Let me start by saying one thing: we were never in love. Hell, I don’t even know if we actually liked each other most of the time. I thought we did, or I hoped we did, and I like to tell myself you thought so to.
We both knew we weren’t in it for the long haul, but I guess I just wanted you to want me enough to consider it.
I had never been in a ‘real’ relationship before that September. I wanted one for a long time, mainly because I saw my friends doing it and it looked like fun–and isn’t that always how things go?
Right now, I’m not entirely sure if I really craved being in love, or if I just needed to feel wanted by someone. And then I met you.
I won’t lie, there wasn’t an immediate feeling of attraction towards you. You were just another guy I met through a mutual friend, and I was so excited to be starting this new chapter of my life that I wasn’t at all concerned about finding someone. But then I heard from our friend that you thought I was cute, and that you were interested in me–after that I was all in. We texted, we talked, we held hands under the blanket while our friends gave us little looks. You were sweet to me then.
And then you kissed me, and it was nice and your lips were comfortable and I was fine. We didn’t have sex right away, even though we both wanted to, but I wanted to make you feel good so I did. I wanted to impress you and keep you interested until we could really be together. When we did it, I was happy. We hung out almost every day after that for weeks, just laying in your bed talking, fucking. Your friends liked me and mine were happy I had something going for me. You read me your grandfather’s poetry and told me how you wished you could be a writer, but that it wouldn’t make you any money. You even showed me the poem you wrote about me. I cried that night because no one had ever revealed themselves to me like you did.
A month passed and I was patient in the process, completely willing to be ‘casual’ and ‘exclusive’ like you wanted, but never dating. People asked us what we were, if I was your girlfriend, and even though the thought made my stomach fill with butterflies, I played it cool. Again, I wanted to impress you. I wanted to be the chill, easy-going girl you liked to be around. Naturally, I slipped up and asked what you told people when they asked who I was. I was embarrassed to bring it up, naked under your sheets, but I wanted to know the answer. I remember how the conversation went:
“So-and-so asked if you were my girlfriend.”
“Oh really? What’d you tell him?”
“I said I didn’t know. I mean, I guess you are if you want to be.”
I smiled and we fucked.
It was like turning a switch from ‘on’ to ‘off’. You became disinterested, only wanting to have sex and sit in your room. We went on one date and I paid for my half. You let me come to dinner with your family; I joked with your mom, talked school with your dad, and laughed with your little brother. I was more nervous than I had been in a while, but I didn’t tell you that. Back in your room we watched a movie and did what we were good at. You always drank whiskey when I was with you.
My friends came to visit on Halloween, my favorite holiday, and you waved to them before walking out of the room and going out with the boys. Another day we sat with your friend, and you told me about an attractive girl you met at a party. I smiled and pretended that didn’t make my heart ache. Thanksgiving weekend came and went, and then it was Christmas time. You invited me to your friend’s Christmas party and I met the people you grew up with. You took me to a dark room and I got on my knees for you. I still wanted to impress you.
I saw you once the whole month of January. We got drunk on New Years and you met my best friends. My mom told me you were cute and my dad bought you beer. We texted while we were two hours away from each other, but something felt different. You stopped telling me you missed me when you got drunk, and you never told me you couldn’t wait to see me again. I refused to let myself believe you didn’t care.
The weekend before our birthdays, which are a day apart, we went to a frat party. I got too drunk and my mind shut down. I don’t remember why I was on the dirty basement floor, crying and feeling like my lungs exploded in my chest. I only remember you grabbing my arm and pulling me up the stairs and into the backyard. I wanted to sit down but you told me to walk. You told me I was fine and needed to stop crying. We walked down the street, me gripping your hand. I could feel you getting angry with me so I cried harder. You called my friend and gave me to her, and then left to go back to your room. I spent the night throwing up on my floor, wanting to hurt myself for being so stupid, and you sat in your room drinking whiskey.
Two days later, you broke up with me. I held my head high and left your room, and then cried for a few minutes back in mine. I really was okay for the first few days. You were still the first person to wish me a happy birthday, and I did the same for you. We were friends.
It’s been almost three months and I still think about you. I wasn’t in love with you, but somehow you still broke my heart. I don’t regret you, because you made me realize what I deserve. And I deserve better than you.