As I stand outside of his bathroom listening to the symphony of hurls melodiously floating out to my ears, I have to stop and think if this is all part of some cruel joke. Please tell me I’m being punked. But alas it’s just another laughable chapter in my love life. Let me start from the beginning. The saga of said love life is a short and sad tale of barely memorable drunken hookups that result in instant regret. I soberly pine after crushes, terrified that admitting my feelings will only result in rejection. Thus at the ripe age of 23 I have had very little romantic involvement, in fact until recently I have done the unthinkable and guarded my so-called “purity.” In 2015, where the hookup culture is at its height, I’d liken myself to the 40-year old virgin, the last of the Mohicans and certainly the last of all my friends.
My lack of sexual experience seamlessly transitions to the presentation of my most recent romantic affliction, George Bush. Let’s clarify, I’m not referring to the former president or my qualms with his political views. George is the nickname of a former co-worker (clearly my weakness) who proved to be an utterly confusing love interest. We have been hot and mostly cold for the better part of a year. It began like any other friendship texting here and there, a sharing of mutual interests and hang outs at his apartment. He was a gentleman and I truly enjoyed talking to him. He understood the post college slump and feelings of being lost. Hell, he is 32 and still figuring out what he wants to be when he grows up. Despite his own life confusion, I deemed him my life coach and was happy to finally have camaraderie in the work place. I began to tell my family and friends of these new “friend” developments and they thought me naive. I assured them what I firmly believed to be a blossoming mentorship. As time progressed he was texting me morning to night. I resisted the urge to acknowledge my developing feelings, yet they refused to leave me alone. I began to expect his texts and enjoyed talking until I fell asleep; his company was effortless.
I started to question if this was a courtship of the 21st century? Lucky for me, it was far from it. I began to find it odd that he never invited me out in public. Our hangouts were limited to the confines of his apartment. Was he trying to hide me away like Quasimodo in the bell tower? I began to timidly question things and he started to pull away. I felt him fading and I was desperate to hold on. His texts became more infrequent and there were no longer invitations to go to his apartment. I would text him with some sad hope that he had any interest in responding. He didn’t and that was made loud and clear with his consistent one word responses. So I stopped begging to hang out and tried to lose interest. One big problem, we worked together. I had to interact with him on a daily basis and pretend that nothing was going on. No one at work knew, our friendship was a big secret that would remain hidden from everyone. I felt isolated and my one confidant at work was quickly becoming a stranger. He was now cold and mechanic, nothing like the warm and friendly guy I had come to know. He was shutting me out and I had to be reminded of that daily. But, as time does it heals all wounds. I had come to terms with only having a casual work relationship until one fateful night.
Cue me being wasted at my high school reunion and making some unsavory choices in an alleyway. Like a beacon of light amidst the craziness of that night I received an unexpected text from George, it was the trigger for the next chapter in our relationship. In the weeks that followed he started casually texting me and began asking for the dreaded “nudie” pics. Well specifically pictures of my bum, he refused to say butt or even ass so a bum picture it was. I put up a good fight, but his acceptance was my weakness and I caved. We agreed to take whatever we were to a physical level. We laboriously picked a day and I provided the beer and condoms (a picture perfect hookup if you ask me, but definitely not the most ladylike). Nerves cannot begin to describe how I felt. I was about to lose my virginity to a guy I allowed to walk in and out of my life at his leisure, a guy who had hurt me and I knew had the potential to do it again. I tried to protect myself and said we would be friends with benefits, I put up a wall to separate my feelings from sex. I wanted this and he would know nothing about my virginity.
Well after two performance issues (on his end) I was disenchanted with the sex aspect, still I couldn’t help wanting him to want me. I swear, that cheap trick song could be the theme of this whole year long interaction. I was persistent in asking him to hang out and was one drunken text away from begging on my knees. I became that annoying girl, but I refused to reach the level of pathetic or despondent. So I stopped bothering him. If he didn’t want hand delivered sex, I’d stop offering. I finally quit the job where we worked, no longer having to endure the back and forth game being played. Just when I had all but written him off I received a text; “want to come over and hang out?” Of course I did! This was my chance, my long awaited opportunity to tell him the emotional turmoil he had put me through. Sex was my ruse and I had my arsenal of words; I was prepared for war. I made a promise to stay strong but when faced with the situation I wasn’t certain that I could pull through. As anticipated things did not go according to plan. I got to his apartment, we engaged in forced conversation and then the expectation of sex reared its ugly head. I tried to hold strong but was weak. Mid-hookup something miraculous happened, it occurred to me that we had no chemistry. I was trying my hardest but it was like making out with someone who didn’t have lips. Had I been so blinded that I ignored such lackluster performances? To make matters worse we had our third performance issue. That’s right ladies and gentlemen, he was flaccid inside of me. I decided to save the little dignity that was left and quit before he injured himself. In that moment I felt assured, we were not meant to be. I was snarky and asked if he had performance issues in the past or had ever considered taking Viagra. I didn’t care, he deserved it. I told him we can’t hookup anymore because feelings, specifically mine, got in the way. Just as I built up the courage to spew my very girly feelings, he looked at me and said “I think I’m going to be sick.” Perfect. Just what I wanted to hear. He excused himself to the bathroom and I waited, paralyzed in his living room. I texted Cecilia and she told me to bail but something was pulling me to stay. So I waited.
He emerged from the bathroom a man with a very bruised ego, in which I took great satisfaction. I refused to let this road block get in the way of my mission, I continued from where I had left off. I told him everything from my feelings for him to how he took my virginity. He was shocked, yet receptive. He apologized for the part he played in leading me on and we ended with a mutual agreement to never try hooking up again. I told him I wanted to be friends and I missed talking to him. He agreed, extending an offer in some distant future to grab a drink and re-establish our friendship.
The dreamer in me wants to believe he’ll call on a Friday night so we can have a scotch and talk about music, but the more practical side knows it probably won’t happen. On to (much) bigger and better things, right? I gave him a part of me and for that he will always have a place in my heart. I’ll still go into the deli every now and again and I’ll have the special treat of ordering meat from the man who took my virginity; the irony of our situation will always remain comical. We’ll exchange witty banter and bitch about management, never addressing our dirty little secret but forever feeling its presence. I declare the George chapter in my life finally closed. I have learned a lot about myself from this experience and in all honesty wouldn’t change the outcome. I need to find myself and so does he. We simply are not destined to do it together. So cheers to the first notch in my relationship belt, here’s to many more heartbreaks but even more true loves.