After a brief bump in my college road, I was headed back to a state school for spring semester.
I had known him since childhood. He already lived in the town I was moving to. He was a senior and I would be a freshman. I always had a crush on him, but it’s different when you’re young. Four years seems like a huge age gap. We’d always been family friends, but once I got to college that platonic relationship between us started to change. My first trip up to visit the campus was before I moved there. I ran into him at a tailgate for the football game. We ended up spending the whole day together and the night for that matter. I wasn’t moving up there for another few months, so I didn’t see him for a while. But we texted sometimes, mostly about me moving up there. We were friends.
When I finally did move, we slowly began to become closer. In a way, he took care of me. He introduced me to people and made sure I was having fun. When we finally hooked up, again, I was in love. I know that’s a strong word to use so soon, but that’s what I felt. I’m not sure why this happened so rapidly, but I couldn’t control it. There was just something different about our friendship. I never thought I could find a person who I had a good connection with as friends that I could potentially be in a relationship with. He didn’t call me for a few days after that. When he finally did, he said the one thing I didn’t want to hear, we need to talk. Those words were like a dagger in my freshly filled heart before I even knew what he was going to say.
He told me as much as he likes being with me, he wasn’t sure this was right.
I spent a good amount of time being frustrated with him because he couldn’t bring himself to be friends with me anymore. How childish are you? Then I spent some time wondering what was wrong with me. Eventually, I accepted it. It wasn’t meant to be and that was okay.
A week or so later, we ran into each other at nightclub. The frustration came back. We’d spend so much time together and then nothing. I drunkenly asked him if I was bad at sex, (oops.) He laughed. (Thank god.) We sat outside and he told me that it had nothing to do with that. He just didn’t want to date anyone. Well lucky me. Neither did I. At least that’s what I told him. I had myself convinced, this is what I wanted. In reality, he was what I wanted. I’d say anything to make that happen.
We continued to hook up sporadically throughout the semester. I tried to keep my feelings on the down low, as to not scare him away. I clearly liked him more than he liked me. Even so, I figured we were on the same page. We were not. I found out that he was seeing another girl. Not just that, but he’d been seeing her for a while. How did I not know this? Could I be that naïve? When I asked him about it, he basically said I was never his girlfriend so I couldn’t care. He then told me that she would eventually be his girlfriend. “It’s different,” he said. “She’s my age.” Ouch.
I was devastated. Now looking back on it, I shouldn’t have been. He was an asshole to me. But at that time, I hated myself for not being good enough. His new girlfriend was some sorority chick, which totally makes sense. I had a feeling the girlfriend wouldn’t be so fond of me, since we’d had sex and all. And sadly, I was right. The girlfriend hated me. She basically cut me out of his life completely and he didn’t stop her. I was hurt and confused. He was the one who wanted to stay friends. If we had this amazing connection, why wasn’t he dating me? There were a lot of drunk and crying phone calls, but mostly voicemails. (Also, some very crazy and possibly illegible text messages.) I should’ve known better. Drunk texting never turns out well.
Then he graduated, and that was it. Once he left college, we rarely saw each other and even when we did, it wasn’t the same. When he eventually broke up with that girlfriend, he was upset — Or so I heard. We weren’t speaking then.
A year or so later, during an alumni weekend at my college, we ran into each other. I won’t defend myself because it was an impulse decision, but we drunkenly hooked up. We never spoke about it. I’d always wondered if that was a mistake or if that was closure for me. (I hoped closure.)
This past summer, three years later, I went home for a few weeks to visit my parents. I ran into him at our usual downtown spot — the first time in over a year. He told me he was sorry for everything and he wished he could go back and change it. He wanted me. Finally.
But I didn’t love him anymore. I didn’t want him anymore. I won’t go through that again. After everything — the crying, the hating all men, the heartbreak I felt — it was worth it. I matured. I learned that it’s not worth it to chase someone who isn’t chasing you back — I am worth a person’s full attention and love. Although I thought I would always have a place for him in my heart, it has grown smaller and smaller as time goes by. As life progresses, these people of the past seem insignificant to your future.
They say a girl will never forget her first heartbreak. Slowly, I am.