When I was 19, I thought I was in love. & I actually thought I had been in love for years before that–since a 10th grade English class, when I was thrown into a group by chance & met a boy. He was tall, with olive skin stretched across high cheekbones, thick brows topping his hooded, kind, & dark, dark, dark brown eyes, & he made me laugh. He made me laugh & he was nice to me at a time when not a lot of other people were… something that became a theme of our friendship.
He was a great friend–he was my best friend.
I loved him & he loved me, but he never loved me the way I wanted him to… no matter how hard I thought I tried. & when we were both 19 (or actually, the day before he turned 20) we moved into a house he had bought, a house I had thought would be the house he’d fall in love with me (finally) in.
He didn’t, because I left, & because of other things as well. Or maybe he did, & I left anyway. I don’t know–I have the privilege of remembering the things I want to remember & dulling the things that I don’t want to. I decided one day, after 5 years of friendship, & 3 months of living together, & 2 weeks of him neglecting to talk to me, to leave. I woke up that morning living in a room down the hall from his & I fell asleep that night in my parents’ place, curled up under the love of my mother & away from all the things that I thought were causing me pain.
& it’s not something I wish I could change (because it’s an action that led me to be the person I am today) but it is something I wish I could change, still. I wish I could take the maturity I have now & just slap my past self with it: tell myself, no, stop, WAIT. Think. Don’t do.
But it’s done. & it effected me in ways that I never really let myself realize.
I haven’t had a meaningful relationship, platonic or otherwise, with a dude since him. It’s embarrassing to admit, maybe, but I don’t care. I hold guys at an arm’s length. I don’t like to connect with men unless they are blatantly non-threatening or unavailable. I don’t like to set myself up in a situation that might result in something more than just distant, one-sided, affection. That’s the reason I pine after Barista Boy, or that guy in class who I’ve never talked to, or my friends. Because deep down I know nothing’s ever gonna come of it, so I don’t have to relive the same pain I experienced when I was a teenager, barely an adult, & had no idea what I was doing.
I put myself in situations that I know won’t result in anything… because emotionally I just can’t handle it.
It’s a goddamn defence mechanism, & the reason why I’m alone.