I, Gemma, Doukas, never expected to be the girl in the middle of a love triangle. I certainly never expected to be in the middle of two guys who didn’t realize they were competing against each other. And I certainly didn’t expect to be in a house with both of them at the same time, waiting downstairs for me to come and join them. I was in hot water. And I wasn’t sure what I was going to do.
There’s something really special about New Year’s Eve. It holds the promise of a million dreams coming true in the new year. It signals a new beginning, a fresh start, and endless possibilities. New Year’s Eve signals that everything is alright in the world and you’re just one day away from having the most exciting year of your life.
I looked out of the window and stared at the sky above. In just a couple of hours, there’d be fireworks going off. Reds, blues, greens, yellows, and purples setting the night sky on fire while the dewy lawn was filled with people cheering, kissing, holding hands, and jumping around in excitement. And here I was, sitting in this room, hiding out, nervous, worried, and if I was honest, just a little bit terrified.
Just a couple of months ago, I’d been single and hoping to meet one nice guy to date. One sweet, charming, handsome guy that would sweep me off of my feet. And I’d done just that. I’d met the best guy in the world, the sexiest guy in the world. But the only problem was, I hadn’t just met one, but two great guys. I didn’t even know how it was possible that two such amazing men existed, let alone both of them wanted me. My heart hadn’t skipped so many times in one night. I looked down at my watch, time was running out. I’d never expected for my dating adventure to lead me to this place. I never expected both of my men to know each other. And now they were both here in this house with me tonight.
I swallowed hard. I was in a world of trouble. A big, big world of trouble and I didn’t know how I was going to get myself out of it. I sat there for a couple more minutes thinking about what I was going to wear for the evening. Before I’d come on the trip, I’d had a plan, a beautiful silky silver dress that emphasized all the right spots that was sexy and sweet, that would drive any man crazy. The problem was I’d been only meaning to drive one man crazy, not two.
As I looked at the different dresses in my suitcase, I heard a knock on the door. I froze. I didn’t want to speak to anyone right now. Before I knew what was happening, a note was slid under the door. I walked over to the door slowly, bent down and picked it up. I walked back over to the bed, nervous to open it. Who was it from? And what would it say?
I was just about to open it when I heard another knock on the door and this time a familiar voice said, “Gemma, are you there?”
I held my breath. I didn’t even want him to hear me breathing. Of course, they both knew I was in the room, but they thought I was taking a nap.
And then one more knock. “Gemma?”
I heard him try to open the door, but I’d locked it. Thank God for that. The handle turned a couple more times, and then I saw another note slip under the door. I waited a little longer before I went to retrieve the new note. After a few minutes, I thought it was safe. I walked over, bent down and picked up the note and walked back over to the bed. I looked at the two notes in my hands, one in my left and one in my right.
I opened the note I’d gotten first and read it quickly. “Gemma, I’m looking forward to tonight. Let’s go into the new year with a bang. All my love and kisses, Lucas. P.S. I hope there will be kisses other than in pen.” I smiled at the note and laughed to myself. He really was a sweet guy.
I opened the second note and it read, “Gemma, tonight is the night. I’m going to make you mine all night long. So get ready. Connor.”
Oh, shit. I dropped both of the notes on the bed. I didn’t know what I was going to do, who I was going to choose. And if Lucas and Connor found out exactly what was going on, would either one of them want me after this?
DATING AGENCY PERSONALITY FORM
Name: Gemma Doukas. I will not reveal my middle name, it is too embarrassing.
Age: 28. I’m a virgo. Would prefer no aquarius, pisces or gemini please, though I’m not super picky.
Job: I work at a museum in research. I know that makes me sound boring, so feel free to say I’m a model. Catalogue though, not runway. I’m not tall or skinny enough for the runway.
Description: I’m 5”6, a slightly curvy 150lbs, hoping to lose 20lbs before my first date. Aiming to start keto on Monday, so feel free to say 140 if you think that will help. Long brown hair, green eyes. Natural golden olive tan, due to my Greek heritage. Yes, the greek heritage means I’m a bit hairier than most, think a lot of daily plucking, but that’s just between us. I get a wax weekly and yes, ouch. No need to tell any potential mates that though.
Likes: history, books, movies, tennis, long walks on warm beaches, wine bars, comedy clubs, flowers, surprise gifts (think Tiffany’s and not Dollar General), cupcakes (a date at Magnolia Bakery would just be the sweetest, pun intended), concerts (I’ve seen both Ed Sheeran and John Legend five times, but feel free to state varied music tastes), hot sex (don’t include that if it makes me seem easy or slutty, I really am a classy girl).
Dislikes: Cauliflower (who the hell likes it), leather pants (I wear them because they make my ass look hot, but no, they are not comfortable), back seat drivers, anything related to politics, anal plugs (haven’t tried one, but just doesn’t seem like it would feel good), normal dating apps that don’t take my wishes into consideration (yes, I’m sucking up for some great matches please).
What are you looking for: Love, sex, intelligence (imagine me singing, ha ha). All joking aside, I’m looking for a long term relationship with the right man. I know I might have to kiss a lot of frogs, but I’d rather not have to kiss any toads, please. Would also like a man that doesn’t feel intimidated being around a large Greek family, as my family is large and Greek and will be in all of his business. I would like to have kids one day, so someone open to that. Other than that I’m pretty easy and flexible. Just make sure he’s hot, above 5”11, earns a good wage (this is Manhattan, so you know what that means), and has a great sense of humor. Oh yeah, someone that is also monogamous. I’m not looking for any players. Just a one woman guy, please.
They say you should be really careful what you wish for, and I never really understood that sage advice until recently. Christmas wishes are my favorite and not just because I absolutely adore the Christmas season. Yes, it’s my favorite time of the year, but that’s because it’s also the best, and most wonderful time in my family. We love to celebrate Christmas as one big loud boisterous unit, but now that I’m older, I’m a little bit fed up of my uncles and my aunts, my grandparents, my parents, and even my siblings asking me why I didn’t have someone to bring to the many annual Christmas parties that we Doukas clan host.
If another relative asks me, “Gemma, why are you still single?” Or makes a comment like, “A beautiful girl like you, she should have a man. Do we have to go to the old country to find you someone?”
I always rolled my eyes and laughed, but I knew they were serious. Time was running out for me. Both of my grandparents still had a lot of relatives in Greece, and I knew if I gave them the word, they’d hook me up faster than I could say yes Papu and Yaya.
That was the only negative part of coming from a big Greek family. They were always in your business, and when I say they, I mean every single family member; down to the Yaya’s dog Minnie, who couldn’t see or hear anymore.
But now I’ve taken my dating status into my own hands. One, because they were right and two because I didn’t want to find myself engaged to some old fisherman in some Greek village. I wanted someone to take home for Christmas to show my family that I’m not as pathetic as they think I am. I also want someone to spend Valentine’s day with. Someone who’d fly me to exotic places, kiss me under countless stars, buy me lots of thoughtful presents. Yes, I know that sounds a little superficial, but who didn’t like presents? Yes, I could afford to buy myself a tennis bracelet if I used my credit card, and it would only take me about five years to pay it off, but how much nicer (and cheaper) would it be for some tall strapping handsome man to say to me, “Here, Gemma. Merry Christmas or Happy Valentine’s Day, this gift is to show you how much I value you.” Yeah, I know. I like to daydream, but my daydreams (as well as the Doukas clan) were the impetus that got me to sign up for an exclusive dating agency to send me my perfect matches.
I live in New York City, and while there are plenty of men, there are not plenty of good men. I’ve been on all the usual free dating sites, and well, let’s just say free doesn’t always equal good. I’ve gone on a lot of dates with a lot of really crappy guys, hence the reason why I’m still single. I’m relatively attractive at 5’6″, 150 pounds. I have a pretty nice body. I’m not a supermodel, and I don’t have a six pack and never will, but I think I look pretty good. I’ve got very long brown hair that is my pride and joy. My eyes are an aquamarine green, that I highlight with the blackest mascara I can find. I’ve been known to spend $40 on a bottle, but there’s no price too high for beauty, am I right? The mascara seems to work because I’ve been told I have beautiful eyes. Okay, that’s what my dad says. He calls me his beautiful green-eyed girl, but I’ll take it. I need all the compliments I can get.
I decided to sign up for the “One True Love” dating agency, even though the prices were exorbitant. It cost me $2,000. Yes, you read that correctly. Not $20. Not $200. $2,000. Yeah. I don’t really have that kind of money to pay for a dating agency, but I do have a credit card.
Instead of buying myself that diamond bracelet for Christmas, I decided to treat myself to this membership because hey, if I did wind up with a boyfriend before next Christmas, it would have been worth it. And my new boyfriend would take me on a shopping spree at Tiffany’s or Cartier and it will all work out. I sound like a golddigger, don’t I? Like I only care about meeting a rich man who can buy me expensive gifts. That’s the furthest from the truth. I would date just about anyone. Well, that’s not exactly true. He has to be tall. I’m thinking 5’11” or above. Yeah, I’m only 5’6″, but I’d like a tall guy. He has to be in shape, and when I say in shape, I mean, abs that go for days. I know that’s totally superficial of me, especially seeing as I have no abs to talk of myself, but hey, there’s nothing like running your fingers down washboard abs that can turn you on in seconds, no matter what type of day you’ve had.
I want him to have beautiful eyes. I didn’t care about the color. Just so long as they were sparkly, and whenever they looked at me I felt something tingling inside. He had to have nice lips of course, and strong muscular arms. I wanted him to wrap his arms around me, and make me feel like no one could ever hurt me. Yeah, I was asking for a lot, but hey, if the dating agency said they could deliver, who was I to say no? I uploaded about five different photographs of myself. All of them very good shots. I didn’t believe in uploading any fugly pics to show my true side. He could see that the next morning after we had hot sex, thank you very much.
Nope, I went with five very natural staged shots. I asked my best friend, Sarah to take them for me. She couldn’t believe that I was going through so much trouble for a dating agency profile. Maybe because she’d never been on one herself, but I think that’s because she’s got a thing for her best friend. Her other best friend, the male one, not me; but that’s another story.
Sarah is a gifted photographer and took some very flattering photos of me that I uploaded, and then I filled out the dating profile. I looked at the long list of questions, and took a deep breath. Answering these questions would take all night, but I knew I could do it. After I filled out the questions, I hit submit and waited, wondering how soon it would take for me to start receiving some match emails. What I liked about the site was that it used an internal algorithm that matched you up to potential matches almost instantly., Then the guys checked out their matches and decided whether they had an interest in you, or not. If they had an interest in you, you would receive an email from them and you could express whether you had an interest in them. Then the company would actually set up a date for you, which I thought was pretty cool because let’s be real, most guys do not know how to plan a good first date.
No, I don’t want to go for another coffee at a crowded coffee shop with no pastries and listen to you chat up the barista. No, I don’t want to meet you in a seedy bar for a drink, so you can try and get me drunk and run your greasy hands up my thigh, and no, I’m not coming over to your place for a free massage with coconut oil you bought in Thailand. Yes, these have all been previous dates. And that’s why I didn’t want to stay on those cheap dating services anymore. Yes, I’ve met some nice guys, but I’m also not about to get down and dirty with any guy that’s sharing a studio apartment with five other guys. It would be really nice to date a guy that lived by himself. I was too old to date a guy with roommates. At 28 years old, I was looking for a guy older than me, and any guy older than me should have his own place, and preferably not a studio. I know it’s expensive to live in Manhattan, but a one bedroom isn’t too much to ask for, is it?
And yes, I would prefer for him to live in Manhattan. I definitely wasn’t going to date a guy in Queens, the Bronx, or Staten Island. They were out for sure, but I may be ok with some parts of Brooklyn. There were some nice parts, maybe if he lived in Prospect Park, Williamsburg, or Park Slope. That could work. I wasn’t a fan of Dumbo or Bed-Stuy. I’m not picky. Yeah. I know. I sound rather picky. Now you’re saying to yourself, I know why she’s single, her expectations are out of this world. I know you’re thinking that because that’s exactly what my grandparents tell me every time I visit them and have to tell them I’m still ringless. They say I’m far too picky. They say, “Hey, if a guy brings you some olive oil, and some olives, and some sardines, and some bread, who are you to say no?” Thank God for me. No guy had ever brought me any of those things, because if they had my grandparents would have me married off before you could say agape three times, which is love, in Greek.
But I, Gemma Doukas, am ready to find Mr. Right. That’s my Christmas wish. And I promise not to be too picky or judgmental. I just want one good man. Is that too much to ask for?