It's been a week since my last instalment and stuff keeps happening with this guy. But now this story, at least the Anton part of it, will come to an end. This real life story of 3 weeks of love and betrayal.

I woke up, a night after I sent him my angry SMS. I got ready to go to university and didn't think much about all this crap. I got to the university foreground and realised I was early. I stood and looked around me. Snow was falling lightly but the sun was shining through the tall pine trees near the campus. Yellow and orange glints sparkled through the sky, landing softly on my dark red winter jacket and everything around me. The fresh snow on the ground was like so many tiny jewels. It was so beautiful. I didn't really want to go to my lesson. I lit a cigarette and checked my cell phone. It had a message. It was Anton.

"I know, but please believe me..when I said was a truth. But then I understended..I tell lies to myself..and you. I love Alexey more since this time. I could not tell more lies. Its my blame. I cant without him..sorry .you can hate me..sorry"

As I was reading it, my phone rang. The number flashed up on the screen. It was Anton. He said "I wanted to explain it to you... but I could not even to me." He hung up.

You are probably thinking that, by now, it was about time to forget about Anton. I thought so too. But in my head I had a feeling it wouldn't be so easy. I sent him an SMS, something like we would just be friends, and went to my lesson. I got in and my teacher, who knows a bit about my romantic problems but thinks they're all with beautiful virginal Russian girls, asked me why I wasn't concentrating. Y'know, I should've been concentrating. It was important stuff and we had a test the next day. But all I could think about was how to play the next move with Anton.

I didn't even know why I was thinking about him. He's either crazy or stupid to turn a guy like me down (especially when I'm so modest), and besides, it's not healthy to obsess over someone who loves someone else. I couldn't decide what to do, so I decided to do what any healthy, liberated 21 year old guy would do in my position --- seek as much casual sex as possible. I'm sorry there hasn't been more sex in this story so far, but I'm not going to make it up, because I guess one of the unusual things about this story is that it's all true.

I finished up my lesson and literally ran out of the stifling tiny classroom. I got outside and it wasn't snowing any more. It was bitterly cold but the sun was shining brightly. One of my friends bumped into me and told me they had football training in an hour, and the second team needed an extra player. As I've written, I played football a lot back home --- so I volunteered to fill in. I ran home to get a change of clothes and some cleats to put on my shoes to stop myself from slipping over in the wet snow. We were having a good game and I got right into it, but I was occasionally distracted by one of the guys on the other team who I hadn't seen before. I figured he must be filling in too.

He was shorter than me, about 5'9", and had a beautiful face with angular features and piercing black eyes. They were almost feline in shape, but the effect wasn't bad, just made him look hotter. He was wearing a dark blue long sleeve training shirt, and light blue Adidas trackpants. He looked about 18. He had a tan even though it's winter now, and despite the cold, he occasionally took off his long sleeve top to wipe the snow out of his hair and sweat off his face. His tan was even and deep brown. He ran close to me and I could see tiny golden hairs on his arms. He had the Russian body -- the athlete's body, similar to mine -- which most guys here have through a mixture of a good government sports program at school, and none of the shit people eat in the Western world. Perfectly formed chest, not bodybuilder muscle but not an inch of fat. Six pack not jutting out, just there, rippling as he ran. He had a tiny appendix scar just below where his abs started. I wish you could have seen him. The way our bodies are meant to be, naturally, if we take care of ourselves.

He was completely ignoring me so I tried to think about the game. Besides, thinking sexual thoughts about guys at university here is useless. Everybody's straight unless you know they're gay before you meet them (i.e. at a gay club). I have heaps of friends here and every single one either has a girlfriend of several years, or has just broken up with one. Not that that means much. A lot of the guys at the club are in the same situation. I met a guy who was 19, younger than me, and had a pregnant girlfriend whom he was engaged to marry.

I was playing back defense (sweep) and was doing a pretty good job, until Hot Guy from team 2 decided to do his shirt-through-hair thing again. I lost focus and didn't notice their center forward running right past me. He scored an easy goal and my team looked at me as if I was crazy. But the guy on the other team was looking at me too, eyes shining, the hint of a smile on his face. I quickly looked away. The last thing you want here is for someone to suspect you're a "pidor". The game finished and after chatting with my team, steam rising off our bodies in the cold, I headed to the showers at the sport complex nearby. There's nothing like a hot shower after a game in the cold. The showers at my dorm are shit, and the sport complex is old but at least the water's hot.

Hot guy was heading away with his friends on the other team, so I dismissed him from my mind, showed my pass to security and stripped off my clothes in the locker room. I took a moment to check myself out in the mirror (does any guy not do this?). My legs were covered with streaks of mud and I had some dirt on my face too. I looked like one of those guys on construction sets in porn movies. All the more reason to clean off. I grabbed my shower gel and went into the shower room. There was nobody else there, which rocked. The room has five heads in a line, about a meter apart. There are no partitions and no privacy, and I ain't interested in making passes at naked straight guys. I soaped myself up and was standing, eyes closed, head straight under the shower head. I heard the door open and looked out through the steam. It was the guy from the other team, dirty like me. He took a jet two spaces away from mine and briefly met my eyes, but looked straight away and turned on his water. I thought he didn't remember who I was.

I focussed on getting clean and unsuccessfully tried not to stare at his cock. It was dark like his skin, uncut, and about the same size as mine soft, maybe a little longer. The head just poked out from the skin. I looked up and he was looking at my cock too. Our eyes met and just as quickly we looked away. This is a standard shower interaction. All guys compare. But 2 minutes of washing later, I looked at him again, and he was giving it a long stare. About 5 seconds. As casually as could be, he looked away at the wall, without checking to see if I was looking. He turned around and fiddled with his taps. Then he turned around and looked at my cock again. He never once met my eyes, and he kept his own eyes low, sort of like he was looking at it indirectly. He reached for his soap and started soaping up his own cock, pretty slowly.

I wasn't really sure how to respond to this. It definitely wasn't normal shower behaviour. Unless you're, like, at a gay fitness club (do they exist?) or, on the set of a gay porn film, there is a Sacred Code not to stare at other guys' cocks in showers. But man, if this guy, soapy water streaming down his tanned abs... if this guy was hitting on me, I sure as hell wasn't going to turn him down. I lightly flitted at my cock with my hand, like to adjust its position. Three seconds later he did exactly the same thing with his, and then gave mine another long look.

He was doing this pretty damn cleverly. If I'd been straight there's no way I would've noticed. He quickly lightly pulled back the head of his cock, like he was brushing off a snowflake. I did the same to mine. Then he gave it a quick jerk with his hand. There was definitely something going on. I matched him. He gave it another jerk. It looked bigger.

At this point my absolute rule to stay soft in communal showers had completely disappeared, and in about 5 seconds I was completely hard. I don't think I ever got hard faster in my life and it was totally out of control. I could feel my heart beating fast. I felt a moment of fear. But then he looked in my eyes, and gave his a few jerks. He was hard too. He locked the door to the shower room, left his shower on and slowly walked towards me, face completely emotionless.

He reached for my cock and curled his hand around it. It felt pretty damn good. I reached for his. We jerked each other off quickly. We were in a sport complex after all. He got to his knees and pushed his mouth down on my cock. I could feel his lips moving down its length, as hot water streamed all over our bodies. He sucked it like a pro, slowly taking in its whole length until his nose touched my abdomen, then pulling off. Then he went fast. Then slow, pulling my hips towards him and pushing them back, my cock following. Suddenly he pushed down and deep throated the whole thing, his tongue swirling around the base. That was all I needed and I crashed into a massive orgasm, pumping his mouth full of cum. He gagged a bit and pulled off and I kept coming. I slumped against the wall and closed my eyes, but just as fast he pushed two hands on my shoulders guided me down to his throbbing cock. I put my hands on his hips and felt his muscles working as he thrust into my mouth.

I worked on it as best I could -- you don't get sex like this every day -- and flicked my tongue around the head in quick little circles. Some guys can't stand this and other guys can't live without it. He was one of the second kind and soon I felt him tense, his breathing quick. He pulled out and came all over my face. I licked a bit of it off, even though I don't like the taste much. Still completely impassive, he said, in Russian, "thanks", unlocked the door, and got out of there. By the time I cleaned myself off and got out into the changeroom, only my stuff was there and there was no sign of him at all.

I should probably point out that I don't go looking for sex in showers with dudes on football teams, or anyone for that matter, and this was the first time I did something like this, but then again, I guess it doesn't happen very often to anyone. I'm willing to bet this guy has a "girlfriend" but none of my friends knew who he was, when I asked them about him.

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday passed without event and I jerked off a couple of times, thinking about the guy in the showers. You know your last sex was good when you keep thinking about it as you jerk off. Beats porn, that's for sure. Saturday I went out with some friends to a club near our university and watched my friend's band play. They were pretty good and they invited us back to their studio to drink some beers and smoke some "tarakan". We went together and I said no to the pot -- I don't like that shit, it makes me depressed -- but got to work on the beer. Their bass player was strumming out some nice tunes in the background, and we were all having a really good time. So when 11pm passed, I couldn't figure out why I wanted to go back to the club.

Every time I go back there I can't get over how shithouse a club it is. I blew my nose the morning after my first time there and it was all black, that's how smoky the air is. Sorry to give you that mental image but then again, you're probably reading this from America, with your enormous choice of clean friendly gay clubs or whatever you've got there. Anyway, it was one of those times where you feel like you HAVE to do something even though you know it's not smart, you know it will probably lead to problems, and you know you really don't want to.

In my case the irrational stupid plan always wins, which is probably why I'm still writing about Anton now instead of forgetting about him weeks ago.

I excused myself from the good time with friends and decided to take a taxi. Decided means I had no other choice, even though it was going to cost 350 roubles, or about $12. I know it doesn't seem like much, but you get used to everything costing practically nothing here. I told myself I wasn't going to see whether Anton was there or not. I told myself I was going because, as good as it was to be with these great people, I needed to be with "my own kind". Yeah sure.

I got to the club, paid the 100 rouble ($3) cover charge, and checked my coat. I could hardly see anyone through the smoke but the music was pounding out the same gay icon tunes you can hear anywhere in the world. Like the last two times, dancing shapes in the darkness, beautiful boys oblivious to anything except their chosen one-night-stand and their own vanity, older guys, muscles, sweat, sex, smoke.

I went over to the mirror to fix my hair and I felt two arms close around me from behind. It was Anton. He nuzzled his lips on my neck and, at that moment, I was so close to giving in. But I didn't. I pulled away. "What are you doing?", I asked in Russian.

"It's so good to see you again", he said.

"Yeah, well, you haven't exactly shown it." I answered in English.

He leaned forward to kiss me. I jerked my head away and he looked hurt.

"I'm sorry", he said. "I saw your eyes then and I had to talk to you. Alexey came to see me today." He punched the air with his hand and said, in English, "fucking life!" He looked really down. He kept explaining. "After you came to see Alexey that night, I was really angry with you. And then, after you left, Alexey called me and asked if I wanted to go over and sleep at his house. He said he missed me."

Treachery, I thought! This was a surprise. If the Anton's problem was his ex-"boyfriend" Alexey, then I had made it worse by going around there. Maybe it had reminded Alexey of what they'd once had. Or maybe he's just that kind of guy who only wants something that's in demand. This meant that I couldn't trust either of them.

"Then, yesterday, he called me and said that we had nothing together, and that we were just for sex, and that he still loves his Paris boyfriend. So now I need you. I'm sorry."

Anton wasn't giving up easily and pulled me close to hug him again. I just didn't know what to do. Nothing seemed right. This much was clear -- I was the second choice, the last resort. I pushed him away.

"Listen. You can't do this to me. I had strong feelings from you from the start and I still do. You're just screwing with me. How do I know you won't go right back to Alexey the moment he changes his mind?"

And with that, he let go of my hand and skipped away. My heart sank. The devil and angel on my shoulders got started.

Devil: "Quick! Go after him! He's getting away! Ignore his flaws! You know you're meant to be together!"

Angel: "Heath, let him go. He's bad for you, he doesn't know what he wants, he may well be crazy. Just forget about him."

The devil won and I followed him. We danced together on the dancefloor but again, I had that feeling, something here wasn't right. I couldn't trust what he was saying to me, I couldn't trust how he felt, and I couldn't trust him. We looked at each other and in that moment, it was like the Russians say "ponyatno bez slov" -- understood without words.

Communication flashed between us and I knew he would never be mine. My rational brain knew that, but you can't always follow your rational mind. At least, I can't. We stopped dancing and I went to find my friends. I chatted and danced with them for awhile and drank some more beer, meaning the sex toilets beckoned. The club had a new sign on the toilets reading "Ne Ebatsa" -- "No Fucking", with two sign-figure men fucking over a toilet and a big red X.

They might as well have saved their money on the sign, though, because the same characters were doing the same stuff in there. I finished my business in one of the few unoccupied cubicles, and came out just in time to see some guy I'd had my eyes on, pulling Anton into one of the stalls. I had that same irrational pain in my heart as when I saw him kissing the guy the week before. I tried to ignore it, and saw Anton coming back out, with the guy saying "why not!?" in Russian. We ignored each other as they passed.

Suddenly my fun gay evening wasn't seeming too fun, and I didn't want to stick around. I had a cursory look for my style of guy to take home, but my heart wasn't in it. I went to the cloakroom, which sort of doubles as a chill out room. The owner of the club, an enormous, obese, extremely camp 60 year old Russian guy, was sitting smoking a joint with some of the young guys who always seem to like hanging around powerful gay socialites (if I can call them that). While I was waiting for my coat, one of the younger guys came up to me, very drunk. He looked Greek. He was swaying as he got down on his knees, saying he liked my jeans and asking where I got them. "You've got a stain on your fly", he slurred, and grabbed my cock through my trousers, as the old guy and his hangers-on roared with high-pitched laughter. I glared at the guy and the onlookers, which just made them laugh more. I noticed a pool of vomit nearby. I realised this club really sucked, in every sense of the word.

I pushed drunk guy away, being careful not to push him over (he fell over anyway), grabbed my coat and went out onto the street. I quickly crossed the road. The club might be secret, but you just gotta be careful. I smoked and waited for a cab to come by. It was 5am. I saw some of Anton's friends coming out, along with Anton himself, hand in hand with the guy from the toilets. That same feeling again. I swore at myself loudly for being so weak, and kicked at the snow. It was freezing cold, snowing heavily, and a bitter wind was blowing across my face.

A car that had been parked near the club drove over to me. I offered 300 roubles to get back to the studio. He said 350 and we agreed on 320.

The driver looked about 60. He said he was from Armenia and came to Moscow back in Soviet times. His profession was shearing sheep -- he told me enthusiastically about sheep shearing back home -- but in Russia he was a carpenter. He said work was hard to get, and he was sick of this place. I asked if life was better back home.

"I don't know", he said. "I've been gone 40 years. I don't have much family left there now."

I asked if he could go back to see them. He brightened a little. "I'm going there next year. To live. I'm getting out of here, at last. Shear sheep. Like when I was your age." He laughed deeply and lit a cigarette, offering me one too. It was the old Soviet kind, "Belamorkanal", that are made of some kind of awful sawdust/tobacco combination. Well, maybe not sawdust. I took one anyway. He talked about going home convincingly enough, but there was something missing in his tone. I wondered if he really would get back there, to shear sheep like when he was my age. I wondered how the world changed so much in 50 years that people my age don't even think about shearing sheep. I paid him 350 roubles, hoping it would help him get back to Yerevan.

As my driver was dropping me off outside the studio, I saw him taking out a brand new cell phone and calling someone on it. To quote that model chick in the Pepsi Light commercial, "Some things never change, and some things do."

I fell into a deep sleep and woke up with a start, late to meet my friends at a dacha, or traditional Russian house that families use to get away from the cities on summer weekends. I got there on time, and couldn't help, against my better judgement, sending a message to Anton.

"How was your friend from the toilets?"

"He was just a friend."

"He just wanted to have a conversation in the toilets? Sounds like a porn movie."

(no reply).

I guess I deserved that one. I began to think that no matter what this guy did to me, he would always be in the back of my mind, nagging at me. It didn't help that he was sending me SMSes every couple of days asking how I was doing.

Finally I understood. I couldn't just be friends with Anton. It was love or nothing. And damned if I could love him after all the lies. Then again, damned if I could forget that face.

I'm in a hurry to write this because it's late and I have to sleep, but I figure I should bring us up to date. Today I got the standard message from Anton, in English, "Hello! How are you?" I was in the middle of replying to it when I ran into one of Sebastian's friends at university. He asked how Anton was going. I snorted and said something about him being ancient history. He said "oh, that's cool, then I can tell you, I saw him at the club last month, but he told me not to tell you he was there. To be honest, I got the feeling he wasn't looking for a relationship."

My ears pricked up, despite myself.

"Last month? When exactly?"

"Um, about three or four Saturdays ago, about a month ago. I know you weren't there."

Hmmmm. That was weird. There was only one Saturday night I hadn't been to the club, the night exactly a week after I met him, the night when he'd promised to come to the party with me. But he couldn't. Because his housemate's sister was sick.

I saw red. Fuck. That was the last insult. I stormed home. Every time I was close to forgetting about this guy, I found out some new awful thing about him.

I sent him an SMS, in Russian. Maybe you'll find them boring, but it's 3am, it's all I got.

"So you went to the club a week after we met. Kofa's sick sister? Bullshit. You got what you deserved with Alexey. You're perfect for each other. Now leave me alone. I don't know you and I never met you."

He called me about an hour later. I asked what he wanted. He said he couldn't talk because he was at the supermarket, just having bought credit for his cell phone so he could call me. Catch-22. He said he'd call me back. I hung up. My phone rang again 5 minutes later. It was him again. He was crying. He said that when he had told me he loved me, it was true -- then. But he didn't know how he felt. He screamed out "fuck!". I asked him what he wanted.

"Just friends. Nothing more."

But, I thought sadly, my friendship is exactly what I can't give him. And not because of his lies. "Yeah well, friends don't lie to each other. Call me in a couple of months once you've grown up." With that I hung up on him.

He sent me an SMS. "Usually people lie because they need to."

"Sure, you just keep telling yourself that for the rest of your life."

"Do you really think I am like Alexey? In that time I was..."

"I think you have learned a lot from his character. But you don't have the magnetism he had. You're more like a deputy Alexey."

This, I knew, would really get him. The SMS equivalent of burning your bridges. I knew he hated the thought of being compared to Alexey, the guy who had hurt him so much. He didn't reply and I don't blame him. And that's it.

If I mean all these cruel messages, and I really never want to see or think about him again, why did I spend three hours tonight writing this story instalment?

If my end aim is to win him over and have him as my boyfriend, why did I carefully and deliberately say the most hurtful possible things to him? Is it revenge for what he did to me? But what he did to me isn't even that bad. He told me in the end that he didn't want a relationship. That's more than some guys get.

Sometimes I don't know how to feel. It's like I've got a million different voices pulling at me in all these different directions, but the stupid impulsive one always wins.

Anyway, I'm sorry if you found all this boring. I hope you got some fun out of the sex parts (trust me, they were more fun for me). If I get enough good feedback from this story I might keep writing. Life here is pretty interesting. I promise to keep Anton mentions to a minimum... guess I gotta change this e-mail address, though.