Matt chased me for two years in college. We’d been best friends, always full of adventure, and I wanted it to stay that way. But, by junior year, his perseverance trumped my ambivalence. I’d resisted for so long, as I did with every guy. But this time, I thought I would give it a go. We were going to learn how to love together, the biggest adventure of all.
Louis was in the picture from the start. He was Matt’s other half and one of my best friends. They shared the same interests, same outlooks, same “always down” attitude. I should have seen it coming. There was one difference between them: their love lives. Dan was a 20-year-old virgin. He was always interested in one girl or another, but never followed through. Our relationship was mixed with comfortable conversation and harmless flirtation. I thought nothing of it and neither did Matt.
A year of rollercoaster experiences later and Matt was emotionally cheating on me. I took notice right away. We were nearing the end of our college career and the reality of a serious relationship was setting in. I gave him space to “figure things out” and we left it at that, with no certain future. During the first week of our break, I was completely miserable, and he was fucking another girl.
Enter Louis. Call it revenge, call it pent up sexual tension, I’m still not sure what to call it. Maybe just call it a fateful night at a bar. Classy, I know. By last call, we were immersed in conversation and desiring more. We ditched our desperate friends and cabbed it back to his place. We lied for two hours in bed until we gave into the betrayal, the first kiss. We agreed to nothing further, for Matt’s sake.
The following week, Matt came back to me. We agreed the break was necessary, but not necessarily permanent. I made no mention of the night at the bar, and begged myself to forget it all.
Matt and I started a life 1200 miles from Louis in the post-grad real world. Louis and I had barely spoken since the incident. A college town reunion brought us back together. He was kinder, more handsome, and wittier than I remembered. My heart sank as I scolded myself for taking such notice. I thought I was over this. I promised myself I was over this.
It was two in the morning. We were in his bedroom, staring at each other, just like the last time. Matt was passed out in the room across the hall. We were noticeably drunk, but knew what we were doing. We let ourselves kiss each other at first. That wasn’t enough. We craved more. I took his pants off, as he did mine. He pulled me up against his body, with force I’ve never felt, but always wanted. We looked at each other for seven seconds. Seven seconds exactly. “I love you,” he said to me, right before I felt him inside me. No turning back. It was official. Louis had lost his virginity to me, his best friend’s girlfriend.
The morning after was a rude awakening. A frightening complex of emotions ensued. I was regretful of the timing and how it played out, but not regretful of the action. I especially wasn’t regretful of Louis. I’d been convinced each person was entitled to one soul mate, no more and no less, yet here I was falling in love with a second. And at that, he was the one person I would never be able to have. There I was, contradicting everything I ever stood for and believed about love.
Matt and I returned to our far away home, again with no disclosure. Louis and I spoke daily, trying to understand the events that had unfolded. He told me he had always loved me, ever since he first met me. He told me that no matter how shameful he was of the betrayal to Matt, he wouldn’t have wanted to lose his virginity to anyone else. I kept playing the events of junior year over and over in my head. I couldn’t help but wonder, if Louis had pursued me as fiercely as Matt did, would this all be different?
I kept hoping the whole situation would disappear. I wanted to disappear completely. But here I am, still very much here, wondering what the hell is wrong with me and what to do next.