it all started over a book...

...and i truly missed all the warning signs that presented themselves. i think i still would have missed them even if there was a neon sign around them with a ginormous arrow pointing at the warning signs.

that first romance is always an adventure... especially when he was the charming and devilishly handsome older man and that takes your virginity. the endless emails, phone calls, instant messages, and rendezvous (this is before the texting era, mind you). he's smart, sophisticated, and seems to be infatuated with me. during the first six months we dated there were highs and definitely lows, but everything seemed to be going really well. we went out often and when we saw each other it was raw uninhibited passion that i had never experienced (and it rivals all others still to this day...). however, there are things that are learned through time, and i truly missed all the warning signs that presented themselves. i think i still would have missed them even if there was a neon sign around them with a ginormous arrow pointing at the warning signs. i was young, foolish, and in love.

we met in february of 2002. we met in a very unconventional way. we met at a bookstore. me, being the abrasive person i am, was freaking out because i couldn't find "the great gatsby". all of a sudden, this man comes over with it in his hand and says, "would you like a copy of this?" and bam, i am staring at him, literally stammering trying to find words to say. he is beautiful. dark hair, piercing blue eyes that are magnified by his glasses, and wearing a black suit. finally i go, "thank you. i was definitely concerned that this bookstore might not have this american classic." he laughed, and introduced himself and i did the same. we ended up walking around the mall together, exchanging numbers, and we ended up talking to each other whenever we could. me being the young girl that i was at that time quickly became infatuated and i thought he was too.

when we went on our first "official" date, there was little that could be done for us to keep our hands off each other... even though we were in public. the touching, the kissing, the gazing; it was all so entrancing. it felt so good. he was a drug to me, i wanted more and more and he felt the same way. after a month of dating, i decided that this was the guy i wanted to lose my virginity to, and even to this day, it is not a decision i regret. although after that, that is what our relationship turned into: not a lot of anything else but sex.

we talked every night whether on the phone or via instant message. he would tell me how much he missed me and how strongly he felt for me. but by the time summer rolled around, he started distancing himself. dates and visits become less frequent and he started ditching me for happy hour (i was not yet 21) and other friends. i'm not the jealous type, but i'm also not the type to change plans after making them. in september i hadn't seen him. my birthday is during this month and i kept hoping that maybe he would surprise me on my birthday... however, he never appeared.

ironically on the day of my birthday, my friend im'ed me and said, "i hope you're sitting down" and sent me a link to a yahoo personal where i saw my boyfriend's smiling face plastered all over the profile "looking for love".

happy birthday to me.

i was beyond words. i was younger, but i don't think at any age you are mentally prepared to see something like that. i was heartbroken. this man i thought cared about me clearly did not and just used me. i did not know what to do. i was not only devastated, i was humiliated. my friends thought that he was this incredible man and now they all knew that he was a liar. my family did the whole, "i told you so" routine for dating an older man. then there was me who should have seen the warning signs, but chose to ignore them because i was falling in love with him and thought that this would be something that lasted.

yet again, like the first time we met, i was speechless. i didn't know what to say to him. i screamed, i cried, i threw up. i sat in bed and did the cliche thing of watching movies with a gallon of ice cream. i cried on my mother's shoulder. i cried on my friends' shoulders. i wept on anyone who would let me. i didn't know how to confront him about it. i was baffled. finally i called him up after a couple days and was perfectly normal at first. the normal banter. "hey babe... blah blah blah." so after a minute or two, he asked me how my birthday was.

that's when i gave it to him.

i told him what my friend found. i told him everything. he tried telling me it was an old profile. but the last login date was only two days before it was found. he was caught, hook, line, and sinker. he couldn't get out of this. he then began to apologize profusely tell me he never meant to hurt me and how he wanted to make it up to me. and at that point, i couldn't talk anymore. so i told him i needed to go and hung up the phone. i wept even more.

in the middle of october, we broke up officially after six weeks of not seeing each other. it was a mutual break up. i attributed it to the fact that we were at different stages of our lives, but the punt to the gut was when he told me, "i just want you to know that there wasn't a lot of substance to our relationship, but when we had sex it was the most connected i had ever felt to someone."

after months of not speaking, we began talking. that's really when i think i started the healing process. it gave me closure which what i really needed. we ended up becoming friends, which i didn't think was ever possible. he told me that he never really considered me his girlfriend, just someone he was dating, and i had to convey to him the amount of hurt he caused me which i don't think he ever truly realized.

what we had was refreshing, intriguing, and hot. overall, i do not regret him or the "thing" we had going on for seven month, even though there wasn't substance to our relationship.

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