Etrange Garçon (Strange Boy) (2013)


A story of a guy I was really attracted to who I both understood perfectly and was baffled by at the same time.

His bright green eyes gazed at me from across the room. He was just my type. Tanned and dark haired, with an athletic, well built body and attractive face.  We locked our gazes over and over again as I waited for my food.

I was in Bocas del Toro, Panama. I came to Panama for a teaching job and was traveling for two weeks, before I had to start work in Panama City. That day was my last day of ‘real’ vacation. And that’s (conveniently) the day I saw him.

We received our food simultaneously. We ordered the same thing – hamburgers and fries. They called our order at the same time. When we both asked for mayo, I realized it was now or never.

Where we met

Where we met

“You are Spanish?” I asked in Spanish. He looked it.

“I am French” He responded still in Spanish.

We sat down at the same bench and began talking. Giles was from a small French city close to the Spanish border and that is possibly why he looked so damn Spanish, but also had his mesmerizing green eyes. I just had a huge zit under my nose. Don’t you just love how on time zits are? I was trying to hide it underneath my glasses the whole day, but now without them I felt like it was dominating my whole face. Thankfully, that didn’t faze him.

As I talked to him over our burgers, I realized he was exactly what I was looking for: attractive, smart, witty, easy to talk to and very genuine. Why, oh why did I only meet him today? Little did I know we actually spent an entire week in the same surfing village prior to this and never met. What an irony indeed.

After eating we headed to the beach where we lay around and talked about everything in the world. He told me about his anxiety over flying and I, who also sort of battles with the same fear, understood him perfectly.

I loved that he could talk to me as if he had known me for years. I felt an ease and a depth with him that I don’t usually feel. There was no pretending, no awkwardness, no guessing.. It seemed natural and effortless: this chat on the beach. We swam around and jumped from the dock holding hands. Then took a boat to the main island and made plans to meet that evening in the park.


He came bringing candy and talked so quickly I could tell he was nervous which made me feel a little more confident.  We walked to a bar on the dock and sat in a boat. Up until now, I think that was one of the most romantic nights of my whole experience in Panama. At least that part of it. We drank rum’n’cokes on the boat next to the bar, listened to Latin music and finally he leaned in to kiss me.

The rest of the night we danced in the outdoor bar, kissing over and over.. I felt alive. And the strangest thing? He told me the same.

“I feel alive when I am with you” He told me and I believed him partly. It was a little too much, since we only met each other a few hours ago, but he was from France and they love to throw romantic words around.

It was perfect. Up until we went to the beach.

I have this rule of telling guys that I will not have sex. And of course that is the goal. However, my weakness lately has been that I couldn’t resist the foreplay and that had some not-so good results. The point is to decide what you want right away. I am way too curious and unable to think with my head sometimes. This was one of those incidents.

I told Giles I wouldn’t have sex with him, but it was actually my idea to go to the beach. I just needed to spend some more time with him. And to touch him more. As things got heated up, he started expecting I return the favor. Except, note: he never gave me oral. So I am not sure what favor he was really expecting.

Either way, I hate the tit-for-tat childishness, so I gave him a firm NO. Now, instead of acting like a 29 year old he was, he got MAD. He got up and began removing sand from our towel but literally whacking it against the tree. I just sat there with my mouth dropped open. I couldn’t believe someone over the age of puberty could be so mad about a lack of a blow job.

We walked in silence, which was broken by me.

“Are we seriously not talking because I didn’t give you a blow job?”

“What do you think?” He replied bitterly and I swear I saw a kind of mental glimmer and even his eyes got darker. But maybe that was just my imagination.

“This is crazy.” I said. “I am not some sixteen year old girl to be forced to give you oral.”

“What? What does sixteen have to do with this?” He almost yelled and walked away, leaving me alone under the rain.

I stood there, unable to process what has just happened. And please believe me when I say that even though what was happening was crazy I actually wanted him more. This fiery exchange ignited some weird twisted feeling in me.

He was waiting for me near his hostel. As I approached he took my head into his hands gently and told me he meant when he said he liked me. He kissed me then. I wanted him even more. How messed up is that?

I agreed to spend the night in his uncomfortable bed just to be close to him for one more night. Then, at dawn, I kissed him and left.

In two weeks, Giles was coming to Panama City for three nights before flying back to France. I knew what I saw were red flags, but I still yearned for him and the fact that I felt lonely didn’t help matters.

Panama City

Panama City

We didn’t meet the first night due to miscommunication, and I should have been very wary when he offered to meet on the last night only. At the end though, he managed to make a plan to meet me in the park near my house. I knew I shouldn’t have gone, but what do you do when you want to see someone so damn much?

As I saw him sitting there in the park near the giant Einstein head, all my negative emotions went away. He was wearing a gray t-shirt that made his tan stand out more and lit up his green eyes. I came in a flowery dress he couldn’t stop fawning over. Our eyes locked again and we couldn’t stop staring at each other as if we were dumbstruck teenagers.

We met near the Einstein head on my street

We met near the Einstein head on my street

As we had drinks and tapas at a nearby Spanish restaurant, he caressed my cheek.

“I remember why I like you so much” He said in that deep voice of his. “I am really glad I came to see you. And now we get to spend the night together. This couldn’t be better.”

I didn’t bother to tell him that he was being presumptuous in the whole ‘spending the night’ idea. Even though he technically wasn’t since I was dying to have sex with him.

We listened to a band play as he caressed my hair. It has been so long since I have had a boyfriend that I allowed myself to fantasize that he was actually with me. My own slightly weird but gorgeous and charismatic man. The man that then pressed me to the wall and kissed me passionately. I wanted him so much. No matter the consequences.

We took a taxi to his hotel and as he took a shower, I lay on the bed pretending to watch TV in a sexy pose, which I adjusted a few times.  He walked out dripping water,a  towel on his hips and lowered himself on top of me. Afterwards, as he entered me a crazy thought also entered my mind.

We are now one.

I have never had this thought as loud in my head, even though I have liked other guys so this surprised me.

The other thing that surprised me even more was that when I tried to actually give him the blowjob he desired so much on the beach, he felt all uncomfortable about it. Actually, he said his body was getting all tingly and he couldn’t handle me even kissing his stomach. What was this, Fifty Shades of Grey? (You can only get this joke if you read the book)

And the final thing that surprised me was that after all the post-sex kissing we slept separately. He never hugged me to him, and even said something along the lines of:

“It looks like this bed has three people in it. There could be another person on your side the way you are so close to me.”

Didn't see the third person

Didn’t see the third person

At that moment I told myself I had imagined it. But now I know it was real.

All night long I kept on dreaming about hugging him close to me. I yearned for it with all my body, but even as I complained about the cold air conditioning, he got up and turned it off but never cuddled me close to him. I have even had a one-night stand cuddle with me in bed, and a guy who seemed so genuine now felt colder than the air conditioning itself.

The next day was his last one. He watched me get ready for work with an adoring smile on his face, then kissed me goodbye, telling me we would meet at 5pm.

I left work early so I could move to my new apartment, get ready and meet with him. But he never wrote me. I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t think of anything else. I was on pins and needles  the whole day. I was actually concerned he got killed and ended up calling his hotel twice. Later telling him it was once.

I sat here, unable to eat anything

I sat here, unable to eat anything

He wrote to me in the evening to tell me he was at the Canal, that his day was “amazing!”, that he was with a friend and that he would meet me at eleven a.m.

I was very hurt he wanted to wait until night to meet with a girl he was spending the last day with (make that last night), and the reasoning was that he made some friends he wanted to spend time with. However, I didn’t want to become the nagging wife and sadly,  I wanted to see him too much.

But he never wrote to me  by eleven and as I sat there, staring at the city out my window and crying like there was no tomorrow, I decided “screw this” and removed my makeup. The whole day I felt like there was a knife stuck in my throat. It hurt that much.cryingwoman2

As soon as I was getting into bed, I got a new message.

“I’m so sorry!” It said “Meet me at 12:30 in the park”

And what did I do against my better judgement? I put the damn makeup back onto my puffed up face and ran out the door.

He got outside of the taxi and ran to me, lifting me up in the air. Some guys clapped for us. We got some drinks and talked, but I saw his eyes were different. He no longer looked at me with the affection that lit up his face, and he actually looked troubled. I thought it might have had to do with the anxiety over the upcoming flight. But the point is, the connection we had was gone. He seemed a different person.

We went to dance, but he no longer actually wanted to dance. He didn’t even want to try salsa – too scared he would fail. I realized that he had quite a lot of hangups and there might have been some mental issues he was dealing with.

The sex was also different. It seemed as if he was going through the motions, no longer connected to me. If he ever really was.

As we fell asleep separately I was prepared to say bye to the boy I never really knew. But then came another surprise.

As I woke up early in the morning, the place beside me was empty and the door was left ajar. Assuming he went out for a drink or to the bathroom, I waited for him to come back. He never did. His flight was at 3pm.

There was no note and no explanation.8_fin40

PS. Since he is still on my Facebook, I asked him why he left like that. He said I looked so beautiful he didn’t want to wake me up. Of course, that is a load of bull. He still writes little things to me, but he has yet to write an email explaining his behavior. This is the reason I have not acknowledged them. Not that he deserves it either.


5 thoughts on “Etrange Garçon (Strange Boy) (2013)

  1. OMG!!! Mia, what an arsehole! I mean seriously, he sounded like a child when he just left you because you refused to give him oral. If anything, your blog proves that there are immature men/boys all over the world, regardless of their nationality. I love your blog! Keep filling us in on your experiences. xx

    • Hi Athanasia,

      Thanks for the reply! Haha, yes, there are definitely ‘aresholes’ all over the world! And he definitely did act like a child over the whole thing. It is too bad that sometimes we refuse to see huge warning signs because we like someone..
      I am glad you are reading it! 🙂

  2. Hi Mia

    Was not sure where to write this, but would really appreciate your opinion on this story, which is not over yet (I hope)…

    Once upon a time in Paris…
    I met this guy at work, to be precise – he spotted my cute Ukrainian accent when speaking French, over 3 months ago. We don’t work together so we hadn’t really met often in the beginning; (obviously no breach to company policies).

    One day I went to my bachata dancing evening, as usual, and guess who I see there – him with a girl, lining to get in. What a coincidence, right?! Since then we started talking much more often – on the company chat, taking coffees at work from time to time, and, no matter what, every Sunday at the dancing evenings. From the very beginning he appeared to me sort of interested, and me, I was flattered, but not that much into him. With time, having got to know him better, this changed. Once he asked me if I had a boyfriend, I told the truth – I didn’t and so did he, although he mentioned ”I’m not in a hurry”… He has always been flirty with me, but never clear… He offered me his help with job applications – revising my cover letter, etc. I started thinking that maybe it’s the age difference that keeps things slow (24 and 30), maybe he wants to be sure of what he feels for me before making a move…

    But since one week things just keep getting weird:
    Friday – he invites me to his place to work on my cover letter. Knowing, or rather assuming, he wants to take it slow, I was expecting to work and have a dinner/drink afterwards, nothing more. Except that, he had already made plans for that evening… with (girl) friends… Proud, I didn’t accept the “last minute” invitation (that sounded like “if you don’t have plans you can join us”) and went to meet my own friends. Same week, two days later, we went for a drink, just two of us, late, after the bachata (it was the fourth time we did that already) and, afterwards, he walked me to my bus stop. My bus wasn’t coming for another 5 minutes and I was cold so he hugged me. We stood in complete silence, me wrapped in his arm, his palm caressing my back, and then he suddenly kissed me on the forehead/head (technically on my hair). This gesture got me totally confused. What are we? Does he want anything between us or I am his little sister? Was this gesture full of love or sadness (as my friend said a “sorry, baby, I’m going to Afghanistan” kind of kiss)?

    I considered making a more visible move myself, in case he’s not sure I feel the same way, but 1) I find it weird for a 30 y.o. guy be so shy and indecisive, 2) I’m scared he has nothing for me but friendship and I’ll just look stupid.
    Other little things: he offers me his elbow when we walk, offers to pay for me (I don’t always let him ofc), often finishes his messages with XX, calls me “young lady”, told me he finds it cute how my curly hair gets stuck in his beard when we greet each other with 2 kisses on the cheek…

    If you think you might have an idea on what’s going on, I’d really appreciate your advice!
    You keep saying it’s hard to meet and date people in Toronto, but OMG, if only you knew how hard it is in one of the most beautiful and romantic cities in the world – Paris.

    Thank you! If you ever decide to visit or will need a journalist on the spot, I’d be glad to help!

    • Hi Hannah!

      First, an unrelated question -why is it that so many Russian and Ukranian girls dance salsa and bachata? It’s really interesting, because I also used to dance a lot of latin dancing, and so have a few of my Russian girlfriends. Maybe it’s because we are so passionate and relate well to the Latin culture? I don’t know…But this is on the side note.

      And yes, I heard that Parisians prefer to meet people through their own circle of friends, so while there may be a lot of attractive and forward men, it is quite difficult to make a connection in the city. Maybe it’s a bit city thing as well? When I spent time in Buenos Aires, I found it very difficult to strike a real connection with anyone.

      Ok, now your story.. well, considering you spend so much time with a guy, I would assume he should try something more than being a kind of a buddy. Yes, he may be nervous or uncomfortable, but he seems very comfortable kissing you on the hair, which is a very strange one… It’s a sign of affection for sure, but not exactly something you would try with a woman you aren’t dating, related to or very close with.

      As I said, most French men go after what they want. If they want a woman, they will definitely try to make an effort. If you spend this much time with him, he must assume you are interested in something more. My guess is he is testing out the situation and taking it slow to see if it’s really worth it getting into something with you. If he were really interested, I doubt he would leave with his girl friends.. but if he wasn’t interested, he wouldn’t spend so much time with you and be this helpful.

      My advice – do absolutely nothing. A man who wants you will take that extra step. You know those guys that we are not interested in, but that keep calling/texting us even if he don’t respond back? On your part you can be flirty and make eye contact, but it’s up to him to initiate something. Not only because he is 30 (although yes, that also makes a difference), but because he is a man. So, while I can’t tell you 100 percent what he wants, I suggest to step back and see how much he is willing to put in to be with you.

      Hopefully this helps. Let me know if there are any updates on this!
      Hugs from Toronto to Paris!

      • Hi Mia, thank you for answering, i just saw your reply now.

        About latin dancing: When I was small, in Ukraine it was (and possibly still is) very common for children, especially girls, to have a lot of extracurricular activities and ballroom dance was the most popular due to health benefits, posture and grace it can develop. So, little, I used to dance samba, cha-cha-cha, jive and rumba from the latin program. It’s been many years, but the skill stayed. I, personally, love dancing bachata because I do it well! Besides, after the “strict” academic dancing I just love the spontaneity of the social dances. And lastly, let’s be honest, who doesn’t like the feeling of being “led”? 😉

        Yes, you might be right… You have no idea how many lonely people are on multiple dating websites… Including my guy… he told me himself… And 5 minutes later he kissed me, passionately, for real, with a kiss on the neck as well and caressing my face. (btw on those websites he is looking for something serious, not like Tinder and stuff).
        And here I am 2 weeks later that truly sweet moment, still having no clue what does he want… My parents were in the city so I couldn’t see him, and he knew it: he asked when are they leaving (naive me expected an invite for a date or something after they’ve gone). We were texting a bit (I started to, sometimes, initiate the conversation, unlike before). But that’s it! Ok, some of the messages got different, like calling me a “hot consultant” once.
        It was my birthday couple of days ago and he brought me flowers to the party (cute, right?), but then, at the party, he talked to everyone but me, and, when leaving, (I walked him to the door where no one could see us) he didn’t kiss me goodbye or anything, like as if nothing has happened between us. I had such a great fun all night long but this got me so upset that I threw away the bouquet and cried all Sunday. On top of it, i think he started avoiding me – he didn’t come to the bachata evening, although he’s never missed it before.

        Maybe it’s true, he is trying to understand for himself what he feels and decide if it’s worth it… but now I start asking myself if someone so unsure of liking me is even worth me… My other guess would be – he decided already but didn’t find it necessary to let me know. I wonder if it’s worth asking? I am quite traditional in this kind of situations (and also proud), I believe he owes me an explanation of his intentions, I shouldn’t be begging for it; but on the other hand someone has to put a dot in this story…

        I’ll keep you posted how it ends unless it’s not over already…

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