Ch. 11: E (Part 4)

Late March: BOSTON

Edward and I were in an Uber stopped at a traffic light on our way to meet my friend Derek and his cousin Sarah for dinner. On the curb alongside us, a man was selling long stem red roses for $2 each. Without hesitation, Edward turned to me to ask, “Do you want a flower? He’s selling some right there.”

I thought it was the cutest thing I had ever heard. Did I want a flower? It was such a simple question, yet my heart was flooded with nothing but love and gratitude for him. He thought I deserved a flower? Me? He wanted to spend his money on me? For a flower?

I’m sure it wasn’t a big deal to him, but it was to me. No guy had ever bought me a flower without following it up with some form of bogus apology. Yet, Edward was offering because he thought it was cute and romantic.

I said no and declined because I was too shy to say yes. I was still struggling to accept acts of kindness towards myself and wasn’t sure I deserved any. The truth was I loved roses, but the fact that he even offered was more than enough.

My heart was swollen the rest of the night. I thought Edward was the cutest thing ever. He was present in all dinner table conversations and was certainly on his best behavior. He made my heart smile in more ways than he could ever know.

From there, the four of us went to a comedy club. Edward didn’t have a ticket to the show, so he left to go back to his apartment. I thought it was cute how he came all the way there like he was almost escorting me.

When he left, I wanted to go with him, but was too afraid of Derek’s tantrums to voice my opinions earlier. Plus, I also made a deal with Derek that I would go to the show ONLY if he let Edward come to dinner. There was no way I was going to last that many hours without seeing him…

Anyway, I couldn’t text Edward during the show, but that didn’t stop me from thinking about him every second and checking my phone at intermission. Once the comedy skit was over, Sarah went home and Derek and I went to a gay club until 2am before heading back to his apartment drunk.

Derek’s apartment was only a few streets from Edward’s. The second I stepped in his apartment I knew I made the wrong decision. I chose to be with the wrong person that night. All I wanted was Edward. I didn’t want to be anywhere but in bed with him even if we were both just going to pass out. I wanted the warmth of his big arms wrapped around me all snuggled up. I wanted to lay on my spot, giving him little kisses on his jawline before drifting off to sleep. There was no other way I wanted to wake up than to be beside him.

So I let the alcohol in my system text Edward to ask if I could go back to his place. It was after 2am and the thought that he was sleeping never occurred to me. Instead, I was so insecure from past relationships that, I let myself believe he probably brought someone else home with him, and that’s why he wasn’t responding. THAT is what my mind jumped to. But then I looked at pictures of him that I saved on my phone and finally fell asleep with a drunken little grin on my face.

 

ROMANCE

I never knew what romance was like. I had no experience with it. It was only something I’ve only seen in movies, dreams, or in the darkest, most secretive place of my thoughts. But I never knew it in person.

If he said something funny, I could follow up. But if he said something romantic in person, I just, I don’t know. Words couldn’t come out because sentences couldn’t even form in my head. I was so new to all of it. The only thing I knew was toxic relationships, emotional abuse, psychological warfare, fighting, and hate. I didn’t know the gentle side of love.

I would jokingly tell him I was a virgin, but I sometimes felt like I was with my heart.

I didn’t dream of things. I dreamed of people. Of my people. My family. My dream family. 

I dreamed of a warm house where music gently flooded out of the kitchen doors and poured out into the hallways. The closer I walked to the kitchen, the more I was enveloped by the scents and smells of a home-cooked meal patiently waiting in the oven. I dreamed of a beautiful, happy woman dancing in that very kitchen, bouncing her hip and humming in unison to the melodic rhythm of the radio as she whisked some  concoction in a large bowl. As I approached the doorway, she turned to greet me with a smile, but not just any smile; a loving one and welcoming one. The smile of a mom. My dream mom. 

I dreamed of walking into that kitchen with a feeling of acceptance and unconditional love as I joined my mom in dinner preparations. I would tie on a spare apron that matched hers and offer my help in any way I could. Upon accepting my offer, she would return to her tasks and I, like her student, would patiently look onwards, watching her, mesmerized, praying that even just one cell of my body inherited her cooking gene. I would watch every technique and listen to every ‘secret family tip’ she had to offered in between humming and stories of her youth. 

To most, I’m sure cooking dinner with their mom wasn’t anything special, but rather a chore of some sorts. And maybe to normal kids that’s true, but I never saw it that way. I dreamed of the mom who took me under her wing and taught me everything she knew, who embraced me, and affectionately guided me. I dreamed of the mom who would teach me how to crack an egg with one hand and tell when the chicken is done. I dreamed of a mom. A real mom. My dream mom. The mom I never had. 

I never told Edward any of this. 

I never told him that his mom was my dream mom. His dad was my dream dad. His brothers were my dream brothers. His life was my dream life. He was my dream everything. I could never tell him that without sounding like some clingy psychopath.

So I never did.

And instead I kept my distance because I couldn’t bare falling in love with my dream family and dream man only to then have them ripped away, along with my heart. 

 

THE TRAVEL CONVO

Edward told me of his post grad plans to travel for two years in South America and then figure out where he wanted to settle for work. My initial thought was I WANT TO GO WITH YOUUU!!!! Omg!!! Wtf?! That’s so cool!!! You’re living my dream!!!! It was like he somehow got a hold of my brain and knew all my secret life goals. On one hand, it was completely off putting, but on the other I felt closer to him. That is until I realized what it all meant. He was going to Bermuda in the summer… we were breaking up. Even if I waited for him, he’d be home a year until he graduates and leaves for two more years to travel South America. My brain was telling me he was using me as something to entertain him. He wasn’t dating me like, “I really want to see where this goes. I’m open to staying with you and finding a way to make us work over the summer. And who knows, maybe when we graduate we can travel together.” There was nothing like that. He knew his plan and my expiration date. It didn’t matter what I wanted. His mind was made up. 

When he asked me if I’d ever travel like that, I was internally screaming ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?! OF COURSE I WOULD!!! MY SOUL BREATHES TO TRAVEL!!! I’m dying in Wilton! 

Instead of expressing any inclination in going, I tried to earn brownie points by lying and saying no because I couldn’t leave my family behind. Truthfully, that was a horrible lie. I said it only because I knew how important family was to him and felt if I spoke honestly that he wouldn’t like me.

This was the main problem in our relationship. It wasn’t his inability to communicate. It was my own.

My entire mental frame had been wired around people pleasing and doing what was expected of me. Rather than telling him I would go everywhere and anywhere with him, I said no to traveling. I wanted him to think I was some wholesome girl with amazing family ties like his, but I didn’t have that. I wanted to travel as much, if not more than him.

I was also petrified of admitting my interest in going with him. We were just starting out and I felt it was too soon to say things like that. I didn’t want to scare him off. 

For months he would bring up the fact that I said that and for months I would argue I never did. I couldn’t remember saying it and had no clue why I ever would. Me… not want to travel…? That didn’t even sound right. It’s like me not liking pigs. It wasn’t until we broke up for good that I reread every text we ever sent and finally remembered. 

What was I supposed to say? “I would go anywhere in the world with you. Whenever you wanted. Any place. Any time of day. Me and you. Always. I’d pick up and leave everything and everyone. But I don’t have the money to do that right now. I would leave this second to come find you. I would meet you at the airport. That is exactly the life I want to be living.” I remember thinking how slick I was for pretending I loved my family. Like ohhhh he’s gunna love thissss. He’s not going to want to hear that I’d just pick up and relocate anywhere. Anytime.

I also never wanted to talk about things I couldn’t afford out of fear he might want to do them. I’d do every single thing on my bucket list if I had the money, but it’s not an option right now. My parents don’t pay for those things. Right now, and especially then, I couldn’t afford to do that stuff. It’s not that my heart didn’t WANT to… it’s that I was being practical and realistic. I didn’t want to excite myself over something I could never have. I had grown to be all too familiar with disappointment in my life that I was choosing to spare myself the agony…..And I didn’t want to sound like some crazy stalker obsessed girl either.

 

FAMILY MORNINGS

Between his birthday weekend and when he was leaving for Bermuda, I slept over one more time. Edward’s mom was cooking breakfast and his whole family was in the kitchen. He invited me upstairs. … but I wouldn’t go. When it comes to elders, it’s all about respect and grace. I didn’t want to disrespect his mother by parading myself around after not only sneaking into her house, but fucking her son and spending the night without permission.

His mother was the nicest, sweetest woman in the world, but I still feared she would yell at me, judge me, criticize me, etc. like my mom would. Since that’s the only way I knew mothers to be, and I feared I would endure similar treatment to what I received in my own home from my own family.

My dad never let boys come over, especially to stay the night. Even now, I’m 23 and he’s not okay with it. At all. My mom would never let us have friends over. Ever. Breaking the rules resulted in the psychotic shriek of my mother at such high volumes that I thought my ears were bleeding on several occasions. And it didn’t stop there. She would then go call my father, who was already stressed out at work, and tell him all about how we upset her. Later that night, we would scatter like ants as he walked through the door because we knew if he saw us it was going to get ugly. His temper was far louder than hers and he wasn’t afraid to get in your face or make threats of throwing us out, hitting us, etc. It was clear since infancy that rules were not meant to be broken.

I’ve never been able to be myself around my own family so how was I supposed to be comfortable around other people’s families? I went from having no family to having all of his. And his friends. He tried to welcome me into his life and accept me, but at the time I wasn’t used to anything like it and I felt like it was a joke or a game.

Needless to say, I didn’t know Edward’s world of ‘bring who ever you want over because we’re an accepting family’. I lived in a world of tiptoeing in secrecy through the shadows of freedom. I was never free like him. I was a caged animal with a wild heart and crazier imagination.

I didn’t go upstairs to see his family, and especially his parents, after sleeping over because it was a big deal to me. I was so painfully shy and wanted them to like me so badly, but didn’t want their first impressions to be some ratty hair, no makeup, low class trashy girl with loose morals who snuck in to fuck their son and did so without even having the title of “girlfriend”. I wanted to be respectful and represent him well.

The only parents I have ever really known are my own. And although I know his family would have been embracive, the thought of meeting any parents, his or not, rattled me to my core. I act tough and scary, but I’m really not. I become engulfed in a fog-like mentality riddled with anxiety and fear.

A part of me didn’t want to get attached to Edward’s parents either. I always fantasized about my significant other’s family accepting me as their own and protecting me from my horrible family. Loving me and just being the family I always wanted, but never thought I could have. I didn’t want to fall in love with them, because I never thought he would fall in love with me. So it was a way of protecting myself. Rejecting them before they could reject me.

 

APRIL 30th: EDWARD’S BIRTHDAY WEEKEND

I fucked up so badly.

We were planning to drive up to Boston together after my class let out Thursday afternoon, which was also the day of his birthday. Wednesday night, I had so much to do for school, finals, and his birthday that I really couldn’t afford distractions. When I plan something, it has to go smoothly and perfectly or it will all fall apart.

He kept texting me bored and lonely like a sad (but unbelievably cute) little puppy dog that just needed some loving. Since I had such a weakness for him and couldn’t say no to him, I caved and let him come over, completely monkey-wrenching all the surprise birthday plans I made.

I was originally planning on pulling an all-nighter and allotted my time perfectly so I could complete every task on my list. But because of my decision, I didn’t get to study for my exams, finish my homework, pack properly, make his cake, finalize his birthday plans, or do any of the things I needed to.

I let him come over; we had sex and went to sleep.

The next day was his birthday.

I woke him up several times, all of which he did not get up for. I was running late and I was stressed beyond belief. We were having an open house the same day so, not only did I have to get myself ready for school, I had to get him up and out of my house, and clean everything before the realtor came over at 9am.

The rest of my day was just as frazzled and frantic as the first part. I couldn’t pay attention in class or focus on my exams because I was freaking out about how much work I still had to do. I had a million things on my mind like how I was going to go home and pack and pull everything off.

I skipped my night class so we could leave earlier to beat rush hour traffic. Once I got home from school, I couldn’t think. I was having another stress-induced panic attack. I tried to pack, but forgot EVERYTHING.

I forgot the present he was supposed to open at my house, the one for the car ride, the one when we got to Boston, the one before dinner, BLAHBLAHBLAH. All of them. I forgot.

I was frantically packing and rushing so much that my brain was in every direction. All I was worried about was like packing enough underwear and where the fuck is my blowdryer?! To say I was flustered is an understatement. I couldn’t think of putting outfits together. Or what would look cute. I didn’t check the weather. I just threw things in a bag and hoped for the best.

I remember looking over at him while he sang in the car thinking I had never seen such a beautiful person. The lyrics tuned out and I found myself fixated on every movement that perfect mouth made. The way his lips would curl into a smile when he looked over at me to catch me staring.

It wasn’t until half way though the drive that I realized I not only forgot everything, but that his brother and brother’s girlfriend would be staying at the apartment with us all weekend. For the rest of the drive, I was selfish. I just stared out my window so he couldn’t see my eyes welling up. I texted my friends to calm me down, but nothing was helping. It took everything I had to not cry in front of Edward. I had spent weeks planning this. Weeks.

I worked so hard. SO so hard. I had never tried so hard for anyone else’s birthday. I had never spent so much time, money, or effort. I had never gone this elaborate or done anything like this because I had never really cared about any of the guys I was with. I didn’t care to celebrate their birthdays because they were fucking scumbags who didn’t even deserve to lick the bottom of my foot.

But Edward was different. He talked about his birthday the way I spoke about mine, as if it didn’t matter. Hearing him talk about his existence like that pained me because I knew the feeling all too well and I never wanted him to feel like that ever again. I stayed up so many nights coming up with ideas and calling in favors, that I was disappointed in myself for not pulling it off. I felt like I let him down and ruined his birthday because I wanted to shower him with love and make every single second of his birthday feel as special as I thought he was, but failed miserably.

He talks all about traveling and living life to the fullest, so one of his gifts was a flight lesson. I figured as someone who loved experiences, he would love this—especially since I got the idea from HIS bucket list. But no. He hated it. He made it so clear that I wanted to go home the very second he told me so. I was humiliated and felt so stupid for even trying.

I had even hand carved and painted this cool wooden sign for him. It had the geographical mapping coordinates of every place he had lived over the years. I looked up each location, designed my own font, and chronologically carved each one. I thought it was a cool gift because he loved to travel, it was hand made, and a cool piece to add to his room. His mom decorated his rooms and he never really felt like they were a clear reflection of him so I was trying to help change that. Plus, not to toot my own horn but I’m an amazing artist and he was getting one of my original custom pieces for free (in addition to a million other gifts and surprises that I had saved up for).

But, sadly, the whole birthday was a complete and utter fail, one that I still haven’t forgiven myself for. Throughout the weekend, we had unprotected sex several times. Generally, we never used protection and relied on Plan B whenever we had a slip up.

One of the times we were having sex, Edward accidentally came inside me. I could tell he felt horrible, but I did my best to comfort him and reassure him that it wasn’t a big deal as long as we went to the pharmacy for Plan B, which we did.

We walked to the store, bringing his dog Skye (Aka Mama) for extra company. Once at CVS, Edward, being the gentleman he was, took the liberty of running in while I stayed outside with Skye. It was so precious how he would try to take care of me in the smallest ways. Even then, I struggled to express my utmost gratitude for him or let down my emotional barriers.

At the end of the weekend, I left the apartment with a feeling that it was going to be the last time I was ever there. Looking back on it, I knew I couldn’t keep him around when I was so unhappy with myself. A part of me knew it was a losing battle, but a battle that I was not going to quit. If the relationship were to end, it would be because he chose that.

…Which is what he did a few days later…

 

MAY 9th & 10th: EDWARD’S HAMPTONS TRIP

When he left for the Hamptons to visit a friend, Edward seemed excited. Everything was fine until he came home the next day.

I couldn’t tell what was wrong, but I knew something was because he was acting strange and distant. I could feel it. Something wasn’t right. And I was so used to my family blaming me for everything that I figured I must have done something, but I wasn’t sure exactly what. Because I was so used to guys fucking me over and cheating on me, I figured he had now done the same. Maybe gotten drunk or high and got with someone else. I mean, why else would he act so hot and cold? Right? That’s weird, isn’t it?

When I talked myself up enough to find the confidence to ask if that’s what happened, but he didn’t take well to my line of questioning. It felt like he jumped down my throat and backed me into a corner, a familiar feeling I often felt at home. It took so much courage for me to ask him honestly instead of playing mind games to get it out of him. I was really trying to put my guard down in that moment and I was beside myself when I was yelled at like that.

The conversation resulted with him ending the relationship.

I was completely caught off guard and went ballistic. I knew something was wrong, but I didn’t think this was going to happen. Any trace of grace and elegance had flown out the nearest window at this point.

I asked myself, “Where is this coming from?” But like the feeling I had leaving the apartment in Boston, I knew. I wasn’t making him happy and tried to push him away before he could push me away, but he beat me to it.

Hearing him say he was done with me was more than I could bear. “No,” wasn’t something I was ready to accept. That ending wasn’t something I was ready to accept. So I made him say it to my face as a way to buy time and have an excuse to see him again.

I tried on about a million outfits until I settled on high waisted booty shorts, a black crop top, push up bra, and long sweater. My sides of my hair were pinned back with little hair clips to try to tame my natural curls I had never really let him see before. Although desperate, it was a gesture to show I was trying.

Once I was ready, I met him at a parking lot near my house. He was a gentleman to drive all this way just to break up with a girl the correct way, even though my behavior while in the relationship didn’t warrant such acts of kindness.

I climbed out of my (pathetic excuse of a) car into the passenger seat of his and awkwardly said hi. The conversation seemed forced on his end. I was trying to be natural and make him laugh, thinking maybe there was a chance he would change his mind and forget this whole thing, but that wasn’t happening.

It was pitch black in the car and we both sat there trying to pin the awkward silences together until he finally brought up the reason why we were meeting- we were breaking up.

What do you say to someone who doesn’t want a relationship? What do you say when the person you see yourself with says they aren’t so sure about you?

It was too dark to even be able to see him three feet away from me in the driver’s seat, but I could tell he was uncomfortable and I could tell we were over. He wasn’t talking like he normally did. He wasn’t warm and affectionate. He was emotionally checked out of anything to do with me.

As a child, I learned how to cry without anyone knowing. So I used those skills as I felt the first tears roll down my cheeks. I didn’t want him to see me as some weak broken little girl. I wanted him to think I was strong and wasn’t hurt or phased by any of this. But I was dying inside. My inner little child was broken down and crying out. She was pleading for him to stay and love me, but I muffled her screams just like I had all the years before. I was trying to act strong and take the hit like a big girl even though I had never felt smaller.

Guys never had the balls to break up with me to my face. They cheated and disappeared. Edward at least had the respect to do the gentlemanly thing, no matter how uncomfortable it may have been. For that, and so much more, I appreciate him.

MAY 11th: THE PURPLE BIKINI

As a ‘fuck you’ and a ‘you’re an idiot for leaving me’, I was immature, yet highly effective in my scheming. I’m never usually one to post racy photos online for the world to see. I think they’re something that should really only be sent privately to a significant other. Like, why try to be sexy for random guys who don’t deserve it? I prefer to lead as a lady with class, then finish as a freak in the sheets behind closed doors.

 

Anyway, I was extremely hurt Edward ended things the night earlier. Knowing he followed me on Instagram, I posted a fairly sexy selfie of me in a bikini with confidence he had never seen on me before. He only knew the broken side of me. However, in that photo…. Honey, Mama looked GUD.

 

I hoped he would see the picture… along with the list of guys gawking over it so that he might get jealous and reconsider ending things. I wanted him to want me. And he did.

 

Within 15 minutes, his name lit up on my phone with a screen grab of my post followed by a million emojis, telling me how hot I looked.

 

In my childish little world, that was triumph. That was like the stamp of approval… that HE of all people thought I was hot. I didn’t care how many other guys liked it. I just wanted Edward to.

 

After that, I had mixed emotions. I was giddy he thought I was so sexy, but was confused. He was so okay with letting me go, and then magically is nice again after seeing me in a bikini? To me, that made sense though. All I had ever known was guys only being into me only for sex so why would he be any different?

 

Although my scheming got his interests, I was still heartbroken. I wanted him to stay for me, not my body.

 

MAY 14th (?): RECONCILIATION

At some point, (and I may have been drunk?) I texted him telling him that I wanted to keep seeing him. I missed him and wanted to utilize every chance I could to see him. I just wasn’t ready to let him go. I needed more time.

 

After some persuasion, he agreed.

 

HIS LAST WEEK

I was on IG, sending him beautiful places I wanted to explore. And I remember he was surprised that I liked to travel so much and asked why we hadn’t talked about it before. I forget what my response was but I remember thinking, “WTF? Of course I love to travel. I’m fucking obsessed with it… But… I didn’t know you’d care about my opinions.”

 

It’s not that he ever gave me a reason to feel that way. My opinions had just never mattered to anyone; especially those close to me like my family. No one ever wanted to hear what I thought/felt/said. Instead, everything was decided for me growing up. I learned I no longer got to have an opinion. That I didn’t matter. So to hear him ask so confused as if he had just unearthed another hidden level of me was interesting. All I was thinking was, “No one ever took the time to learn about me and now he wants to? What the hell…”

 

Most girls I’m sure would love that type of attention, but it was so unfamiliar from me that I just felt like I had to push it away.

 

SAYING NO TO BERMUDA

It’s not that I didn’t want to go to Bermuda or didn’t want to be with him. I just didn’t feel like I was worthy. I didn’t feel like I was enough. I didn’t want to go and see him checking out all these other girls after I just flew all the way there for him. I wasn’t going to have the best bikini body, which is what I thought the girl dating him should have. In my head, all of the girls there were flawless bikini models. And I’d roll in like what? An albino frizzy-haired assless girl from tinder in some random cheap bikini from Target? I would’ve embarrassed him. I didn’t feel like I was something to show off or parade around like he was. There was no competition with the other girls because I knew I didn’t stand a chance. He deserves arm candy. Someone he can wear and show off. Not me. Not some socially awkward sassy little blonde with a growling problem. 

 

He invited me again. I was supposed to spend money to go see someone who I was no longer dating? Who said I’m not his soul mate? Why? I would have fallen even more in love with him and wouldn’t want to leave.

 

WEDS, MAY 20th: THE DAY BEFORE EDWARD LEFT

We agreed to see each other and hang out as “friends” so things would be light and easy. I told him that I had the house to myself, so he could come over. I had seen him so many times before, but this time was different and I was a little worried about staying inside. I didn’t want to just stay in our routine of having sex, getting dressed, and leaving. I read somewhere that the best way to get to know someone is through activities. Get them outside or doing something that shows how they handle themselves in different environments. You can learn a lot about someone that way.

 

So, given that I live in the middle of Narnia, I proposed going on a hike (aka walk through the local historical preserve at the end of my street). He agreed, and I got so unbelievably nervous. I didn’t know how to look sporty and cute, but I tried my best so he would think I was pretty. I knew he was leaving the next day and… idk… I wanted him to remember me. I didn’t think he would. I honestly didn’t think he would remember me at all. I thought he would leave and never speak to me again. Even though I knew that wasn’t true, I wouldn’t let myself accept that he cared about me. I told myself I was just some chick he hung out with during cuffing season and dumped when he was bored.

 

I put on a pair of solid black workout leggings, an olive green Nike sports bra, white sneakers, and a black zip up Nike hoodie. It was the first time he would see me in athletic wear and all I was thinking was I hope he doesn’t notice how flat my ass is right now. Like, PLEZ LAWD.

 

He got to the house and every bit of my confidence evaporated. I answered the door without eye contact, like usual. I felt like it was our first date all over again. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to hug him or run to the bathroom and throw up all the butterflies fluttering around in my belly.

 

I could tell he had no intention of going on a walk, and suddenly I felt like an idiot for being dressed to go on one. I remember I felt embarrassed, but I couldn’t quite place why? It was kind of like when Cady Heron walked into the Mean Girls Halloween party dressed like a dead bride when everyone else knew better.

 

He walked his way further in the house and I followed him through the kitchen and out to the porch. I was honestly so nervous I couldn’t bring myself to look him in the eyes.

 

We sat across from each other on these shitty green plastic Adirondack chairs and I could feel his eyes on me the whole time and could sense his beautiful smile as he watched me play with my dogs.

 

I had let them come outside because I couldn’t handle the intimacy of sitting across from him, just the two of us, with nothing to do but talk. I didn’t know how to do that. I grew up with guys who never cared what I had to say so it was challenging knowing how to approach the situation with the complete opposite guy.

 

He was amazing with me. So fucking gorgeous and patient and kind. He sat there across from me, reading my awkward pauses as moments to jump in and ease the conversation. He knew when and where to pick up. And I was convinced it was because my heart was beating so loud in my chest that the neighbors were going to think I was leading a parade through my backyard.

 

I had never really seen him out in the daylight that much, but he was the most magnificent man I had ever seen. The sun did this sort of highlight around his face on one side giving him the softest eyes. It made a shadow from his adorable crooked little nose that made me want to kiss him so badly, but I didn’t know if I was supposed to.

 

When I found an opportune moment, I ran back towards the house in efforts to gather my thoughts. He followed in and we made our way back into my kitchen.

 

Nerves got the best of me and made my knees start to buckle. So I hopped on end of my kitchen counter, with dangling my legs off the sides. After a little bit of joking and small chat, the sexual tension was ridiculous. He made the first move by walking over to me, stopping at the boundary set by my knees.

 

I think he took my lack of eye contact as an insult, but it was really quite the opposite. I was so intimidated and so fucking head over heels for him that I couldn’t have possibly felt any more shy than I did already. He was everything I had ever dreamed about. It was like talking to a god every time he gave me the time of day.

 

With every word he spoke, I felt like I was almost in a trance getting pulled in deeper and deeper. My body was no longer mine; it was his, no matter how hard I fought. He had a hold on me like no one else ever had and I couldn’t shake it.

 

I felt his body press against my knees and in response they parted just slightly. His khakis brushed against my legging covered knees, then moved in closer. My mouth was saying, “no”, but my body was saying something completely different. My legs were continuing to spread apart, accepting his attempts to move in closer to me and allow him to invade my space. They were stretching open to welcome him to fit snuggly between my thighs.

 

The growing heat under my leggings was hard to ignore. My whole body felt like it was on fire. I needed my clothes off and his mouth on every inch of my skin. I fucking needed to feel his lips on my skin before I melted in front of him. I knew I was blushing, but I didn’t care.

 

My heartbeat was picking up. Beating faster and faster. I was taking small shallow breaths, feeding off his energy. I felt my body lean into him before I ever gave it permission to do so. His hand started on the countertop beside me and made its way to my hip, not grabbing it, just placed firmly enough to drive me insane.

 

Fuck.

How does he do this to me every time?

HOW?

 

Once he was pressed against me, as far as my legs would allow, he stood there, hovering over me with his towering height. Completely mesmerized, I hung onto every syllable that fell from his mouth. I was drawn to him in the most inexplicable way with such intensity. I felt myself leaning in closer to meet him, stretching my neck upward. We both stayed quiet, except for the sounds of our rapidly beating hearts. In that moment, everything made sense to me. Everything felt right. For the first time in years, I let my guard down. This was it. This is what I was talking about. This. Passion, heat, love. This.

 

Our faces didn’t inch closer. They moved at glacial speed, building suspense that made my heart want to leap from its chest. I finally felt the tip of his nose gently pressed against mine and lightning shot through my body.

 

But I needed more.

 

I softly nudged his nose, light enough to just graze the skin, like I always had when we were kissing. I then held my place and waited for his next move.

 

Our energies fed off one another and created a primal animal urge. We didn’t need words. We knew what the other one was thinking and wanted. We could feel it. Our bodies were synched together, working in unison.

 

He mimicked my move and waited just as I had. I repeated my little nuzzle, this time more lovingly with more intent. It almost felt like a game of who was going to hold out the longest. We traded little noseies until our lips grew closer together. And a little closer. And just a little bit closer. My lips were brushing lightly against his. I had kissed those lips so many times but it was only now that I was allowing my true self to taste them. I had no boundaries up. I was giving myself to him. I couldn’t fight it anymore. What did I have to lose? He was leaving the next day whether I liked it or not.

 

Although it seems so silly, I think this is what I was afraid of. I was afraid of letting him in because I knew I would fall so deeply in love. My heart hadn’t yet healed from damage of those who mistreated it before him. And I simply wasn’t ready to love or be loved. I thought I was, but, in truth, I was afraid of love.

 

I knew if I let him in, even for a second, that all of my walls would come crumbling down. That my world would change forever. In that second, I felt like I had everything I ever wanted. I felt myself relax and my mind went numb. I felt like I was taking my first breaths above water after drowning for so long.

 

Our lips continued to tease one another until we finally kissed. It was a slow and tender kiss. We had never kissed like this before. I didn’t even know he could kiss like this. In that moment, I swear I could taste the next sixty years of my life.

 

It sounds so cheesy, but always called him my prince charming. And kissing him on the counter like that made me feel like I was the princess who was woken with a kiss from her prince. I had felt like I finally let my spirit out. I was me.

 

As my legs dangled off the counter and my mind continued to let go, Edward’s warm hand caressed the nape of my neck. I had grown to know his touch very well, but I made a point to mentally trace each finger so I could never forget that moment.

 

He pulled back, separating our lips and my hair fell in his face. I began to fix my hair back into a bun, but just as I was finishing and waiting for him to kiss me again, his fingers tangled in my hair then pulled out the hair tie, letting my hair fall loose around my shoulders.

 

He said, “keep it down. You look beautiful.”

 

That moment… the way he looked at me… that single moment… is the first time I have ever actually felt beautiful. And Edward was the reason for that.

 

I couldn’t bring myself to look at him because my cheeks were burning red and I thought letting him see me blushing and vulnerable would be a turn off. He had no clue what an impact hearing those words just did.

 

When I could gather myself to look at him again, I was met with a devilish grin. I could feel Edward’s hand slowly creep up the side of my thigh to my stomach to tug at the zipper of my workout jacket. He began pulling it downwards in an attempt to undress me.

 

I took over once the fabric snagged half way down. Once I could free myself, I pushed the jacket off my shoulders and let it fall down around me. All I had on was leggings and a sports bra.

 

The strange thing is I’d had been naked around Edward plenty of times. Plenty. But this time I felt genuinely naked and raw, like I was exposing myself to him for the first time. The truth is, I was. This was the first time I was ever letting him see me without guards and emotional walls blocking him out.

 

I gathered the confidence to look at him, but when I did, I found he had already taken out his fully erect dick and I was sad. I was like, “oh, this is all this was? Just sex to him?” I thought he wanted to like, passionately make out with me and keep going with the heat we had, but I was wrong. He, like every other guy, only wanted sex from me. And I was hurt.

 

My walls went back up in an instant. That’s all it took to wound me. I turned my game mode switch on and turned my emotions off. I then hopped down from the countertop, took his erection in my hand and led him to my family room couch. I figured I should just get this over with, just like I thought with the blowjob on our first date.

 

We were both uncomfortable on the couch and decided to go up to my bedroom. Once there, I stripped off my remaining clothes and straddled him. I rubbed his dick against my clit a few times to tease him and then began slowly lowering myself onto it, inch by inch. When I had finally bottomed out, I used my hips to grind into him, getting deeper than I ever could have imagined. I felt him get harder and harder with every rise and fall of my hips. Light moans escaped my lips feeling his warmth inside me.

 

And then, fuck… I was going to squirt.

 

Aside from two accidental occasions in high school, no guy has ever made me squirt. It was something I was very self-conscious about and started panicking. I mean… Where would it all go? Would I just like………….… spray him below the belly button? Oh god… I hope it doesn’t spray farther than that. WTF!? I HOPE IT DOESN’T SPRAY TO BEGIN WITH. What if it went in his mouth. Oh my god… Stop. What if he wasn’t prepared and was like what the fuck? Or what if he got mad? What if it freaked him out? What if he made fun of me?

 

I was mentally freaking out.

 

Every time I played by myself it took me at least an hour of edging to make myself do that, but he was having no trouble today.

 

Finally, Edward came and a part of me was so relieved because I didn’t think I could last much longer and I CERTAINLY did not want to squirt in front of him.

 

Once we were all cleaned up and dressed again, I felt very uneasy. I didn’t know what this all meant. We just had the hottest makeout ever and he almost got me to squirt.. and then what…? He leaves tomorrow… So this was all… for nothing? It meant nothing to him? Did I mean nothing? Or was this enough to keep things going?

 

My brain was shut down to protect myself from any further heartbreak. I blow-dried my hair on high blast, trying to emotionally disconnect from everything and ignore his attempts to talk to me while he sat on my wooden bench. I couldn’t process anything that just happened or make sense of it.

 

My mom came home and Edward had to leave to attend his brother’s lacrosse game. I walked him out to his car, unsure of what just happened, and awkwardly kept my distance from him as he got in the driver’s seat. I think I tried to give some weird goodbye/wave combo and he seemed confused saying, “No. Come here and kiss me.”

 

I did as I was told.

 

My mind kept telling me to pull back, but I couldn’t. I needed those lips.

– – – – –

 

Later that night, I had to go to therapy, but was supposed to see him again at his house afterwards. I took so long to get ready because I wanted everything to be perfect for him. I was planning on just showing up with a long jacket and lingerie on with heels, and that’s it.

 

I had written him a letter to ONLY open and read if he ever found himself really missing me. Under no other circumstance was it to be opened. The letter explained how much I cared about him, although I don’t always act like it, and it carefully detailed all the things I loved about him. I told him how much he’s impacted my life in such a short time and how I felt so lucky to have met him. I thanked him for spending time with me and told him to come home in one piece, including his liver because I really wanted to pick up where we left off when he came home. I promised things would be different and told him to have an amazing summer.

 

I planned on hiding the letter in his suitcase or carry on for him to find later, but never ended up seeing him. We got into a fight because I was having an emotional breakdown. I couldn’t stop crying and I was struggling to understand my own feelings at the time. Looking back on it, I realize I was triggered by how Connor broke up with me. We had sex the night before, and then everything fell apart. I had been so traumatized by it that I was assuming the same scenario, if not worse, would play out with Edward, too. And truthfully, I wasn’t ready to say goodbye. How could I be? We just spent an incredible day together and connected on a whole new level…

 

The fight that night was really intense. I was a complete mess. My heart was broken and I couldn’t pull myself together. He had told me that we weren’t soul mates, he didn’t want to be with me, but wanted to take me out when he got home and get to know me like a friend. I was beyond broken and devastated. A friend? I gave so much to be called a friend? I JUST had sex with him to be called a FRIEND? I felt cheap, used, disgusting, and every other negative emotion. I began questioning our entire relationship and was freaking out.

 

In a dream world, we wouldn’t have started when we did. We would’ve waited until we were out of school. I don’t date with timelines. I don’t do cuffing season. I date for forever. I date to find my soul mate.

 

Me: “Did you not read any of that”

Edward: “I didn’t get your response”

Me: “You should just go to sleep.”

Me: “I don’t know what you want from me.”

E: “Okay”

Me: “Why are you giving me one word”

E: “Because I’m sad”

Me: “Why”

E: “Because I’m gunna leave without saying bye to you”

E: “I just thought idk”

Me: “Thought what”

E: “Not sure”

E: “I just knew it would have been fun to see you”

Me: “We’d have good bye sex and never talk again”

Me: “Is that what you meant”

E: “no”

E: “its not about the sex”

Me: “All of your texts (or msgs) are incomplete thoughts. I will continue to insert sexual endings until you can speak. Then were equally frustrated every time you do it J”

E: “Its not sexual im sorry it comes off like that”

Me: “So try again. You wanted to see me on your last day because ________________”

E: I would have liked to see you and said bye… of course id love to have sex with you always but that’s not the point. I wanted to say bye and then give you a hug and then maybe when I got back it would be better and maybe okay and idk.”

E: “It didn’t have to be my last day”

E: “I wanted to see you today too”

E: “Although you’re right I would’ve been sad not to see you on my last day”

(conversation continues)

 

E: “What I do know is I want to spend time with you and wake up next to you.”

(conversation continues)

 

Me: “You believe in love and good romantic relationships. Yet you don’t believe in us… But still want to hold on to me to some degree.”

E: “Right now… I like you. Not just sex. I like you. I just can’t do it right now like I’ve said L”

 

E: “I need to go explore the world and different people while I can”

 

E: “You wanted to hang out. I wanted to hang out. I don’t know if were done.”

 

E: “I didn’t think it was fair to ask you to wait. That’s why I never did. I’m sorry.”

 

E: “I would like to take you out when I get back and try and give you one on one with no other things involved. Obviously you don’t have to answer now and ill stop texting you so you don’t have to see my name. goodnight”

 

I had no problem waiting until he got home. None. I had no problem going without sex or anything like that. I wanted him. HIM. I didn’t want or need anyone else touching me. I wanted to wait. I wanted him to come back to me. I wanted to still be his when he got home. I wanted him to still be the last one to touch me. I didn’t want to date anyone else over the summer. I had no problem waiting if he was willing to do the same thing.

But he wasn’t. He wanted other girls. So I was letting him go.

 

I wasn’t going to be someone’s back burner option. I wasn’t going to be pushed to the side until he appreciated what he had. I wasn’t going to be able to stomach the thought of him with anyone else. The thought of him with anyone but me triggered the horrendous feelings I had about Connor cheating so many times. I couldn’t take that. I couldn’t handle sending him off with my scent all over him, and then have him return with the scent of other girls seeping into his every pore. I wanted him to leave with my flag of declaration stuck in him as the last one claiming him as my territory. And I wanted him to return the same way. I didn’t want him to come home with a million other flags from other girls shoved in, proclaiming him theirs. He was mine. And I had no intention of sharing… Even Skye knew that.

 

So he left to find other girls and I was dumb to think a guy like him would ever be interested in a girl like me.

 

May 21st: He was leaving

I hadn’t slept that whole night. I think my mind thought if I never went to bed then the day would never end, and he wouldn’t leave. But that was inaccurate.

 

I woke up, waited until a semi-reasonable hour and texted him to apologize and ask to see him. I needed closure. I needed to quiet my heart. I couldn’t leave things the way we left them the night earlier. My heart was broken in a million pieces.

 

Our conversation that day was awkward. I’m not sure if it’s because of the fight the night before or if he was just busy, but his unnatural language made me question my self worth.

 

Edward said he couldn’t come say bye. I was insulted and so hurt. He was driving right by where I was and couldn’t be bothered. Instead, he offered for me to go to his house and see him, but I wasn’t sure I belonged there. I felt like that should be his family time, and truthfully, I felt embarrassed going over there like, “Hey, I’m the girl who’s been giving herself up for no title in return. I’m the pathetic needy girl who is in love with your son/brother. And I’m the one whose heart is shattering in a million pieces the second he leaves.”

 

I never felt like I had a place in his world, especially not today.

 

It wasn’t until recently that I realized he just hates doing goodbyes, but he must have liked me enough if he was willing to do it, even at his house. Right? Or maybe I’m just lying to myself for comfort?

 

I waited around at my grandparent’s the whole day, hoping he would change his mind and come see me. I was also too self-conscious to drive the broken down jeep over to his house and risk looking like a loser in front of him and his whole family.

 

Eventually, we ended up saying bye to each other by text as he began his drive up to Boston. It was my understanding that we were never going to speak again.

 

I made it clear that I wanted a relationship.

He made it clear he didn’t.

I wanted him.

He wanted other girls.

 

 

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