College was a lot more fun once I turned 21. Having been in a relationship throughout high school, and then dragging it out into college meant that I didn't spend as much time making new friends or engaging in random first dates or casual hook-ups. Fortunately, my inebriated brain was:
a. tons more social
b. much more lascivious in nature
It took me entirely too long to move beyond the relationship I once had.
Actually getting over him took about as much time as we spent together.
I literally had to force myself not to call, email, chat or stop by his residence.
Seeing and being with him had been such a routine - so habitual - that when it was finally done, I literally felt lost. Yet I was living within a habitat that was not foreign. I vainly tore up photos, erased phone numbers, intentionally walked different paths, but I couldn't shake the pain I felt having lost what was then,'the love of my life'.
Back to the drinking. There were 2 main bars within my college town.
One touted a rowdier bunch, better music and less sorority girls (i.e.competition).
I found myself mostly at this establishment. Working at the Univeristy gym, I had plenty of people I could hit up the bar scene with. Having turned 21 during my third and final year, I was fortunate that the year I had on my Ex in age made running into him at bars not an issue. That was until he had his older brother's ID.
Part of what made our break-up so messy was that there was never a day where it was completely over. There were hook-ups, there were dinners, even dates we took beyond Valentines Day 2001. Therefore, seeing him on a random Thursday night at that bar could have certainly resulted in the former. Actually, I was banking on that.
Of course he walked straight up to me to say hi. And of course, I embraced and spoke to him with all the love and passion I had always given. It hadn't gone away in 2 years, nor would it for at least another. I was gussied up, drunk and playful and he was operating in the exact same manner. Since we were both with other people, we agreed to 'meet up' round closing time. He would 'walk' me home. I knew exactly what that meant, and was elated.
Imbibing more and more with ever growing excitement, I had become despondent when I realized he had sort of disappeared. Last call was uttered, eventually lights were raised and he was nowhere to be found.
I should have taken the hint.
Myself and several girlfriends started the uphill walk towards our
apartments. I kept talking about how he had wanted to walk me home, and yet I could
not find him. They assured me it meant nothing, and that I should just go home. I was persistent, still in love, and convinced myself that I should check on him to see if he was okay.
This was before the days of cell phones, which really would have done nothing to stop me in my pursuit. Instead of going home, I went straight to his house. No lights were on. Was he asleep? Did it matter? I rapped on the door. Nothing. I knew where the spare key was and could snuggle up to him no problem. I retrived the key, opened the door and went to his bedroom.
Have you ever witnessed something so crushing you literally feel as if the wind has been knocked out of you? I came face to face with him engaging in sex with another pretty young female. He was on top, her recumbent, me - mouth agape - screaming in pain. I don't even think it was audible. Just a flood of tears, pain, and embarassment encapulated into what felt like an eternity. I crumbled onto my knees, at which point he looked at me with so much hatred and shock, I never felt so bad in my life. The poor girl struggled to cover herself, while I literally drug myself to the bathroom on my hands and knees.
Locking the door, I cradled myself fetal sobbing. When we were together he cheated on me - multiple times - but I never had to see it. And even though we weren't together now, I still loved him with every ounce of my heart. Every time his actions had hurt me in the past, it was like a million tiny daggers boring holes in my heart.
If I were to even try to describe the pain I felt right at that moment, it was like being hit by a car. The pain was so great, it felt surreal.
I'm not sure how he was able to lure me from his bathroom.
There were a lot of 'leave now' and 'What the hell are you doing' coming from his mouth. I know there were hundreds of 'I'm sorry' coming from mine. I was sorry. I didn't mean to do that to him. And I certainly didn't mean to do that to me.
The pain of the whole scene is damning, is crushing, makes one wince with the absolute pain of defeat and despair. There was no need to forgive him, for he had done nothing wrong. It took time for me to forgive myself for allowing that pain to reenter myself. And so it did and it does.
That familiar pain. You might only misstep, or have your world fall apart, but instantaneously your mind goes there. You find yourself back in that bathroom, hugging your body, wishing to close your eyes and never ever have to feel that pain...ever again.
Created: Jul 25, 2010Document Media