When I met him, I thought the butterflies wanted to slit open my stomach and fly away. They were that rowdy inside me. He felt perfect, and everything around me looked perfect. So what if he’s older? So what if he’s my professor? So what if he’s from a different race? I was so in love that I was indestructible. Sure, we had to go under the radar and hide so my college wouldn’t find out that we were in a relationship. He made me feel safe, like he was the perfect person for me; my friends also adored him, and that was all I cared about.
I felt flattered when he started courting me. He was my professor for a class when he started dropping hints. My best friend was the one who told me that he likes me. I felt special. He would chat me up after class and sometimes we would text, and all that made me feel closer to him.
I wanted to make it official with him by the start of the next term because I wanted to make sure that he wasn’t my professor in any subject anymore. I wasn’t going to use him to get good grades, and I didn’t want the people around us thinking that, either.
While we were still keeping our relationship a secret, I was living in a condominium with my best friends five minutes away from my college. He and I would usually hole up there as part of our being on the downlow. Frankly, I didn’t care if people saw us. I wasn’t afraid of what the others would say. I was THAT confident and sure. My fear was more for him. I was scared that his students and other professors might tell on him to the school administrators or that he might lose his job if the school found out. My thoughts were all for him. I didn’t want to be the reason for anything that might happen to him.
On weekends, we’d both stay in my condo because that’s the only time we could be together without having to hide or be afraid of the people who might see us. We were like a married couple. We’d do the groceries, clean a little, and watch movies and TV. He’d always leave on Sunday mornings, even if I begged him to stay for a little while because I hate being alone sometimes. He would tell me that he’s afraid that my roommates would think we’re already living together during weekends. I kept on telling him that they knew and that they were OK with it.
It turned out that on Sundays and every day that he couldn’t be with me he was with his real girlfriend and her family. Adding salt to my wound, the girl and I were taking the same course. I knew all this because my girlfriends huddled up and cornered me one night. They told me about how one of our guy friends saw him and her at a festival, holding hands and being sweet.
I remember just losing it.
I was a wreck after that night and the following weeks. I didn’t know anything about him having a girlfriend. Of course the girl didn’t know because if she did, she would’ve already done something about it.
He didn’t just hurt me; he hurt my friends as well. I was too ashamed to even face them, who had been nothing but good to him and supportive of our crazy relationship. I knew that my guy friends wanted to kill him or hurt him at the very least and my girlfriends wanted to give him a piece of their minds, but it would have only all blown out of proportion if they did. So I told them to just keep it. I didn’t want everyone to get in trouble.
I broke up with him. It was too much for me to take, and now I can’t even look at him. I hated having to walk on the floor where I knew I would see him. I hated the cafeteria on Thursdays because he ate there the same time as I do.
But yes, there was a time where I was too stupid for words. I kept hooking up with him once or twice a month, even though I hated him. I guess I missed him. But after looking through the mirror and hating myself as much as I hated him and because I can’t take lying to my friends anymore, I finally cut off all ties with him.
It took me a while to get over him completely. It doesn’t help that I still see him in school sometimes, but it takes some getting used to and really good anxiety pills to stop the anxiety attacks. The flashbacks were a different story. They were haunting me every waking moment that I was silent and made me want to barf my brains out. My mind kept replaying all those times when I should’ve known better. The lies, the inconsistencies; everything about him screamed that he was a big liar. But. I. Was. Too. Blind.
Sometimes I think I’m a douche magnet, but at least he taught me not to be naïve anymore. My relationship with him wasn’t my proudest moment, but it opened my eyes to the reality that certain men will do anything to get inside your pants—even tell you that they love you. I’m not sure if he did love me. He said that he did, and I’d like to hold onto that nice thought—the only nice thought that I’ll ever have of him.