Living in a new town is tough. Not knowing anyone for miles around, while exciting (as it’s a new beginning), is a bit lonely. It’s just not the same texting, emailing, talking on the phone. When you can’t have friends over. When you can’t just jump in your car and drive a couple of minutes to see a friend ... it takes it’s toll. I had no interest in living in a dorm. Being forced to live with a complete stranger you probably wouldn’t get along with just wasn’t something I was willing to accept. Maybe if I had I wouldn’t have been so lonely. But I like being able to decide on who gets to steal my food out of the fridge or borrows my clothes without asking.
I moved into my apartment a couple of weeks before class started. I knew right away that I’d probably end up getting a roommate or two. It was too big. I felt like I was going to get lost in my own home. My grandparents have money. And they sprung for the nicest place they could find. Which is great. But it was a 3 bedroom apartment. Way more room than I needed.
There was a lot to do in the neighborhood. It was a typical college town. But if you’re not a fan of sports or you’re not 21 yet ... you’re limited in your options. I’d been to a couple of local concerts. Nothing great. Nothing I’d actually listen to at home. The coffee shops were nice. A little too pretentious for my liking. But the coffee was good. I could be wide awake and lonely, listening to mediocre Punk Rock. “Weee”. I started picking up local alternative magazines looking for things to do. The backpage was always funny. Personals, ads for phone sex, chat lines. One night, out of shear boredom I decided “what the hell?” and called one of the chat line numbers.
It was free for women. Men got free time to try it out. The system asked me to record my name and I used a fake. I decided on “Lainey”. Then it asked me to record a message for other callers to hear. I turned off my music and thought a little about what I wanted to say. After the beep I recorded. “Hi guys! This is Lainey! I’m 18. White female. I’m new to the area. I’m a student. 5’6”. Slim build. D cup. Long very curly brown hair. Freckles. Hazel eyes. I love talking to older White males who are literate. Intelligent. Well spoken. Prefer that you be over 40. Willing to talk about anything. I’m bored and need someone to talk to. Maybe even hang out with. Tell me about you!”.
The first 10 messages or so came from men who quiet obviously didn’t bother listening to my greeting. “Hey boo ... wuz good wit choo?” click... “Hey baby, I’m 22 and” click. “Wuz good tho?” (sigh) click... “I’m a 19 year” click ... Over and over again.
“You have received a message from...” “Brent”. “Hello Lainey, this is Brent. I’m a 50 year old White man from (an area close by). You sound delightful. What are you up to this evening?”. “Well this sounds too good to be true” I thought. “What’s wrong with this one?” I laughed to myself. I replied. “Not much! Just bored. New to the system. How about you?” I sent my reply and waited. Wading through the quagmire of guys who couldn’t have cared less about what I was looking for. Messages about dick sizes. Random heavy breathers. Then I heard an unfamiliar chime. “Brent”... “Would like to connect with you live!”. I hadn’t realized that was an option but I accepted the request and waited. “Hello Lainey!” broken the silence. “Hi Brent!” We chatted for about 20 minutes until he told me his free trial was about to expire. He asked if I would call him directly and I said I would. He got 9 of the 10 numbers of his phone number out before he was cut off. I debated whether or not I should actually call him. But after being hit with the next message “Hey Janey (“Janey”? Seriously?). This a 20 year old...” I hung up on the system in disgust and looked at the near complete number Brent gave me.
Being that I had to guess on the last number it took me 4 tries to get the number right. “Please tell me this is Lainey” was the first thing he said. I waited for a second and said “yep! Hi Brent!”. Brent and I chatted for about an hour before confessing to me that he was married. He and his wife had been married for 26 years and she never looked at him. Never touched him. I understood the situation immediately. I was raised by my grandparents and my grandma was the same way to my grandpa. Like she somehow resented him just for being there. For being male. I never got why she was like that. But Brent’s wife was the same. I felt for him right away. He had needs. He spent his evenings perusing porn on the internet. Temporarily satisfied. But unfulfilled. That’s why he was on that chat line.
I’m not sure why it surprised me when Brent asked if I wanted to meet him. But it did. I wanted to decline the invite. But I knew that when I hung up the phone I was back to being alone in that huge apartment. I was in the same situation Brent was. All alone. I told him to meet me at a coffee shop down the street from me. And to give me time to throw something on.
I threw on a pair of athletic shoes and started to grab sweat pants ... but changed my mind and slipped into a pair of black lace-up wedges and a floral nylon slip dress instead. I thought, “if I’m going to meet this guy I may as well have fun and dress a little ... sexier ... than he was probably expecting”. The dress used to belong to my sister so it was a little ... small ... in the breast area. It had a built-in bra and my cleavage was popping out of it something fierce. I pulled on a pair of lacey black boyshorts and smeared on some matte black cherry lipstick before walking through a small cloud of expensive perfume I got for my birthday. I gulped hard and grabbed my purse, my phone, my keys and my vape stuff. Was I doing this? Really? ... yeah I was. I locked the door behind me and was on my way.
As I walked closer to the coffee shop I saw who I was hoping ... HOPING was Brent through the window. He was about 6’2”. Holy shit. Silvery grey hair. A pair of rimless glasses. Collared shirt. A tie. Wow. Just ... wow. He looked up and saw me approaching and smiled. It was Brent. Alone at a table.
I walked up to him and smiled, holding out my hand. “Hello Brent!” I beamed. He took my hand and kissed it. “Hello Lainey”. “Zoey” I corrected him. “My name is really Zoey. I used ‘Lainey’ for the chat line.”. “Zoey” he smiled. “I hadn’t thought of using a pseudonym.”. Brent was not shy about checking me out. He actually asked me to do a turn for him and I eagerly complied. “Stunning. Simply stunning” he said. I sat across from him and ordered a latte. Brent offered to get me anything I wanted but I couldn’t eat anything. I was way too nervous.
We sat and chatted for a good 2 hours. He told me about his job. His home life. About all the crazy women who have messaged him on the chat line. I laughed and told him about all the idiots who messaged me as well. I finally asked him “what were you looking for when you called?”. H e thought for a minute and explained. “Honestly. I wanted to find someone to have sex with. I am ... horny ... constantly. All I think about ... is sex.”. I think Brent was waiting for revulsion. For me to wince or curl my lip. He seemed to be bracing himself for my response. I smiled warmly at him and said “well that’s understandable”. He looked surprised but, at the same time, more at ease with me. I confessed that I spent a lot of time watching porn or getting high in my apartment. “Do you masturbate?” he asked. “Dude ... like all the time.” I replied. “If I’m awake ... or dreaming, chances are, something dirty is going through my head”. Brent smiled and agreed, confessing that he also had his mind in the gutter at all times. “Really?” I asked. “Like what? What dirty thing is going through your mind right now?”. Brent sat there for a moment and grinned at me. “I was thinking about how great it would be if we went back to your apartment and watched some porn together”. I wasn’t ready for that much candor. I actually almost choked on my latte. Brent apologized and looked embarrassed. I told him not to be sorry. That I was honestly thinking about the same thing. Brent raised his eyebrow and called for the check.