Take a picture. It’ll last longer.

I heard the shower turn on in the bathroom. I rolled over onto my stomach, my damp, strawberry-blonde hair falling over my face. I turned my head to stare at the unoccupied pillow next to me and shut my eyes…

I like to think I’m pretty laid-back as far as people go. I can get annoyed or irritated pretty quick but it doesn’t really phase me most of the time. I just judge and do me. I’m the same way with friends.

When I’m getting to know a guy and we’re dating, it’s pretty easy for me. It’s superficial and simple. They don’t need to know the darker sides of me and if we’re not compatible right off the bat, they don’t get a second date. See ya never.

But past that, when I start to get the feels…it’s kinda hard for me. I’m suddenly worried that I’m not enough or that I need to keep hiding my darker sides. I have to constantly remind myself to calm back, dial back the crazy, and remember that I’m fucking awesome and if he doesn’t like it, he knows where to find the door.

Manipulation, cheating, games…all this crazy shit I’ve been through has really led me to build more than just walls, but a whole fucking city, guarded by knights and zombies and pirates. It’s my safe zone. It’s my “no boys allowed zone.”

I don’t know how to distinguish who should be let in and who shouldn’t. What happens when someone starts to pull a Jericho?

Hide. Increase security and border patrol. Then head to the cellar and lock myself in with the wine until the crisis has passed. Breathe. Drink. Don’t let anyone in. Breathe…

– Knock – knock –

“…Hey..?” I peaked my head around the corner of the bathroom door.

“Yeah, baby?” he pulled back the shower curtain and looked at me.

“Are you okay..?” I asked uncertainly. My eyes were wide and my lips pouted. It should have been him asking me if I was alright, not the other way around.

“Yeah, why wouldn’t I be?” he smirked.

“I dunno, you seemed mad…”

“I haven’t showered since Friday night, baby. I just needed to shower.” It was Sunday, so maybe he was right. “I’ll be out in a minute babe, don’t worry.”

Back in my room, face down on the bed. Why am I so upset? The Boy walked in and crawled over to me.

“What’s up, baby? Why do you look so sad?”

‘Cause I’m a whack job, that’s why. But I don’t wanna tell you and I don’t know how to hide it. Please, just let it go. Go to your concert. Leave me alone.

Breathe…

I don’t like to admit that I can be a bit posessive and jealous if I have something I don’t want to lose.

I don’t think I want to lose him yet and that terrifies me. It terrifies me because I’m not ready to feel that way about anyone right now. I’m certainly not in love with him. But I like him more than I planned to.

I like spending time with him. I like that he knows how to get me to open up to him. Most people aren’t that easy to talk to. Most people give up on me.

I like the way he kisses me and gently puts his hand on my leg when we’re out to eat. I like asking him weird questions and getting to know him. I like that he’s weird and thinks it’s funny to bite my nose. I like the way he holds me and how easy it is to sleep when he has me in his arms.

I guess I’m not ready for this because having feelings for him has brought my crazy side out and I hate that. I don’t know what to do but I know I need to talk to him.

We’ve been seeing each other for about a month. It’s too soon to talk about exclusivity. I don’t know that I’m ready for it but I know that with him, I want it. I don’t want to force it but I don’t want to do something stupid and lose it. The more we talk, the more I see him, the more invested I am and the harder it’ll be if something happens. I want to know if it’s even possible before I get too attached. I need to protect myself, but I’m already hooked. I don’t know what to do or say, I just know I don’t wanna get hurt.


 

He was selfish…and a little insecure. I believe he did love me, but not in the way I deserved. He wasn’t in love with the real me, he was in love with the girl I’d morphed into under his influence. It was my face and body but a dulled down variation of me. It was a girl who failed to stand up for ideas she knew were right and submitted to him because she feared losing him. She was afraid of what life would be like without him.

It wasn’t that I worshipped him, like many girls in similar situations would. But he took advantage of me. He was selfish and I have a big heart. I aim to please, so he took and took. And then it morphed into an ultimatum. If I didn’t make him happy, he’d move on. Find someone else. I thought that meant break up, so I pushed back. I pushed the boundaries and tried to test what I could take.

As it turns out, he did move on. Even though I was able to make him happy (and occasionally, myself), he still found more elsewhere. I couldn’t give him everything. It was traumatizing at the time but I know now that it’s okay. Some things just aren’t right.

I’m actually a great girlfriend. I’m as good a listener as I am a talker. But another used the physical distance between us to drive a distance in our relationship.

It’s too much to text. I hate talking on the phone.

He wouldn’t let me make him happy and he, too, found what he needed elsewhere. It’s scarring. It sucks. But you know what? That’s life. Move on, woman. Sometimes, it just doesn’t work. Let it go.


 

As I laid on my bed, listening to this Boy rush around, getting ready for his concert, I was hit with all these emotions. I opened my eyes to all sorts of ridiculous reasoning and understood why I was so upset.

So, what do I say? We don’t know each other extremely well, but I know him enough to know that I don’t want to see anyone else right now. I want to focus on getting to know him better. I’ve never had to have this conversation and I don’t know how. I don’t like the gray area. I want to clarify things while I know how I’m feeling, so I spent the afternoon baking.

I guess I needed to get to know this Boy better.

Later that night, he got back from his concert and snuggled into bed with me. My alarm went off the next morning…I rolled over and kissed him before I got up to get ready for work. Before I left, I sat next to the groggy Boy in my bed to confirm our lunch plans. We kissed goodbye and I left.

We sat outside the BBQ restaurant and chatted while we ate our food, occassional exchanging more kisses. This was the perfect opportunity to ask him where his head was at.

He sighed, looking at his phone. “She wants to leave now, I told her yesterday and today that I was having lunch with my girl before we head back.” He said, annoyed. His girl? Maybe we don’t need to be serious right now. I smiled.

After lunch, he walked me to the car and he kissed me goodbye. That was the last I’d heard from him until the following afternoon.

“I’ve been seeing someone else and I’ve decided to pursue things with her.” His text message read.

My heart stopped.

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