Around six months into Southern Belle C’s relationship, he and his boyfriend decided that they would set me up with someone.
“I don’t like setups,” I objected, “and I don’t trust you.” Flashbacks of when C and I dated (disastrous, and now ancient history) flooded my memory.
“No,” his boyfriend assured me, “he’s really cute, and Irish. You’ll like him.”
“Show me a picture.” So they did.
Irish Boy was handsome. Like, I’m-a-professional-actor/hearththrob handsome. Even in New York, Irish Boy was a 10—if he had an accent, he’d be an 11.
I frowned at the sight. “He is not going to be into me,” I said, shaking my head.
“He will be. Just meet him.” So, later that night, the four of us got drinks.
Irish Boy WAS into me. We flirted over drinks at Mickey Spillane’s, we danced together at Therapy, we sat thigh-to-thigh at Industry and got to know each other. “This has been such a great vacation,” he said as I finished off my fourth martini.
I nearly choked on an olive. “Vacation?”
“Yeah! I’ve been in the states all summer, but I’m going home next week.”
“Ireland.” I glared at C and his boyfriend, sitting across from us—their faces flushed red.
“You don’t live in the city?”
“No, I just came here for the summer. I’ve been working an internship, but that ended last week.”
“Aha.” The first good date I’d been on in ages, with a normal guy, who is super attractive, and he doesn’t live in the United States. “Awesome.”
“Honestly, I want to move here. I love it here.”
My ears perked up, and my interest reignited. “Oh, yeah? Maybe you should.”
“I’d love to—I just don’t think I could convince my boyfriend.”
I shifted my body so our legs weren’t touching anymore. “Did you hear that?” I asked C and his boyfriend as a bartender brought over another martini. “He lives in Ireland. With his boyfriend.” C’s boyfriend mouthed “I didn’t know,” while C refused to make eye contact. I drank my entire martini in one gulp, then glared at Southern Belle C. “Well? Are you going to get me another?”
“Are you sure you want another?” C asked cautiously.
I don’t remember much of the rest. I remember removing myself from the Irish Boy situation by sitting between C and his boyfriend. I don’t remember telling everyone that I was wearing a jockstrap, and I definitely don’t remember C fighting me when I tried to show everyone. I don’t remember trying to kiss his boyfriend, but they’ll insist to this day that I tried it. (Thankfully there are no hard feelings.)
I do remember, despite Irish Boy’s advances at the end of the night, that I went home alone, staring up into the sky and wondering when I’d find a boy who was single, lived in the city, and wanted to be with me.