3c: Max

Max is a man that I like to refer to as My First Mistake. Not because the results were necessarily unfavorable (though I would have liked a little extra time before I had your brother), but because it just makes me cringe whenever I look back on him. He was such a miniscule part of my life, was there for hardly more than a few days. But his impact on me was large and permanent. He didn’t deserve that much influence over me.

3c (1)
B “Hey babe. You wanna come over?”

He had become a staple in my store, in the days before we got together. Not that that was a surprise—unlike with my other customers, I had no reservations about laying a coy hand on his butt, or pressing a kiss to his cheek when he came in the door. He knew what I was offering, what I wanted.

3c (2)
B “Oh, you’re at work. Then why don’t I stop by?”

He wasn’t as blunt about it, but his frequent visits (and his later offering of his phone number) made it quite evident that he was interested too.

3c (3)
Max “Hey there, gorgeous.”

I made it a habit of stopping by his work. As a barkeep, his hours will essentially perpendicular to mine—when I was at work, he was off; and by the time I was closing the store, he was off to work. He had a few days off, but he preferred that we see each other the bar anyway—he lived with roommates, he said, so we couldn’t go to his house, and he’d much rather I help he stay entertained during the long hours at the low-end bar.

3c (7)
B “And then he said…”
3c (11)
B “These shorts? Oh, yeah, they’re just whatever, I’ve had them forever. Just threw them on.”
3c (12)
B “Snazzy, man! …Wait, no! I don’t say that, snazzy’s not something I say…”

It was one particular night, when the bar was quiet but for a few ghosts that hadn’t yet passed on, when things really progressed. We’d just been flirting for so long, that it was almost a surprise when I finally worked up the nerve.

3c (15)
B “You know, you look awfully handsome tonight…”

3c (16)

3c (17)

He looked surprise when I first made the move. Hell, I was surprised—I hadn’t expected that I would have the nerve to make a move first. You know, that kind of building, unresolved sexual tension is usually resolved by the man (at least, that’s what rom-coms usually seem to suggest). But I had made the first move this time.

And he was into it.

3c (19)
Max “Nice.”

He wasn’t the most articulate of men… but he was into it.

He wasn’t not into it…

I went home that night, practically giddy. My dreams were filled of Max. Not to say that I was in love with him or anything—like I’ve said, I’ve always been more focused on the act of love, rather than the recipient of that love. The action was fun. The recipient was… work.

3c (20)

But Max was my first romance. And, to me, it was like a whirlwind. We only known each other for a few weeks and no we were… what? Sweethearts? Soon-to-be lovers? Dating?

Hell, what were we?

That was something to figure out…

3c (21)
B “Celebratory cake!”

The uncertainty didn’t keep me from celebrating my success with my new beau. I savored that cake, let me tell you. I savored it. It was a glorious thing. I make good cake.

And I deserved that cake too! I had more to celebrate, after all. My questions were soon to be answered.

He called me, and asked me on a date.

3c (25)
Max “Hey there, gorgeous.”

Now that I think about it, I realize that this was the first time he every asked me anywhere—the first time he sought out my company, rather than the other way around. He had always seemed to enjoy my presence, but it was more of an ambivalent comfort, as opposed to a desire. But now… he wanted to be with me! And not only that, he wanted to be seen with me, somewhere else than the seedy dive-bar he worked in.

3c (28)
B “Thanks for the call!”
3c (29)
Max “Get over here and kiss me.”

It got a little hot and heavy, there in the entrance of the café we were meant to be having coffee in.

3c (31)

But he was really into it. It was like the second I walked up to him, he was all over me. His mouth on mine, his hands on my waist, pulling me close.

3c (35)
B “Where are we going? Into the cafe?” / Max “I think I have a better idea.”

To be continued…

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