I Am A Zombie – The Partnered Pen

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After being a ghost, I returned.

Photo by @dallehj via Unsplash

Some stories make you look good, heroic. Then there are stories like this, that make me look like the world’s biggest douche. Truth be told, I deserve everything that happened to me.

Yet, I still feel very justified in my actions, even as I acknowledge that I made some wrong choices. What the hell am I talking about? I can hear you asking as you read this. Allow me to take you back in time, though not too far.


When I moved back to New York City, I decided it was time for me to start dating again. For years, I had a special friend that took care of my physical needs. He made dating a non-issue for me. No matter what I wanted, he fulfilled it. Except actually leaving the house and going out to eat, but my best friend was always up for dinner with me. Especially since we were roommates, that made life easier.

But when I moved away, I lost my FWB and dinners with the bestie. There was already a plan to join a writing group but that was to make friends not a romantic partner. So, I fired up my old OkCupid account.

There were a few guys that caught my attention but nothing came of it. Most of the ones that I swiped right for were straight. Why were they in my feed, I still can’t answer but there they were. Shirtless and looking for body parts I don’t have.

Enter The ‘Mo

Within a day or so of me reactivating my account, I was deep in conversation with a guy. His name was Ernest and we seemed to get along great. After exchanging a few messages on the dating site, we switched to texting.

Since he worked overnight, and I can’t fall asleep until 1 in the morning, we were able to talk a lot. The conversation flowed smoothly from what we did for a living to our favorite singers. And at one point, we talked about what we like during adult times. Wouldn’t you know, we were compatible. Not an easy feat.

Soon, he asked me out on a date.

On The Dock

We went out for dinner, and the chemistry between us was electrifying. Never before or since have I had that kind of chemistry with someone. Well one other time but nothing has happened with that yet. Ernest took me to his favorite restaurant and then we walked around Manhattan, holding hands.

We ended up back at his hotel and he invited me up. I made a decision that I am convinced changed the direction of our relationship altogether. I declined to go up with him. To his credit, he seemed fine with it but after that things were a bit awkward.

Planning our second date was a lot of fun for me. Except when he found out what I wanted to do, he was not a fan. Literally, everything I wanted to was changed. Irritated does not begin to describe how I felt. Yet, the chemistry was still there and he took me to my favorite museum, the Museum of Sex. He made sure to let everyone know that I was his date.

We ended up walking to the docks. We looked out at the water, I snuggled up next to him. Some other adult stuff may have started happening. Maybe I had imagined the shift in the relationship.

We made plans for me to visit him at his place. Since he lived away from the city, but still in New York, I was going to have to take the train. He avoided making plans for my visit, and then the day of told me that he had signed up for OT. We were going to have to reschedule my visit.

Second Strike And San Diego

As a writer and soap opera fan, I was highly suspicious of his reasoning for blowing me off. A bunch of scenarios played through my head. Maybe he had a boyfriend and I was the side piece. Maybe he was homeless but had a job. Maybe he had a wife and kids, don’t laugh that one happened before.

He wanted me to come up and spend the night with him on his next night off. It also happened to be the last time we would see each other before I left for vacation. Listen moving across the country and dating a possible serial killer (another possibility!) was hard work and I needed a break. Plus, I had already booked the hotel and flight for San Diego.

Everything seemed to be set for my visit. Then he canceled again. This time, he needed to go car shopping with his mom and didn’t know what time he was going to be finished. Angry and frustrated, I didn’t talk to him for a while.

Once I stepped off the plane in San Diego, I had a feeling that things were about to change.


The San Diego trip was amazing. There were all sorts of guys hitting me up on the dating apps and in the hotel. Ernest and I talked a little but the conversation was stilted at best. Since I was with the bestie and family, I wasn’t talking to him as often.

Once I got back, he wanted to make plans. However, I was not about to let myself be burned a third time. A funny thing happened. Another guy started talking to me. We enjoyed talking to one another and soon moved to talking on the phone.

Like actually talking on the phone and not texting. It was retro. It was fun. It was entirely stupid of me. But at the time, I had no idea what a mistake I was making at the time. The feeling of being wanted washed over me and it felt great.

It was a whirlwind relationship. During that time, I ghosted Ernest. It was wrong but it didn’t seem that way at the time. After everything, maybe God was telling me to go with the guy who seemed to really want me.

Except he wanted a version of me that doesn’t exist. After we broke up, a messy affair, I debated on what to do. Since I was heading back to Michigan, I text my old friend with benefits but as it turned out, I helped him come out of the closet and land a boyfriend. Then I sent a text to Ernest.

Zombie Ed Strikes

Ernest and I fell back into a familiar and comfortable pattern of talking. Everything felt like it had in the beginning. Including him asking me on a date when I got back to the city.

This time I made him wait. Right around my birthday, I finally let him take me out again. We went back to the same restaurant and made out like teenagers in heat while we waited for a table.

After our date, I didn’t hear from him for a couple of days. Finally, I asked what was up. There was another guy that he had been seeing after I ghosted him. They had argued but had started talking again. He wanted to see where things went with that guy.

As I learned later, they broke up. But it was too late for us. There wouldn’t be another chance. Not this time. I learned about being a zombie.

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