Last night I got a text from Caden aka Capture the Flag Boy. The last time I heard from him, he was trying to hang out Valentine’s Day, then before that, it was December. In today’s casual hookup culture, people come and go. One second, you’re hanging out regularly, the next, the person is MIA and suddenly reappears months later. This is post one of five about Capture the Flag Boy and MIA Texts.
Capture the Flag Boy and MIA Texts #1
Let’s back up. I met Capture the Flag Boy on OKC in April 2015. His introduction was just a “Hi :)” which I usually don’t respond to, but I made an exception for him. He was tall, dark, handsome, with a great smile. We messaged only a few messages before he asked for my number. Once again, I usually don’t give my number right away, but I made another exception for him.
As we texted, he asked what my ideal first date is. I told him anything but the typical first date drinks/dinner and the first date interview process. I prefer something where we can be actively doing something fun. With this insight, he proposed a photo scavenger hunt of sorts at the Art Institute. We were to both show up independently and send each other photos of the art around us as clues to help us find one another. Well he wanted to do this on a Thursday evening, but I work Thursday evenings. There wasn’t another day that worked for either of us so we scratched that idea, although I was impressed with his creativity.
Because his idea was great, but flawed in the timing, he said it’s my turn to come up with something. We were both free that coming Friday, which just so happened to be the Pilsen Art Walk, which was perfect to keep the art theme consistent, but with a twist. My idea, we would both meet up at the Pilsen Art Walk and play a game of one on one capture the flag.
On Friday, we met in front of the main building of the Pilsen Art Walk to discuss rules. The rules we made up for one on one capture the flag:
• We were to stay in the main building
• We start at the same place, but the first 2 minutes is hiding/separation time
• The flag must be visible and removable by a swift tug
• Studios and galleries are safety zones, walking only, no capturing of flags
• Hallways were war zones, chasing/hiding/running/capturing of flags permitted
• Once you capture a flag, it must be placed where it’s visible and easily removable
• Capturing the flag back once it was taken is allowed
• To win, you must exit the front door of the building with both flags
• Best 2 out of 3 wins, loser buys drinks
We each put our bandanas in our back pockets and the games began.
Round one, we went our separate ways and found each other pretty quick in one of the galleries. We mingled, I told him about the art, but then he ran for his escape. I bolted in the other direction to hide. After several minutes of chasing, hiding, and playfully trying to capture the flag while almost groping each other, he cornered me on the first floor. I was screwed. I tried reaching for his flag, he turned, I left myself open as I was reaching, he spun, blocked his flag with one hand and grabbed my flag with his other hand. He ran, but in the wrong direction. He put my flag in his back pocket, but kept running without guarding them. I swiped them and booked it in the other direction making it out the front door. After making it out, Caden claimed the only reason I won is because I had the advantage of having been there before. He wasn’t wrong.
Round two, I tried a new strategy. I found a reflective window around the corner and the hall on the third floor. I was in plain sight. I stood there looking out the window, while really watching the reflections, waiting for him to walk up behind me. Nearly five minutes passed and he still hasn’t found me, or so I thought. I went to go look for him, but stupid me, I didn’t approach the corner carefully enough. He was standing there waiting for me to move. I must have missed see him spot me. He grabbed my flag and booked it. I chased him down the stairs and we nearly knocked several people down, spilling one of their drinks. Apologetically, I stopped, Caden kept running. He won round two. We were now tied.
Round three, everything was on the line. This determined the winner and both of us were being extra competitive. We both kicked up our game and slid in and out of galleries, chasing and hiding and laughing. It was beginning to get crowded. It made it more difficult for us to playfully attack each other for our flags. After dodging people all the way down the stairs, we corned each other and started to walk in circles like we were about to brawl. He swung and missed as he reached for my flag. I went in with a right hook to grab his but he spun the other direction. We kept spinning and circling and grabbing without success. It became a dance. As more and more people crowded the space, he surrendered. He was concerned that it was no longer safe. He gave me his flag and I ran out the front door. He followed close behind me. I bragged, and he gave me a congrats.
After his congratulations there was a pause. All I wanted from him was for him to kiss me at that moment, but it didn’t happen. All this sexual tension was built from us chasing each other and then there was a perfect opening and he didn’t take it. Fail. Once the pause became slightly awkward, he asked where we should go for drinks. We went to Simone’s, ordered our drinks, then the interview process of the first date began, but it was light hearted because we broke the ice with our game of capture the flag.
A few drinks later, I realized the time and said I had to get home. I had to wake up in about six hours to go to work and I was exhausted from running around. I told him where I was headed, he realized we lived nearby each other, we both caught the Ashland bus back towards Lakeview. We talked the whole way, his stop came first, he said bye and we went our separate ways. Even though we didn’t kiss, there was still this spark from the date. I had a really good time with him. It was by far the most memorable first date I have ever had.
We texted back and forth for the rest of the month trying to make plans, but it never panned out. I gave up and eventually forgot about Capture the Flag Boy… that is, until the next time I heard from him a month later.