By Gabrielle G., Birmingham, MI
Author's note: This story came from the heart and I put alot of thought into this story.
Brie DiariesBrie Diaries
Another day, another dollar. I don’t always like my job, but when the rent is on the dining room table, bartending is love at first sight. “Did you pay the rent?” My boyfriend Trent has been living with me for the past three months and thinks that it is my responsibility to pay the rent all by myself. I mean since he is the guy he should be contributing to our humble abode. If you are going to share the space, at least complete your obligations. Actually now that I think about it he doesn’t do much of anything! His daily activities include getting up, messing up the house while getting ready for work, raiding the refrigerator, going to work, coming home, sleeping, raiding the refrigerator again, running up the cable bill, and going to bed. My mother always told me that a man without a dream isn’t much of a man at all. I now question if I have a man, or a little boy. Trent dreams of starting his own club and having me be the head bartender. As an associate at Foot Locker he is aiming too high if you ask me. The worst part is that he isn’t even doing much to pursue this dream. I ask him all the time about any projects he’s been working on or about important people that he could possibly talk too. His answer is always, “I’m just waiting for that big break to come.” This drives me crazy! A big break can only come if one is doing activities that promotes, encourages, or enables that big break. The odds of it arriving from you selling the next new pair of Air Jordan’s are not very likely.
My mother thinks I’m crazy for letting him live in my house. Maybe I am crazy, but I have my reasons for his existence in my home. When Trent and I first met he was so sweet, protective, goal-oriented, and everything I could want in a guy. He made me laugh and took good care of me; that was about a year ago. Ever since he moved in with me he’s been different, more complacent I guess I could say. I ask him constantly to help me with things around the house and do his part but he just won’t step up to the plate. No girl should ever question if her boyfriend is just going to leave out of the blue. When I’m with Trent I feel so many emotions at once. One day we’re on cloud nine, and the next day we’re quickly going downhill. I have a couple accounts of both types of days.
Last month we had an episode. I was about to come home from a rough day at work; serving drinks and dealing with uncouth, drunken men. I collected my tips covered up my revealing clothing with a warm sweater and clocked out. On the way out of the door a man grabs my arm, and my reflexes swing. “Woah there little lady, I’m just tryna get a pretty girl’s number”, he says. “I’m sorry but I have to leave now.” As I am rushing out of the door he is swearing and yelling at me. I think to myself “I don’t have time for this and I just want to get home safely and be with Trent.” Little did I know what was awaiting me when I arrived home.
I’m standing at the door rustling to find my keys in my purse. I hear how quiet the house is and I’m wondering what’s going on. As I open the door I start to get excited about spending a nice night at home with my boyfriend. The house is silent, except for the football game on the television in the living room. “Hey babe! I missed you.” I get no response from him, as I stare at the back of him from afar as he’s so intensely facing the television. Leaning over him I give him kisses but he just gives me a blank stare. “What’s wrong?” I ask. “I’m just not feeling it tonight... I just need to sit and chill by myself for awhile.” He says. “Can you at least tell me why you’re upset?” I said. “It doesn’t matter”, as he walks over to the bedroom door and slams it shut. I am heartbroken and confused to why he is treating me this way. I want to burst into tears; but then I start to think about how often this has happened in the past year. Maybe it is just because we finally live together and he just needs some time to himself. Yet that still doesn’t give him reason to treat me badly. I question why I put myself through this and what has gotten into me. My mother has always told me to never let a guy define who I am or determine whether I had a good day or not. As I start to put into perspective all of his episodes and attributes, it finally clicks. I don’t need to be in his life, nor does he need to be in my life. The coffee in the kitchen is calling my name, so I make myself a cup. Even though I originally planned the evening for two, I instead grab my coffee, a movie, and sit on the couch. All while he is in MY bedroom sleeping in MY bed. This has to stop.
The next day I wake up feeling groggy and irritable, to find that Trent is gone. While preparing to make myself some breakfast there is a note left on the kitchen table. “Hey baby. Sorry for the way I treated you yesterday. Don’t take it personal I just wasn’t feeling like myself yesterday, and I want to make it up to you.” It’s like he’s on an emotional rollercoaster and won’t get off, even just for a while. In the past when this would happen I would be on that rollercoaster too. Whenever he was happy I was happy. Whenever he was upset and moody I was there right along with him. But it has come to a point where I can’t go along with his games anymore. I’ve had enough.
Later that day he comes home and greets me happily. I cannot do the same. “Hey baby, I was hoping I could take you out tonight to make up for yesterday.” Seeing that it was dinnertime, I was starving, and he was offering to pay, I went along. As we’re sitting at dinner, the sight is not pleasant. On the outside I see a strong, handsome, protective, loving young man who would take a bullet for me. As he smiles and looks into my eyes, I see something completely different on the inside. I see someone who has constantly hurt me, and made me fall in love all in the same breath. But I feel as if everything is a lie; his words don’t match up to his actions. After dinner we head home, as he acts as if nothing was ever wrong to begin with.
One day on my way to my mother’s house, I get a call from Trent. “Hey can you meet me at the Starbucks by our house?” says Trent. “Can we do this later? I’m on my way to my mom’s house.” Trent says, “Well can you do that later? This is important.”
My heart starts to pound, whenever his voice becomes hoarse and the tone sounds urgent, I begin to question what’s going to happen when we finally meet.
As I’m driving I give my mother a call. “Hey Ma, I’m gonna be a little late coming over, Trent called me and said it was urgent that I meet up with him.” I can feel my mother’s compassionate soul crying out for me. She has always wanted me to leave him, but I never had the courage. “Don’t let him walk all over you and control you Brie. You’re stronger than that” she says. “You always have been a sensitive little something, but I need you to toughen up and be the strong woman that you are, make momma proud.” As I listen to these consoling and inspiring words, I start to feel different. For the first time in the past year with him I feel like I have power. I feel like I can do anything and everything, and no “boy” is going to hold me back. Once I pull up to Starbucks I am rehearsing exactly how I am going to do the breakup and what I am going to say.
“Look... I love you. But I cannot keep going on like this. You live in my house day in and day out and you don’t do your part. As a man you should be contributing to this life we have together, thinking about putting a ring on my finger, and having a successful career. I originally thought you changed, but then I realized you were never who I thought you were to begin with. I need someone different, and I don’t think our relationship is a healthy one. You are who you are, I have accepted that, and I think that it is best that we part ways.”
As I walk into Starbucks I see him sitting at the table anxiously awaiting my visit. He doesn’t see me yet, so I briskly walk into the bathroom and take a breather. As I stare into the mirror and go back over what I am going to say. My palms are sweaty and my heart is pounding; but I know it is time.
I walk out of the bathroom with confidence and my head held high. I say hello to him. He looks into my eyes and pauses before saying hello. Then standing up to pull out my chair, he places his hand in the small of my back and kisses me on the cheek. “So... Today I was thinking about us... and our relationship. And I think it’s time that some things are said.” Confused as to what is about to take place, I calm myself, relax, and tell him “I’m all ears.” “Brie I know we haven’t been the closest couple, and I know I’ve made some mistakes, but I want to marry you. I think that we can get past any obstacles or problems we have because of how strong our love is. I just want you to know that I’m all in for you, and ready to make this official.” I am appalled... never would I have thought that this was what this meeting was all about. How could he possibly believe that our relationship could be saved, when he is constantly on his emotional rollercoaster changing his mind all the time? From this point on I tell him exactly what I rehearsed. As I sit there in confidence and speak my mind, he is in shock and has absolutely nothing to say. At the end of it all “Okay...” is his response. I feel so relieved and for once I feel alive. Like I had just been born again and given a fresh start at life. I get up from the table, and walk out proudly.
The next day I decide I need some girl time so I call my mother. “Hey Ma lets meet at the mall and go to lunch. I love spending time with her; she gives me so much life. She has been telling me for the longest to leave him, and that I could do so much better. When I fill her in on all the details she is ecstatic. “Let’s have a little bit of retail therapy... that always makes things better”, she says. So of course I take some of Trent’s money that he’s been secretly hiding from me and go to work. A new purse and a couple pairs of shoes later and I don’t even remember his name.