Heartbreak and Heartache

It started off as a crush.  Okay, a major crush – my heart actually ached a little bit every time I saw you.  You with your dark brown hair and possibly the bluest eyes my little twelve-year-old self ever did see.  From the beginning, I never expected you to give me the time of day – you were far too good looking to ever be with the girl with thick rimmed glasses, braces, and an abundance of baby hairs.  Yet you happened to get stuck with me as a lab partner during our biology class in the seventh grade and somehow the universe got its shit together for me, and my crush became my friend.   And then we became best friends – we lived four miles apart and we were inseparable.  I tried my hardest to keep my feelings at bay, but I think you always knew.  I have never been a very good liar, after all.  That and I was completely and utterly naïve when it came to all things boy.

Eighth grade found us – I had finally learned how to use a flat iron, my braces were coming off, and I even got contacts.  And voilà!  Okay, so it wasn’t a Princess Diaries Anne Hathaway kind of transformation, but still, I was making progress.  But eighth grade also found you with a girlfriend, and envy did not color me well.

And that was how our friendship went for years – you went to the all-boys high school, I went to the all-girls high school, we both did track and field together, and I watched as you went from girl to girl (blondes happened to be your thing, so this brown-eyed, brown-haired girl clearly didn’t stand a chance).  To be honest, I don’t know how we stayed friends for so long, let alone best friends.  We were and always have been polar opposites.  You were part of the popular, the elite, the ones that knew about and threw the best parties which I’m sure were very One Tree Hill-esque, and I was the girl who stayed home on Saturday nights studying, reading a book or watching some PG flick with my family.  We had a friendship that was separate from anything and anyone else – it existed only between you and me – we didn’t share the same circle of friends, but you never judged me for being slightly more introverted, and I never judged you when you decided smoking was cool (even though I  secretly hated when you did).  You were always different with me – on the outside, you were the definition of a jackass – you could be mean, and you knew you were good looking, but no one else knew you were also the guy that would call me up and play your acoustic guitar on the phone to me, the first guy to ever kiss me, hold my hand, let me experience what an orgasm really feels like – you were just about all of my firsts.

You were always there for me, and I was always there for you.  I listened to you cry when your aunt passed away in the eighth grade, you protected me when my dad couldn’t handle his anger properly, and I would blush every single time you joked around with me that we would probably end up getting married one day.  And with you, I always felt supremely badass.  You were a troublemaker, always pushing the limits, and somehow, you always got me to push them with you.  You were my adrenaline rush.  You were the worst influence, but the best kind of high.

So after six years of friendship, we finally went our separate ways – off to college.  Your party ways took you to Chico while I went off to Santa Clara – over 200 miles apart, and I never thought the distance would get to us.  And it didn’t, but your constant use of cocaine and ecstasy did, and we rarely talked for two years.  Yet Facebook was really taking off during that time, and I guess I have that platform to thank for getting us back in touch as you messaged me early one summer in 2010.  We were both back home, and once again, became inseparable – but this time was different.  You were still epically handsome, but I had come into my own.  The ugly duckling became somewhat akin to a swan – plus the fact that I actually had something on my chest now didn’t hurt either.  We were the epitome of a summer fling, you constantly flirted with me, I would blush and laugh, your parents loved me, my parents still thought you were a terrible influence on me, and I was preparing for it all to end come August when you went back to school.  But instead, you were single and I was single and you wanted to change that – you asked me to be your girlfriend, and I gladly accepted.  The dwindling days of summer were spent on beaches in Santa Cruz until 4 a.m., making out on your couch until the sun came up (or until your dad walked in on us – I’m still sorry for that), and being completely blissed out.  I had loved you since I was 12, and nine years later, I finally had you (that was very Ross and Rachel of us, wasn’t it?  Except that would make me Ross and you Rachel…)

Either way, I was happy.  Truly happy.  And in the blink of an eye, you gave up ecstasy, cocaine, all of the late drunken nights and told your friends that you had bigger and better priorities to focus on.  My parents and entire family came to love you, your mom threatened that you better not “screw this up” with me since I was the “good girl.”  And all of my friends would tell me, “Finally! You guys are together.”

You bought me a diamond promise ring, told me we would get married sometime after we both graduated college, and you told me I helped you “love on a much deeper level.”  The best thing though: we genuinely were each other’s best friends because that’s what we had been for nearly a decade.  But then something happened – we had been together a little over a year, and you just snapped.  Snapped back into your old self – the one that would drive drunk, treat women like property, and the one that I had decided not to talk to for two years.  To this day, I have no idea what exactly happened other than you treated me in the worst way possible that Labor Day weekend.  I had driven over 200 miles to spend that weekend with you in Chico, to let the heat and sweat seep between the sheets and our bodies, to be together, to be with you.  But you chose to get drunk and high that weekend, and you turned into someone I didn’t even know anymore.  Nearly a year and a half later, and I can still hear your voice yelling at me in front of your friends – I was a thorn in your side, a weight that you couldn’t wait to get rid of, and I don’t know which is worse – you calling me a cunt or saying you’d rather make love to your own hand than to me ever again.

Who are you? The only thought that kept running over and over again in my head.  I had never sobbed that hard in my life.  You were the man I was supposed to marry, the person that understood me, the guy that claimed to love me more than life itself.  You knew everything about me – from my wildest erotic fantasies and just the right way to touch me, to my obsession with Harry Potter, but you also knew the exact things to say that would hurt me most.  And you did – you hurt me more than anyone ever has.  I loved you hard.  And in that moment, I actually felt physical pain – it took over my entire body and my heart felt as if it was going to explode.  In that moment, I knew we were over.  I had seen a darkness inside of you that I would never forget.  And in that moment, my heart ached – but not like it used to.  This was different.  This was excruciating.  It was tortuous.  You broke my heart.  You broke me.  And all I can remember is grabbing whatever I could carry and getting myself back home.  Home…where I knew I was loved, knew I was wanted, where I would see the light again, where I could restart, and where I could rebuild.  Where I would rebuild.  And now, where I have rebuilt.

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