I Stood Outside This Guy's Apartment While He Real-Life Ghosted Me
I recently experienced every young, sexually active person's WORST NIGHTMARE.
OK, maybe not worst nightmare (I didn't contract AIDS or get pregnant), but I experienced something that everyone knows is always a possibility but never thinks will actually happen: A guy called me to come over in the middle of the night, and by the time I arrived at his apartment, he'd fallen asleep.
Yes, I got booty-call ghosted.
To this guy's credit, I wasn't actually a booty call. We'd been seeing each other pretty consistently for about a month. So it wasn't like I was some disposable girl he didn't care about enough to wait up for. Him falling asleep was a sincere, genuine accident. He even called me in a frenzy of heartfelt apologies the next day and cooked me a steak dinner to make up for it all.
But that wasn't until after I spent $60 on TWO cab rides, tried to literally break into his apartment and woke a sleepy father next door who came outside in his robe and told me to stop screaming. The things we'll do for sex, huh?
This guy I was seeing -- let's call him Tyler -- hadn't mentioned wanting to hang out that night. So when I woke to the sound of my iPhone buzzing on my bedside table and saw Tyler's name flash on the screen, it would be the biggest understatement of the century to say that I was confused. I became even more confused when I saw that it was 5:56 am, because who is awake and functional at 5:56 am on a Sunday? And if you are, why would you ever CALL ME?
"Hello?" I answered.
"Heeeeey! Were you sleeping?"
Oh, he was totally drunk. I could hear it in the bubbly tone of his voice and the way he paused for a beat too long before responding. But I didn't mind. If you're dating someone, you reserve the right to hit that person up with an excited intoxicated phone call in the wee hours of the morning.
"I was. What's up?" I asked, trying to sound agitated for being woken up but probably failing because of how secretly thrilled I was to hear from him. "Where are you?"
"I'm home in Brooklyn!" he responded. "And I'm inviting you over."
What? To Brooklyn? The last time a guy woke me up to invite me over in the middle of the night, I was in college, and he was a quick walk across the street. Brooklyn, by contrast, was over 45 minutes away from me on the subway. And that's only if the subways were running efficiently, which they probably weren't, so I'd have to take a cab.
My stomach was also starting to hurt as the inevitable hangover set in from drinking only a few hours prior. And I was wearing my freaking retainer and the purple hole-filled granny panties I sport when I know nobody is going to see me naked.
I contemplated my options. Leaving my bed would mean having to change into a hot lacy thong and real pants (ugh), put on some concealer to cover the dark circles under my eyes (Tyler hadn't seen me with zero makeup yet, and I just wasn't ready for that), brush my teeth to get rid of my vile alcohol and retainer breath (it was bad), and shell out $30 (THIRTY FUCKING DOLLARS) for a taxi. All in the freezing cold, and with a pain in my stomach that threatened to worsen as the morning progressed.
Then again, Tyler and I hadn't had sex in a few days. Also, I really liked him. So it was decided: I was going.
"That's such a trek," I told him on the phone. "But OK!"
Seriously, nothing indicated that he was going to fall asleep on me. Like a true gentleman, Tyler stayed on the phone with me for the 10 minutes I spent running around my apartment to get ready. He chatted with me as I brushed my teeth and put on fresh clothes, cheerfully telling me about his night, the podcast he'd been listening to that week and how excited he was to see me. I was even texting him when I got in the cab and up until the literal five minutes before I arrived at his apartment. There were no warning signs.
At about 6:40 am, the cab pulled up outside of Tyler's apartment in Brooklyn. When I opened the door, I heard EDM music blasting from the window of his bedroom on the second floor. Loud, bass-heavy, aggressive EDM music that shook the walls of his brownstone apartment and screamed into the streets of his quaint little Brooklyn neighborhood. It made me laugh out loud -- Tyler was definitely the type to listen to EDM music at 6:40 am after going out with friends, just to extend his night a little bit longer.
I paid the cab driver and texted Tyler: "I hear your music. I'm here."
I really, really didn't think he was playing this music to keep himself from falling asleep. But when he didn't answer my text, I quickly learned that was probably what he'd been doing.
When the possibility of him falling asleep first popped into my head, I found it so laughable that I refused to accept it. So when he didn't answer my message, I very calmly called him. Then, when he didn't answer my call, I very calmly rang his doorbell. I figured maybe he just didn't hear me, considering, you know, how blaring that music was and all.
I waited outside of his front door for another two minutes before I decided to call again. But then, no answer. Again.
"Tyler!" I texted.
Three more minutes went by. I kept looking up at his bedroom window, searching for any sign of his body moving behind the blinds. But there was nothing. The music was even blasting at the same steady volume, and I could have sworn the light was on. Where the hell was he?
To the right of his apartment was a little entrance to a basement area with its own door and doorbell, so I tried to ring that, too. Nothing.
"Tyler... I am literally downstairs," I texted again, my fingers racing across the keyboard. "LET ME IN."
I called him again and paced back and forth in front of his apartment as three more minutes passed in excruciating slowness. It was getting lighter outside, and someone was walking a dog a few feet down the block. A paperboy rode his bike past Tyler's stoop and threw a newspaper stuffed in a blue plastic bag on top of it.
Right, I forgot it was Sunday morning. People's days were beginning.
"TYLER!" I screamed in the direction of his bedroom window, my nasally Jersey twang emerging, hot and filled with rage, like I was about to fight someone in a Shore bar. I knew he wouldn't be able to hear me through the music, but I figured it couldn't hurt to try. "TYLERRRRRR!"
The dog and his owner rounded a corner and completely vanished from my view, and I was all alone once again.
Running out of options, I decided to alternate between ringing Tyler's front door bell, ringing his basement doorbell and sitting on his curb to call him. Still nothing.
By the fifth consecutive unanswered bell ring and phone call, sheer panic had set the fuck in. What was I going to do?
I glanced at the steel black window next to his basement door. Maybe there was an unlocked spot from which I could pry the screen open (read: break in).
I started peering around the perimeter of the window for any opened locks, accessible cracks or, hell, even loosened nails that I could jimmy apart. But that shit was industrial-strength sealed shut. No amount of adrenaline was going to budge it.
As my humiliation and distress grew to unwieldy extremes, I saw another possibility for entry via a large, square hole on the upper left side of his basement door. I thought maybe I could stretch my arm through the hole, unlock the door from the inside and let myself in (yes, I realize this is the second time I'm trying to downplay breaking into someone's house). But nope. Didn't work.
"TYLER!" I screamed again. Tears streamed down my cheeks, breaking like a thunderstorm through the humidity. This was fucking ridiculous.
By this point, my rational side had accepted that he'd fallen asleep. But my emotional, anxious side spiraled into thoughts of him purposely ignoring me while having sex in his bedroom with some random chick he met at the bar as I wailed outside like a bad lead character in a romantic comedy.
In my desperate and overtired state, I started recalling all the things I'd done in the past few weeks that could have weirded Tyler out enough to want to ditch me. Like, oh God, should I not have suggested we follow each other on Instagram? Because he seemed really uncomfortable when I suggested that and, wait, should I not have sexted him that crazy thing the other week? Because he didn't answer me for a while, and now he definitely thinks I'm strange and--
Suddenly, the EDM music stopped. I heard a voice say "Sorry! I'm coming!" and my stomach leaped into my throat. I paused and waited, ears perked, like a dog waiting for a treat.
But several minutes went by and Tyler didn't bust open the front door, all apologetic and cute in his boxers and tousled hair. Because there was no voice. There was nobody. I had driven myself to hallucinogenic insanity.
"TYLER!" I screamed, if only to fill the piercingly silent early morning air with some sound.
A moment later, a man in a light green robe came out onto his stoop from the apartment next door. I whipped around to face him, my eyes red and bugging out like a patient in a mental institution. He squinted at me, perplexed and sad, and crossed his arms over his chest.
"I... I have a kid," he whimpered, loud enough for me to hear but feeble enough for me to really feel the depth of my shame. "Please stop screaming."
Oh no. Oh no, oh no, oh no.
"I'm so sorry, sir," I said, guilt hanging heavy on every syllable. "Really, I ... I'm so sorry."
And with that, he slowly turned around and re-entered his home. The beautiful home whose peace I disturbed with my fucking libido.
I wish I could say this is when I accepted defeat and left. But it wasn't. I stayed outside of Tyler's apartment for another 25 minutes, shifting between calling him and texting him and ringing his doorbell and howling his name and banging my fists on his front door and considering asking a neighbor for a goddamn key into this goddamn motherfucking goddamn goddamn GODDAMN apartment.
Eventually, as one must do, I gave up. I hailed a cab, spending another 30 dollars, and went home. I endured the walk of shame and had nothing to show for it. Except the bagel, egg and cheese sandwich I bought at the deli near my apartment.
I tried really hard to be mad at Tyler the next day. Really, really hard. But I couldn't. He took full responsibility for what happened and even balked on the phone when I said it wasn't his fault ("It's completely my fault, Alexia. Come on," he said. "OK, you're right. It is your fault," I replied). And the make-up steak he cooked for us was the greatest thing I've ever eaten.
But, still. I'm thinking I should probably just stay home next time.