Maybe it was the dawn. The light breaking ever so subtly, melting away the night. Maybe it was his chest, rising and falling with perfect rhythm, despite the pack of Marlboros in his truck. The way his hands flew to my stomach in his hazy half-awake state, his breath catching for just a moment, then releasing, so easily, while I stayed. Tense, way too awake for 5 AM, afraid to move.
Whatever it was, on that late-March morning, I found myself on the corner of boredom and desperation. And for much too long, I stayed there. I flirted with the idea of being with someone I knew I shouldn’t be with. He was my antithesis, our differences stemming from politics and blossoming into a nasty competition to be right, then naked, then to finish first. It was brutal and nasty and wrong and right and then wrong again.
I was bored. Living at home, in a sort of career limbo—technically done with school, but no diploma yet. I wanted something, and he wanted me. So. I did it. I let myself fall into something that was easy, and fast, and meaningless. I needed something to fulfill me, in any capacity, so I did it. I should have realized my emptiness wasn’t something a boy could change.
I was desperate. It had been months since my last involvement with a guy, and I wanted to feel wanted. I wanted to be looked at, I wanted to be wound into arms, held tight and kissed. Even if it was only for a night. I wanted something, and I ran to the first thing I could think to do.
One night stands were always something I had adamantly abhorred up until about six months ago. After I was raped, sex lost its taboo to me. For the longest time I’d thought of it as dirty and wrong and something only married couples should be allowed to partake in. Now, feel free to delve into the societal implications of that all you want, but the point remains that up until it was taken from me, my virginity meant something to me. After navigating my sexuality for a while, I realized that I actually enjoy sex, and it doesn’t exactly make me feel bad about myself.
I thought I could do it. I thought I could remain casual about that March night. But something about this was different. I knew him, I knew his worth, his beliefs, his sense of humor, his car. I knew too much, and I didn’t know what to do.
Soon, our one-night stand turned into a two-nighter. I didn’t know what I expected, maybe a declaration that this was the best sex he’d ever had and it was because of me. Maybe I’d feel more complete or happier or something. I still have no clue why I did it, I wanted to bond or something. I wanted to feel that closeness, that connection. But when that dawn came, so boldly, thrashing through the dark of his room, echoing the day, whispering in my ear that I’d made a mistake–I ran.
For me, the beauty of a one-night stand lies in its biology. It’s the DNA of a one-night stand to be short, quick, drunk, casual. To not know the person that well. To use and be used and then be done. But as soon as I ran back to him that second night, it was over. I’d destroyed the fling and become a casualty of desperation and boredom.
In our opposition, there was beauty. At least to me there was. There were witty comments and sassy exchanges, all said with a smile and a shake of the head. There was potential for something more, I had been thinking before the day broke. I could do this. I could settle for this. Sure, we had our differences and might never be able to calmly discuss politics or if Drake or Kendrick Lamar was a better rapper, but isn’t all that friction good? Don’t you want friction in a relationship?
But then the sun came, a sliver of bright white hitting me directly in the eye through the blinds on his window—shaking me awake from the hangover and the delusion that this thing could ever exist outside his bedroom.
Soon, I was outside. The world had started over while I lay there, contemplating him and me and us.
Maybe it was my feet. Staggering towards my ride home. Maybe it was my upper thigh, the bruises he’d left there a reminder that not all good sex was soft and sweet, and neither was I, no matter what my family might think. Maybe it was the Bible on his night stand, an ironic thing to be sitting right by his bed, staring at me while he came.
Maybe it was just me. Realizing that I can do better, no matter what season of my life I’m in. I can do a one-night stand and leave it at that, but I can also do more. Boredom and desperation led me somewhere I didn’t think I would ever be at my age: ready for something real.