THE lights of the city, of civilisation, disappeared about 10 minutes ago. He rests his head on my lap and closes his eyes as we drive towards suburbia after midnight on a Tuesday. The feeling of the weight of his head on my leg… it feels like a shock of happiness shot straight to my heart. Is this how it’s meant to be?

I definitely have a lot of hook-ups, I’m not gonna lie. But just that gesture, that simple gesture, has me wondering what the hell all those random hookups were all about. He starts sucking his thumb. I knew he was young but sheesh!

“You still suck your thumb?” I giggle softly.

“Mmmm hmmm.”

He rubs his head around slightly on my lap, like a cat trying to find a more comfortable position.

Now that I think about it, our ages aren’t that far apart. He’s 16 and I’m 21. But the fact that he lives out in the suburbs and is as naïve as anything makes him seem so much younger, not to mention that adorable habit he hasn’t quite managed to shake off. I’ve been going clubbing for four years already, getting pissed and hooking up every Friday and Saturday night, while he stays at home, in another world, playing video games or sleeping or whatever people do when they don’t go out.

And the sex was amazing. I really can’t imagine him being as big of a slut as me. I mean, he lives out here. He’s 16. He’s not on the scene. Maybe he’s just a natural. I know we met on Grindr but surely he doesn’t use it much. He still sucks his thumb!

There’s still the odd street light that illuminates his wavy hair and I reckon we’re about five minutes from his place. It’s going to be a lot harder to find the supermarket he waited outside now that it’s dark, but at least now I’ve got him to guide me. That is until I hear him snoring. Not a hideous, loud snore, but a cute, soft one. Who falls asleep on a random hook-up’s leg? I could be a murderer or something! He must really trust me. Maybe he really likes me. I’m definitely thinking I should see him again. I feel like we’ve really clicked.

Thankfully I found the supermarket without any help. I pull the car into the carpark, and the bump and thud of the judder bars, even though I try to go slowly, wakes him from his slumber. He lifts his head, which leaves me feeling naked and longing. I wish he’d stay there forever.

“Oh, we’re here.”

“Yup, in one piece!”

“Sweet well, thanks…” He seems to hesitate as he opens the door.

I need to do it. I need to see him again. This can’t be another hook-up that I just ignore and never see again. I want him to sleep on me forever. I doubt he sleeps on just anyone like that. And anyway, he’s 16, he lives out here, he’s pretty much untouched by all that crap; he’ll probably jump at the chance to date a 21-year-old guy who lives in town.

“Hey I really enjoyed tonight. I’d really love to see you again. It doesn’t have to be sex — we could just hang out or…”

He turns and looks at me as he opens the door. His face grows a little smirk. A gorgeous little smirk.

“Yeah sorry, I’m not looking for anything deep at the moment, eh.”

And with that he shuts the door and disappears into the blackness. What a fucken player!

This story first appeared in the 2015 OutStanding Short Story Competition, and was a highly commended piece. The competition will return in 2016. For details, visit or become a fan on Facebook.

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**This article was first published in the March edition of the Star Observer, which is available now. Click here to find out where you can grab a copy in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Canberra and select regional/coastal areas.

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