I really needed to cry. I ran out of the rec center to get some fresh air. Once I got outside, I looked at my surroundings to see what I could do next. I spotted a supermarket across the street. Determined to get revenge, I stormed in, my face red from holding back the tears I refused to shed for Connor.
I didn’t get too much—just a box of Trojans and two bottles of lube. Even though I was fuming with anger, I couldn’t help but laugh at how ridiculous and immature I was being. Before the cashier gave me my receipt, she told me, “it’s best to be safe even when you’re heart-broken.”
That last part I made up. The cashier didn’t care. Being gay in Canada was as commonplace as having a tattoo; nobody cared. But at that moment, I wish that somebody did because I needed a hug, a really warm hug, preferably from a burly man with a lot of body hair and natural musk.
Connor explained his absence not long after I got home from prepping for my revenge. He said that he was sorry a million times, and that he couldn’t make it because he couldn’t find an excuse to give to his mom for leaving the house to meet me. He had the audacity to expect that I would forgive him, telling me, “don’t give up on us. Let’s try again tomorrow.” I left all of it on seen. After calling my best friend Audrey to tell her what happened and after finally crying, I was swiping away on Tinder and selling myself out on Grindr. Nothing quite fuels passion like the thirst for revenge.
I made a few matches, but one of them in particular stood out. Nory was 27, which wasn’t an issue for me because a) he had the body type of the man whom I wanted to get a hug from, and b) a seven-year age gap has never really been an issue for me before, as evidenced by my episode with Samuel from Québec. He had just moved to Toronto from São Paulo, Brazil, hoping to become a permanent resident the same way I was trying to: by getting a second undergraduate degree from a Canadian university and hoping to be sponsored for permanent residency by an employer after graduation. It was there where we found a connection. What brings people closer than similar misfortunes?
Aside from our immigration dreams, Nory and I were also both closeted. From our initial conversation, I found out that one of the reasons he moved to Canada was to get better rights as a bisexual man. At the very least, he was good-looking enough for me to exact revenge on Connor, and now at the very best, I thought that he had enough of a personality to be boyfriend material, except for one small detail: he was married to a woman.
He claimed that his wife knew that he was bisexual long before they were married, and that she was fine with him seeing other men, as long as she wasn’t involved. I clarified that I wouldn’t be ruining their marriage by hooking up with him and taking him out to lunch at Steam Whistle Brewing after. He said yes, and we agreed to meet at his apartment after his wife leaves for work the next morning.
I made sure to clean well before meeting him, but not in the same way I cleaned up before meeting the hot New York doctor because Nory had asked me to top him. The anxiety that built up from knowing that I was ceremoniously about to lose my virginity for a third and final time (the first being giving someone a blowjob when I was 16, and the second being bottoming for the first time with the hot doctor earlier that week), and the thought that I would be going out with a married man held me back from leaving the house. Having second-thoughts about letting Audrey know what my plans for the day were certainly didn’t help (we had made a deal prior to me leaving that I would send her all of the addresses of the guys I would hook-up with just in case something bad happened to me while I was out with a fake alibi). Then I reminded myself: I wanted revenge. I wanted to get laid because I didn’t like it the first time, and I wanted to change that. The moment I step into JFK to catch my flight back to Manila a week from then, all invitations for casual sexual encounters would stop coming.
When I saw that I was running late, I let Nory know to avoid another, “I think I got stood up” moment, like what happened when I got late to my date with the doctor. His building was in a college neighborhood, marked by the Casa Loma campus of George Brown in the North, the University of Toronto in the South, and the row of student-rented townhouses down the length of Spadina Avenue. It seemed that I wasn’t the only one waiting for a hook-up. I found myself waiting outside the lobby with an elderly Indian man.
Ten minutes later, the Indian man has been picked up by his host, but Nory is still MIA. I followed them in to see if there was a doorbell I could ring. I could not find Nory’s name anywhere, but I also didn’t know his last name, so l figured the house could be listed under his wife’s. I was mildly annoyed, since I let him know that I had recently been stood up by my ex-boyfriend, and he told me how horrible that experience might have been. Feeling defeated but hopeful, I head back to the subway station for the free WiFi to let him know that I was there. When I make my way back up, he is waiting for me at the lobby doors. The man is bigger than I imagined.
I don’t think I’ll ever get used to the rush of meeting a person I’ve been flirting with online for the first time. No matter how straightforward they are in describing their physical features, height, weight, and body type, it’ll always be weird to see them so tangible. Seeing Nory for the first time was particularly weird because it suddenly became clear that I misread his age as 27. He was ten years older.
I went with him, nonetheless. He was too hot for me to say pass, and he greeted me with the hug I had been craving for. Also, as soon as we got into the elevator, he said, “good, now I can kiss you,” in his unintentionally seductive Brazilian accent, and did exactly as he said, full on the lips, with tongue, his hands at the back of my neck, and my back against an elevator panel. I felt like I was in a porno, and with good reason. I was about to have sex with a married man in his house while his wife was away at work. Our age gap filed us under the fetish folder, and having the liberty of time and space for us to have sex in his whole apartment set us up in a premium site, like men.com.
I definitely felt a tinge of guilt after seeing a photo of his wife while he was getting naked on top of me on their bed, but nothing was ruining the moment for me, not even the fact that all of the curtains were drawn back, exposing us for all of the neighbors to see. It was all so hot, and the same could be said about the sex.
I had wondered before, whether or not I had enough masculinity in me to be a top, and it turns out, it didn’t matter. Nory made sure that the only requirements for me to be one were for me to enjoy it and for my dick to stay up long enough to penetrate his asshole, which I did with much pleasure, not just on his bed, but also on his couch… on his kitchen counters… and in the shower when we were finishing up. I guess this was why they called it home wrecker.
When it was over, I put my clothes back on, and remembered a meme that said, “No one helps you once you’re fucked,” because I was sure I wasn’t the one who took them off. I checked my FitBit and saw that we had been having sex for the last two hours, and I had burned more than 3,000 calories before lunch time, a personal record. I was getting ready to leave to explore downtown when Nory asked, “which station do we get off to get to the brewery?”
Oh. I didn’t realize that our lunch date was still on. At that moment, I wanted to feel kilig* because I learned from the movies that guys aren’t supposed to go out with you after hooking up, and I expected Nory to follow that rule. I politely told him that he didn’t need to go with me because I was used to seeing the city on my own, but he insisted that he wanted to go because he made a promise to go out on a date with me. Damn, I could fuck this man again, I thought.
For a while, I had forgotten that he was married. It was such a good date, one where the conversation was fluid, the food was amazing, the place was interesting enough on its own, and the man was someone I wanted to call back, except I couldn’t. Before we parted, I told him that I felt so lucky to have made a connection with him and that it was unfortunate that he was already married. He took this with a smile, but declined when I brought up the idea of a second date. He reminded me that I had a scheme to pull off, and that it wouldn’t be good for me to keep hanging out with him like that; he was married after all. Instead, he told me that he wanted to be friends, that if I needed advice from an older man (inherently wiser, I suppose), I shouldn’t hesitate to send him a message.
Months later, back to our normal lives, Nory and I kept our promise of keeping in touch. I would usually open by asking him about school, or by greeting him “Happy Pride!” or “Happy Bisexual Visibility Day!” He would then ask about my affairs and relationships. When I still had a thing with Diego, I would mention how happy he made me feel and how my relationship with him made me want to fly back to New York as soon as I could afford it. And then Nory gave me a reaction I would never have expected: he asked me whom I met first, him or Diego? When I said that I met him first, he responded with “good, so I have priority.” Unsure whether to feel awkward or flattered, I reminded him that he was married and that Diego was my boyfriend.
Later on, when I left Diego and when Walt picked up my heart, Nory was one of the first few people to know. He was skeptical as to why Walt didn’t see me as much as I wanted to, and advised me to break up with him because I deserved better. I wanted to question his concern, but I turned the tables by asking him if he had been seeing someone new.
“I haven’t been on Tinder since you left Toronto,” Nory said.
“Wow. I feel special,” I replied with a hint of flattery and sarcasm.
“You are, and it’s making me think about my marriage. It doesn’t feel right to still be with my wife.”
“I thought you told me that I wouldn’t ruin anything. You should think this through before you do anything.”
“Well, it’s a good thing you’re not in Toronto.”
I stopped sleeping after that conversation took place. Had my move to Toronto been a success, I would have started my new life in Canada by being someone’s mistress, and I would have enjoyed it. It was clear that Nory felt something for me; I’m not sure what it was, but it was definitely something beyond physical. Still, the words, it’s a good thing you’re not in Toronto, haunted me. I could never go back without the thought of being with Nory, possibly in a romantic way, living in the back of my head. With pleasure came guilt, and I definitely felt guilt knowing that I wrecked an innocent woman’s life. I felt guilty for consenting to us having sex in the first place when I knew that he wasn’t single, but I tried to convince myself that he was equally guilty in order for me to go back to sleep.
I avoided talking to him in the weeks that followed, sort of to give him space and sort of to tell him that we were never going to be anything more than friends. To this day, I’m not sure how to feel about what happened. It was definitely an ego-boost, a huge one, but it was just as huge a demerit to my character. Nory himself said that I deserved better. If he could leave his wife for me, that wouldn’t guarantee that I would have my fairytale ending. Besides, if this were a fairytale, I would have been the villain—the second wife, the wicked step-mother (-father, more appropriately) to their non-existent children. But I guess how I feel about it doesn’t matter any more. The last time I checked his wife’s Facebook, I saw that he gave her some flowers, chocolates, and a bear… the works. The photo was captioned with something along the lines of, “how can you not forgive somebody so sweet? I love you!” He did his thinking, and I got off death row.
*kilig, noun (Tagalog), “That feeling of being on cloud nine, butterflies in your stomach, or hoity-toity. Usually associated with ~romantic~ feelings” (Source: https://www.buzzfeed.com/isabellelaureta/basta-yung-ano?utm_term=.ngEvNkJ8wE#.eeVKPqydpx)