I didn’t think Ethan would contact me. I thought he would just be the type of ‘friend’ who added me to increase his friend list, or maybe to chat every so often. The kind of friend who bugs you to play that one game no one else wants to play with them. I wasn’t even sure that he would add me, but he did. The next day he told me he’d sent me a request, but it didn’t look like I’d logged on in over two years.
That night I realized I’d forgotten my steam password, which wasn’t surprising since my ex was the one who set it up in the first place. It took me about an hour to finally log in, and when I did, I was greeted by an old picture of me from four years ago. I quickly added him, and sent him a message that said something like, “lol, that picture is from four years ago.”
“Good evening,” was the reply that came almost immediately. That was something that I did enjoy about talking to him, all his replies came quickly. In the past, I’ve had a boyfriend tell me that he would purposely wait before texting me back so that he didn’t scare me away, and I found that to be childish, so this was refreshing. The quality of the things being said was not. Almost immediately, he told me about a man who died of auto erotic asphyxiation. I tried to brush this conversation off, but he asked me if I knew what that meant. He also continued talking about this topic, even after I’d tried to change the subject. I figured he must have been into that, so I asked him. He said that something like that made men vulnerable. I guess you could say this is the third thing that I know about him, since he is afraid of being vulnerable. In future conversations, he told people that he believed I liked him because I sent him tampons (never did), or just said negative things about me. I assume this is because he felt rejected.
Eventually, we ended up exchanging Xbox logins, which was good for me because that was my preferred gaming system. If we were going to play a game (we never did), it was going to be on Xbox. I did intend to play a game with him, I even spent money on Gamepass to do so. I think things just went sour too quickly for that to happen. We moved out conversations to Xbox as well, since there was an app and it was more like text messaging. This is where I began to think that maybe he liked me.
The first time I thought this was when I was making fun of my ex-boyfriend, and he made a comment about whether I was good in bed. The way he phrased it made me feel compelled to answer. I told him that my ex and I had an entire drawer of toys that we used to play with. He told me that he had used toys and tied up ex-girlfriends. I admitted to being bad at giving hand-jobs though. He instantly said that he could do that himself. Him saying that made me feel weird. Why did he tell me that? Was he joking, or was he interested in me? He went on to ask me why I was giving a hand job anyway, if it was in place of other activities. There was a long story about that, but I didn’t want to answer him. I don’t remember what I said, but I did find it odd that he had asked me that. I started to think that maybe he liked me, and I attempted to push him into admitting it if he did.
In the past, I wouldn’t have pushed anyone into admitting feelings for me, but I’ve been through an abusive relationship. I feel that whoever is interested in me should know, because I push people away. It’s not always men who are interested in me. Sometimes I push friends away as well. I was trying to gauge whether I needed to tell him about the abuse or not. This is still something that I struggle with and could be part of the reason this friendship fell apart so quickly.
We ended up talking about his exes, who he said were all whores. He threw up a bunch of red flags during this conversation, but I ignored them because those were his exes and they’d hurt him. I talked about my ex in a similar way at times. According to him, they’d all cheated on him. Somewhere within this conversation, he’d asked me to go to the gym with him (I am trying to lose weight). I didn’t have a membership at this gym, so I declined. We also made little mentions of what it was like to date us and had general conversation about that. He informed me that he thought it was nice talking to me. I hate to admit it now, but I was enjoying our conversations as well. We were getting along well at this point. I, foolishly, didn’t know how bad things would soon turn or that our former friendship would end up costing me my job.