We had gone to dinner and decided the night was not quite done. Quickly running to Blockbuster and the liquor store we hatched a plan. A girl’s sleepover tonight! How exciting, how young, we haven’t done that in a million years.
We ran by my apartment so I could pick up the essentials – pjs, toothbrush, change of clothes. I consult the boy about our plans. Not to ask permission, but to let him know what’s going on.
Although he would never say it out loud – he hates it when I spend the night away from him. Over 5 years of living together he has grown attached to sleeping next to someone at night. A particular comfort happens between two lovers who sleep together. A dance of blankets and pillows; cuddling intermittently throughout the night. He tells me to have fun and kisses me goodbye. Already he is settling into the sofa – he does not sleep in our bed if I’m not at home. He will say it’s because the sofa is more comfortable; but we both know it’s because the empty bed is not cozy enough.
In the car, we girls make fun of my boy’s inability to sleep alone. I say something witty and self important about being more independant than him.
A night of laughter ensues. It is getting later and later. Somewhere between my second and third drink I realize that the night has already hit its peak. What seemed like such a good idea a few hours ago now has faults. Excuses form in my head. I am a morning person, I was up hours before my girlfriends, I’m tired way before they are. I work the next morning. I’m not the best sleeper, I don’t want to disturb them. It is probably best I get an uninterrupted sleep. I say my goodbyes and go home.
Coming home, I wake him up from the sofa. His sleepy smile lets me know that he missed me too. We fall into bed. Comfortable. Safe.
Tongue to the roof of my mouth, Lips pursed together, I nod in agreement. With a faint smile, she asks what I think.
What I think? Thoughts of what I want to say but need to hold back run through my head.
That douche bag had an affair with a 19 year old skank. When you confronted him he told you to suck it up and deal with it. That it was really your fault because you didn’t stroke his ego enough. He has the audacity to call you crazy for not trusting him. He hasn’t ended it with her and expects you to accept the fact that they “have” to run into each other because of his job. You want to know what I think? You had to have been born yesterday for falling for this bullshit. I think if you had an ounce of self respect you would kick him out and be happy you only wasted 4 years on him and not a lifetime.
Instead I say nothing to her.
I have faced this situation up so many times, I can’t count. Being strong, independent and too brash for my own good and completely full of myself – I am drawn to woman who aren’t that. My desire to mother and nurture my friends because of the lack of strong female role model in my own world is twisted at best.
I look at her and nod again; my silence has compelled her to keep confessing the depth of his betrayal.
I was 18 the first time I fucked this up. My best friend at the time was dating the ultimate asshole. His phone actually read “Do not pick up, Bitch” when she called him. He called her fat and told her she was lucky to be with him. I told her that I couldn’t be friends with someone who insisted on being with a jerk. I told her she was weak and I thought she had more self respect than that. Our friendship broke and was never repaired; even after she stopped seeing him.
Eyes on me again. I swallow and repeat back what she just said to me. I tell her that I’m not in her situation and that it’s a tough call.
When I was 21 my roommate dated a guy who shattered her heart into a million pieces. After crying about him for a month she emerged from her room 10 pounds heavier and ready to party. We went out. We drank too much. She saw him in the bar and told me she was going to go home with him. I slapped her. No, really. Full force hand across the face. Made quite the sound. Friendship and living situation broke. There have been others – perhaps girlfriends not as close since I am more guarded with my friendships the older I get. Bottom line, friendships lost over boys litter my past. My firm stubbornness to see love as something that is amazing and beautiful and doesn’t make you feel insecure and hateful towards yourself always gets in the way.
If I’m silent for any longer she’s going to think I’m not listening. Deep breath. I look into her eyes – tears are forming in them. Emotionally I can’t handle the thought of losing another one to some jerk who will leave her in a few months anyways. I stutter and spout; carefully forming exactly what how I feel: If he loved you, he wouldn’t be making you feel so little. If he loved you, you wouldn’t have to ask for anything from him – he would have already offered it to you. He needs you back now. Remember? That was the agreement – he needs to get your trust back; he needs to fight for this relationship.
Then I promise her something. The one thing I’ve never been able to promise any previous girlfriends because I got in my own way.
“I’m here no matter your decision. Even if you decide to stay with him.”
I hope to god it’s the truth.