It’s the same situation you find yourself in every six to seven months. You wake up in an apartment that is surrounded by empties, more comically called “Fallen Soldiers”, wearing some t-shirt that smells suspiciously like another girl mixed with whispers and cigarettes.
You ignore that pounding headache that’s all too familiar on either side of your temples while you try to justify why you’re waking up alone in a room that isn’t yours that you’ve been passing out inside of more nights than not.
You’re with a bad boy, and it isn’t as glamorous as the movies made it out to be.
At one point his very “DGAF” attitude was imposing, attractive, and exactly what you needed to get you from point “better judgment” to point “taking all my clothes off on a balcony just because he suggested it”. His magnetism was so irresistible and like a moth to a flame you find yourself against him. Like you two are the physical manifestations of the polar opposites you played with and tried to best at the children’s museum, but now you’ve given in and flipped. You tell yourself that he’s special, that he’s the only one you’d compromise for.
But really, even when you try to deny it, you know the truth.
You know that if the right set of hazel eyes and arrogance showed you even a sliver of attention across whiskey fueled evenings you’d probably still go weak in the knees. Call it your soft spot for the Stanleys and the Daryls of the world, but if there’s a trace of rough around the edges in there; you’re going for it.
You know that if you throw in a Tim Riggins mug against your once Sandra Dee features you get magic. The ultimate blow up, drama, explosion is inevitable and a part of you can’t wait for the demise. You know it’s a stereotype, know it’s a cliché, know that it is a recipe for total disaster. But you can’t stop. You find yourself breaking nails to peel away layers you think no one else has had access to, ripping vocal chords to yell about revelations you think you’re the first to discover.
And then you realize that you aren’t. You simply are not the first girl to say, “I can get him to be real with me!” And you won’t be the last. He is him and you are you and fight as you might to break him down it just is not going to happen. The layers of indifference and ambiguity that initially made him so enticing now make you so frustrated and feel so inadequate. You start to realize how generic this is for him, how repetitive.
You’re with a bad boy, and you know that no matter how you try to spin it, you’re just another notch for him.
And they you start to realize how stereotypical you yourself are in the whole equation. You are simply a cog in a wheel you never intended to be a part of. Your intentions were once pure, once genuine. But now you’re the greasy girlfriend of the person everyone turns a side eye to when given the opportunity. And even though at one time that seemed sort of romantic, now you find yourself tired of defending it.
The shittiest part about this fatal attraction? You have no idea where it stems from.
Your childhood was picturesque. Literally. There are photos of you in homemade but perfectly executed rompers blowing bubbles across beaches with precisely placed ringlets in your strawberry blonde pigtails. There are scrapbooks dedicated to your adventures in Disneyworld where your dad insisted on meeting every princess because he knew it would make you beyond thrilled even though he would have rather shot up and down Space Mountain. Daddy issues? The stereotype has no base. Issues with authority? They barely enforced curfew.
So why are you purposely putting salt in a wound when everyone tells you it’s going to hurt?
You don’t know why you subject yourself to this kind of masochism; you just know that you always will. If there’s potential for you to get burned in the process you will one hundred percent be holding your hand above the stove top. The brief second of wearing his jacket across your shoulder and kissing his mouth as the sun comes up is enough to keep you coming back for more. The pain that keeps you tossing and turning is the same pain and need that keeps you coming back to his nicotine painted lips and less-than-truthful words.
You forgive more than you ever thought you would be able to forgive, reconcile more instances than you ever thought you would able make sense of. And all in the name of love. Stupid, irrational, unrecognizable, illogical, kick-yourself-in-the-face-for love.
You love him, but you wish you didn’t.
Regardless of your wishes, no matter how much you want to force yourself to get over it, you still find yourself wanting to be the person they turn to when their eyes start to open. You want, no NEED, to feel that they actually need you. You keep hoping that the time that they decide to be vulnerable is a time in which you are present but then even if you are, you still feel empty. The fullness, the completion you feel by convincing yourself that you are special is superficial. It’s just a band-aid for the wound, not an ultimate solution.
You’re with a bad boy, and it hurts more than it should.
It’s a pattern we repeat in our teens, our twenties, and beyond. We pretend like we won’t find ourselves repeating the same convoluted sentences, the same overused phrases, the same stories. But there we are. Every six to seven months we’re waking up to strange ceilings, messy houses, and hurt feelings.
We love bad boys. And we hate ourselves for it.