No Benefits In This Friendship [Diary of the Undateable]

The other day, I was sitting at my desk at my internship when I got a text from an unknown number…unknown meaning deleted. It was Big Kid, whom I’d cast off into the undateable ether a few days beforehand. I hated him. Okay…hate’s a strong word. I severely disliked his cute ass. I was still riding high from our successful first date (if you consider sitting on a park bench and making out in front of someone’s brownstone a date, but whatever). It seemed like things were headed in the right direction. We had plenty to talk about because we were totally different people – he’s an aspiring educator who’s passionate about special education and AIDS advocacy. I’m a recent grad who’s passionate about funny memes and fashion blogs. The juxtaposition worked perfectly…or at least, that’s what I thought.
A few days after our date, Big Kid asked me for a picture. Not a smizing selfie or even an Instagram screenshot, but a photo. Of the dirty variety. Of course, I said no. I don’t do that. That’s way too risky. What if the incriminating photo fell into the wrong hands? What if he showed a friend who happened to know someone that I know? The world is too small and New York is even smaller. The six degrees of separation are more like three in a city like this. So I politely declined Big Kid’s request and explained my reasoning, which I thought was fair. He did not. He got mad. He was already bothered that I wouldn’t sext him – because, again, not my thing – but this clearly bothered him.
“Let loose, ‘Lea,” he texted me. “I mean, f**k it. We’re friends with benefits. This is what we’re SUPPOSED to do.”
Slowly but surely, it became clear that he only wanted the benefits rather than the friendship. He never hit me up to ask me about my day. Wasn’t trying to get to know me beyond the surface stuff. He only wanted to talk to me when it pertained to sex, and that didn’t feel good. At all. In a haphazard attempt to salvage our friendship (sans benefits), I asked him to meet me after work one afternoon so we could hang out and talk.
“Ummm…we can if you want,” he responded. “But I haven’t had the best week. If that’s what you want to do, then fine. You’ll have to wait another hour, though, because I’m coming from Queens.”
Why would I want to hang out with someone who CLEARLY didn’t want to hang out with me? Strike one.
Fast forward a few days later, when I’m at my internship. He apologized for his douchebag behavior…and I ended up accepting. “I’m sorry,” he said. “I was having a rough week and didn’t want you to be affected by my mood. Just give me one more shot to make things right.”
So I waited for him to book it to my side of town. We sat in the New York Palace courtyard and chatted until the sun went down. I got to know more about his likes (Quaker Oatmeal Squares, Chipotle, my legs) and dislikes (Cap’n Crunch, teenaged girls who hit on him at school). I hadn’t laughed that much in a while. Afterwards, we walked hand-in-hand around Midtown, ducking in secluded corners to kiss and shield ourselves from the rain.
Before the night ended, I stopped in Duane Reade for some cash – I was going to take a taxi home.
“Hey, would you mind buying me an Arizona?” he asked. “I’m just, like, really parched. I’ll compensate you when I get paid.”
Sigh. I’ve already had my share of broke boys. Didn’t think that Big Kid would be on the list. But I couldn’t be the asshole who denied a thirsty man his hydration, so I forked over a dollar. Strike two.
Somehow, our schedules worked out and we were both free a few days later. We used our time off to hang out again. And again, I thought that things went well! When we parted, he told me to text him and gave me a kiss on the cheek. So I did, a few days later.
“In retrospect, I don’t feel comfortable around someone who doesn’t feel comfortable being sexually open,” he texted with finality.
Strike three…over and out.
Big Kid was just that – a big baby who essentially pouted, huffed and puffed because he didn’t get his way. Had he told me that he wanted a purely sexual relationship versus a friendship with benefits, things would’ve ended up differently…a LOT differently. Instead, he played games and wasted time, something that I’ll never get back.
And he STILL owes me a dollar.
When she’s not watching for Blue Ivy sightings or doing some serious Facebook creeping, Khalea, a recent Howard University graduate, moonlights as a magazine intern and a freelancer in New York City. Follow her on Twitter at @letsbeKHAlear, or feel free to Twatch. Whatever works for you.

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