“Oh God! Are you gay?”

There I was, sitting on her bed, with nothing but my underwear on, trying hard not to burst out laughing hearing the frustration in her voice.

I met her in a bar a few hours ago, drinking with her friend. And since I was alone, they have asked me to join them, a complete stranger. And at the very minute I sat down beside her, I knew where it was going. The flirtatious glances, the lingering touches on my thigh, her lips almost nibbling my ears every single time she wants to say something; it was clear, we were having sex.

That wasn’t actually the first I got “picked up” at a bar, for some reason that even I do not understand. I’m a guy, not exactly the testosterone induced one most of the time, and I go to bars alone not because I want to hook up, at least not every single time.

I like getting lost in the crowd, giving me the feeling that I am there but not actually there, like hiding on plane sight. It gives me the time to think, to see the bigger picture.

But tonight, I was just lonely. And as it seems, so was she. And we both needed the company. Who was I to say no? I wanted it as much as she did.

I took another quick glance at the picture on her side table, the same picture that I have seen earlier, making me stop. Too bad I wasn’t that drunk to just ignore it. It would have been one good night, something I’d probably forget in a few days, but still, one hell of a good night.

“Would you feel better if I say yes?” I asked, trying hard not to chuckle.

“Is it me?” She asked, the hurt in her voice showing all her insecurities. There’s just a certain ring of need in there that almost made me take the last article of clothing I have on and just go ahead with it. She was a very pretty girl and if it had been any other time, I would have just went ahead and did it. She wanted it, I wanted it. Who cares about tomorrow, right? But for some stupid reason, I didn’t.

I gave her a quick peck on the lips and started to put my clothes on. She just watched me.

“Go kiss your kid goodnight, even if he’s asleep. He needs to know that you got home safely.” I said. Her eyes automatically darted to the picture on her side table.

“Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a saint. I’m probably worst than the guys you have met before and if we did have sex tonight, I might not even remember it in a few days. But you would and you’d hate yourself. I can’t have that, especially with a kid waiting for your attention. I can’t be that selfish.” I wanted to add that she shouldn’t be that selfish but I kept that to myself.

I’ve already rejected her, at least that’s how it looks. She didn’t need any more jabs after that.

“You’re different.” She said with a sad smile, the same sad smile that had brought us to that, the same sad smile that had made me feel needed, the same sad smile that assholes like me had taken advantage of in the past.

“I’m not. I just can’t be that selfish.” I told her. “This was nothing more than a one night stand, at least for me.”

She laughed a little. “I know.”

I sat down beside her on the bed and held her hands when I was done putting my clothes on. “If you’re looking for a man who needs you, you already have that.” I said, glancing at the picture once again. “How old is he?”

“Twelve.” Somehow, even in the dark room, I saw a glitter of happiness in her eyes.

“He’s probably better at being a man than I am.” I said, giving her one last hug before heading for the door. She put on her shirt and followed me out of the room up to the front door.

“Why did you come here?” She asked, opening the door for me.

“Because I was lonely and horny,” I answered with a laugh. “And because you were pretty and stupid enough to think that I was worth your time.”

“You’re thinking that this is a mistake.” She said, more like a statement instead of a question.

“Yes. But not mine.” I said, giving her another peck on the lips. “I just don’t want to be someone else’s mistake tonight. Too bad, you got me at a time when I actually have a conscience.”

She was quiet for a while.

“I’m not a nice guy so don’t take this against you.”

“How else am I supposed to take it? You rejected me.”

I smiled. “I didn’t reject you. I rejected me.”

I walked away without looking back. I didn’t even ask for her name. But that’s usually how chance encounters end. And this was nothing different. It was just that, an encounter, two strangers meeting.

I’d probably regret taking the high road later. My groin already is. But still, she didn’t need me, at least not the way she thought she did. I wasn’t the man who could take away her misery.

Having a conscience does suck at times. I think I’m doing the growing up thing all wrong. At this point, I shouldn’t have cared at all.



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