friends with benefits

2 min readMar 2, 2022

Last week I let someone I barely know read my journal. I met Tommy on a dating app and at this point he’s driven three hours to see me a total of six times in two months. That’s eighteen hours of driving all for me. We don’t really know each other at all, every time we talk is awkward small talk, but the sex must be good enough because he keeps coming back. Last week I showed him a piece of me because I had nothing to lose.

Tommy and I have never had romance. Ever. It’s odd to have such great sex with someone for whom you have no romantic feelings, and who really is kind of annoying, but with him it is easy enough. There are no thoughts of longing or need for each other when we are apart. There are no thoughts like, “have you ever written anything like this about me?”

“I felt like I could say whatever I wanted, be myself around him. It’s odd, I felt more myself around random Tommy than I do around anyone else. I don’t know what that means for me.”

— my journal, after meeting him for the 1st time, monday jan. 10, 2022

I still don’t know what it means. There is nothing for us, this is not the story of how I met your father. This is not a story about anything, there’s nothing to be told.

I had nothing to lose. Have you ever met a stranger, on a bus or subway or in line somewhere, and told them something no one else knows about you? Maybe by chance, but that stranger has a piece of you that no one else does.

Tommy is the only person who has ever read my journal (besides whoever is reading this). Tommy is special in this way. Tommy is also special because his teeth are crooked like no one else’s. Tommy has blue eyes like no one else. Tommy’s special because he vapes more than anyone I’ve ever met.

This is not a story about how we really fell in love, nor is it a story of a great friendship that formed. We barely have anything in common. And yet I’m sure I will see him again next week. Tonight I read Tommy this piece and he asked me what I wanted for dinner.





Isabella (she/her) writes stories. She graduates with a BA in May 2024 and is going on to pursue her MFA in creative nonfiction at the University of Kentucky.