As I typed his name into the Facebook search box, I knew it was a bad idea. But I did it anyway. Just like I clicked on his face when I found his profile knowing it was a bad idea, and sent him a message.
“I was just talking about you the other day. Thought I’d have a little Facebook stalk to see if you were around – and here you are! How are you? It’s been a really long time. I hope you’re well!”
I’m such a fucking moron.
Number 24: The Older Guy was a guy I dated when I was around 17/18 years old. He was a few years older: 35 or 36. We met in a pub that I worked at; a pub that was well-known for being a local squaddie haunt. And, surprise surprise, he was a soldier.
“You have the softest stomach I’ve ever seen. Can I please stroke it?”
It was the weirdest chat-up line I’d ever heard, but it worked. I laughed, he laughed, his three mates laughed, and then he slid his number across the bar to me. It might’ve been an odd compliment, but it gave my self-esteem a boost and put him well and truly on my radar. Not that I really needed the self-esteem boost back then. I was just discovering the power of my sexuality at that age, and I didn’t seem to have a problem attracting men. In fact, I attracted so many men that my life was constant man-trouble. I even got into trouble with my boss at the pub for dating customers and making things … complicated. [Translation: soldiers were starting to pine for me at the bar, plus there was an actual fight with fists and everything once.]
Number 24 had a motorbike, and a daughter, and an ex-wife. He acted a lot younger than he was, and I absolutely loved being his little bit of eye-candy. We dated for about a year, on and off, though I’m not really sure we were actually properly dating. I was definitely sleeping with other people, and judging from the baby he had with another woman, he definitely didn’t count our ‘thing’ as exclusive.
And what was our ‘thing’? It was mostly sex. Naughty weekends at his, or spending time at whatever army barracks he was based at. We had a lot of fun, eating dinky donuts at the seaside or throwing our pennies in the arcade machines, and there was also the odd night out too. I took him out clubbing with my friends one night and it was quite the eye-opening experience. I hadn’t realised just how old he looked next to me until he was literally the oldest person in the club. Not that it made any difference to me; I’ve been attracted to older men for my entire life. I relish the attention it brings. I don’t know why that is.
We never really had an ending. We just stopped having sex and talking to each other, a little bit like mutual ghosting. It was a shame, really; we had some really awesome sex. We fucked in every room of his army-base house, and then there was that time we got super frisky in the shower at his mother’s house while he was house-sitting for her. He told me that the only place we couldn’t fuck was the kitchen counter, so of course I made it my mission to do just that. And I won. I always won with him. He couldn’t keep his hands off me. I didn’t want him to.
“I dare you to get naked,” he said to me once, on a motorway somewhere between my place and his. I was never one to turn down a dare, so I got naked. And then, because I could already see his erection bulging against his shorts, I placed my feet on the dashboard, reached my hand down in between my legs, and made myself cum.
“Fuck me, I’m a lucky guy!” he proclaimed, eyes wide and trying desperately to focus on the road.
“Wait until we get back to yours,” was my retort. “I will absolutely fuck you.”
And I absolutely did, in every room of his army barracks house. I didn’t think much about him having an actual house at the time, but now I realise that it probably came with a family attached. Single squaddies rarely get a whole house to themselves, in my experience. It’s just one red flag of many that I missed at the time.
After our mutual ghosting and his new baby, we didn’t speak for a number of years. I was living in Deutschland with my army-boy husband and up popped a Facebook message from him one New Year’s Eve.
“Letting you go was one of the biggest mistakes I ever made,” he told me.
“Aren’t you married??” I responded.
“Yes I am, but letting you go was still one of the biggest mistakes I ever made.”
I tried to ignore him, assuming he was drunk, but it played on my mind for a little while. I didn’t realise I’d had that much of an impact on him. Considering we were dating-slash-sleeping-together for almost a year, I didn’t really have relationshippy feelings for him at all. It’s not like we ever said ‘I love you’ or had the exclusivity chat. We were both fucking other people. Our thing, whatever it was, wasn’t love-based at all. Sex and fun-based, more like.
Back to the here and now, Number 24 still hasn’t responded to my Facebook message. Maybe that’s for the best? It’s not like I need more men to juggle, plus I’m in an I-love-you relationship with One Ball now …
Kinda hoping he does respond though!