As young college students, it’s only natural we face moments of shame and regret. We’re still finding out who we are, and the college setting doesn’t always help situations. The shame and regret I’m talking about are those 3 a.m. Uber rides to a random hook-up’s apartment for sex that lasts for all but 20 minutes, then having to take the same Uber back home all the while knowing he knows your predicament. Those morning-after walks of shame from a random guy’s filthy apartment that makes you feel stickier than the actually sex: We’ve all been there, done that, and if you haven’t, I encourage it.
But sometimes the hook-ups aren’t so random.
My best friend and I have the bro-est of bromances: We compete in video games, lift weights at the gym and party together like we just finished finals. We also talk about sexual encounters in extensive and unnecessary detail–you know, the typical walking stereotypes of masculinity.
The only problem is, I’m not masculine and neither is he really. He’s hetero. I’m sexually fluid. This means my sexuality could be anything at any point. He’s got a girlfriend. I’m single. He’s had sex a few times, and I’m a slut. As different as we are, this is what makes us such good friends—curiosity about the other half. But sometimes, curiosities can get in the way of things.
For me, it all started one Saturday morning. I accepted my biggest regret. The clock on my nightstand read 11:32 a.m. The midday sun enveloped the better half of my room, everything glowing under the golden banners of sunlight that found my window. I swiveled in my computer chair and felt my lips tug into a small smile.
My wildest fantasies fulfilled, I thought. The past few weeks, all I could think about was asking him over for a little “Netflix and chill,” but I never thought that it would actually happen.
I kicked my bare feet against the mahogany floorboard, twisting the chair so that I faced the bed, and involuntarily my faint smile morphed into a mischievous grin. He had left before I woke up, but the evidence of what we did was still there. The bed was a disaster—the sheets and pillows were piled haphazardly, the comforter was drawn back spilling messily onto the floor and the bottom sheet was peeled away revealing the naked mattress.
I had done it. I had done him.
I knew it was just a hook-up. A meaningless, drunken hook-up. One of those hook-ups where its climax sort of spilled over into the morning, because in the very next instant, reality hit me.
My grin devolved, and I felt my heart pounding behind my chest. What the hell did we just do? Am I a homewrecker?
More disturbing than this realization was knowing that I should feel completely terrible about what we did, but I didn’t. I couldn’t bring myself to feel ashamed about finally getting what I wanted.
There had always been a sort of sexual tension between us. It wasn’t until we both consumed enough alcohol at a house party the night before that our feelings finally came out. In a tiny basement congested with people and three coolers of Jungle Juice, he confessed to me that he’d never been with a guy before.
“I thought about us,” he’d said. “But, you know…”
“I’ve never been with a straight guy,” I’d tried to say coolly, or something close to it.
He’d grinned, and stumbled a little. I’d caught him before he fell over. “I think I’m done,” he’d said. I’d nodded. He was definitely done.
We ended up back at my apartment since it was closer, and he was falling asleep around my shoulder anyways. I laid him on the couch and was about to go to my bed until he’d grabbed my arm, and I fell on top of him. Inhibitions be damned, we kissed.
Somehow we’d made it to the bedroom, and now the morning after, I was staring at the product of our mischief.
I wondered if he would tell his girlfriend about us, or how he’d do it. Would he throw me under the bus? I thought and rolled my eyes. That jack-ass would. Maybe I should just tell her, but I dismissed the thought just as quickly as it came. I wasn’t going to tell her, and I doubted he would either.
I was curious, though, of how he felt about what happened. He had to have remembered last night’s events. He’d left my bed naked and probably with me curled around him because I like to sleep in a ball.
I pulled on jeans, an old t-shirt and walked to his place. He answered the door and, instinctively, we fell into our routine greeting: slapping hands, fingers curling around each other’s, bumping shoulders and slinging our arms back like the fluidity of my sexuality before our fingers uncurled and snapped in unison.
“What’s up?” I asked.
“Nothing,” he said. “What’s up with you?”
I thought about bringing up what had happened the night before, but I didn’t. Instead I shook my head. “Not much. You got something to eat?”
He opened his door, and I was let in.
We briefly talked about what happened that night, but it wasn’t for very long. He still identifies as hetero, and I’m still fluid. Nothing really changed. Life just kept on going, one regret at a time.