I Met This Boy...

December 17, 2007
By Stephanie Luna, The Colony, TX

"I met this boy and he changed my life."

It wasn’t easy and it wasn’t always fun but I loved him and letting go of him was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. We spent two and a half years together, but it felt like forever and I was under the delusion we’d be together that long, too. It’s the legendary story of girl meets boy, boy falls for girl, girl falls for boy, and boy leaves girl or something like that.
It wasn’t as if I’d been waiting for love all my life, just most of it. I’d looked for it in every place but I always seemed to be one step behind. I wasn’t expecting it when it hit me though. I wasn’t even looking for it when he hit me either. He came out of nowhere, like sun on a rainy day, it just happened. Except the ironic thing is, I’ve always liked the rain and looking back now, I could have chosen rain.
He held my hand through a lot of rough times but when it came down to it, he also threw me under the bus during a lot of rough times. It was as if we were playing tug-of-war. He’d let me pull him in with all my strength just so he could watch me fall the hardest. I went back and forth so many times between loving him and leaving him, but my heart was never very far from his grasp. He knew this too. He knew what he could do to me and to my face he’d argue that he never would, but behind my back? He was the one loading the gun. I admit I provided the ammo but he would have pulled the trigger. I lied to myself, trying to believe he really cared. All along knowing his actions always spoke louder than his lies and mine.
The self esteem I had always became a problem between the two of us, until eventually it ultimately became the end of us. I really do believe it is what tore us apart. When we met my self esteem was at an all time low, but somehow he managed to set a new record. I’m sure that he thought cheating on me was okay, if he was sorry afterwards. Truthfully, maybe I did too, but my heart never did and never will. I took him back multiple times because I thought he’d eventually learn. Secretly dating another girl at the same time and making out with girls behind my back, sure did a number on me. It began a pattern, he’d spin a web of lies, I’d catch him, he’d say sorry, I’d cry, he’d cry(sometimes), I’d breakup with him but we’d always be back together in a few days or hours. It was like that for a year and a half. He’d lie and lie and I’d cry and cry. The few strands of pride or self-respect I had faded away and I was left with emptiness.
It was an emptiness that never left me. No matter what he said or did it was always there, the lingering feeling of never being completely whole. It ate at my insides until it became me. I was this empty thing living and breathing, going through the motions just hoping to feel loved. We’d kiss and I’d feel his lips on mine but I never felt his heart or his soul. Isn’t that what love is? Two hearts beating as one? Two people who’ve found that they know all their bad habits, all their flaws, and had accepted them for they are? Maybe I never really loved him after he cheated on me or I just convinced myself I had. Or maybe the truth is I did love him just not the way I should have because the whole time I had flaws too.
It was his fault that I didn’t feel loved, but it wasn’t his fault what actions I took to receive that love. It wasn’t even love that I found, it was possession. This should have proved I was just another thing he owned, but it didn’t. I made up a lie, which turned into another lie, and instantly, I was just like him. At the time it made perfect sense, making him jealous would make him care. Now I know otherwise. Yes, he was jealous but in the end it wasn’t about caring. I wanted him to love me, and I wanted it so bad. I told him I’d fallen for some guy, which turned into a fake story I had to give, and a fake person I had to create. I wanted him to be mad, I wanted him to see he could lose me at any second and he did get angry. He didn’t care so much about the losing part, but the winning part, he was all about. I didn’t see any of this before. All I saw was he cared. He really cared. I carried this lie on and more that came with it for a year. Anytime we’d breakup, this imaginary guy would be there. Anytime he’d hurt me, this imaginary guy would come to my rescue. Eventually, I got so sick of lies, I tried to cut it off, but it was engraved in his brain. This fake guy, that always seemed to get in his way, like he could never measure up. In my mind, I kept the lie because even though it was wrong I wanted him to know how I felt. I wanted him to have to struggle to measure up like I did for so long.
It seemed so logical and so concrete, that he’d never figure it out, and he never did. It was the part about my heart that I didn’t consider. I’ve never been like him. I’ve never lied to someone I love and not felt something. I thought that it would be just one lie and I wouldn’t ever have to think about it again but it followed me. It wasn’t just emptiness I felt after that it was guilt. It was guilt when he looked me in the eyes and said ‘I love you’, it was guilt every time he held my hand, and every time he kissed me. It was guilt I felt when we sat up all night and talked. It was guilt I felt when he walked me home from work. It was shame I felt when he said he wanted to marry me and that he was never going to hurt me the way he had. That’s the thing. He was trying to change just as I was changing too, changing into him. It was then that the guilt settled in.
We had these plans to get married, well more like I had these plans. He went along with what I said about it, but looking back he probably never meant a word of it. He said what he had to, so I wouldn’t get mad; which doesn’t sound extremely horrible, except the fact that it was all he did. He lied and lied and lied and he never felt much about it. Every tear he shed was an act. Me on the other hand, every lie I’d ever said to him haunted me every waking moment. After a year of keeping that secret from him, I told him. I told him I couldn’t marry him unless I’d told him everything and I did. I told him about every lie. I fully expected to be put away for my crime, but we argued, broke up for a few days and then got back together. I guess I saw it as, we were even. I’d hoped for a fresh start. I really thought it would happen. We were even then. I’d done wrong, he’d done his wrongs and now we could move on from the past together; except he wanted to move on from the past…. alone.

Or just not with me. He said we broke up because he couldn’t handle what I did. I really tried to believe him. I wanted to believe him; it would have made things so much simpler. To this day I have a strong feeling he was looking for an excuse and that one fit perfectly. We’d only been back together for a week before he broke up with me. Months afterward, I still couldn’t accept it. He took everything I had and when he left me, he left nothing for me. I had no friends, I’d given them up. There was no time for friends, because my time belonged to him. I literally didn’t know who I was when he was gone. It sounds weird because I never really knew who I was around him, but I was somebody. Without him I was nobody. We broke up and got back together all the time, he’d come back…I thought. I kept thinking that even after he got a girlfriend (two weeks after we broke up and were supposedly in love two weeks after that). He and I tried friends, but it never seemed to work. It’s more he didn’t want to have to do any work. It’s been a little over six months since then. I haven’t had another relationship and I’m not looking for one. I don’t want to get married anytime soon and I certainly have learned many things about me, about him, and about love since then. I made so many mistakes with him and for him, and I regret every single one but I don’t think I’d take them back for the world.
I had these thoughts about how life should be, and how everything should turn out. All these ideas about what love is, and what love was. I thought maybe if I could make him see things the way I did, it would make them more right. I wanted what I felt and what I saw to be true, because then it meant I wasn’t wrong about me or the things I wanted for my life. Then it meant the things I wanted for my life were things I could actually have (aka him). I tried so hard to make things work, when clearly they were never working. I kept thinking maybe, maybe if we pretend were okay, then we’d get to the point where we really were okay. I told myself it either was or it wasn’t. He either loved me now or he loved me never. I thought things could be that simple. I pictured my future and all I saw was him. I made myself believe that if I had him, I had love. If I didn’t have him, then I didn’t have love. If he didn’t want me, then nobody would want me. If he hurt me, I must have deserved it. I asked myself everyday, why nobody could see things the way I did. I asked myself so much it became a constant thought, that no matter what, it always boiled down to nobody understood me. I tried so hard to make things black and white because it was the only thing that saved me all of these years. If I could just live in this world where things were simple and everybody cared, then maybe getting out of bed wouldn’t be so hard. Truth is getting out of bed is just as hard, no matter who cares and who doesn’t.
All the questions that had for myself, for my life, my future and present, even my past, everything I ever questioned about myself, I already knew. How I felt wasn’t really the wrong part, it was feeling that I had to change for a boy that was wrong. It was telling myself that if I loved him a little more, that he’d stick around and hating myself because a boy couldn’t see what I had to offer. I couldn’t even see what I had to offer. It was stupid to imagine a world were its either black or white, but that’s what I wanted. I wanted him to love me and I wanted him to care. There was no-maybe he wasn’t ready, or maybe he just wasn’t the one, it was either him or no one. I was wrong. I was wrong to believe that I couldn’t be beautiful all by myself. I was wrong to let his opinions shape my own. I am me and that’s enough for anyone and everyone. Nothing was ever easy, none of it will ever be easy, but I’ve learned sometimes you’ve got to let go and hope for the best. I will always be that girl, the one that cares too much, but it’s okay. I did things that weren’t right because I thought that’s what love was, and that I needed proof of that love. I wasn’t right about love this whole time. Love is so much more than two hearts beating as one. It’s so much more than just accepting someone. It’s a feeling that never gets tired, that never gets old, and never goes away. It’s that something that starts so suddenly and never really leaves. Maybe we had it, and maybe we didn’t. All I know for sure is I met this boy and he changed my life.

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