It was 1:30am when I hugged Brent goodbye on the corner of Atlantic and Stanford. The night began with a spontaneous trip to BJ’s Bar and Grill and the hope of a second hook-up in a week; it was now ending quietly, with a literal anti-climax—a dreaded embrace to seal the night closed.

Last week, following a similar night out, Brent and I did not take two different paths. We walked down the same dimly-lit street, into my Toyota Camry, and drove back to his place, where we hooked up for the first time since October 2006. More than a year ago, I considered him potential dating material. After a few dinners and sexual overtures, though, we gave up the chase and kept in touch only through random AIM messages and the occasional Facebook update. Recently, for reasons inexplicable to me, we’ve resurrected patterns of more frequent communication, and ta-da: last week’s hook-up.

This week, bored at 11pm on Saturday night, I sent him a message asking what his plans were for the rest of the evening. He said that after a quick bite, he would be returning to BJ’s. He asked me what my plans were. I replied that I had none… until now.

Dejavu: A gin and tonic, whiskey sour, and two Jack and Cokes after we met up, we were gabbing about the usual: the past week’s work and the current night’s eye candy. A flirtatious touch here, an “accidental” rub of legs there… it was only a matter of time before we repeated last week’s blast from the past.

At 1:20am, the crowd began to dissipate, and we headed toward our respective cars. I had expected Brent—always the more assertive one between the two of us—to ask about his/my/our plans for the rest of the evening.

He didn’t. At 1:30am, on the corner of Atlantic and Stanford, he delivered the anti-climactic hug.

Disappointment happens, I told myself. Last week was just a hook-up. There were no expectations about future hookups. Just drive home and go to sleep. At 1:30am. When I’m not tired. And I have nothing else to do.

My car was about two blocks down the road when it hit me: Fuck it. Why was I waiting for him to make a move? I picked up my cell phone, dialed his number, and rattled off the official twenty-something code for “I want to hook-up with you”: Hey, did you want to hang out for a bit before you go home?

At 1:45am, we pulled into the parking lot of my apartment complex… and so did my roommate. My roommate had never seen me bring home anyone unless I was officially dating them, but hey, he knew that I was making efforts to go out a little more—and get a little more. It’d be fine.

Inside, Brent and I moved onto my tiny apartment loveseat, immediately across from a single chair that my ever-so-gregarious roommate quickly occupied. After a while, it became clear that everything was going to be a little too fine with my talkative and friendly roommate. He veered from the usual Ladies Man expert advice he’d give others and cock-blocked with conversation about The Game, fifth grade education, and Miami tourism—all things that had nothing to do with Brent and I getting it on.

Finally, at 2:30am, he grew tired—or took my hints. He drifted into his bedroom, closing his French doors and leaving Brent and I in the living room, on the love seat, alone. Thank goodness. My bed was waiting.

Brent yawned.

Damn it.

So, what are you doing tomorrow morning? I stammered as I tried to restore any energy he had left. A hook-up is never completely prepped without discussing the next morning’s responsibilities.

Coincidentally, his Dim Sum plans mirrored the ones I also made with my friends, down to the same restaurant. I laughed nervously at the thought of a morning-after with us sitting at different tables with two sets of clueless friends. It sounded almost like college.

Brent yawned again. This time, instead of dismissing his sleepiness, I acknowledged it.

Okay, it’s time for you to hit the sack. Are you heading back to your place to crash, or did you want to crash here? Subtextual wink.

I think I’m going to head back to my place, he said.

Damn it.

To my surprise, he counter-offered: How about you?

I gave a quick, split-second thought to the opportunity of a second hookup at his place. It would be nice to wake up next to a warm body again, to make out, and physically vent the week’s stress in an exercise of bedroom wrestling.

Nah, I said, I think I’ll crash here.

Before he left, I leaned toward him for a hug; he apparently thought it was going to be a kiss. His lips met my cheek.

I locked the door as he drove away. When I flipped the living room lights off, the rays of his headlights grew larger—and then faded—on my apartment blinds. I stripped off my clothes, crawled into my double bed, and when I curled my arms around my pillow, I began to wonder what I would tell my roommate the next morning.

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