"You really need to stop treating me like a child!", I told Bruce all of a sudden one day.
Bruce looked at me as he was driving the car. "Where did that come from so suddenly?", he asked.
"Where did that come from?!", I retorted. "You don't let me do anything! I feel as if I'm being taken out by an older cousin rather than my boyfriend!"
"Do you earn?", he asks all of a sudden in a serious but slightly challenging tone.
"Do you really think I would be earning?", I say answering his question with my own question. I was dreading having this conversation but dating seemed more of a chore to me rather than a pleasure cruise.
"Aren't there child labor laws in Pakistan?", Bruce poked.
"Bruce!", I exploded. "I'm 19 for Pete's sake!"
"I was kidding!", he explained. "But seriously, you don't earn so how do you expect to treat both of us?" he pointed out.
"Whatever! I feel so weird that every time we go out, you pay for just about everything and it's getting on my nerves! More over, I can't relax. It feels so weird and also quite wrong!", I complained. "At least let me pay for what I order!" I suggested.
"But that's what friends do! They pay for what they order!", he replied. "Also I think that's really cheap and not classy at all!" he added.
"Your such a hard-head! It's unbelievable!", I ask him quite seriously.
"And your such a child!", he replied.
I could never really guess if he was serious or not. He wasn't looking at me when he said that and half of the time, he had that smart-ass smirk on his face. I could never really know what was going on inside his head. Dating Bruce was not all that great at times. Planning, transportation, food, entertainment and just about anything you can think of was decided by him. It was a good thing that I was at least allowed to change CD tracks or the radio stations when we were out together, other wise I would have bitten someone's head off!
I admit the first few times it was really exciting and felt amazing. But then it stopped! It didn't feel good and it kept getting worse. Sure, I enjoyed the dates immensely. But later on when I was alone after the dates and I would think about it, it didn't make me smile. It made me feel guilty. Really guilty!
Later on when the relationship moved to a new level of intimacy but the dating mechanism remained the same, the level of unease grew. The intimacy put the stinging out for a moment, but it never really made it go away. Worse was that every time that dreaded feeling came back, it was back with vengeance!
At times I felt like a cheap hooker. I remember sitting in his room one day while he was showering. I had my boxers and shirt on, but I felt naked and exposed. "You want to take a shower?", he asked.
"No!", I replied tersely.
"You can take it alone if nudity is the issue. I won't mind!", he approached in a soft cautious tone.
"No, it's not!", I lied. Or at least half-lied. "I really need to be going now! It's late and it would take me about an hour to reach home!", I reasoned as I shifted my position. "Would Babu get suspicious if I sneak out?", I ask him. Babu was the name of the butler at Bruce's place. He was the care-taker of the house, the cook, the driver and basically anything else you can think of.
"Only if you sneak away!", he replied. I slipped my jeans and knocked the bathroom door. I stepped in with all my clothes and gave him a quick peck. It would feel weird and quite possibly rude to leave without one. "See you next on?", he asked.
"No idea! I'll text you!", I told him and walked out of the room with my bag hanging over my shoulders. I had spent enough time alone in the house with him to know where every room was. But it was still very weird. I couldn't even imagine what would his parents think to know that countless number of guys have seen the insides of their house. The family pictures from the time they got married to the time their eldest son got married and of their first grand child. It was great to know Bruce on such an intimate level, but it didn't feel great at times. In fact it felt the exact opposite; absolutely worst!
All these feelings came back to me today as I was driving back from today's date with Nathan. I was happy. I was ridiculously happy! I had never felt like this, before or after on any of the dates with Bruce. And I think that's what it feels like to be in an adult relationship.
Sure, it hurts like hell at times! But there are moments when you are flying on Cloud 9 and you don't want to get down from there for all the parachutes in the world. You're up and he's up there, nothing in the world could bother you except for a raging hard-on!