeah, I do wanna be inside you tonight. In fact, I wanna fuck all night.” He released my hand then pressed his fingertip to my chest near my heart. “But I wanna be inside here too.”
What else was there to say? He was speaking my language. Fluently. So, I pulled him close, pressed my lips to his, and used the tip of my tongue to search for his. We competed for control over each other. Smacking noises sourced by our tongues was the only talking we did. We kissed from my living room to my room and until our clothes laid like rags on my bedroom’s floor.
He guided me to my dresser with the mirror attached and placed the wrapped condom on its surface.
“Tell me how you want it,” he said in my ear.
I smiled while turning my back to him.
He stared at my reflection in the mirror from behind, wrapped his arms around me and palmed my breasts. I leaned my head back against his chest.
The sound of the condom wrapper being ripped apart with his teeth sent a rush of energy to my walls that made a chill crawl down my back. I shivered, goosebumps adding texture to my arms and around my nipples. He showered my neck with kisses, caressed the sides of my hips. Bent me over slowly. He kissed and licked along my back, gliding his tongue down the concave of it.
My essence slicked my inner folds as I waited with anticipation to feel him. He swept my hair off my right shoulder, moved my tresses to one side and kissed me on my shoulder blade as he teased down there, hands free. He slid between my walls slow allowing only the tip to penetrate. I dropped my head forward between my shoulders and gripped the edge of my dresser in response. And when he delivered his first real in-stroke, sliding in again, he gave me all of him.
Just as I remembered… a walking and breathing wet dream.
He sexed me while staring at my reflection.
“You like that?” He asked over my moans
“How ‘bout this?” He wined against me as he moved deeper.
I could only moan in response closing my eyes for only a moment.
I glanced at his reflection and caught him biting his lip as he lowered his view behind me to watch himself work. And like the other time, skilled as he was, he made my juice spill. My honey drip. And I gave in to that liquid climax.
“Mm-hmm.” He hummed his moans in my ear. “Come here and let me serve you something even better.”
Julian turned me around and lifted me midair, placed me on the surface of that dresser facing him and walked between my legs. There, he sexed me even better… as promised. Delaying his finale while multiplying mine. I left oils from my hair strands and fingertips all over my mirror’s surface, and I couldn’t careless about the clean up. They were evidence that he was here, in here, in me. And that shit was hot. In bed is where we ended the night, my hand gripping the column of his shaft to take a seat on top. I did well to serve him my best work… and I lost myself. Convenient amnesia, I completely forgot the plan.
Got caught up.
Fuck it. We only have now right?
He gripped my hips to help me meet his upstrokes.
I cIosed my eyes and let gravity weigh my head back as I fell even deeper under his spell
“Uh-uh, Danielle,” Julian whispered below me. He ran his palms up my torso then palmed my breasts. “Keep them open and on me.”
I folded my lips in my mouth and focused my eyes on his, refusing to blink.
God, I hope this works out this time.
The chirp of birds perched in trees woke me the next morning. My eyes peeled open slow as grogginess cleared. Between my legs ached with stroke cravings, wanting another round. Nothing beat sex in the morning. But when I felt for him, my palms met the folds in the sheets.
I sat up quick and glanced over my shoulder.
“No this motherfucker didn’t,” I whispered.
I peeked over the foot of my bed, examining the floor beneath searching for his clothes.
I grunted. “Shit!”
I threw myself back on my bed, my head landing on my pillow.
“Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.” I slapped my forehead with the ball of my hand with each insult I spat at myself.
How could I be so dumb though?!
I snatched my phone off my night table and called Stacy.
“Tell me everything,” she said the moment she answered.
I kissed my teeth.
“What? Y’all didn’t meet up?” she asked.
There was silence.
She exhaled loudly. “Danielle, you didn’t listen!”
“He was telling me all this shit about wanting something more than a night—”
“Ugh, why you don’t listen?”
“And I believed him—”
I stepped off my bed and walked to my adjoining bathroom.
“I told your ass to fuck with sense,” she scolded
I squeezed a line of toothpaste on my toothbrush and brushed.
“Please don’t start with that bullshit,” I mumbled on my toothbrush.
“It’s only bullshit because you didn’t take it as the gospel. I can’t believe you let that man play you again… again?”
I rinsed my face. “I know.”
“So what happened?”
After towel drying, I grabbed my robe off the clothes hook and poked my arms through, switching the phone from one hand to the next. “I met up with him in front of the theater and we watched a movie. After that we came back here.”
I pulled open my bedroom door and headed toward my kitchen.
The second I turned the corner and walked in my kitchen, I almost swallowed my tongue.
I gasped, flinched, and dropped the phone to the floor
Julian jumped back. Two folded menus fell from his hand. “Yooo, Danielle! What’s wrong with you? You scared the shit out of me.”
I pointed at myself. “I scared the shit out of you?!”
“Announce yourself when you’re entering a room, woman.”
“Excuse you? This is my apartment!”
I could hear Stacy’s high-pitched voice yelling from my phone that laid on my kitchen’s tiled floor.
When I picked it up she was already firing off questions.
“Girl, what the hell is going on? You all right? You need for me to call the cops? Who is that?”
“It’s Julian,” I said looking at him. “The guy I was telling you about.”
“GIRL!” She yelled. “Wait, he’s still there? He stayed afterall? What! Girl—”
“I’ll call you back,” I interjected.
“You better call me right back and tell me ever-ry-thing because—”
Before she could finish her sentence, I ended the call.
I pressed my hand to my chest to calm my fast beating heart, trying to regain any calm I could.
“I thought you left,” I said.
He jerked his head back. “Why would I leave without telling you?”
“I don’t know…” I shrugged. “You didn’t do that the last time. You at least said bye but…”
“Why would I leave, Danielle?” He grinned.
I shrugged again.
He pointed toward my guest bathroom in the hall.
“I woke up and went looking for a spare toothbrush. Couldn’t find it in your master bathroom so I checked the guest bathroom.” He smirked. “I found a few unopened spare toothbrushes… and I also found your pink rabbit.”
I twisted my lips to one side to fight back my smile.
He laughed at my response. “Anyway, I came out to your kitchen to see if I could make something. I was starving, and I figured you were too. Checked your fridge and saw you had nothing in there besides orange juice and bread. You don’t eat?”
I laughed. “I grocery shop on Sundays.”
He nodded. “I found some menus but those are only for Chinese restaurants that don’t open until noon, three hours from now.”
I tried to fight back my smile again but failed this time.
“What? Why are you smiling?”
“My girl,” I began. “She told me that if you offered to make or buy me breakfast, that’s the only way to tell if this is real.”
He smiled and approached me slow, real smooth-like.
Close, he wrapped his arms around my waist and bent his knees low enough for our eyes to be leveled. “Baby girl… I wanna buy you breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Even your snacks.”
I giggled looking away.
He used the tip of his finger to turn my focus back on him.
“I wanna put that sex toy in there in retirement.”
I pushed him away, and he laughed.
“But let’s start with breakfast. There’s a diner a few miles from here that makes great pancakes. We can talk and get to know each other better… with our clothes on.” He smirked. “You down?”
I stared at him for a moment, reading him. Finally, I nodded.
He pulled me close again and whispered in my ear, “For everything after pancakes too?”
I met my eyes with his and smiled. “Yeah. Let me get dressed.”