Out of all the airport lounges in the world, he has to walk into mine. It takes me a few seconds to register the fact that it really is him. It really is. It is un-fucking-mistakably him. Because he hasn’t changed In any way. At all.
It´s been three years, but it may as well have been just 3 hours.
Same sun-streaked, moppy hair. Check.
Same surfer-dude-on tour outfit. Check.
Same roof-deck-in-Capri suntan. Check.
And as he spots me, he flashed that same knock-a-girl-on-her-ass smile. Check.
ME: Should I just flip him off and keep drinking my cocktail?
ALSO ME: Dude looks completely edible. No lie.
I stand up from my table as he crosses the room to greet me, curious to find out just how lame he’s going to be, and also just how lame WE are going to be together.
He’s a digital nomad now. Because, of course. You may have seen the ads for his course on YouTube. The thing is he is just posing as an online marketing wizard. In real life, he’s a trust fund kid who just likes being in on the latest trend and having an easy alibi for his smooth lifestyle.
His videos show the bro-palace pavilion in Bali, the helicopter ride above Maui, the Porsche gliding along the beachfront in Miami. You know, all the look-at-successful-me bling. Then he hits you with his secret recipe you can buy for $299. The dirty on that is that the whole recipe could actually be told in five seconds: Just be born to two parents who are both independently wealthy so that when they divorce they battle to outdo each other in spoiling you. Even when you’re approaching 30.
“Hey!” My voice is too bright even in my own ears as he grabs me into a friendly hug.
“Hey yourself. Good to see you!”
He smells like he always did/does, like the L'Occitane Verbena shower gel, which he takes with him everywhere.
“I guess if we’re going to run into each other, this would be the right place,” I slip out of his embrace and take a small step back. We laugh and nod. It's no secret that neither one of us sits tight for very long.
“You headed to London then or?”
I wonder who he’s been talking to so that he knows London is even a thing for me these days.
“No, no. Actually to Rome. Samantha. My friend from San Francisco? Wedding.”
“Oh yeah. I remember her. Cool girl.”
He totally did not remember who she is. I know this because a few seconds after he speaks I can detect when the instant he actually does remember that she was the girl whose ass he grabbed at my birthday party and she responded by shoving him into the pool. Hard. But he shamelessly soldiers on.
“Give her my best wishes. Rome. Nice.”
With her blackbelt in potty mouth, I can easily imagine what she would say in response to his best wishes.
Apparently he does, too, because he suddenly loses some of his customary cool and his body language goes awkward.
“Yeah. People are getting married like crazy now... Even me.”
You?” I am genuinely astonished. I am stunned. I am shocked.
“You are getting married? You? Seriously?” My eyebrows couldn’t be raised any higher.
“I totally deserve that. I know. I get the same reaction from everyone.”
No shit. The guy is a notorious, dedicated skirt-chasing mofo. A guy who systematically chooses college girls with too little experience to call bullshit on him once loses focus on her and slips back into his default mode. For instance, grabbing her friend's ass at her own party. When the shit blows up he gaslights to keep the relationship on life support. Then he gets pushed or jumps and pulls the parachute. Landing on some other unsuspecting innocent.
To be fair, while he is that mofo, he is also charming AF. Add that to looks, an endless flow of dinero, and insane bedroom skills.
When you hook up with the guy its just one green light after another flashing at you day after day. Its like life has decided that you have been chosen to take a walk in the clouds with the man of your dreams. Find me one woman who doesn’t want a guy who really knows how to pay attention, buys slightly too-expensive gifts, plans romantic picnics, and spends serious time learning how to play your body like a piano. Find me that woman and I will show you a lying bitch of epic proportions.
“It just happened a few weeks ago. The engagement. We haven’t set the date, but things are in motion,” he made the gesture of a pregnancy bump, “so it has to happen pretty soon.”
I laughed out loud. And once I started, I couldn’t stop. I just fucking could not stop. And then he joined in. Both of us barely able to stand up. Tears flowing. People scattered around the room looking up from their newspapers and wine glasses to stare.
When I could control myself, I took the cocktail napkin from under my drink and dried my face.
“You are totally lying.”
“I am totally lying,” he said, smiling like a fallen angel. “Honestly.”