Hi, readers! Welcome back to another little introspection of one of my relationships! I find these a little personal but at the same time, I’m not using any names and you seem to be enjoying them, so I guess I’ll keep writing! Moreover, this is a great therapy sesh for me! I can think over the past and re-evaluate certain feelings and/or moments. Go read my part one and two for more juicy details on my past life!
So, the story today is controversial. I’ll give you the heads up already and please ask you to not judge nor comment if you have anything bad to say. This is only my side of things, don’t forget that! So, here we go:
When I about 15, I was addicted to an online game called Tribal Wars. I played it every single day when I got home from school and even during class I was always thinking about it and planning my next moves. I’m that organised, yes. Back then, there weren’t many females playing so I guess I was like a shiny new toy in the middle of a playground. I got many messages and requests to join certain teams, but I started talking a lot more with this one person. Let’s call him Harry. Harry and I started chatting every day, every night. At the beginning it was mostly about strategies and the game, but it quickly moved on to our personal lives. He was older and in college. I mean, obviously, right? What’s a teen romance story without an older, college guy? Right. So, I was 15 and he was 19. I knew what I was doing and there was not a single “taking advantage”-sort-of-situation, alright? I was very mature for my age (always have been due to unfortunate life situations) and he did nothing. Anyway, we chatted lots and the conversations moved to phone calls. I liked him. By this point, I liked him. He was nice and smart and made me laugh, so I liked him and his voice.
I remember this one day, one afternoon, I was home with one of my best friends when he called. Now, can you imagine how exciting that was? He knew I was with my best friend and he was still calling. In my book (at the time), that was something. Long story short, we were 3 or 4 months in, and he told me he had a girlfriend.
Now, you can call me naive or young but that had been a shock to me. We weren’t dating nor anything (we hadn’t even met face to face) but that hurt me a lot. I was hoping to meet him one day (soon) and then he just drops this bomb. The story should be over here and I’d be like “ok, then, see you on the next post!” but no. It doesn’t end here and it’s far from it. I can’t remember exactly what happened later but I think we stopped talking. I (hope) think I was pissed at him for not telling me this huge piece of information sooner and I stopped talking to him. I don’t know how long this might’ve lasted but we started talking again. By the way, from his point of view, he had done nothing wrong by not telling me this. *cue in the shocked GIF again*
We talked for many more days, Skyped every single evening and texted every day. We even played this game that was on a channel on TV, where you had to guess the year of a song. We watched that program together (while Skyping) and played together. We had a lot of fun. I was in love with him. I remember feeling this extreme happiness when I saw him calling me or text me. Those hours Skyping were the best of my day. We did this for months… Yes, I knew he had a girlfriend. And yes, I really hoped he would leave her for me.
I was 17 then when I started dating a guy. He was great. Funny and loving and supportive. I didn’t love him. I was trying to move on, I needed to continue my life and not think about somebody else. Harry. We continued texting and calling each other from time to time. I’d refused to continue hurting another woman, even if she didn’t know about it. Well, my plan didn’t stick.
It was January. A very chill afternoon. Harry drove to my house and picked me up. We’d known each other, talked and been in each other’s lives for almost 3 years and that January was the first time we met personally. I was nervous. I was happy. I felt guilty. But I still went. When I opened his car door and sat next to him, all those feelings bottled up for 3 years came rushing in and I couldn’t say a word nor look at him in the eyes. I was so nervous. We spent the afternoon at a shopping mall just walking and chatting. It was an amazing afternoon. Finally being able to be with the person I’d dreamt about and sang about and wrote about for the last 3 years… He took me home. We stayed in the car for 2 hours. Not wanting to leave. Neither of us. I know he would never want to talk again nor see me again. I know that he thought this would be our first and last time together. I know this because after 2 hours in the car, 2 hours breathing and smiling and almost touching hands, he blew a long, hard breath, leaned in, put his right hand on my face and kissed me. Harry kissed me. I kissed Harry. We kissed for the longest time. When we stopped, we both smiled… guilt rising from our guts and steaming through our ears, but we smiled. I wrapped the door handle when with a shaky breath he said “wait”, pulled me in and kissed me again. Then he looked at me and said “text me?”.
I knew then that this would be a long story. Maybe a love story too, but a long story. We met regularly after that. I broke up with the person I was dating. I couldn’t hurt him any longer so I told him the truth and for the next few months kept thinking what sort of person had I become to do something like that. Of course that whenever Harry texted or called or met me, these thoughts would vanish and I would be happy again, in our little bubble. A few months passed when he called one night and told me his mum had found out about us. You know what hurt the most? She called me a “high school girl”. I know I was just that, but that was exactly what I was afraid he only saw me as. A high school girl. Nothing more. I wrote thousands of times about that night. The moon was high in the sky, smiling at me, laughing at me, as if she knew what he was telling me. I remember the nights crying after that. The days spent hurting. He didn’t love me… he loved her. And I, utterly naive and young and stupid, had completely, absolutely, thoroughly, fallen in love with him.
Life moved on. I met other people. I went to college. I dated other earth-shattering, amazing, loyal people. But he was a constant in my life. I’m not saying I still loved him. I didn’t. But there was always this “what if” nagging us both. We met throughout the years. Not when I was dating this time. I met him in between… He was always there. Smiling. Willing. Loving. Our bubble. You don’t even know how brilliant his smile was. Just brilliant. Heart palpitations brilliant. But I moved on. And our last encounter (“romantically”, speaking) was in a very cold, freezing night in a January. He didn’t know it then, but I was saying goodbye to him. I was finally, after 5 years, saying goodbye to the “what ifs” and “maybes” and hope. He would never be mine. I said goodbye, I moved and I became happy again.
The story could be over now. It still isn’t. Even happiness didn’t prepare me for what he had to tell me a couple of years after our last encounter. It was a cold afternoon in January. He called. I answered. He was getting married.
If you haven’t experienced heartache, I can tell you it isn’t fun games. I was happy then, yes. But my heart broke. The tie we had got severed then. I know I’d said goodbye but nothing prepares you for when a person who meant the world to you gets married. Nothing.
Our real last encounter was a couple of years ago. We met to talk. I was happy for him. He had married the woman he said he loved and I couldn’t be happier for him. (Yes, I know what we’d done… I was, nonetheless, happy.) We talked for hours about life and our problems. He was a friend. A fixture in my life. He truly was. I don’t know how, call it intuition, but I knew something was up. After some talking, he told me he’d met a girl. He’d flown to another country to be with this girl. Woman. They’re the same age. They spent a long weekend together. Are you wondering if his wife knows? She doesn’t. I don’t know how he pulled this off, but he did. Ironic or not, I gave him an hour long lecture about life and all the bad things we did were never justified and that he could not be doing the same thing again. And you know what? He said I was right, he called me mature. After all those years, after being in my life for the ups and downs and knowing about my personal struggles, he then and only then called me mature. And that was it. It broke everything for me. Life is funny, isn’t it? Cheating, heartache, being a secret, second, a marriage… but nothing had broken us like the irony of being called mature in a moment where I didn’t need it any more. I know it was the first time he truly saw me as I had always been. A person. A woman. A woman who could’ve given him more than he ever needed or wanted. I smiled then… I smiled because I finally looked at him and saw he would never have deserved me. I’d seen a superior person all those years. Intelligent, funny, reliable, hard-working, serious… and at that moment, I only saw a lost soul. Someone who’s not living, just surviving.
I laced my fingers around the door handle, smiled, said “Have a nice life” and closed the car door. I watched his car drive away, past me and I never looked back.