Two things you should know about me: I love romantic comedies and John Mayer. Like, a lot. I love romantic comedies for many reasons, but the most important one is that I can identify with weird girls like Jennifer Garner in 13 Going on 30. And, John Mayer is just the perfect man. However, when you have an active imagination and a great desire from romanticism in your life, those two things don’t work well. Sometimes you romanticize things for yourself and pretend they’ll end up that way.
I met him for the first time in early March. It was cold, and I remember watching my breath blow out of my mouth like a cigarette.
My friend introduced us and I looked up at him. He was tall and strong. I looked up at him and breathed deeply. I don’t believe in love at first sight, but if there is such a thing, this might have been it. He left quickly after that, but I remember becoming infatuated, waiting for the next time we would interact.
The next time I saw him, we were at a retreat together and it was late at night. I was outside on the back porch, and suddenly he appeared. I was excited, but nervous. I started shaking because of the cold and he took my hands and put them in his pockets. I looked up at him and saw he was already looking down at me.
“You’re really beautiful.” I blushed.
We sat outside for hours, just talking about life, about his brother and his parents and how he had to get a degree in computer science so he could provide for his family. We went for a walk, and then I gave him my phone number and left.
Twenty-four hours later, he texted me.
“I just broke up with my girlfriend.” I didn’t even know he had a girlfriend.
“I’m sorry,” I replied.
“It’s ok. So, what’s new? Do you want to hang out sometime?”
It took one weekend for me to fall in love with him. The whole week after that, we had a routine. We would wake up, fuck, go to class, meet in the afternoon, fuck, separate to eat and do homework, fuck, and then sleep together. We sexiled our roommates constantly, and sometimes if they couldn’t leave, or if they were asleep, we would do what we could without getting caught. I mean… anything. For one week, I barely went to class, barely ate, barely saw friends.
I was infatuated. We didn’t tell anybody; it was our little secret.
The sex was passionate. It was slow, and rhythmic. He would kiss me in the right ways, and he knew exactly what to do. When we finished, we would lie together and hold each other. I would rest my head on his chest as he told me all about his family, and how much he loved his mom. He would tell me how his real love in life is the saxophone, but he had to get a “real job” to pay the bills.
“You know you can play the saxophone and still make money, right?” I asked him because I was tired of seeing him so passionless about his major.
“No, I can’t.”
“But babe, keep your major in computer science, as a backup, but you gotta do what you love. You love this music. You are captivated, and you deserve to do something with it.” I didn’t tell him that the way his eyes lit up when he talked about playing was the same way my heart felt when I thought about him.
The next day, he went to the registrar’s office and added a double major.
I tried to make him happy and I wanted to do anything I could for him, so we started having sex while listening to John Coltrane and Miles Davis. I didn’t know anything about Coltrane and Davis, except that they were pretty famous, and I maybe heard them play once or twice? But, he loved it, and his passion made me happy. I learned to love it. As the rhythm of the music filtered through the room, our bodies would move together to fill the missing notes. It was perfect.
It wasn’t perfect. It was so far from perfect, it’s laughable. He took me on a walk during the retreat so he could find a place for us to have sex without anybody catching us. He broke up with his girlfriend and asked me to hang out so we could have sex. He didn’t want to keep it a secret for the pleasure, he just didn’t want people to know that he was having sex with me. He called it “fucking” because “sex” was too passionate. He called me “babe,” and held my hand in Wal-Mart, but he didn’t want me to be anything other than his “fuck buddy.” As I tried to make him happy, he drowned out my voice with Coltrane.
Suddenly, as the weather warmed up outside, our sex life inside became cold and lifeless.
Overnight, everything lost it’s passion. He realized that I was falling for him, and so he completely shut off any types of feelings he had. What he didn’t realize was that I already had feelings. He would fuck me as if he was trying to win a race, like he was trying to get it over with as soon as possible. Our roommates started asking questions, and trying to figure out why they were constantly sexiled. We had promised we wouldn’t tell anybody about each other. But that’s hard to do when you’re in love with someone, and your roommates want to know why they have to wait in the common room so long when they just want to come home and watch Netflix. Then, he stopped saying hi to me in public, and he stopped worrying about how I felt. I was heartbroken, but I kept my feelings out of his bedroom.
One day, he kicked me out of his room at 2am; because he had homework to do. I left, quietly, and immediately called my best friend. “Why doesn’t he like me?” I sobbed as he held me on my bathroom floor. “Why is he so embarrassed by me?”
“It’s not you.”
“Well it feels like it.”
The next morning, I woke up to a text:
“Hey, I don’t think this is gonna work out anymore. You’re a great person, but I’m just not into this anymore.”
A text. Like we hadn’t just fucked for four months straight. Like he didn’t owe me any explanation.
It wasn’t until a few months later that I heard he had been telling people that I was a psychopath, and not to mess around with me. He had been telling any guy I was interested in to stay away from me. I didn’t understand what I had done. I didn’t know why I deserved this.
I went back to him. Three more times. And he did it again. Three more times. We would have sex, and if he found out I was interested in someone else, he would tell them to stay away. The last thing I ever heard him say, right in front of me, was to a close friend of mine:
“Ella es una maldita loca.” At a party. In front of everyone I knew, he told him I was a fucking crazy person. In front of me. Did he forget that I speak Spanish too?
I don’t talk to him anymore, but I still see him around. He plays the saxophone at most college events, and every time I hear his music, my heart falls a little bit further into my stomach. I flash back to the conversation we had about playing his music, and I pretend I am able to rest my head on his bare chest one last time; able to listen to his heart beat to the rhythm of Coltrane.
It might make me fucked up, but I still wish almost every day we could be together. I am in love with him, and I try to put it behind me. If he read these words, he’d probably tell me I was crazy, and that I needed to get over it, because it was just sex. But how is it just sex when you are the most vulnerable you’ve ever been with them? We could have had something, but this isn’t a romantic comedy, and this isn’t a John Mayer song.