A story of obsession.
Confidence is one of the most attractive features a man can have. Looks, we get used to. The good looking, insecure man will only hold our attention for so long. But what about the regular guy that has charisma, a sense of mystery and inner confidence? That, girls, is what gets us hooked.
Hugo had all three qualities.
I was dancing on a rooftop bar in the old area of Panama City when a curly haired guy approached me, rather swaggered over with the most relaxed confidence I have ever seen.
“Whoever the DJ is, he should be shot.” He confided in me as if I had known him for years.
The song playing was: “Tonight I’m Loving(Fucking) You.” Loving was the clean version of the song. I guess Enrique Iglesias thinks love is the synonym for fuck. That, or thinking for him is as overrated as good singing.
Hugo’s manner put me at ease immediately, so I laughed and asked him if he was Argentinian. He had an accent in Spanish I couldn’t identify. But it did sound charming.
“No, Colombia” he smiled. “Don’t I look Colombian?”
“You are Spanish!” I finally realized. That’s where the Spanish lisp was coming from. Argentinians always talk with a sh, like plasha instead of playa.
At first Hugo was just a regular guy. Curly black hair. Dark eyes. Boyish look. Tall. At the first glance, attractive I suppose, but nothing special. It is the way he stood there, confident to the bone, nonchalant and sarcastic with a slow smile and a mysterious aura about him. He had a feel of the ‘bad boy’ but he didn’t try to act like one. He simply knew that he oozed sex appeal and that meant more than a leather jacket and a motorcycle combined. I was so drawn to him, I actually gave him two phone numbers. One local and one Canadian for texting.
He wrote me a message that night but I decided to play it coy and wait a day or two. Except that the next day, during a trip to the caves, I dropped my phone in the water and as destiny (or luck) would have it was now unreachable. If you don’t count phone number two, that is.
A week later, still phoneless, I went out with Nadia, a blonde Russian with whom we were inseparable. We were quite sick, actually I think we had a fever, but I forced her to leave the house for a ‘drink’ which turned into another drink and yet another drink… It was late and we were heading home, through the old part of Panama, when who do I see, but my bad boy Hugo and another Spanish friend of his heading our way!
Somehow, my girlfriend being the flirt she was, already met and kissed Hugo’s friend that evening while withdrawing cash. Don’t even ask me how that’s possible. Now, he came up to her and almost immediately they started making out as if they were in a room and not a street.
Hugo and I were not. Instead he was trying to understand why I never replied to his one message. I told him the story and gave him the number of my Panamanian cell, even though he had to have it already.
After taking it down (again) he moved closer to me and I slightly leaned back on the car behind me. I was dying to kiss him. But he clearly enjoyed torturing me, knowing the power he had over me. What he did next was the most seductive thing I have ever experienced, and the irony in that is that it was not even foreplay. He took my face into his hand and brought his face to mine. Then he lightly kissed me, and just as soon as I thought he was going to go further he backed away. He leaned in again, now more aggressive and pulled away slightly. It was getting more and more passionate by the second and I have to admit, I loved the teasing.
I realized then that all of us are suckers for anticipation. We love a man who has the power to tease us, to keep us intrigued and yearning. And this is why, we tend to go for the ‘bad boys’. We want to experience the passion, the seduction, if only once in our lives, even if we know it will be accompanied by pain. And by the way, I tested the Spaniard’s technique on guys and it works like a charm. As soon as you back away, they literally pounce on you. (Except for Theo, the Virgin who asked me what was wrong)
We kissed and kissed until a car drove by us and a man screamed: “Get a room”. Except it was in Spanish, which made it even funnier.
Hugo invited Nadia, her kissing friend and I to eat. He sat in the front of the taxi and I ended up in the back with Nadia and the Spaniard practically glued to each other.
Finally we got out and as I looked around I realized that Hugo lived five minutes away from me in a building ironically called “Madrid”.
We all ended up back at his place which looked like a dump but he did end up cooking a delicious meal of mariscos (seafood) at 4 am in the morning. Nadia couldn’t stop commenting on how good it was, while I sat there with what she later described as a dumb smile pasted on my face. I don’t even remember if it was the alcohol or being around him that made me act this way. Actually I didn’t even understand half of the things he would tell me, due to his heavy Madrid accent. It was all corathon, tranquila tia and joder.
Nadia and her Spaniard disappeared soon after they finished the mariscos. I suppose they were proceeding to their second meal of the evening. That left me alone with Hugo, who instantly suggested he walk me home. Aww, right? Well, that was before we stood in front of my building and he decided to invite himself up.
I should have said no.
Instead I said yes. Actually I told him he could come up but there would be no sex to be had. Which, if you have read my stories is an unfortunate, over-used line with me which works only half the time. At this point, I have realized that it would only make sense to prepubescent boys.
First I wanted to show him my roof. Seriously, my roof was amazing. I would sit there some nights just listening to music and overlooking the bright skyline. Other times, I would cry over a guy. But the best part was the little pool which couldn’t be used so much for swimming as for soaking there or romancing, as in this case.
Hugo got in the water as I sat on the ledge in my red shirt and black skirt. He swam to me and started taking them off. No questions asked. It was hard to complain when it was done in such a confident and sexy manner. When I ended up in my panties, I lowered myself into the pool. The slow seductive kissing from earlier was now much more heated as he pressed me to the wall. But two could play that game. I instantly backed away, which made him smile and move into me like a hungry tiger. We must have looked like two boxers (in a game of seduction!) but wow, the swimming in the pool that night still stands out as one of the highlights of the experience in Panama.
Wet and dripping all over the marble floor, we walked down to my apartment. I shared the place with four other people so we tiptoed into my room, where he continued his game of seduction made easier by the fact that we were now on my bed. He definitely knew what he was doing, but I applaud myself on the fact that I did not have sex with him. My reasoning was simple: he lived a block away from me. If I succumbed immediately, I would never see this guy again. And I was actually so attracted to him, I knew he had the power to hurt me deeply. Power – the tool of the person who cares least.
We slept the whole night intertwined. This intimacy gave me a false feeling of connection to him. But in reality, I didn’t even know him. Not only was he a box of secrets, but I couldn’t even understand his version of Spanish! Sorry – Thpanish! I was sure he was playing around. He was three years younger than me, working around the globe, not even thinking of settling down. And why would he? In Panama, as in many countries, Hugo could use his sensual Spanish to the full degree. Latin girls seemed to be dropping panties at the word foreigner and Spaniards took full advantage of that.
Me, on the other hand… Well, I wanted to find something meaningful and I knew that Hugo would not be it. Still, when he asked me if I wanted to go to the pool that morning, I took that to mean he was interested. Right after, he seemed to have changed his mind. The phone rang and soon after talking with whoever it was, he sprung out of bed and began to get dressed. “Call me” was the last thing he said before leaving.
At first I was in a great mood. Who cared about Hugo? It was convenient he lived close by and I could see him whenever I wanted. I would wait for him to call but I would not contact him first. I spent the rest of the day at the pool at Hard Rock Hotel we used to sneak into with the girls. We discussed each other’s guys as if we were on the episode of “Sex and the City”.
So needless to say I was in high spirits. I was young, in a new country and having wonderful adventures.
But a week later he didn’t call me. And another week after that. And I began to get obsessed. I couldn’t understand why a guy who practically lived near me, who almost had sex with me, who asked for my number, could not now ask me out or at least write something? Didn’t he want to eventually “seduce me”?
At the end, I couldn’t wait any longer and wrote him a message. The worst? He didn’t respond. I waited one day, two days… Maybe he didn’t get my message? We over-analyzed this situation on Nadia’s balcony countless times. But at the bottom of our hearts, I knew: if you are asking your girlfriend why he did this or that, he is unfortunately not just that into you. The truth hurt.
If only I could stop.
He finally replied two days later, saying he just received the message and that he would love to see me. I was so excited, I jumped up and down on the balcony. The next day I texted him the date and the time, but guess what? No answer again. To take my mind of off this nonsense, I went out with a group of friends only to receive two calls from him that night at 11 am. If this wasn’t a classic booty call, I don’ t know what is.
So ended any attempts on his part and I would have never seen him again, if it wasn’t for Nadia who kept on repeating over and over how she missed the mariscos he prepared for us and was wondering where he bought them. Ok, now I will admit. It wasn’t Nadia’s doing. It was mine. I needed any reason to text him again and now I had it.
Hugo texted back that he was really happy to hear from me and invited us over for dinner at his house. Apparently a new Spanish friend was visiting and needed entertaining. Nadia told me she would not have sex with the Spaniard. “I am not some entertaining committee here!” she told me. Good, because I wasn’t planning on sex with Hugo. Again. So why the hell was I prancing over to his place? Again? Had I become the stray dog, begging for scraps?
And if this could get any worse, here it is. Hug was pushing me to bring another girlfriend with me. Apparently he also had a Spaniard roommate and they were all thinking of playing couples Twister. I will repeat. Couples Twister. Is that the new lingo for an orgy? This Hugo seemed to have an array of male friends coming from Spain. Nadia and I joked about the huge line forming all over Madrid of the hot guys waiting to be sent over to Panama.
And if you were not yet convinced how low I could go, I will tell you: I actually saw Hugo with a Latin girl a couple of weeks prior to this. I swore to myself that I did the right thing in not sleeping with a man who is clearly sleeping all over Panama and now I was eagerly hopping to his house at the slightest beckoning.
The Spaniards were all there when Nadia and I came in the door. Hugo’s friend Javi was actually quite attractive and he flirted with me, until he realized that his friend was ‘with me’ (for that evening). It would have been brilliant to start flirting with Javi and leave Hugo hanging, but I really couldn’t control myself around this guy. Hugo was cooking chorizo, as apparently he had no time to go to the supermarket and get seafood so the whole pretense of dinner was obvious. The guys wanted sex, they wanted it easy and we came to accommodate that need. On a Tuesday.
After he finished cooking, Hugo sat by me, leaning back on the sofa and I sat near him, trying to seductively nibble on my chorizo. If you don’t know chorizo is a Spanish word for sausage. So now you get the pun. He talked to me but I also felt like he was flirting with Nadia, maybe to make me jealous or possibly because he actually didn’t give a damn about me. At one point he caressed my leg, in a way that said “Ok, Ok. You are with me. Don’t you worry.”
“I understand you” Nadia told me afterwards. “He is beautiful. He is deep. He has crazy charisma and mystery. This was from the girl that thought nothing of him when she first met him.
Her and Javi left right after (with no sex this time), leaving the other roommate alone on his cellphone looking dejected since everyone coupled up. The poor guy must have really been looking forward to the game of Couples Twister.
Low and behold, Hugo offered to walk me home. We didn’t kiss up until the building and there, as he kissed me, I no longer felt the same excitement. I knew I was being used. I was letting myself be used, rather and that felt low. Again, he wanted to come up and again I let him. I knew that no matter what happened that night – we would never see each other again. I could have sex and get hurt or I could simply spend the night with this overdue obsession of mine. I went with my heart and what it wanted for that night and that was to be close to him.
He lay down on my bed and we began kissing. As he removed my clothing, I told him I was not going to have sex with him.
“Why not?” he asked in that arrogant way of his.
“Because.. I just don’t trust you!”
“You don’t trust me?”
“What do you expect me to say after you disappeared that time?”
“What would you like me to do?”
“What would I like? Normal things, like a date”
“A date, huh.” He started thinking. “Ok”
He kept on talking in that self-assured way of his and I, deciding to take full control told him to shut up and actually gave him a blow job. In a way, I wanted to feel full power over him, to let him know just how good it could be with me but not to succumb to his power. At the same time, was I really gaining control or was I like a teenage girl thinking she could win a guy through ‘good head’?
The first thing he said was: “You don’t trust me? What if I don’t trust you? You know what you are doing. And I don’t know how many guys you have done this with.”
The guy was a bullshitter through and through. I can tell you that.
But thankfully I never had sex with him. Although letting him sleep in my bed the second time around and doing everything else but the actual act was just as good. And not seeing him again would hurt just as much.
That night, as we slept intertwined; I remembered his scent, the feel of his curly hair, the weight of him. I wanted to save it for the future, because I knew that when he walked out the door in the morning, that would be it. I felt it in my bones. As the morning came, his alarm sounded. He had to get up at dawn for work. As he got dressed, he stood there, looking at me almost as if he felt bad he couldn’t promise me anything. Then he kissed me on the cheek and left. Right after the door closed, I began to cry. The smell of him on my pillow lingered for another week.
He did ask me on a date (rather an invite to hand out with his girl friend, and possibly ‘walk me home’ again). I declined but hoped he would ask me out for real. It never happened and that was the last I saw of Hugo.
Nadia told me that she ran into him in a club not so long ago. He asked how I was and she told him I left Panama. He pondered over it and asked her why I never said bye. He could have driven me to the bus terminal.
Why I never said bye. Good question.
It is a story that stops without a proper ending, but it is also one that contains important lessons. The person with control is the one who cares least. Confidence changes the perception of looks in mere minutes. Heart sometimes makes us do low, desperate things. And bad boys do not always come on motorcycles, but they will ride all over your self worth. So put yourself in control, instead of secretly enjoying the feeling of being pulled like a puppet on a string and for the love of God, wait before you invite him up.