The Ghosting FWB
Before I start let me say this, I’m not a writer, which given what I do for a living some would find odd, and I’m terrible at talking about myself and my feelings. But I do spend much of my life talking about others. So for what is probably the first real occasion, I’m going to try and combine something I should be good at, with something I’m really not – talking about others, and how they make me feel. Hopefully with a splash of humour to boot!
This is a story I was never sure I’d tell, much less publicise. Some of you may have seen the odd brief mention of the wonder that was referred to as FWB on my profile. There was a lot about him that I kept private, for reasons which will no doubt become apparent. But now that it’s over, it feels like the right time to tell his story. Our story.
To protect his privacy as is proper, I’ve given him an alias he’d love: Ghost.
Firefighter – check
Used to play semi-professional football – check (although he’d hate my use of the word “semi”)
Personal trainer (MY personal trainer) – check
Ridiculously fit and he knows it – check
Anymore clichés we want to check off for a FWB here…
Oh wait yeah – we’re fucking. Or we were…
The checklist above probably brings only one thing to mind – “fuckboy” right?
And that was my initial reaction too. But hand on heart he was one of the nicest, most genuine guys I’ve ever known – he just happened to be ridiculously fit and have a massive dick as well. I know, I know, I never stood a chance…
Our story is an interesting one, and is quite frankly my highlight of the last 18 months.
When I first met Ghost, I didn’t fancy him. Sure he was fit and in my words, “objectively good looking”, but I’ve always dated slender guys, intelligent guys, guys from similar backgrounds… that’s just who I ended up with. The cool, “hot” guys never looked twice at me, and I was always ok with that. They were most likely idiots anyway.
We started training together in January 2019 after my previous trainer decided to take on other pursuits. Ghost was his replacement sent from the agency, but I then instructed him privately. I was trying to get fitter and stronger, primarily to boost my confidence after a painful breakup. My job also isn’t the best for maintaining a healthy lifestyle, a lot of running around, but a lot of grabbing what you can when you can as well. My focus wasn’t on losing weight, I just wanted to feel sexy and confident again – something I had lost along the way during my previous relationship. What I didn’t know was that I was about to get a lot more than I bargained for.
On paper, we could not be more different. He left school and went to play football, which he was good at; very good. Sadly, injury scuppered his chances of becoming fully professional and after struggling with his dreams being shattered, his mother talked him into the Fire Brigade. And yes, he looks hot in the uniform…
I on the other hand was a straight ‘A’ student. I went to university and spent several years undertaking the subsequent vocational training for my chosen profession. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a smart guy, we’re just bright in different ways. He used to say I was the “dumbest smart person” he’d ever met due to my lack of common sense. Like I said, bright in different ways.
But despite this, we bonded very quickly, and we laughed every week as we trained in my flat and outside in the garden. Boy did we laugh. I can honestly say I have not belly laughed like I did with him for a long time.
A few months in I started to suspect I might have a crush on him. A quick Google search reassured me that this was perfectly normal – oxytocin is released when you exercise (the same hormone as during sex I’m told); physical boundaries are broken down very quickly with a personal trainer, and a man taking an interest in your wellbeing and what’s important to you is always going to be very attractive to a woman, so I put any feelings out of my mind (thanks Men’s Health magazine!). Plus, men like that had never looked at me before, they weren’t going to be about to start now – he was way out of my league! Not to mention how serious he seemingly took his professional relationship with his clients.
Six months in, over the summer, things gradually began to change…we started spending time together outside of our training sessions. Drinks in the pub, dinners, movie nights. We discovered to our surprise that we actually had a lot of common interests. On occasion I would be working near his place, and I would hang out there between meetings; working or watching TV. We started to spend more and more time with each other.
He invited me along to his work’s Christmas do, he met my parents and would always make an effort to stop by whenever they were visiting. He came to my 30th and met my friends, even driving my parents and I back to our hotel in the pouring rain afterwards. We would talk for hours on the phone, laughing and joking. He’d toss me over his shoulder fireman style, playfighting and throwing me around. He was like a big kid at times, and I loved it. I allowed myself to be silly around him, something I rarely ever do, and it really lifted a weight inside of me. I was genuinely having FUN.
By Christmas, I was seriously confused. What was he playing at? By now this was beyond the call of professional duty. This was a friendship clearly, but did he fancy me? I wasn’t sure.
“A relationship in all but name,” my mother used to call it. Mother’s tend to have an uncanny habit of seeing what their children don’t.
I went home for Christmas for around 2 weeks. He came to my flat to wave me off. And then we spoke nearly every day. My Mum and I even drunkenly Facetimed him on Christmas Day when he was on shift to make sure his Christmas wasn’t totally rubbish – he loved it and gave us a virtual tour of the station.
Then two days later things changed dramatically. We had phone sex for the first time, and he showed me exactly what he had to offer. “No going back now,” I said.
“It won’t be happening again,” was his reply. I was slightly disappointed but something deep down told me he didn’t mean it.
In January 2020, I returned and we resumed training. One afternoon after a session, he decided to stay and kip at my place before he went onto his next client as it was closer than going home. I had work to do so thought nothing of it – though in truth all I could think about was the fact he was asleep in my bed!
I dutifully went to wake him a couple of hours later and looked around for his trousers that he’d asked if it was alright to remove before getting into bed. They were nowhere to be seen. Finding it odd that he’d decided to sleep fully clothed, I lifted the duvet to check…
Now you know those “sliding doors” moments that happen once in a blue moon, where you find yourself faced with a clear choice, both options leading you down a fundamentally different path? It feels like time stands still. And when reality hits, you realise that if you go down one specific path, you’ll always wonder what if, but if you choose the other, it could be the best or worst decision you ever make? That’s what I was confronted with in that moment.
In truth, I was actually just confronted with a massive cock. His trousers and underwear brazenly slid down around his ankles. He looked at me and grinned.
He had these big bright brown eyes and a massive smile that lit up the room, making my heart race. I looked from him, to back under the duvet to make sure I wasn’t dreaming, and back to him again. He was still grinning.
I looked back under the duvet – “What the fuck am I supposed to do with that?” I thought to myself. But instead I coolly said out loud, “You do realise this is going to be your professional credibility well and truly out the window? And is going to shift the dynamic of our friendship entirely?” “Stop stalling,” he replied.
“Fuck,” I thought. Something I had fantasised about for months was, quite literally, presenting itself to me. This was it.
I opened Pandora’s box, and for the next 9 months, I didn’t look back.
Ghost brought out a side to me that I’m fairly sure was always there, it was just buried somewhere deep inside. The more time I spent with him, the more confident and sexy I felt. Even my friends noticed it. My face would light up when I spoke about him. I was soaring at work. I was wearing clothes I never thought I’d have the confidence to wear and I was being noticed.
I went on dates every now and again but no one ever gave me that “spark;” that fire that I felt whenever I was with Ghost. But I never told him how I felt. I’d locked up those feelings months before, and that’s where they stayed. Our friendship dynamic may have changed to include a sexual element, but I wasn’t about to do anything to jeopardise that when there was so much left to explore.
Sexually, he taught me a lot. Not just about sex in general, but about myself too. I started to enjoy things I hadn’t previously – being spanked, giving head. Boy did I enjoy the latter. I’ve never felt a burning desire to do that to any guy, but with him I was hungry for it. Doing it turned me on, and he taught me how to do it well.
We’d have quickies whilst friends and housemates went out for a cigarette; we’d get each other off simultaneously on the couch, sometimes with toys, sometimes without (ladies, you may think sex toys are awesome, but if you ever get your hands on a vibrating massage gun that’s ordinarily designed for muscle relaxation…you won’t look back I can tell you. It’s like a wand on speed.)
Once, we nipped to the shops to pick up some alcohol in his car. Without warning, he spun his car into an alleyway near his place. My heart was pounding. He’d been touching me relentlessly inside his house, but his housemate kept disturbing us. By that point I was on fire. The release was ecstasy. I then hungrily gave him head, politely ensuring there was no mess (like the classy lady I am), before calmly walking into Tesco for beer. I’d never done anything like that in my life, but I felt alive.
We would send each other photos and videos very occasionally. Not regularly, but from time to time if we were feeling frisky. We even made one of our own. If you’ve never done it, I’d highly recommend it (in a trusted scenario of course) – not only for the thrill of creating it, but for the mutual enjoyment of watching it together afterwards. I digress…
And then lockdown arrived…How did we handle it you ask?
With great difficulty at times. I’m pretty sure he’s the only guy on the planet I’d have contemplated breaking the rules for – I was addicted by then what can I say – and at the very start of lockdown I was enjoying the delicious thought that he might actually have the same problem… because he got ill. Let me explain.
The first Friday morning of lockdown I received a text at about 9am, “I’ve got symptommmmmsssss!!!”. I picked up the phone and dialled his number, he sounded terrible. “I thought I was invincible BD!” he cried. I chuckled. Now, was the beautiful Ghost bothered about not being able to work for two weeks? Not being able to help the Fire Service at the start of lockdown in a global pandemic? Having to stay at home and not go out? Having to cancel virtual training sessions and lose money? Nope… “I’m annoyed because I was SO looking forward to one of your blowjobs tomorrow” (Reader, we had planned to have our final training session the following day before stopping for lockdown). “I’d been thinking about it all day yesterday and now it’s not going to happen”. I was taken aback.
You should know, Ghost and I rarely discussed sex outside of us having it, and specifically us having sex. We’d flirt of course every now and again, talk about sex in general and send media as I mentioned above, but never really talk about the occasions we’ve fucked around – much less any future times. In fact, I spent much of the time after we’d had sex silently praying it wouldn’t be the last time because I was never too sure whether it would happen again. So when I heard this, I won’t lie, I grinned from ear to ear. And of course, the little sexy lady inside my head was dancing around like a crazy person.
“Too bad it’s going to be phone sex only for you for the next 7 days then” I replied as coolly as possible. With a promise to bring some groceries to his doorstep later that day (yes, my PT had a secret love of Coco Pops – not to mention an obsession with coleslaw), I hung up.
What followed over the next 48 hours can only be described as borderline sexual harassment, but the kind you don’t object to because you’d quite happily fuck the person doing it 24/7 if you could. I think the classic, “you always want what you can’t have,” was tormenting him to the extreme; unsurprising for someone used to having what they want in life. Meanwhile, I relished it. Not just because his enthusiasm made me grin and laugh, but because I felt wanted. More than that, I felt desired. The coolest guy I have ever met, could only think about fucking me.
But it was never just about sex, Ghost was thoughtful too. He kept it well hidden at times, it likely didn’t fit with his “alpha male” persona, but it was there. He was far more financially savvy than I am so he helped me look for support when my work was decimated during lockdown; he always remembered the work I had going on and would listen with interest, asking intelligent questions; he would steward at Wimbledon for the Brigade and offered to take my mother along with him after she broke her ankle and spent most of summer 2019 cooped up indoors, and then he completely surprised me latterly in lockdown.
One thing we would joke about was that he didn’t do gifts, cards especially. One afternoon I was at home (obviously) when the buzzer went. The unfamiliar person on the end claimed they’d locked themselves out; naively on reflection, I thought nothing of it, and buzzed them inside. Then there was a knock on my door. My heart started pounding. The voice asked me to open the door. Not recognising it, I refused and put the chain on. The view through the spy hole was obscured. I started panicking and moved away from the door. Then a very familiar sounding voice exclaimed, “BD, are you going to open the door to me or what?!” A sigh of relief went through me and I opened the door. Ghost had blagged his way into my building and was standing on my doorstep with a huge bunch of flowers – and a card! I was in shock. “I wanted to say thank you for looking after me when I was ill,” he said. Before I could say anything, he thrust the bouquet at me and continued, “but now I’m really embarrassed so I’m going to go,” and he ran down the stairs. He was gone. I was on cloud nine for the rest of the day. And I treasured those flowers (and the card, which I kept) for the 3 weeks I managed to make them last.
Our friendship continued to flourish. He was one of the few positive, consistent features that I had through the whole sorry year that has been 2020. We grew closer. We shared more about our backgrounds, our plans for the future. Phone calls, funny videos. I’d text him on night shifts. He’d text me to see whether I’d actually had any work to do during the day for once. I’m pleased to say that’s now slowly improving… and in the back of my mind I thought maybe he was coming around to the idea that we were really good together. But I never pushed it.
After my last serious relationship, not knowing how Ghost really felt about me never really bothered me. I knew at some point it likely would, but I was happy having fun and getting to know someone completely different. I never encouraged him to have the “what are we?” conversation, I was happy with whatever it was that we were. And I didn’t think that would change until maybe one of us met someone new. He would often joke that at some point I’d let him down once I’d met someone. I never stopped looking whilst he was around, but I was in no hurry and certainly wasn’t going to settle for the wrong person. I still won’t.
And then last week, everything came to an end. An abrupt, unforeseen, unexplained, heart breaking end. The week before had been like any other. He dropped in to see my Mum after work as she was visiting, staying for a couple of hours to charm her as usual – having a couple of drinks before heading off. He was back the next evening to train, laughing, joking and flirting as usual. We trained again the next day, less than 24 hours later (I was having to cram the sessions in last week due to work and other plans), yet the person who walked through my door that time was a complete stranger.
We barely spoke for the whole hour. I was feeling emotionally fragile myself that day and had thought that the exercise and the company of my favourite person would help, how wrong I was. I held back the tears through gritted teeth and focused on the exercise. I tried asking if he was ok, he was “alright,” he replied. “Maybe he’s just tired,” I thought to myself, he occasionally had been. Working two full-time jobs has understandably caught up with him on occasion. I was seeing him again two days later so I let him have his quiet session, and he left.
He was back again at the start of last week. But little had changed. He was quiet. Not engaging. Dictating exercises and counting without any enthusiasm, not asking me a single question. I thought back to how he was before we became friends – boundless energy and infectious charisma. Displaying a style of personal training that encompassed physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. He was always exceptionally good at his job and from the stories he told, his clients loved him for it.
But something just wasn’t right, and this was unprofessional for entirely different reasons. So I called him out. He’d always encouraged me to express my feelings, rather than bottling things up. Training for me wasn’t just about physical confidence, but about my mental wellbeing. This wasn’t helping, and I was no longer enjoying it. My attempts to explain that I was concerned that something was bothering him fell on deaf ears. I cared as a friend and was worried that something was clearly affecting the service he was providing. I knew in my mind however, that it was only affecting the service he was providing me. I just couldn’t work out why.
“See you in the morning,” I said as he left, not looking back or saying goodbye. Little did I know, it was the last time he would walk out my front door.
An hour later he messaged, “I think today should be our last session. It’s just that right time.” I was taken aback. My heart raced and I felt sick to my stomach. I didn’t care about the training, I didn’t even care about the sex, I cared about losing a valued friend who had done so much for me. I replied – I didn’t agree with him. I didn’t get a response, never mind an explanation.
Rather than reacting hastily and full of emotion, I gave it some space. I collected my thoughts, trying to reason things through. But no matter how hard I tried, none of it made sense. No possible reason that I could torture myself with explained why he would sabotage things in such a cruel and deliberate manner. Not only that but he knew I’d had a rough time of late, losing work, feeling lonely and losing another close friend by virtue of a new relationship. Ghost was my constant. There every week, making me laugh, without fail.
Then someone asked me if I’d ever actually told him how I felt about him – never explicitly I thought. We’d joked about getting married one day and how beautiful our kids would be; what my grandparents would think of him; that he wasn’t “boujee” enough for me (I’ll admit I’d never even heard that word before I met him, so my Twitter profile has him to thank), or that I was only excited by the ‘idea’ of him, and not who he is as a person. But no I concluded, I hadn’t. And although I hesitated at the thought of making a fool of myself in front of someone who clearly wasn’t the man I thought, what did I have to lose?
“Don’t do it for him,” she said. “Do it for you. Do it so it isn’t bottled up inside you anymore.” The thought had never occurred to me that bottling up positive feelings could do the same sort of damage as negative ones. So I did. Or I tried to. I started drafting something, trying to put into words a year’s worth of feelings. I didn’t rush myself, I wanted to get it right. After spending several days drafting a message I was happy to send, I looked through my messages. To my horror I was met with a blank profile as I realised he had blocked my number. My first thought – “Great. So much for closure.” My second, “why on earth?!” Again, it made no sense. It still doesn’t.
When Paddy asked me to write a guest blog a few weeks’ back, I wasn’t sure what to write about. I’ve had some crazy experiences with the opposite sex which garner enough material for multiple blog posts! But when things with Ghost came to an end last week, there was only one answer. My time with him is an experience I will never forget, and much of who I am right now, is because of him. Now is the right time to share that story.
I truly believe that sometimes people come into your life for a finite period of time, to teach you things about yourself and the world. Ghost turned my world upside down, and I will only ever be grateful to him for that.
So whilst I’ve not yet decided whether to somehow send Ghost the message I drafted, I can’t keep it bottled up inside any longer. So I’m going to tell YOU.
“Ghost, I want you to know this:
I didn’t fall for the idea of you. I fell for YOU. You turned my world upside down. You brought out someone I thought I had lost.
I fell for the person you are – driven, cheeky, focused, fun – with a smile that lit up the room and a charisma that was infectious.
I fell for the way you made me feel – confident, sexy, like I could achieve anything. Your determination inspired me to work harder and do better.
I fell for the way you made me laugh like I hadn’t in years. The way I could be silly with you and enjoy it. We never stopped laughing when we were together.
I fell for the little things we shared – the quizzes, the movies, the music, the Urban Dictionary references and the work visits…
I don’t care what you do for a living and I never have. You’re an incredible person both in spite of and because of that.
I truly valued our friendship above all. And I believe you did too. I’m so sad to lose that. I never said any of this to you before but I’m saying it now. I miss you g, x”
A big thank you to Boujee Dater for this latest guest blog head over to Twitter and give her a follow.