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School Night Drama
It hurt more than anything. More than piercing my own ears or falling off a horse. It was embarrassing and heart breaking.
“Hey, you don't really know me, but I gotta tell u somethin about Tarique. He's not who u think he is.” Instantly my palms were sweating and my stomach was like a pit. How do I respond to this text message? It was a friend of Tarique's, my boyfriend of six months at the time.
“What happened?” I responded, knowing this wasn't going to be good. I tried to remain calm, sitting next to my best friend. We were watching Spongebob Square-pants while doing our homework on a Wednesday night. Her house was warm from the woodstove but it felt like an inferno once my adrenaline began pumping. The fire crackled as I waited for my phone to vibrate.
“It's my ex, Ally." The boy responded. "He fucked around with her. I didn't want to tell you this but you have to know. He's not who you think he is. He fucked around with my girl which means he fucks around with other girls. I'm so sorry you have to hear this.” I had to read the message over before it began to sink in.
My hands were shaking noticeably now. Rachel turned to me and asked, “Are you okay? You look really pale.”
“I don't know. It's Tarique.” I showed her the text message.
“I'll be right back.” I said as I stood to go upstairs. Immediately I sent a text to my boyfriend.
“Did something happen between u and Ankhit's girlfriend? Tell me the truth.” I asked. He quickly responded, “No. I'm going to bed. Good night.”
“Seriously!?” There was no way he was getting out of this discussion.
“Who's telling you this Audrey?”
“It doesn't matter. Is it true?”
Another text came. “You can't tell Tarique I told you this though. Please.” Hmmm, a little late for that I thought.
“ I won't tell him it was you.” I promised. Pacing around Rachel's bedroom did not take away any of my stress. I could feel my face was warm and red. Could this really be true? Did he cheat on me? Millions of images were running through my mind. Questions I could not answer. Did it really happen? There was one thing I told him very early in our relationship. If you ever feel like you want to cheat on me, break up with me first. Because I won't be that girl. The girl who denies that her boyfriend cheats on her and takes him back without a doubt her mind. I had to ask my source what happened. I needed to know. “Do you know what happened between them?” I sent.
“I guess it was on New Year's Eve he was texting her, asking for pics, you know?” Unfortunately I knew what Ankhit meant.
Tarique was with me that night. It was the night he gave me a promise ring. Sure we weren't thinking straight, but even I have the self control not to do something like that. I couldn't help but hate him already.
“Do you have proof?” I asked, knowing I was afraid to see any.
“Ally threw her phone at me when I found out. I read the texts. They're f***ed up. They were planning on meeting up when we weren't around. I know he went to her house once, but I'm not sure exactly what happened. I knew they wanted to though.”
That was when the tears came. I curled under the covers of Rachel’s bed pulling the sheets high over my head until I was immersed in the darkness. Crying only made me feel more empty. I felt guilty drenching the pillows with salty tears but a part of me had stopped caring about most things. I felt the necklaces around my neck. Both were gifts from him. I wanted to rip them off and throw them in his face. Instead I unclasped the silver chain with the 'A' trinket and the longer chain bearing the promise ring placing them on the night stand. Seeing the ring made me feel dirty. How could I be so stupid? I knew he had been acting a little differently lately: quieter, distant. I figured it was just a phase. I was so scared. Ankhit told me he would show me the texts. There was a side of me that wanted to see the proof, but I somehow I already knew it was true. That was when the calls started. My phone buzzed reading, “Tarique Bobbypants” calling. I rejected the call as I did with the next five. I eventually answered only to say,“Stop calling me, please. I can't talk to you right now.” I sobbed. This did not stop him. I knew at some point I would have to face him. At about the eleventh or twelfth call I answered. I didn't say anything. I heard him pleading, saying my name, asking me to listen to him. “I know.” Was all I could say.
“No Audrey, you don't understand. It wasn't like that! I didn't cheat on you, I swear.” How could I tell the truth from all of the lies?
“I don't know you anymore.” I replied and hung up. My eyes were still wet with tears as I buried my face into a pillow and curled myself into a ball. Holding myself was the only thing I could do to keep me together. It wasn’t much comfort as a new wave of sobs arose. I was actually surprised with myself that I was capable of crying this much. I never had before.
Eventually, Rachel came up, quietly poking her head around the door. She new something big had happened. I heard the squeak of her door and croaked, “No, don't leave please.” I couldn't tell her now, but I think she got the gist. She pulled out the bottle from beneath her bed and smiled. “I could definitely go for some of that right now.”
It didn't take long until I felt the tingling sensation and my tongue had a mind of its own. Watching Mean Girls in bed with your best friend was the best way to handle the situation, or at least try to. I don't think any amount of substance could alleviate my pain. My phone continued to ring so I put it on silent. How does that make you feel? I thought. It was a rough night. Each time I tried to close my eyes and sleep, images of horrible things crept into my mind; my boyfriend kissing some beautiful, skinny mystery girl. I didn't even know what I was comparing myself to. Eventually I sunk into a thankfully, dreamless sleep.
I woke up in the morning feeling like shit run over twice. My face felt tight and strained from the dried tears. I rolled over to look out the window at the gray winter sky. What I wanted was to wake up on the sofa watching Spongebob Squarepants: I wish it was all to be a dream, or someone to tell me, “You just got punk'd!” Unfortunately, that didn't happen. There was no way I could go to school. I could barely be with myself right now so there was no way I could handle all the people with the questioning stares. Their curiosity combined with my fragile state would only lead to disaster. Yep, definitely not going to school. I called my parents telling them I was sick and asked if they could call me out of school. They agreed, asking what was the matter and was I okay. No, I wasn't, but I couldn't tell them that. “Yeah, I'm okay. I just need a day of rest.”
Running on empty wasn't easy, but the thought of food made me cringe. There were five voice mails on my phone, all from him, all the same message. His crying and begging for me to listen had no effect. My wall had already been built. Throughout the day I received various texts from friends, all wondering what happened and what I was going to do. I dreaded that question the most. What was I going to do?
The truth was I didn't know. What I did know was that I had to face the facts and make an impossible decision. Once again I curled myself under the covers of the bed wondering how it could be that the one person I loved more than anything could hurt me the most.