Every rejection I experience now is rooted in the ultimate rejection I experienced in January. Things I should be able to just shake off become these heart-rattling, epic, emo earthquakes. Rubble from straw houses.
Kimi dumped me on New Year's after succumbing to weeks of courtship by one of those lab indie-kids with an iPod full of no-name bands he secretly hopes find mainstream success so he can tell everyone he listened to them before they sold-out. Five years bartered for stolen kisses by the Bunsen burner and sweaty hand-holds. I'm still not over it. Especially when she didn't return a Happy Birthday text message. They were probably together at PF Chang's (I'm not sure if there's supposed to be an apostrophe there and I'm too lazy to google it).
There's this girl at the gym. Nineteen. Sweet, smart, funny, not a fucking headcase. Here for the summer from upstate New York. I originally wanted to just sleep with her, but we all know how plans work.
Things get a little heavy the first night. And then:
"I have a boyfriend."
Indie kid. In Italy for the summer. She feels guilty. I back off. She puts my hand on her breast. I go with it. Things heat up again. She compliments my penis. Has sex with me for three minutes. Makes me take my penis out. Apologizes a million times.
What the fuck.
Over the next two weeks, we hang out, spend time together. Flirting. Kissing. Touching. No sex, but that doesn't matter because I genuinely like being with her (plus there's an ill-timed period). She pushes me away a lot and mentions her guilt. Seconds later it's gone and she's back to tasting the Myoplex on my lips.
I catch feelings.
And just like that I'm the asshole interloper. Except I don't want a relationship or to replace her boyfriend. But I don't want to just fuck her. So what do I want? This is one of those tip-of-the-tongue situations where we think we know the answer until we realize just how far off we are. Something that elicits a lot of "uhh's". I stress to her that we should just have fun and go with the flow and not overthink or define things. Typical guy bullshit that translates to no-strings fucking, except this time it doesn't. Sex is desired, yes, but that's because I'm in possession of a penis. It's more of a necessity than a goal.
She tells me how much fun she has with me. Talks shit about her boyfriend ("He's a child..."). Tells me personal stuff. Says she likes me, misses me. Makes me feel warm inside. A brown-haired hearth in my colonial cottage.
And I continue to be pushed away.
"I'm sorry. I feel so guilty."
Things quickly go from being fun and challenging to frustrating and annoying. Hard-to-get becomes unattainable. On a level it's my fault for pursuing her. On a level it's hers for not establishing ground rules. I can't blame her for her decision, though. She's going with the angel on her shoulder instead of the devil. Still, you shouldn't lead the little red guy on if you intend on wearing that halo.
The shoulder-devil has feelings too. And not just in his pitchfork.