My Friends with Benefits Experience Part 2 the Manager ...

By Natalie

If you haven't read part 1 titled "The Actor" you need to before reading part 2 of this 4 part series. Here's the next piece in my friends with benefits experience.


Like the author, Lemony Snicket once said, “PLEASE, put this book down.” Well, from here on out, I could say that same and try to convince you that after the ACTOR I had found Mr. Right. Boy was I wrong. It was only minutes after the text exchanges with the ACTOR.

His name is the MANAGER.

I wish I could say that the MANAGER and I had not known of our mutual connection within minutes after we first met. Yeah…it became a minor situation of, well, ‘that.’ But we should back pedal prior to jumping into this brief, very BRIEF story of the MANAGER and me.

Ironically, two years prior to jumping into bed with the MANAGER, I had originally met him via email. It was a year or so after graduating college when I really began heavier research on how to, well, make a living with writing. The drive in doing so had intensified after my first article was published on, none other than, Hello Giggles. I was, both, overjoyed and overwhelmed with the responses that my piece on dating and how never having a serious relationship at the time was something to not feel any shame for.

I stumbled upon the MANAGER’S contact information through a well know television and movie website called, IMDb. I simply cold emailed him after seeing an actor from one of my favorite movies listed as his client. Due to his smaller client roster, I thought "what the hell," and decided to turn my email into a, pitch.

He responded immediately and within a few hours, we set a day to meet in person.

You can imagine how TERRIFIED I was, even though I had picked a familiar public setting to meet him at. But there was a lot of life changes that I was going through, including a falling out with a colleague who was, well, pissed off at me when I wanted to start focusing on other projects. So, I was semi-traumatized when they had this big idea of all men in the industry just wanting to bang the shit out of us gals. Yeah…I was expecting the worst before even meeting the dude.

I was a few minutes early at a local Peet’s Coffee house—the irony because, nowadays, I sleep through ten alarm clocks. This branch was close to a previous part-time job in which I had quit when I had decided to focus on writing and making films. I remember texting the MANAGER as soon as I got there, double checking that we did not bypass each other. He said that he was running a few minutes late. I told him where I was sitting.

After a few paragraphs in the book I brought with me, “Ordinary People,” I caught from the corner of my eye this tall, lanky, and good-looking white guy. At that moment, I knew he was no more than thirty. He saw me stealing a glance at him. We sort of knew that I was the writer looking for some help and he was the MANAGER who, perhaps, wanted to do so.

But, looking back, it was sort of a dead giveaway with the MANAGER as soon as he smiled at me. Once he made his way over to me, we joked how we were unsure if either one of us should wave at the other across the room—I guess the whole, “Didn’t want to be waving to a stranger,” was what broke the ice for our conversation starter. As soon as we sat down, the rest sort of flowed from there on out. He was twenty-four at the time and shared his story about how he got his start as a MANAGER so early on. It was impressive, if anything, because I thought that was total badass to see hear how he had bounced around from different management and talent agencies before he had branched out and formed his own management company (which is doing well…based on what I see some of his clients, including the ACTOR, are posting).

Oh, yeah…did I mention that the MANAGER is the ACTOR’S, manager?

Yeah, but before I get to THAT part, the MANAGER was impressed with my background and sort of stunned when I handed over a stack of scripts from shorts, features, a TV pilot, and some short stories for him to review. I pitched him different ones beforehand and all I remember was his interest in the children’s stories. Somewhere, in-between, we found out that our mutual colleague/friend was the ACTOR because the MANAGER went to the same college as we did.

We chatted for about a good hour and a half before he finally checked his phone and said he had to get going to take his actor client to either an audition or rehearsals. They had been friends forever, so it was cool to see how they still had each other’s backs. His client did not have a car at the time. Just the other day, I watched his client’s world premiere feature film on Netflix. He is also receiving some award buzz for a feature that is premiering on Amazon…ironically, the same film that the MANAGER was telling me about at our first meeting/somewhat date?

It certainly felt like the business meeting took a turn somewhere during our conversation. I guess it was the moment when I had unwillingly mentioned my Hello Giggles article. Yeah, it was something I had sort of regretted, especially when he was a bit persistent to walk me back to my car. Even when I said no…ish.

We chatted for a few more minutes after he walked me back. It was about random stuff until he said that he would hit me up to hang out (uh, huh). But, at the time, I was a bit irritated when he had mentioned going out and drinking. As shy as I was at the time, I told him "no" which seemed to throw him off guard since his smile sort of faded away. He asked why. I told him that I did not quite associate drinking with business (ironically because often, it is grabbing a drink with someone that ends up working together).

Before we parted ways, I leaned in for a hug. Two hugs, in fact, because we kept talking after saying goodbye the first time. I remember he said, which I teased him about on our ‘reconnection’ about a year or so later, “Oh, man. I get two hugs.”

And that was the last time I saw him. Although, he texted me about two days later (yeah, I kept track. So what?), saying how he enjoyed my company at the café and wanted to see me again. My dumb ass was CLUELESS. For whatever reason, I saw it as a ‘business meeting,’ but was confused in what exactly we were meeting for since he had turned me down as a client, but for legitimate reasons. He was unsure how exactly to help me, in terms of pitching stories on my behalf or recommending me to other people as well. I remember getting that text in the midst of filling out a writer’s workshop application. My mind was elsewhere. So, I turned down the original day he had suggested to meet again. I suggested the weekend, to which he responded he needed to double check.

We touched base later that week. I figured he had forgotten our potential…whatever you want to call it. At least, that is what he told me.

I left it alone.

We connected on social media. He liked a photo here and there. Likewise, on my end. We were just those people who met once and sort of never spoke again after that.

Until a few months later, I called him while out with some friends…on Valentine’s Day.

Believe or not, I was 100% sober. Somewhere in the earlier weeks, the MANAGER and I had reconnected because of my friend, someone who later turned out to be someone who was just using me for contacts. Basically, she wanted me to email introduce them since she had a few scripts that her buddy wrote. She wanted to pitch them to the MANAGER. I remember how hesitant I was until this girl kept pestering me. I did so out of, “Well, what can go wrong.”

And nothing did, at least not for a while. The MANAGER responded immediately, even sending me a separate email that he appreciated the connection and wanted to catch up with me. He was out of town. By now, his best friend, the actor now on Netflix and Amazon, was booking more roles with some pretty big-name producers and talent involved in it. I knew he was legitimately busy. Hint my, as lame as it sounds, jealousy when the girl called me as soon as she met with the MANAGER a few weeks later, telling me how he was awesome and genuine. He even invited her to play poker with his buddies.

Yeah, I was in denial of having any interest in him. I bobbed my head as she told me, already going straight to, “Great…they’re fucking.”

But who was I to be, well, all upset and annoyed. My friend at the time did not know of my interest in the MANAGER. So, it was on Valentine’s Day when this same girl kept asking me who I knew around the [fill in the blank valley city name that shall remain anonymous to protect all identities]. At the time, I thought it was off how she then mentioned HIM aka the MANAGER.

As soon as his number started ringing and I saw that he picked up, my dumbass panicked and handed the phone to my friend. All I remember hearing in the overly populated, hole in the wall bar was her telling him that he should come out and drink with us. She returned a minute later, handing me my phone. I had asked real nonchalant if he was stopping by. All my friend told me was that he was “over it” and was turning in early. I thought that was weird, but did not push to ask.

I woke up the following morning a bit horrified as soon as my friend had reminded me that I texted and called the MANAGER the previous night. It was difficult to dodge that one. So, my friend suggested texting him, now that it was morning.

“Why?” I said, avoiding eye contact in the car, returning from a late breakfast.

“I think you have a crush on him.”


She was right. So, I texted him, apologizing for the, uh yeah, semi drunk texting and phone call. He texted me back right away, no joke, in seconds, saying that he appreciated the call a lot. So, it gave my high ass ego a boost, texting him back that we should grab coffee and food soon. He said of course. I left it at that.

And then, it got messier. For whatever reason, I suppose it left a bad impression whenever I was out, ironically with this same girl, who would bring up the MANAGER whenever we were out drinking. So, you can piece it together. At some point, he sort of stopped flirting back or whatever. We lost touch.

Until a few days before my twenty-fourth birthday. I sent him an invite, something which my friends were encouraging me to do. He said he should be able to make it, but was sort of pending with something work related. And then minutes later, I texted the ACTOR after I received a happy birthday Facebook post from him. As horrible as this sound, I even threw in the whole, “Oh, the MANAGER might make it too.”

My intentions with inviting the ACTOR was more so out of catching up with a college classmate. That was until he walked in. He looked good. I felt good with the help of a few drinks. But I played it cool, even bringing up the MANAGER. The ACTOR told me that he had texted him; he said he had responded that he was “maybe” going to make it.

And then my drunk dumbass took a shot, whispering to the ACTOR how I had a thing for the MANAGER. He sort of teased me for it throughout the night before he divulged that the MANAGER was not someone who dated girls, but rather just fucked them and moved on to the next one. All I remember saying was how the MANAGER is just being a dude and that someone in his position SHOULD fuck girls.

Ironically, the ACTOR told me more one-on-one to not hang out with the MANAGER. I saw the concern in his eyes. So, I asked why. That was the moment when he told me that the MANAGER would just sleep with me and, I guess, treat me like crap afterward.

And boy…was he sort of right.

Returning to that night when I drunk texted the ACTOR on the whole, “What are we/What the fuck is going on,” thing…I had also texted the MANAGER. I will admit that I was a mess, having a breakdown over some guy and the fact that my mother and I were moving out of the house in which we shared with my stepdad. Plus, I also had a fallout with a friend who I had email introduced to the MANAGER…so, my drunk ass wanted to know if they had ever fucked.

My friend, who was with me, had grabbed my phone and texted the MANAGER through it, asking that.

He then called me. I almost forgot how he sounded. It was weird. As pissed I was at my friend, the MANAGER did answer the question in which my friend had texted from my phone. He said he never slept with my now former friend because the last time he saw or heard from her was that one and only time they met. Then, he proceeded to tell me that he would rather be with me than her.

So, I took the opportunity to, yeah, have some “fun.” I was hurt and pissed off over the ACTOR, unaware that he was the MANAGER’S client then, and wanted a rebound. So, I told the MANAGER over the phone that I had this big ass crush on him a while back. And possibly still do. He invited me to come meet with him when he got back from his trip. So, I picked him up.

It was awkward at first .At one point, I just wanted to go home because he really is not much of a talker. It was odd for me, considering that I am usually the shyer one. But, according to him, he said I was a bit feisty and extroverted. Apparently, he liked that about me.

Want to know why?

He said he was not focused on dating, just getting out of a relationship a month or so prior. I felt bad for him when he said what had happened. Apparently the chick dumped him after he had asked her to move in with him after two months of dating. He said he fucked it up. I told him he did not and if he wanted her back, he needed to go get her.

And then that was when he brought up the feisty and the whole, “I need to date someone who’s more outgoing than I am. You’re pretty out there.”

So, I just wanted to hook up and get it over with. But he was persistent, per usual, with getting food. I told him I was good, but he took us to some café anyhow. And that’s where it got all mixed up about what his intentions were once he started asking further about my life. I told him it did not matter. But, as USUAL, the MANAGER was curious and kept asking. So, I told him what was going on from the writing and film work to even working on a feature. His eyes finally left his phone as soon as I told him that I was working on a film dealing with mental health. I said it was an important subject matter that should be told. He agreed.

We headed back to his place. I was just going to head back until he asked I was not coming up, almost shocked. It was not necessarily an invitation to you know. I was sort of rejecting it, making an excuse that I had to meet my friends for a movie screening, which I did, but not for another two hours or so, and the theater was just down the street.

So, I went up to his place. I got a phone call which I had to take, while the MANAGER unpacked his bags from the east coast. By the time I got off the phone, I had to get going. I remember wanting to see a coat and a suit that the MANAGER was telling me about, something from his designer friend. I said I wanted to see them. And, of course, they would happen to be upstairs.

So, I went. He really did show me the outfits. We chatted for a bit about the paintings on his wall and how much he kept to himself. I had this impression that he was Mr. Popular. He said he spoke to maybe three people on a daily basis. His tone came off as bummed out and sad. So, I thought why not talk about the event he was going to later. I told him to look good so some hot chick would come home with him. He said he was not really into that thing.

Then he laid down on his bed, asking what I wanted to do. I sort felt weird for being there, considering that I have this whole thing to NEVER shit where I eat. But I was also sad and wanted, as horrible as it sounds, some sort of physical matter since the whole ACTOR thing. But as the MANAGER and I started talking more. It was the moment when I found out that they were friends. He said the ACTOR was his homie, as he and I were about to get into it.

Hearing that news left me more vulnerable and, well, holding back from jumping the dude’s bones. After he had asked if the ACTOR and I ever slept with each other, and I said no, he grabbed and kissed me. We fooled around a bit, with me telling him I was not going to sleep with him. He said that was fine. But I was also wanting to test drive, if you can call it that.

And that was when I was overcome with guilt and shame. I had to tell the MANAGER to stop, which freaked him out for a moment. He said it was not working and we could try another time, but I was trying to still make it work. That was the moment when he said it was maybe a bad idea if he and I did anything more. It baffled me as he then went on to say that the fact the ACTOR and I had a thing/fling was for starters, leading him into telling me, “You do your own thing. Making your films. People really don’t do that in the field believe it or not."

I checked out and he was persistent, per usual, to walk me out. Before I left, I kissed him. He seemed thrown off by it. It got a smile from him, the last look I saw on him. A few days later, after he had agreed to be fuck buddies, he told me he did not want to hook up. And I got mad and texted, “Okay, bye.”

He unfollowed me on Instagram (yeah, I noticed) and I took it as a sign to do the same and never speak to him again. The irony was having this thing of not getting weird with each other, yet we both did. I will admit that I am guilty of that. So, it got me to text him a few days later, saying that there was no bad blood between us. He told me there was not. That was the last time we had any contact.

Until a few weeks ago. I reached out to him regarding a project of a colleague of mine who needed help. The MANAGER responded right away. It sort of felt relieving that, well, he was not totally into blocking me off completely. I guess we are still mutual colleagues.

But it certainly hurt a lot when it came to those weeks following our mini hook up and feeling confused and even unattractive with the rejection. Whatever happens, one thing for sure is that I have no problem cutting to the chase. I am just learning to take it day by day.

Come back at the same time tomorrow for part III.

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