There, on the screen, staring back at me, were three little – though not entirely insignificant – words…
I glanced back at the receiver’s name at the top of the text – an all-caps warning not to proceed further: ‘DO NOT MSG UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES’. Well, yes, I’d renamed this contact for a reason.
He was a bonafide f*ckboy who I had almost zero will power around on account of the fact he was arguably one of the most attractive men I’d ever laid eyeballs on.
So, who WAS this mystery douchebag, I hear you asking? Well, his real name was James. But, like every other f*ckboy before him, I assigned him a new title in my head; Country Boy, because he was, by every sense of the term, a country boy.
He was a 29-year-old tradie from Armidale who’d relocated to Sydney to install commercial air-conditioning systems for a living and was house-sharing a trendy flat in Coogee with a mate. It had been two years since he’d been in a “real relationship” (his words, not mine) and he was ready to meet someone new. I learned all this over small talk on Bumble, before he finally bit the bullet and asked to see me in person.
We met under the pornish red lights of Uncle Mings bar in the city – an Asian-inspired cocktail haunt for hipsters and the after-work crowd.
‘I’m sitting at the far end of the bar, wearing chinos and a button-up blue shirt,’ came a text, as I made my way down the poorly-lit staircase in an impulse-purchase pair of Nine West heels.
At the base of the stairs, I could see straight across the room, to a lone figure sitting at the bar, nursing a Corona. As if sensing I’d just arrived, he swivelled around in his chair and made eye contact with me.
Now – not to be dramatic, but – if this moment were a Julia Roberts movie, it would have been underscored by a Ronan Keating soundtrack and a wind machine.
Country Boy was HOT. The kind of hot that shouldn’t be allowed outside on a severe fire warning day; if Eric Bana and Chris Hemsworth had a lovechild, it would be him (and yes, I’m aware that’s not anatomically possible, but please don’t destroy my dream). I’m pretty sure I heard my bra unhook itself upon seeing him.
Damn! I KNEW I should have shaved my vagina for this.
And probably also not scarfed that bean burrito on the way over…
I did a nervous fart, then quickly headed to the bar before it had time to follow me.
“Are you James?” I asked, reaching out a hand to shake his, as if we were there for a business meeting.
“I am. And you’re Nadia?” he asked, with a cheeky grin.
Uh-oh. He had a country boy accent, too. Think Liam Hemsworth in The Dressmaker, or literally any guy ever on Farmer Wants A Wife (God, I wish they’d bring that show back).
BE STILL MY PULSATING OVARIES…
He bought me a cocktail (tick) and made a cheeky joke about how “coupley” we looked (tick) before casually resting a hand on my knee (TICK) and saying “I want to get to know more about you” (TICK!!).
I felt as though I’d been transported back to 16-year-old-me at a Backstreet Boys concert, having Nick Carter accidentally make eye contact with me in the crowd. My heart did a swoopy-woopy thing (that’s the scientific term for ‘Felt all nice and stuff’, btw) every time he smiled.
And so, I took a chance, and leaned in for a kiss at the end of the night, after he’d fixed up the bar tab.
Without missing a beat, he clasped his hand around my face, pulled me in tightly, and pashed me like we were filming the rain scene from The Notebook (as an aside: if you don’t want to be bitterly disappointed by the man in your life, do NOT watch this movie). It was equal parts panty-dropping and swoon-worthy.
The next morning I awoke to a text: ‘It was great to meet you Nadia. I’d really like to do it again.’ *Cue heart swoopy-wooping*
Our second date was sickeningly cute. We played lawn bowls while sipping on Pimms to the Instagrammable backdrop of Sydney Harbour, then wandered to The Commadore in McMahon’s Point for lunch. (Also, I won lawn bowls. Not that I like to gloat or anything, but if you’re reading this, you’re a LOSERRR, James!) Long story short: we ended up going on six dates. But that’s honestly not the important part of this story.
This is: we still hadn’t had sex.
It had been almost TWO. MONTHS. since the first date. And, no sex.
Even a woman with the will power of a Biggest Loser contestant doing a temptation challenge before weigh-in needs to catch a D before then! And it’s not that I didn’t want it. Conversely, I thirsted for CB, badly, but as time went on, he just seemed…dodgier. I was beginning to feel increasingly strung along, and wasn’t keen on sealing the fate of my imminent heart-shattering with a physical interlude likely to redirect the remaining blood from my brain to my loins.
So I made sex nearly impossible, insisting all our dates be in crowded public places that didn’t involve alcohol. Or a TV in the background showing one of the Daddo brothers (Um, what, you guys? They’re HOT, you know it).
Sure, he kept arranging more dates, but a full week would pass in between each one without a shred of communication. Not even an emoji face. WHAT THE ACTUAL OPRAH, was this guy, who’d initially presented as a dreamboat, playing at?! Sex was off the table (and I do, quite literally mean, table. Who doesn’t love doing it in the dining room?) until I knew where this was going.
But, a girl’s got needs. \
So, I kept my rotation of f*ckboys on speed dial in between my rendezvous with CB. Which was useful, because some dates ended with me so horny from all the weeks of built-up tension, I’d leave his place and go immediately to FB #6’s. (If you don’t know who FB#6 is, you need to go back and read my first column). Conveniently, FB #6 was also a super hot tradie who lived in Coogee. It was almost criminally easy to see both guys in the same night. And the sex with FB #6 was always explosively hot on account of how insanely toey I was by the end of yet another no-sex date with clueless Country Boy.
Surely, I thought to myself, Country Boy had to know I wasn’t waiting for him to make his mind up about me this entire, painfully drawn-out time? SURELY he didn’t seriously think I spent my weeks between our dates – during which he’d go completely MIA – turning down the advances of other men on the app we’d met on, all in the hopes he’d get in touch again after seven days of TOTAL SILENCE?! Or, perhaps he was just that arrogant? Or stupid?
After almost three months of dating, he announced he was going on holidays for a few weeks, and completely stopped all contact. Not so much as a ‘Thinkin’ of chu’ text while he was gone. NU-THANG. (FYI: he was in Byron Bay, not some third world country without wifi.)
*Eye roll* Another time waster hits the dust.
After the first two weeks of radio silence elapsed, I went into my phone and renamed his contact details, ‘DO NOT MSG UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES’ to ensure my loins didn’t draw me back to drunken late-night texting him.
Unfortunately, while it was now clear Country Boy was a spineless coward incapable of vocalising his actual feelings, and also, a bit of a douchebag, one thing he was not, was sexually unappealing. My brain was DONE with him. My vagina? Not so much.
And so it was, months later, prompted by my run-in with Stalker guy, I decided to text him, ‘I miss you’.
Despite the many weeks of silence that had passed between us, his reply came almost immediately. It was just three words. But it was three words I’d been waiting the last five months to read.
And I’ll tell you what they were, in next week’s column.