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I Can't Sleep (part 3)
As much as I want to say that I’m angry, hurt, and upset, I just can’t say I blame him, as pathetic as that sounds. I never fully understood my appeal except that I was the forbidden fruit and the untouchable one. I’m not saying that I excuse him, because I don’t. I don’t like being played and used, but what it comes down to is that when I started high school, I was a nobody to him, and after graduation, why would I expect that I would be more than a speck in his life. I guess this happens to the best of us; we all get caught up in the thrill of the chase that we never stop and think, and I mean really think if this person is worth the risk, the heartache, and the time. Because if they aren’t worth it, then why put yourself through that?
All this thinking gets me nauseous. I don’t want to think anymore. I don’t want to think about him. I want to move on. I want to stop moping, and start forgetting, start new… Easier said than done.
I go back to my room. It’s 3:52, and still no sleep. I crawl onto my bed. I remember all of the annoying sounds: that silent hum, the ticking of a clock, and even the typical house noises like water running though the pipes or the cycling of air though the vents.
I look around my room, and I’m glad that I took down all the things that remind me of him, like the pictures of us, the dried flowers from that one day we went walking, and even his leather bracelet that snapped, and he jokingly gave it to me, but I treasured it anyway.
I close my eyes again. I relive another old memory. This happened a couple weeks before Troy invited me to that party. My best friend was having a party and she tried pulling a prank on me by inviting Troy. She knew all the stories about us and all the flirtation. She got Troy’s home number, left him a message. He texted her back on his cell phone, and well, they made plans from there. I knew something was up when she kept “going to the bathroom” or “getting a drink”. When she came back to the group and had Troy, I turned around, and my expression was priceless, apparently. I never told anyone that I did have a slight crush on him, but I’m pretty sure my friends had a vague idea that I liked him. It was weird; he dropped that fake stuff that he normally did in school and for once talked to me like I was a person and not a girl that he was trying so hard to woo, and maybe get the class to laugh. He started to play horseshoes and called me over to be his partner.
Troy: “Have you ever played before?”
Me: “Maybe twice when I was seven.”
Troy: He laughs. “You’ll get the hang of it. All you have to do is just throw it hard.”
Me: “We’ll see how that works.” I laugh
Troy: “Now if you hit Chris, it’s an extra 10 points.” He smiles.
Me: “I’ll keep that in mind.”
It was sweet; he’d let me throw first, and picked up the horseshoes for me, and actually taught me how to throw and play.
Me: I make a life-threatening throw.
Troy: “I see that you’re going after those extra 10 points.” He smiles.
Me: “You know me, I’m an over-achiever.”
Troy: He chuckles.
Me: “So what school do you plan on going to next year?”
Troy: “I don’t know, maybe somewhere close, but I really like the College of Charleston. How about you?”
Me: “Wow, that’s far! I’m indecisive, but predictable; probably some community college close by. I maybe smart, but I’m cheap and I love home too much to leave.”
Troy: “Yeah I know, 13 hours from home, but yeah. Well, you got to start somewhere, right? You’ll be fine in wherever you choose.
Me: “Thanks.” I smile.
Troy: “It’s the truth.” He smiles back.
Me: I throw a horseshoe with a little bit of talent, and get 1 point!
Troy: “Nice! Come on, you have to give me some knuckles for that!”
Me: I ‘pound-it’ or ‘bones-it’ with him.
Troy: “Yes! That was magical!”
After we won the game, he had to go, but I remember that day very clearly, for one main reason: we talked about pointless things, but it was great. He’s one of those people you could say anything to and keep a conversation going for hours if you really wanted to. He told me he has a “Golden Doodle”, a Golden Retriever and a Poodle mixed together. He told me about how he hates the heat because he sweats bullets, and I told him about how I’m the complete opposite. He told me about his Grandmothers and how one owns a house in Maine, and he goes there every summer. He says they are real hicks up there and that he’s certain he’s the smartest person there. That day stuck with me, because that is the day I truly realized that if this little flirtation actually became something and I let my guard down instead of blocking him out, that I might be happy and genuinely fall for him, Troy, the sweet, cute, and caring jock that stole my heart without trying and without me realizing.
I open my eyes. That memory feels like it happened so long ago.
I look at my phone again. Now it’s 5:09 and still nothing.
I remember thinking about this, all of this. After the horseshoes, I wondered if Troy would be faithful to me if we did date. I remember the exact conclusion that I came to: “he’s not the type to cheat, but he’s not the most faithful. He’d flirt with other girls and push the line.” Now, why did I go out with him, knowing that he was going to be like this? Only God knows.
I guess I was sort of right. He would definitely push the boundaries. I remember calling him after I saw the picture. I tried to act rational. I wanted him to explain himself, because maybe I could forgive him.
Troy: “Hey. What’s up?”
Me: “Hi. I’m just calling to see what you’re up to.”
Troy: “Nothing much just relaxing.”
Me: “That’s nice. Hope you’re not too hung over from last night.”
Troy: “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
Me: “Really? Because people posted pictures of the party, and I’m pretty sure that I saw you tagged in the album.” I said in a light tone.
Troy: He pauses. “Okay.”
Me: “Okay? So I guess that means that we aren’t going to talk about the fact there’s a picture of you making out with another girl either?” I said, now annoyed.
Troy: “What do you want me to say?”
Me: “The truth. That’s all I ever want you to tell me.”
Troy: “Honestly, I got drunk off my a**. I really did. And there she was, this girl that was really cute. She was pretty drunk too. She talked me up the whole night, and well, a lapse in judgment occurred. Meaningless stuff went down and here we are.”
Me: “That’s it? You were drunk and that’s your excuse!?”
Troy: “You know I’m sorry, right? I really screwed up and I didn’t mean to hurt you or our relationship, but it was a moment of weakness. I wasn’t thinking. It didn’t mean anything to me, and I knew it was a bad decision when I woke up the next morning. The first thing I thought was ‘C***! I can’t believe I did that!’ I already have a girlfriend that I love, and why would I want to screw that up? I really care about you, and I don’t want to end a good thing!” He said, now getting very annoyed.
Me: “So that’s it? I’m supposed to forgive you and just hope that you stay faithful to me? I mean come on Troy! You’re in South Carolina, how do I know you’ve always been faithful and this is the first time it was caught on film? You didn’t come forward and tell me! In fact you lied to me. How can I trust you if I know Drunk Troy is going to have random hook-ups with girls in SC?”
Troy: He doesn’t say anything for a long time. “What more do you want me to say!? I really messed up! I’m sorry. I really am… So does this mean you want to break up? Is that it?”
Me: “I don’t know. Long distance sucks, and I should have known better to start college with a boyfriend.”
Troy: “Don’t start that bull! How do I know that you have been faithful? I trust you, and I also trust that if you made a meaningless mistake that made you realize how much you appreciate the relationship you are in that I could forgive you and understand why you would hide it: because you are embarrassed and because you don’t want to lose me… I guess that’s a yes.”
Troy: Neither of us says anything for a while. “Well, you know where I stand. When you’ve made a decision, call me.”
I couldn’t even call him. As much as I knew he was sorry, he just felt cold to me, different and changed; I just didn’t want to be around him. He’s like the water in my birdbath and by the time winter comes around he’s frozen. By the time spring comes around, the water won’t be the same. It went though so much change and time, that I need to refill the bath with new water.
I texted him when I finally knew what I had to do.
Me: “I’m sorry Troy, but I just can’t be with you if I can’t trust you. I’m so angry and hurt and I just can’t stay around if every time I think of you, I think of you and that girl. It may sound immature and that I’m taking the easy way out, but you promised me you’d be faithful, and I’ve stayed loyal. If it’s meant to be, we’ll cross paths again, but for right now, I just need to be left alone, okay.”
Troy: “I get it. Okay, later.”