Life’s A Bitch
(a rewritten love story from a forgotten journal)
Mid July 2015;
Have you ever felt extremely creative, with a mind so full of thoughts you feel like you could explode? Well, that has been me for a couple of days, and there doesn’t seem to be anyone to share my thoughts with. At least no one I don’t think will judge me or will want to top my story with their own.
So there I was in my favorite book store hoping to buy a book that might stop me from thinking my life is so terrible. I mean, I think that’s why people buy books. What better way to get your mind off your broken heart than to read someone else cancer story? It’s a little selfish, but totally harmless. Then I found this pink floral journal that just screamed it wanted to be a 16 year-old girl’s diary. I thought, “Wouldn’t it be ironic if I wrote my love story in it?” I couldn’t shake the idea from my head, just like the many other ideas I have.
So I bought the journal with a book that’s suppose to make you feel like the impossible is possible. The impossible being me writing a memoir. (Maybe it wasn’t the best purchase.)
I first fell in love when I was 17 years old with a boy from a neighboring town. Him and I were the perfect high school romance. Actually so perfect that it was a little terrifying since we were so young. We lost our virginity together, we were each other’s first “I love you,” and we were each other’s best friend. It was, for a lack of a better word, beautiful. But the moment he decided to go to Montana for school our relationship became doomed. At the time I thought our love was strong enough to make it through four years of college. It was extremely naive of me to think I could hold on to him as long as I did. Four months into our long distance relationship he confessed to me that he was seeing someone else. I was devastated, but not because I didn’t see it coming, because I did, but because I had lost my best friend.
Time went on and I got better. I tried seeing other people but nothing clicked. I never blamed him for what he did. I was never angry at him. Just at myself. I had learned a lot about love from him. I had learned a lot about myself in that time afterwards and how strong I hold on to things. I deemed it impossible that I would ever do that to myself again. Then, let’s call him James. Then James walked into my life.
My junior year in college felt like the most stressful year of my college career. I was working my ass off, fighting with my roommate, moving and deciding whether or not my major was what I really wanted to do with my life. And also he transferred in that year. My first impressions were probably the same as every other female in my class. He was cute. He was tall with striking blue eyes, freckles, reddish brown hair and dressed pretty damn well for a straight guy. As time went on he was no longer the quiet new guy he was the harsh opinionated guy, and although I agreed with a lot of the things he had to say I did not like him.
I had several classes with him by second semester. One that had very few people in our major. I honestly believed that he started hanging out with me because I was the only other person he kind of knew in that class. We got to talking and it felt like he really respected my work. I think I immediately felt special because of this. It was like when the cool kid wants to hang out with you. I’m not sure how he became the cool kid so fast. That’s really such a high school thing to say, but it was true. His strong opinions and his work that could back it up made him cool.
This class we had together was long. So sometimes durning the break a group of us would go grab lunch and a couple of beers. James mentioned that he could go for another after class and I said I could too, not knowing if he was talking to me or not. But he heard my response and asked me again if I really wanted to. I said sure. I was completely caught off guard that he wanted to hang out with me! A few thoughts crossed my mind but I suppressed all of them because I knew he had a girl friend. *Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that.*
The illusive girl friend. I had never seen her. I had never heard him talk about her, and the only reason I knew of her existence was through another person. But that’s just how things seemed to be in this town; every guy was either gay or had a girl friend. She suddenly became a “so what” factor. I just enjoyed hanging out and talking with this guy. He was starting to become a close friend.
So there we were leaving class together. Nobody else wanted to join so it was just the two of us. He suggest some bar I had never heard of before. It was early spring, but the first day where it truly felt like spring. The bar ended up being a bit too fancy for two friends just having a couple of drinks so we had just one and left. He asked if I wanted to go somewhere else and I found myself saying yes before I even thought it through. In fact, I did have other plans.
On our walk to the next bar a man screamed out a car window, “Hold her hand!” I giggled a little and carried on with whatever I was talking about, but the truth is that I did want him to hold my hand. I just knew it wasn’t possible. Looking back it’s amazing to me to think that a stranger could see our connection long before either of us did.
I’ll always remember this next bar as the bar he fell in love with me at. It’s a bar filled with so many happy memories that just walking in even today makes me smile. I can remember the smell of the air from the front door being open to the warm spring temperatures. The ice was melting and dripping off the roof so you had to run in to make sure you didn’t get dripped on. I can remember I was wearing a blue dress that shows my tiny waste and feeling his eyes linger a little too long on me as I walked to the bathroom. I can remember me telling him about my recent roommate problems and him actually caring about every word I said. One beer turned into three and the sun was long past set. There was one of those odd moments when neither person wants the night to end but knows that it must. I think I looked at my jacket and he finally said what we were both thinking, “We better get going, huh?”
A month went by with our relationship staying completely platonic, but the fight to keep it that way was getting harder. We kept getting drinks after class and even hanging out on weekends. We talked, we laughed and tried not to think about the elephant in the room. By the last week of our junior year we failed. It was inevitable that we were going to fail. It felt as if there was no one else in the world except us when he looked at me. The feeling was electric and intoxicating. By the time our first kiss happened there was no stopping everything else from happening.
He went home the next morning to confess it all to his girl friend. We spent the night picturing how the scenario would go. She would leave and take the dog as she had once done before. Or she would kick him out, but he knew she couldn’t afford the apartment on her own. It all seemed so planned out, but instead of being angry she was sad. Instead of leaving she stayed. Instead of kicking him out she fought for him.
I cheated once before on my first love, but at 17 I had no idea what I was doing. It still felt like I had no idea what I was doing, but now I was the other girl. Something I thought I would never be so stupid to do. But I did know what I was feeling. I wanted him and I was willing to fight for him. I had an understanding what love is and I knew that was the only explanation for what I was feeling and willing to do. The beautiful part was that I knew he was in love with me too. I chose to live by the saying “love conquers all.”
On July 3rd the man I hopelessly loved ended things with me through an email one week after he drunkenly promised me he was going to leave his girl friend for the second time. He explained that he felt like an asshole everyday. The email was short and practically bullet pointed. I’ve spent the weeks since in a fog with so much to say and no one to say it to.
I’m sure that wasn’t the end you were expecting. Honestly, it wasn’t the end I was expecting either, and I fought the idea that it was for a long time. Looking back now it all feels like some intense drug I was addicted too. The recovery period was long and although it felt so amazing when it happened it was extremely unhealthy.
I wish I could say that I’m now in a healthy relationship and everything has worked out, but it’s a long upward battle. I am still so young. With most likely a lot of heart break ahead of me, but I honestly believe that everything happens for a reason. So, thank you James for the hardest lesson of my life.