I hate dating apps. I refused to use them for the first half of my twenties — but I’m getting older and I’m getting less interested in the club scene, so it’s going to be hard to meet someone out in public. Not to mention the whole quarantine situation.
A few weeks ago, I caved. I downloaded Tinder. I matched with a few guys. I didn’t get too attached to any of them, but I did give my number to one. His name was Michael Davids. At least, that’s what he said his name was. A nice, normal name. Too popular to be searched because it was so undeniably bland. A way to hide in plain sight.
We spent about a week texting back and forth. Then we escalated to talking on the phone. The chemistry was there. It was undeniable. And Jesus, was he attractive. He had the bluest eyes. Shaggy blond hair. Tanned skin. Muscles visible beneath his tight t-shirt.
He wanted to meet up in person, but I turned him down because the only reason I’ve left my house the last few months was for groceries. I wasn’t risking getting sick to give some stranger a blowjob. If he was serious about me, he would wait it out. If he only wanted a hookup, he would move on.
He moved on.
Normally, getting ghosted wouldn’t have bothered me much. It had happened plenty of times in the past. But back then, I could get wasted at a bar and scream Britney Spears songs with my friends and move onto someone new. Stuck in my house, bored and lonely with nothing left to watch on Netflix, it was hard to forget about Michael. I became obsessed with finding out what happened to him.
I tried my best to track him down on social media, but I didn’t have any luck. I couldn’t find any of his pages. I tried to do a reverse image search on his profile picture and that didn’t work either.
Eventually, I asked one of my tech savvy friends to help me track him down. She refused until I offered to pay her. She’d recently been laid off and needed the cash. She worked her ass off to find him with the small amount of information I was able to give her.
It took her twenty-four hours to text me a link. To an obituary. For Michael Davids. A 26-year-old male who died in a car crash six months earlier.
To be clear, I don’t believe in the paranormal. I don’t believe in ghosts or spirits or monsters.
However, I do believe humans are monsters. I do believe some sicko took that poor boy’s photograph and assumed his identity in order to seduce me. I don’t know what would’ve happened if I had agreed to meet up with him. (And if it weren’t for the pandemic, I one-hundred percent would have met up with him.)
All I know is that I feel lucky to be alive. And I’m probably not going to use dating apps again anytime soon.