Hello Thursday! Meet my blog group, comprised of a fantastic group of ladies who will dazzle you with insight on various topics. After reading my post, check out their blogs as well. Just click on:
Froggie (Tracey): One frog’s distinct voice on the world around her.
Merry Land Girl (Melissa): Tales of a suburban mom who likes to talk about pop culture, books, Judaism, family, friendship and anything else that comes to mind.
Darwin Shrugged (Denise): Civilized Observations in an Uncivilized World
For this week, Denise suggested I write about the moment I knew I had to break up with someone. If I’ve never been the breaker, write about the moment I knew I had to end a friendship or other relationship.
Ayden* is standing at one end of the grocery aisle, arms extending out to me, waiting for a response. He is hoping I’ll run into his arms and allow him to envelop me within him, and there is a part of me that wants that, too. My feet are firmly planted on the cracked tile at the other end of the aisle, but my heart tells me to run. Run fast, run towards him! He wants you, he needs you, he’s letting you know that! I can see it in his dark brown eyes that beckon me, pleading. I didn’t know I’d run into Ayden at the store this afternoon. I was running errands, doing a favor for a friend. It happened by accident, yet here we are, not that far away from one another, yet feeling worlds apart.
I’d had a crush on Ayden since freshman year of high school. I didn’t know his name, initially. I’d sit on the bleachers with a couple of girlfriends, watching the baseball players in their sweet white uniforms. I felt this insane draw to the tall, dark-haired clean-cut lanky guy. I also noticed (a recent development for me) the nice ass hidden within his sweet white uniform. Seeing him in that light, noticing those nuances made me nervous and excited, all at once.
We were acquaintances, then, sharing a class together. He was the rebel child, always causing trouble within the student body. It seemed a daily routine when our teacher would declare, “Ayden, go to the principle’s office.” He didn’t look like a rebel, not with his pressed jeans and loafer shoes. He was the secretive bad ass and I was drawn to someone so opposite of me, the girl who listened to everyone and did what she was told.
The summer of my junior year, Ayden went through a total transformation. He bleached his hair blond, grew it out. It reminded me of Kurt Cobain. He started wearing baggy anything, Converse shoes, and he’d skip school repeatedly while smoking bowls at a local park. I couldn’t judge. I was in the same boat. I felt wayward and lost and didn’t know how to climb out of the academic hole I’d created for myself from the multiple times I’d skipped, so my choices swayed towards avoidance. Any chance to avoid the conflict of life, I’d take it.
I thought I was in love with Ayden. I thought we had a spiritual connection, that we understood one another better than anyone else ever could. We bonded over music. We bonded over poetry (mine) and guitar (him). Looking back, I know I had serious self-esteem issues and wanted nothing more than to be loved by someone, anyone who would accept me. I would do anything Ayden wanted me to do for him. This often meant buying him cigarettes and food. Taking him places once I’d had my driver’s license and a car to drive. My obsession with Ayden carried into senior year. I was his go-to bitch, and even though I knew he was using me, I didn’t put a stop to it.
Rumors spread like a disease when you’re a teenager. I found out he’d been cheating on me (surprise, surprise) and had formed other romantic relationships while he’d been with me. I was completely crushed, vowing to cut ties with him. And I did. In those days, you didn’t do it in a text or through social media. I wrote a long letter, letting him know I was letting him go, for good. The next time we got together, I showed him the letter and that was it. He didn’t say much, and never fought for me.
My obsession didn’t go away, though. Logically, I knew I should let him go, but I became even more obsessed. What did I do to make him not want to be with me? I’d look for him everywhere I went. If I knew he’d be at some party, I’d make sure to be on the guest list. I guess you could say I was totally stalking him, and even though I knew how creepy it was, I didn’t care. All I wanted was for Ayden to want me again.
One night, at a friend’s alcohol-infused shindig, I had way too much to drink, and thought it was a good idea to chase Ayden with a butcher’s knife. I’m not sure why I did it, or if I thought anything good would even come from something so ridiculous. I was drunk and still hurting. I wanted to lash out. All it did was make him fear me, and I was no longer invited to my friend’s home after that. As she put it: “you’re 86’ed”.
After high school, Ayden and I reconnected and tried to make another go of it. I don’t know why either of us tried. My friends were constantly telling me how stupid I was for giving him another chance. One went so far as to write me a letter with a photocopied picture of Ayden’s senior year book picture on it. His hair was standing straight up, he looked maniacal. She begged me to get rid of him, that he was a loser, that all he did was use me and if I had any questions in my mind whether I should break up with his ass or not, to study the picture she’d photocopied, take a good, hard look at the guy I wanted to call mine. Not even that swayed me.
A few weeks later, Ayden and I were at a store, looking at the toy section. Although he was an 18-year old, he was still interested in toys like G.I. Joes and Pokemon. I tried to see that as an endearing quality. He was a big kid, what’s so bad about that? When I saw him stuff said toys into his pockets, however, as many as he could fit, that was what did it for me. I finally woke up from my insanity coma.
What the hell am I doing here, with this idiot? All he does is use me for money, car rides, and he always wants me to buy him smokes. And now we’re here and he’s stealing from the store? I’m the bigger idiot for dating this asshole!
I didn’t say a word to him before I walked out of the store. I drove away and left him stranded there. Maybe he got caught. Maybe he had no way to get home, no one to call to pick him up, and for once I didn’t give a shit. It was his problem and immense relief flooded through me. It. Was. OVER.
It’s been a few months since I’ve seen Ayden. Instinctively, I want to run into his open arms and fall in love with him all over again, right here, in this grocery store. Even with the bullshit he put me through. But I’ve learned from this experience. I’m realizing that I deserve better. I’m sure I’ll always care for him and a small part of me will wonder if he’ll ever pull his head out of his ass, but that’s not for me to worry about. I don’t wave goodbye or say a word. I turn on my heels and walk away as fast as I can, putting as much distance between us as possible.
*not his real name