Walking Memories, Shadows of Themselves

This past weekend I was feeling pretty down. I wanted to go out, do something, anything to keep busy but all of my friends have very demanding summer jobs so I couldn’t blame them for not being able to hang out with me. I knew I still needed to find something to do because if I didn’t I would become depressed and feel the strong urge to call my ex (who we will call “R”). So, I had the great idea to start texting my other ex! He will be called “S.” S promised to take me out to play pool (which I love, even though I’m not very good), go hiking and swimming. It sounded like so much fun so of course I said Yes!

That Saturday morning I spent $37 to go out to visit S (about an hour and a half away). I decided since I was going out there anyway I would visit my friend, Troy, before I hang out with S at 8 p.m. I’ve known Troy for only two years but already he has become a really great friend of mine, inspiring me to write and pursue my dreams.

That morning he took me to a mountain that we hiked around for a while before he had work. Someday we might actually hike the mountain but I’m a little scared because he said that at some points you are literally climbing up hand over hand because it’s so steep! I have minor asthma which might be a problem but I don’t want it stopping me from enjoying my life so I push through it. After we hung out he dropped me off and I was hanging around random places, waiting for S to respond to my texts.

Eventually I was getting fed up and Troy offered for me to hang out with him at work, this was at 5 p.m. I wandered over to where he was working and sat next to him in a tiny crammed booth that barely fit both our chairs. As I shifted from one position to another I wrote pages of prose, doodled even more and apparently (he says) sighed at least a hundred times. He must’ve noticed how bored I was because we started watching Cowboys and Aliens, one of his favorite movies. I laughed at its cheesiness, but then again, I was laughing and that was better than nothing.

Hours passed as I waited for S to come get me, answer his phone or something until he finally picked me up at 9:30 p.m. Troy was visibly hesitant and worried as I said goodbye, then we awkwardly hugged and parted ways. S apparently had fallen asleep after a busy morning at work but I still got mad at him. He decided to make up for it by making me dinner. Which turned out to be a hot dog. His roommate made chicken and pasta that we all devoured before trying, unsuccessfully, to get me into a 21 plus billiards hall.

When that plan failed, S drove like a maniac, driving into the other side of the road to pass a car that seemed determined to get in front of us. He lurched and swerved and gave me a heart attack the whole entire time all while not wearing a seatbelt. When we got back to his apartment we watched a really bad Madea movie until I announced that I was tired about half way through.

I changed to pajamas and S said that his bed was really big (which it was) so we could just sleep on either end if I was comfortable with it. I know that should’ve been a red flag but I was so desperate for comfort and attention that I didn’t really care. I crawled under the sheets and he turned off the light.

I sat still for a good few minutes before S started talking to me, reminiscing about when we used to be together. I laughed and turned to face him as we joked about the past. It felt really good to laugh. Before I knew it, his dark silhouette was very close to mine. I could see his perfect white teeth grinning as we looked at each other, inhaling, exhaling in the pitch black night. Then the teeth disappeared and the silhouette moved closer and closer in slow motion until his lips gently pressed against mine.

Nothing. Nothing? Nothing! When he kissed me I felt absolutely nothing. I wanted to feel something, to feel love, comfort, but there was nothing. It was purely sexual and devoid of any emotional attachment. He kept kissing me but I pulled away so that our foreheads were touching, trying to catch my breath as heart pounded nervously against my chest. He told me that he wanted me, that he’d always wanted me. That my body drove him crazy and that since he broke up with me, each girl he’s dated has had a significantly smaller chest (as if that was somehow supposed to seduce me). I asked him if he liked me. He said he liked my body. He didn’t want me for my personality or any sort of relationship.

I laid there stunned, knowing I should have expected this but wishing it wasn’t true. I had just wanted someone to hold me, was that so much to ask for? I told him I didn’t want to have sex with people I didn’t love and he laughed at me, saying that I wouldn’t get any for a long time then. I don’t care, that’s just how I feel. He asked to at least cuddle with me, and I thought, why not because being cuddled was better than being alone in my own bed being depressed. Even the cuddling felt devoid of anything. It just felt awkward and uncomfortable.

I was getting very light headed and dizzy from my heart continuously beating fast  so I got up and went to the bathroom once he was asleep. I paced for a while, stared at myself in the mirror, paced some more. Then I slipped back in bed and strayed as far away from him as I could.

The next morning he took me to this beautiful peace pagoda, where I walked by myself, far from him and tried to connect with the spirituality of the place. Then I told him I wanted to go home early so he left me at the bus stop. I called my most recent ex, R (that I’m still in love with), in tears, barely able to talk because I was so ashamed and upset and in need of hearing his loving consoling voice. He still loves me despite his cheating on me. I abuse it to my advantage for my own selfish needs because I was weak and wanted love and comfort.

I almost spent even more money going out to see him but my best friend convinced me not to. I wanted to see him so bad. So fucking bad. I craved his touch, the arms that I knew would hold me until the sun rose, even if the whole thing would have been fake anyway. I still wish I could have that. I know I can do so much better but he was there and already loved me. And it’s so easy to drift back into that façade of a relationship. I want to go back to him so bad but I can’t.

I try not to call him but knowing that he’s there I do. He says exactly what I need him to to make me smile and laugh. And then the darkness comes back and I remember what he did to me. I wish I could meet new people, but I can’t go out to clubs on my own, it’s not safe. Maybe I will join some meetup groups. I don’t know. It’s been a month since I’ve seen him and I’ve never gone this long without him. It’s so hard trying to get over someone you thought you were going to spend the rest of your life with. Luckily I have great friends like Troy to keep me sane when the going gets tough.

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