“Do you hate me?” he mumbled at me.
“No, I don’t hate you,” I sighed my reply to him.
“You should hate me.”
“I don’t hate you, I’m just sick of this bullshit. Benefits or not, I still want to be friends.”
“I’m glad you don’t hate me. Because…I think I love you.”
There I was, again, in the bed of the boy I had sworn off time and time again. Since our first kiss at a dirty fraternity party beginning of freshman year, to right then, I was addicted to him. Nothing was enough for us to break the toxic, sick game of “now we’re friends, now we’re not.” Not logic, not the terrible heartache, not even the people we were actually in relationships with. He was like clockwork, one minute he was desperately in love with his girlfriend, the next he hated her. Then would come the big apology to me for forcing me out of his life, and then, well and then came the sex. The hot, bad, I-need-you-so-bad sex. But after that he was back to being helplessly devoted to her, pushing me out of his life and leaving me to pick up the pieces. I was not naïve to his obvious cycle of infidelity. In fact, I patiently waited my turn. I yearned for him from a distance for months until I would *finally* give up, but he always came back just in the nick of time. Just in time for me to not be completely over him.
I knew the cycle wouldn’t end with me. Yet every time he moved on I was heartbroken. One night I could count on him to crawl into bed with me on a random Saturday, but then my texts and calls would stop going through. Suddenly, I could no longer access him on any form of social media. And then I would see them together. Every time, without fail, it hurt just as bad as the first time.
So when he confessed his love for me, after being under the influence of enough alcohol to land any smaller of a man in the hospital, I did the same thing I did the last time he told me he loved me — I told him I did not. It was true, I didn’t. At least not romantically. The way I loved him was as a friend I kept losing, not as a boy I wanted to be with. Even though I knew it was the only right thing to reply, I still felt sick with shame as he looked at me with a hurt expression.
I went to grab my clothes that had been thrown about his room but he caught my arm. He pulled me into a tight embrace which just caused me to cry. He lightly kissed away the tears, then kissed me. The passion grew but in a different way this time. We had always had sex in very violent ways, that’s just how we both prefer. But this was different. He was soft and gentle, and for the first time, I enjoyed the boring, missionary bullshit I always make fun of girls for liking. It was amazing, so amazing that I did not even think about the fact that we were unprotected.
The next morning I bought Plan B, and for the next few days I lavished in our renewed friendship. But then, like clockwork, my calls stopped going through. He tried to convince me that he needed to be out my life because all he does is hurt me, and he didn’t want to hurt me anymore. While that might have been at least partially true, all I could focus on was seeing him back with her. And knowing that my friendship would never mean enough to him.
I probably wasn’t ready to let go of him, even though I was blue in the face trying to convince everybody that I was over him and his bullshit. But even if I wasn’t lying, shit was getting to be a much bigger deal than “he picked her over me.” The days stretched on, and I anxiously waited for my period to come.
After a week, I felt hopeless. I tried to call him, asking for support or help, just to hear the robotic lady tell me he was unavailable. I hated him. I cried to my friends endlessly. One of them suggested I call the girlfriend, to once and for all put an end to his incessant reckless behavior. He lived life as if it had no consequences, and because of that, all of those burdens got dumped onto me.
I endured three weeks of agony before I built up the courage to take a pregnancy test. By some miracle, I was not pregnant. I texted him the news from a different phone and never received a response. Not even an apology for making me go through that alone. Slowly, I tried to heal from the trauma. Of course, no one should have to put their lives on hold for you, or cater to your problems, yet I still expected the support of my friends. However, after the test came back negative and I rejoiced in my relief, I was still covered in the horrifying sense of abandonment. My friends acted as if the negative result meant that I lost my right to be an emotional wreck. Again, they had their own lives to attend to, but once again I felt like I was reaching out with no one to respond. Every time they commented, “But you’re not pregnant, you should be happy!” I wanted to scream that I had indefinitely lost my trust in someone I cared so deeply about, and that did not change regardless of what the test said.
This was, in every way, a preventable mistake. Should I have wasted this much of my time on some guy who couldn’t be bothered to talk to me half the time? No. Should I have had unprotected sex? Hell no. But I was stupid and did. I slowly started to forgive myself and thank God I am lucky enough to continue living the life I had planned to live. And I appreciate the people who I know I can count on through anything. I learned to stop putting my trust into people who are unreliable, hoping that in the moment I need them the most they will come through. At least I can now say with confidence I can respect myself to ensure I surround myself with people who also respect me. I just wish I didn’t need years of mistakes and a huge consequence to come to that conclusion..
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