eCUPID 2.0: A Gay Valentines Day Story
Jimmy sat alone. It was the grand re-opening ceremony for the Angel Café. As he looked around at all the hot, available men frequenting the café, he felt empty inside.
Jimmy wasn’t the usual “gym bunny” like most guys in West Hollywood, but he wasn’t out of shape either. He was in his late twenties and attractive with a warm, caring heart and a keen sense of humor. Jimmy was “dad-bod” adorable.
Recently, he had officially given up on men altogether and stopped bothering even to date. He had especially given up pursuing the man of this dreams, Anton.
Anton worked with Jimmy as a sales representative. His job entailed introducing them to the latest office products and refilling their dwindling supplies. Anton was everything Jimmy wanted in a man; considerate, kind, funny, and sexy. He was a burly man– just the right side of beefy with thick hair and strong features.
Jimmy couldn’t help himself. He had frequent lumberjack fantasies of Anton. Jimmy longed to see him in tight jeans and a plaid button-down shirt, with an ax in his hand chopping lumber in the backyard of their cabin in the woods!
But now, Jimmy sat alone in the café watching people meet, greet and romance each other.
He was indeed lonely as he quietly asked the universe for someone to love. The words barely formed in his head before his phone made a mysterious chiming sound with the bold words asking, “Looking for love?”An app offering romantic assistance, called eCUPID, was requesting Jimmy’s permission to help with his quest for a man.
WHY NOT? I’ve tried everything else… Just another silly app to play with.
Jimmy agreed to the Terms and Conditions of the program without adequately reading them as he prepared himself to leave.
Best to get home and settle in for the night and relax. No one here is interested in me. Love’s not in my future. Not today at least.
Quickly arriving home, a large white truck with the words “Divinity delivery” had delivered a bounty of boxes at his front door.
Is that for me? I know I didn’t order anything!
A delivery person was nowhere in sight, and before he even turned around, the truck had left without a trace.
Jimmy no sooner brought the boxes inside when his phone sprang to life. It was the app he had just downloaded speaking to him. A sweet female voice asserted, “Clothes make the man, dress the part, and success will find you!”
Jimmy was shocked at the notification, not to mention that all the boxes contained beautiful Tailor-made clothes that fit him perfectly. His wardrobe just went from zero to hero in seconds!
Who is paying for all this? I guess I’ll worry about that when the bill comes in!
Jimmy was thrilled about his new look.
All dressed up with nowhere to go…
The thought no sooner crossed his mind when the app’s voice asserted, “Your car is outside, time to hit the town!”
Could it be there’s an uber waiting for me?
The voice insisted, “Meter’s running! Don’t dawdle!”
Jimmy was more confused than anything. But who was he to argue with the app?
A beautiful older woman was his chauffer and welcomed him, “Let’s show you a good time!”
Jimmy thought he recognized the voice –but from where? Could it be the same voice as on his phone?
Minutes later, the car pulled up to a strange address.
Where are we? Who lives in this place? Is this the good time you promised?
The driver hopped out of the car and opened his door, “Just ring Unit 7. You’ll find your answers there.”
Curiosity got the best of him.
I know I should insist on being taken home, but I must know what’s going on.
With a curious look at his driver, Jimmy decided to gather his courage and make his way towards the building and buzzed Unit 7. Was this lucky number 7, he wondered?
The doorbell chimed, but there was no reply.
Guess no one is there!
Before he could turn around, a muscular, strikingly handsome, wearing only a towel answered the door. “Hi, can I help you?”
Wow. Is this a hook-up? Did they just send me to a rent boy’s home? Whoever this stud is, they have excellent taste!
“My driver just instructed me to ring this bell. Why I was told to come here is a mystery to me.”
“What’s your name?” he inquired pleasantly.
Jimmy struggled to keep his eyes on the man’s face rather than the dark, sexy path of hair that peeked out from beneath the towel and trailed towards his navel and well-defined abs.
He answered, “Jimmy… Popensmitz”
The man’s face softened; his expression turned familiar and caring.
“Please… Come in. It’s Rudy. Rudy from when we were in grade school.”
Jimmy instantly knew who Rudy was. He was surprised he didn’t recognize him sooner. It had only been ten years, but now in the prime of their lives, Rudy was muscular and hot. Could this studly man be the bully from middle school he so dreaded?
Jimmy thought about it for a minute and decided to enter and talk to him. He was too curious about what he was doing there and what Rudy had to say.
“Please, sit. Honestly, I just want a minute of your time. I hoped our paths would cross one day.”
Jimmy entered the smartly decorated apartment as Rudy began explaining himself cautiously. “I know I was terrible to you in school; I was a bully. I wanted to say I’m sorry for what I put you through.”
Jimmy sat motionlessly.
How bizarre. Why was taken to this house to see this person?
Before he could even attempt to make sense of what was happening, Rudy continued, “I didn’t understand my sexuality and took my frustrations out on you. I finally grew up and met a man who helped me understand who I was, but in school, you were my first crush, and I was mad at the feelings I had for you.”
Jimmy looked around. Could this be a joke? Was the high school bully coming out to him? Was he admitting that he tortured him because he was attracted to him? Jimmy’s mind was now blown; he didn’t speak as he looked around the apartment.
He could make out framed photos of two men together, in playful, loving poses from where he sat. Rudy was now happy with a partner, but it still didn’t forgive what he did to Jimmy years ago.
Rudy sincerely asked, “Can you forgive me? I didn’t make the best decisions in life back then. I hope you understand; I was a lost, scared teenager.”
Jimmy stood up. “I’ll be honest. I’m not sure why I’m here and what you want from me.
But what you did was genuinely hurtful.”
“I know that I was a terrible kid. I think fate brought you to my door so you’d know that you didn’t deserve to be treated like that. Maybe it’s so you’d understand that the cruelty wasn’t because of who you were; it was because I hated who I was.”
Rudy looked genuinely remorseful. It was clear that he was sorry, and, in an odd, crazy way, Jimmy felt flattered and relieved that all that terribleness in school was because some misguided, lost boy had a crush on him.
It was time to be the bigger man. Jimmy stepped up and extended his hand. “I accept your explanation and apology.”
Rudy’s eyes softened. “Thank you. I hope you’re happy. You deserve to be. You look amazing, by the way.”
“Thank you. I appreciate your apology. It means a great deal to me. Now I’m sorry to rush out, but I have got a car outside waiting for me.”
The two men said their goodbyes, and Jimmy headed back to the car.
The world is a crazy place. That was nuts!
Jimmy couldn’t wrap his mind around what had happened, but oddly enough, he felt much better about himself.
“Let’s get you a drink,” the soft-spoken female driver said as Jimmy got back into the car. “I know of just the place.”
“A drink sounds nice right now,” Jimmy admitted, as he was distracted by the thoughts being replayed in his head.
The car drove up to the bar with a line going around the block.
“Here? Are you taking me to THIS bar? I’ve always wanted to check this place out, but I could never get in. Surely, with that line, it will take hours before getting a drink.”
The driver smiled, “Just go up to the front door. The bouncer will let you in.”
“You’re joking?” Jimmy exclaimed.
“Do I look like I’m joking?” she chuckled knowingly.
Jimmy meekly headed to the front of the line. He was confident that he’d be turned away.
All eyes jealously scrutinized him as he headed towards the front of the line.
The bouncer received urgent text as Jimmy approached. He looked down and read the message. His hand instinctively grasped the red velvet divider and opened it for Jimmy to enter.
“Have a good time!” he nodded, then stepped aside for Jimmy.
“Thanks, I will.” Jimmy looked back to acknowledge his driver, but the car was conspicuously absent.
Less than two minutes before arriving at the bar, a drink appeared before him.
“I didn’t order this,” Jimmy said to the shirtless bartender who looked like he just stepped off the stage from a Magic Mike show.
“It’s from the gentleman in the red shirt,” the server explained as he looked down the bar to show him who bought him the drink.
A brilliant smile accented the sparkling eyes and ruggedly handsome face, which was just the sight Jimmy was excited to see. “Anton!” He excitedly called out.
“You’re looking great. Love the clothes and the confident smile,” Anton exclaimed. He couldn’t be more complimentary. “So great to see you here. I hope you’re celebrating a promotion. You certainly deserve it!” He was always the cheerleader.
“As long as Nicholas works at the firm and takes credit for my ideas, they’ll be no promotion.” Jimmy somberly replied, excited to see his friend and crush.
Anton’s eyes continued to dart up and down Jimmy’s body, impressed with the new look. “I’m guessing you’re looking so fine because you’re here to meet someone, perhaps a date?”
As evident as it was, Jimmy couldn’t fathom that Anton was flirting with him. He laughed, quickly dismissing the compliment.
“Nope. I just popped in for a quick drink on the way home.”
Anton wasn’t sure what to say, “Well, I don’t want to keep you. I guess I’ll see you on Monday. I’ve got an appointment with Nicholas to go through your inventory and re-stock your supplies. I’ll stop by and say, ‘Hello,’ when I get there.” Anton smiled as he slipped into the crowd of eligible men and disappeared.
I guess Anton left because he had plans with someone else, Jimmy thought to himself.
Jimmy watched Anton blend back into the crowd. He knew he was just kidding himself at the thought of having such a sweet sexy man as a boyfriend was even a possibility.
Jimmy raised his phone to call an Uber. Without pressing a button, the eCupid app indicated that a car was out front, ready and waiting for him.
Without questioning it, Jimmy made his way to the car and home. It was a long and crazy day, and he was grateful that tomorrow he’d be at work – a familiar place.
Too many surprises today. Best to get back to the usual grind.
Jimmy slept like a baby that night, but the morning proved quite different.
A friendly and now familiar female voice woke him up when his phone politely but firmly instructed. “Time to get up. It’s a half-hour earlier than usual, but I’ve got something special in store for you.”
Was this app serious? Was it taking over his life? For a minute, he thought yesterday was all a dream. But before he could ask any more questions, the voice surprised him, “I’ve turned on your coffee maker for you. Happy Valentine’s Day!”
Valentine’s Day? Who knew? Who cares? It’s just another day for me.
When Jimmy arrived at work, his co-workers greeted him with hearty pats on the backs, smiles, and congratulatory handshakes.
Did I miss something? What’s happening?
Anton hurried out of the commissary and handed Jimmy a hot cup of coffee. “Looks like Karma finally caught up with Nicholas. Somehow the big boss realized that all your designs and work were yours and not his.”
REALLY? Who? How?
Everyone was baffled. Anton explained, “No one’s sure what the story is. Something showed up in the boss’s email this morning and revealed Nicholas to be the fraud he was.”
Anton smiled at him as he excused himself, rushing to his next meeting.
Jimmy sat at his cubicle, sipped his coffee, and wondered what was next for him today when a dozen flowers arrived at his desk.
Who are these from? Jimmy thought. He was astonished. His phone lit up with a message and the familiar female voice saying, “These are not FOR you; they’re FROM you. You’ll understand why within the hour.”
Weird. Weird. Weird. This program is nuts. It’s way too much trouble! I’ll delete it later, he decided.
A voice from his phone intercom surprised him as it inquired, “Jimmy, would you please come upstairs for a quick meeting?” Jimmy knew exactly who it was. It was the big boss’s secretary. Why he was being summoned was a mystery.
He took another gulp of coffee and headed upstairs.
“Go right in, Mr. Popensmitz,” the older, impeccably dressed secretary politely said. “He’s expecting you.”
The boss’s office was grand—dark Mahogany walls, heavy tapestry, with lush, heavy oak furniture. Jimmy had been with the company for ten years now and had never been in this office, let alone speak with the boss one-on-one.
“Sit, make yourself comfortable,” the CEO of the company insisted, as he appeared seemingly out of nowhere. “I’m guessing you’ve heard by now that Nicholas has been let go. I’m sorry that this firm had not recognized all your terrific work all this time.”
Jimmy explained modestly., “Nicholas was my supervisor. My job was to report to him, and that’s what I did. The credit wasn’t important. What was important was that my team was efficient, and our work benefited the company.”
The stately, older man laughed heartily. “That’s exactly the kind of employee I appreciate—a company man. However, Nicholas should have shared the credit. A good boss supports his employees, not promotes himself because of them. It’s for that reason; he’s been terminated. I’m promotion you to his job. His office is yours effective immediately. I have every confidence that you’ll excel in that job.”
“Thank you, sir. I won’t fail you!” Jimmy promptly replied with newfound confidence and excitement. The boss’s appreciative grin told Jimmy everything he now needed to know.
“Now, go enjoy your new office; you’ve earned it.”
Back at his cubicle, Jimmy gathered his few possessions so that he could move them into where he’d be working. A notification from his phone simply stated, “Congratulations. Now, Go get, ‘em tiger.”
Jimmy took his belongings and moved into his new office across the hall.
This is nice. I can’t say that having your own private workspace isn’t going to be awesome. Jimmy sat down at the desk and leaned back.
Yup. A guy could get used to this!
Anton appeared at the door and knocked softly. “Hi, congratulations! I just heard it was official. I guess that from now on, you’ll be my contact here, and we’ll be going over the inventory together.”
“Yeah, seems so.” Jimmy smiled as he cleared his throat to ask Anton an important question.
“Before we get to business, I’d like to attend to a personal matter. It’s a question, and it may not be the most professional thing to ask you here at work, but to hell with it.”
Jimmy looked down and saw the flowers. He instantly understood the cryptic message that accompanied them when they arrived. He continued by asking Anton, “Would you be my Valentine?”
Anton’s face again lit up as he reached into his pocket and produced a small, red envelope. “I was just about to ask you the same question.” Anton bashfully handed Jimmy a small red card.
Jimmy was excited as he took the card from Anton and read it. “For years, I’ve wanted to ask you out, but I was afraid you’d say no. Today I’m taking a chance; you’ll say yes.”
Anton was delighted with the flowers he had just received from Jimmy and spotted a card in the beautiful bouquet. Before Jimmy could explain that the flowers mysteriously arrived from an unknown place, Anton read the card and gave him a sweet, brilliant grin. Anton said, “You’re a lovely man. Of course, I’ll be your Valentines.”
Jimmy could see the card that came with the flowers. It read, “Cupid had struck my heart and delivered these flowers from me to you.”
He walked over to his office door and closed it, twisting the blinds closed. The office was now private and dark. He slowly and confidently walked over to Anton looked him deeply in the eyes.
Anton desperately wanted Jimmy to kiss him.
Jimmy wasn’t about to make him wait any longer; he took him in his arms and kissed him tenderly, deeply. The world disappeared around them as they pressed their bodies against each other. The two men had so desperately desired the other for so long, and now, they finally were able to be with each other. They could feel the other’s heartbeat as they pressed together, the sensation of their warm breath, and the taste of their sweet lips as they touched. They took their time to enjoy the caring and strong embrace. A deep gaze into each other’s eyes signaled that it may be best to wait until later to go further. After all, they were at work.
Jimmy asked if Anton could join him for dinner that evening at his favorite restaurant. Anton eagerly accepted.
Again, Jimmy’s phone lit up. This time for the last time.
It simply stated, “Happy Valentine’s Day. Love, eCUPID”
With that, the app mysteriously disappeared from his phone. It had done its job. Soon, it would appear on someone else’s phone and help them find their special someone.