Intrigued, I clicked on the link that led me to the man's profile. 'Man' was not quite the right word to use however 'boy' didn't seem appropriate either. The guy was extremely good looking and was obviously from a Spanish descent.
His dark tousled hair fitted perfectly with his golden sun-kissed skin. He wore a pair of thick dark glasses over gorgeous dark green eyes; however, they didn't make him look any less unattractive as one might think.
In fact, they made him look even more appealing. I couldn't stop staring. He would make an incredible model.
With a brief glance at his basic biography information, I learned that he attended an art school in Manhattan, loved hiking and the outdoors, his hobbies included water skiing, reading contemporary literature, playing with his niece and nephew and volunteering at a local children's hospital in his spare time.
His parents were Spanish but he was born and raised in America, having only visited Spain a handful of times in his life.
Looking closer, he was single and looking for someone who could match his love for life and the world around him as well as commit to a serious relationship.
He was gorgeous. My heart thundered in my chest and I momentarily forgot about Cam. My pointer hovered over the 'Send Message' button but I was too nervous to go ahead with it.
I had only ever dated one person in my life and they had been the one to ask me out. The one to get to know me first and to start the conversation the day we first met.
It wasn't as if I never made any effort in our relationship, but Cam was the one who started it in the first place. I had never asked anyone out before and didn't know the protocol.
Fortunately for me, I didn't have to conflict myself any further as the laptop chimed and a notification alerted me that 'Gabriel Sanchez sent you a message.'
Shaking nervously and trying to control my racing thoughts, I clicked on my inbox and scanned over the message.
Hi, it read. My name is Gabriel. I just saw your profile is new and thought maybe I'd be your first friend on here? If not, that's cool too :)
Surprisingly, his message brought a smile to my face. I was used to receiving attention occasionally due to my job but this was different.
This guy didn't know anything about me, including my occupation. Was it possible he could like me for another reason?
'Slow down, Troye.' I chided myself when my racing thoughts got the better of me. 'You don't know anything about this guy. He may not even like you!'
Fortunately, I didn't have to overthink it for long as Jack entered the room a moment later with a towel strung around his shoulders. Towelling his hair dry systematically, Jack plopped down into the chair beside me and looked over at the computer in curiosity.
"Wow," he observed. "That didn't take long."
I shrug, my eyebrows furrowed as I stared at Gabriel's message. "I don't know what to do." I mused aloud. "Should I message him back? What do I say?"
Jack read over the message silently once more before sighing. "It's amazing. You're on here for two seconds and already have an admirer. I've only gotten locations for random hook-ups or the 'you're hot' or 'wanna have sex?' messages."
I look over at Jack in shock. "I thought you didn't use dating websites?"
He shrugs. "I thought I'd give it a go."
He pulled out his phone and brought up all the messages he had received on the website. I noticed that he had roughly thirty messages alone just from today. Reading through them, I laughed at some and shuddered at others.
Some were carnal whilst others were more straight forward like Jack said. There were many that read 'Hey, wanna bang?' or 'You're hot. Give me your number?' I skipped over the ones that went into more detail. Jack watched me the whole time, clearly wanting to see my reaction to each one.
"Wow." I said, repeating his previous line back to him. "They're pretty desperate, don't you think?"
"Yeah, desperate for a quick hook-up. Not an actual relationship." Jack replied, failing to hide the sadness in his voice.
I look up at him and saw his despondent expression as he read over his messages again. After living with Jack for two years now, I had grown accustomed to noticing when his mood shifted simply by his body language.
Jack had low self-esteem when it came to himself and his relationships. After his last few ending on a bad note, he was not exactly the most optimistic when it came to new ones.
"Jack," I said gently. "You're amazing. You just have to wait for the right person to see that."
He shook his head. "No one will ever see me, when they see you first."
Confused, I frowned. "What does that mean?"
"It means that in the gym class of life, you're the star athlete and I'm the kid on the side-lines. You're cake, and I'm the crumbs. I'll always come second to you Troye, don't you get that?"
I couldn't believe what he was saying. Did Jack really think so low of himself that he thinks I would outshine him instantly in everything? I prayed that wasn't the case.
"That's not true!" I exclaimed and stood up, forcing Jack to look at me. "You don't really believe that do you?"
"How could I not?"
I was dumbfounded. Why couldn't Jack see how amazing he was? He was intelligent, caring, sweet, kind and, I'll admit, very good looking. Why did he think he came second to me? I would love all those qualities about myself but Jack didn't understand he already possessed them. I repeated my thoughts back to him.
"Jack, you're creative and smart and talented and funny. You're a gentleman and an amazing friend. You're handsome and have an incredible work ethic. You're the best there is at the company and everyone knows it. I wouldn't be who I am without you, so please don't think any less of yourself because you outshine me in every way."
Jack looks into my eyes but I can see through his own that he doesn't believe me. "Thanks Troye, you're a good friend." He gets up and pats me on the shoulder. "I'm going to bed."
"Goodnight." I mumble as he leaves the room. I let out a breath I wasn't aware I was holding and close the laptop, deciding I'll push all thoughts of Gabriel and his message out of my mind for the night.
After all, I had only been on the site for a few hours; it wasn't as though he was the only other dateable person on there. Potentially.
With a peace of mind, I clean up the kitchen and head to my own bedroom. I rid myself of the day's work in the shower, including my makeup, hairspray, cologne and body spray, before climbing into bed.
Turning over, I thought of what Jack said in the kitchen. It saddened me that he didn't see nor understand his own self-worth. It wasn't just because I was his friend that I said that, but because I truly see that.
Jack truly is an incredible person who has only been involved with those who don't deserve his love. Every relationship he's ever had he has fallen hard into and they haven't always felt the same way. It broke my heart to watch but I knew once he found the right person, everything would fall into place.
Making a silent promise to myself that I would help Jack understand his own value, I drifted off to sleep.
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