Nik wasn’t his usual chipper self and it was… disconcerting. 

‘What’s wrong?’ I asked eventually, somewhat hesitant. 

I’d never seen him like this before and I had a sudden intense worry I’d done something wrong. I couldn’t think of anything, but still. 

Nik flopped back on my bed with a sigh. 

For a minute I didn’t think he was going to answer me and I turned my chair around to face my desk, fiddling nervously with my phone. 

‘Do you know Glenn?’ 

I swivelled back to face him. 

He lifted his head to look at me. ‘Glenn Kildal?’ 

The name didn’t ring a bell. I shook my head. 

He lifted his gaze to the ceiling. ‘How do I explain this? He’s… he’s Andreas’s best friend. And Andreas is Jørgen’s cousin.’ 

I nodded slowly, understanding what he said, but unsure where this was going. 

‘I slept with him,’ he announced then. ‘When I was home now, I went out to… well, I went out on the pull. And somehow ended up with Glenn. He’s always been a real twat—but that night… I don’t know. I ended up in bed with him. We had sex. Awesome sex.’ He sighed again. 

I didn’t say anything because I still had no idea where this was going. 

‘It was just that one night, you know, but he was so different from how I thought he was. So I figured… maybe we could do it again? Or keep in contact or something. So I tried texting him, but he never fucking answered. I was so sure he was trying to ghost me or some shit like that.’ 

Ghost? I had no idea what that was. 

‘He told me he was headed to the army, but they don’t take your damn phones from you. So since he didn’t answer me, I went over to his house. Just to check if he’d left or not or something, I don’t even know.’ He sighed again, louder this time. ‘Hell, I was worried. He seemed out of sorts that night. And then I get there, right, and his mum answers the door. And she tells me he’s in hospital. She doesn’t tell me why, just that he can’t have visitors. What the fuck is that even? He was supposed to be in the army. Why’s he in the hospital? And why doesn’t he answer any goddamn texts?’ 

His voice had steadily risen as he spoke. 

‘Why do you… care?’ I asked carefully. ‘Do you like him?’ 

‘No!’ he answered vehemently. ‘He’s fucking a git. Always has been. It’s just that—that night… I don’t know. He wasn’t himself. For one thing, he was nice. Now he’s not so nice. I’ve sent him a lot of texts—I’m pretty sure I’ve been really annoying, but he hasn’t answered a single one. Not even to tell me to fuck off.’ 

He sat up all of a sudden. ‘No one knows anything either. I tried wheedling Ben, but he seems to think Glenn’s in the army too. Which means everyone does, I guess? But, like, he’s not. Or maybe he is now, I don’t know, and it’s so frustrating.’ 

I couldn’t help but smile. ‘But you don’t like him?’ 

‘No way.’ 

‘Uh-huh.’ Then why was he fretting so much? 

He narrowed his eyes at me. 

‘One time!’ He held his index finger up. ‘We had sex one time. Or, well, a couple times, but it was all during one night. Then nothing after. I mean, sure, I’ve ghosted people I’ve slept with for a night before myself, but… argh!’ He fell down on my bed again and hit my pillow. ‘This is karma, isn’t it? Coming back to bite me in the arse? Because I’ve done this before, now someone’s doing it to me.’ 

So that’s what it was about? 

‘He’s such an arsehole,’ he mumbled into my sheets. ‘Don’t know why I bother. It’s been three weeks and nothing. He can fuck right off.’ 

Maybe it was a mix. He did care, at least a little, but he was also generally pissed off he was being ignored. 

‘If you don’t like him, why does it matter?’ 

‘It doesn’t,’ he muttered darkly. Then, with more force behind the words, ‘It doesn’t.’ He sat up again, let out a deep breath, then levelled a calm gaze at me. ‘I’d ask if you want to go out on the pull with me… but then you’re not old enough to get in anywhere. And even if you were, you’re not interested in pulling guys anyway.’ 

‘Exactly.’ I smiled, not at all sad I wasn’t old enough. I had Jørgen, so why would I need to go out and pull someone else? It wasn’t like I could get into bed with anyone even if I wanted too—my… equipment… didn’t work normally. 

I should probably get on that. Had almost a year to go before I was back home with Jørgen for good, though, so it wasn’t like it was urgent. 

‘See?’ he flicked his fringe off his forehead. ‘I don’t care. If he wants to ghost me, good riddance. He might be good in bed, but he’s got a shit personality out of it. A bully is what he is. Not that he ever bullied me, but still. He’s an arse.’ 

‘Are you trying to convince me of that or yourself?’ I couldn’t help the chuckle that left me. He was being quite funny fretting like that over someone he professed not to like. 

He rolled his eyes. ‘No convincing needed. I don’t like him. Never have, really. It’s just… I’m a bit worried, is all. But he’s not dead—because then we’d all know—so I guess it’s all good.’ 

As long as the guy wasn’t dead it was all good? Well, that was one way to look at it. 

‘So you sure you don’t like him?’ I asked, just to be sure. 

‘So sure,’ he stressed. 

‘Okay, if you say so.’ Nik had never fretted over anyone the way he’d just fretted over this guy though. Granted, I hadn’t known Nik all that long, but while he was outspoken about his active sex-life, he never mentioned much about the guys themselves. 

‘Like I said, he’s a git. But he could’ve answered my texts, at least. I mean, like, just one would do. Just so I’d know.’ He sighed again then. ‘Just saying. And that’s that. I’m done. This subject is dead. Talk about something else.’

I didn’t have anything else to talk about. 

There was one thing I was curious about though, and seeing as he’d sort of brought up his sex life already, maybe he wouldn’t mind if I asked? 

‘Can I ask how many people you’ve slept with?’ 

He pursed his lips, expression going thoughtful. ‘That is a very good question.’  He held both hands up in front of him, lips forming words or names as he seemed to tick them off with his fingers. He cleared his throat. ‘This might take a while.’ 

I settled back in my desk chair as I watched him think, waiting for the answer. 

He’s already past ten. 

I couldn’t imagine sleeping with so many different people. 

There was only one person I wanted to sleep with, and he was nine hours away. Even if I could sleep with him right now, I wasn’t sure I was able to. He surely wasn’t. 

But that was the good thing. We didn’t have to rush. I was gone for a year, after all, and after that… we’d have all the time in the world. 

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