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Confessions of the Other Girl This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

By , Paris, IL
I lost my virginity in my friend's dimly lit basement, with a boy three years older than me who uttered empty promises of love and forever. With shaking hands and a quivering voice, I said yes. I was scared to death and did what I always do when things get rough: I went numb. From a young age, with all my parents' screaming wars, I learned that things are easier when you're numb to your surroundings. So that's what I did on that sweaty July night. I went numb. I blocked out any regret or remorse I had for my lost innocence.

We often hear about good girls who look down on promiscuous girls. We hear about girls who spend their days dreaming about guys who like someone else. We hear about nice girls whose boyfriends cheat on them with “sluts.” Never do we hear what it's like to be the other girl. Well, this is her story. Being “the girl who gets all the guys” isn't glamorous.

Don't even try to say that I came from a broken home, because I hate that term. Just because there is only one parent at home doesn't mean the home is broken. But, to be honest, most days my home did feel pretty broken.

My dad was a low-life who refused to stick with a job for more than a year. He controlled every move my mother made, leaving her with little freedom. I admire her for putting up with him for as long as she did, and I know the only reason she did it was for my sister and me. She never wanted us to have to live with just one parent, but when I was in sixth grade, she couldn't take it anymore.

After my parents divorced, things got worse. My dad's severe depression, borderline personality disorder, and bipolar disorder got more severe. He constantly badgered us by text. Many times we were scared for our lives.

I guess you could say I'm one of those girls with “daddy problems.” I go for older guys because they always promise to protect me, like my father never did. I also jump from guy to guy because the only way I feel I can fill the void my father left is by having a boyfriend.

I've always gotten along better with guys than with girls. I love that they have no drama. In seventh grade, the other girls started to notice that I was always with guys, and they didn't like it. Instead of listening when I said that those boys were my friends and nothing more, they labeled me a whore.

When you're called a whore constantly, you start to get used to it. You hear people say it, and it starts not to hurt so bad. I started to believe them, and finally I just gave up trying to fight against it. Around this time, I met Tom.

I had just been dumped by my first love, Alan. He was everything I ever wanted and more. My little seventh-grade heart beat for him and only him. Then one day, out of the blue, he stopped talking to me. I eventually found out he had been cheating on me. I was crushed. I didn't know what I'd done to make him leave me, and I thought of the other girl as a “skank.” I feel terrible about that now, because since then I've been in that situation.

It took me a long time to recover from that breakup, and I found comfort in my close friend Tom. That summer, we started dating. Even though I was still in love with Alan, but I did what I always do: try to mask my heartbreak by finding another. Tom and I had the same best friend, Joe, who lived down the street. Tom spent every day at Joe's house, so it was easy for us to see each other.

Joe was a bad influence. Before him, I'd been an athlete, had kissed a boy but never done anything else, and was close to my mom and sister. The summer I started dating Tom, I did drugs almost every day, and did many sexual things I didn't want to. I liked him a lot, and I thought that was the way to show that I wanted him to stick around.

Tom and I broke up at the beginning of my eighth-grade year. I had grown apart from my other friends because I spent all my time with him. That breakup was hard, but I was relieved not to have to do all those things I hated.

I'm sure you're wondering what it's like to be that girl. The one all the guys go for. The one they all call “hot.” The one guys cheat on their girlfriends with. In all honesty, it's terrible. It's like having your heart constantly torn out and stomped on. My friends have also been given the “whore” reputation, and that's why we're close. They understand what it's like to hate yourself because of names people call you.

My problem is that I get attached too easily. Silly me always believes it when the guy says he loves me after just a week. I fall for guys quickly, and I'm always the one left broken. I've had girls tell me they envy the way guys go for me, but they definitely wouldn't envy me if they knew what happens after the guys get what they want. They wouldn't envy me after a recent relationship, when I found myself lying on the floor in my kitchen, an empty bottle of vodka in my hand, thinking that maybe the only way things would get better is if I died. Does that seem glamorous to you?

I've been cheated on twice, so I know it's one of the worst feelings in the world. After being cheated on, I promised myself I would never be “the other girl.” But I shamefully admit that I have been her. I feel like such a hypocrite. I can remember countless nights with my girlfriends, calling the girl he cheated on me with a dirty slut. If only I had known then what it's like to be on the other end of that.

Sometimes, though, I envy the girlfriend who gets cheated on. She had him at his best. She got to go to the movies with him, meet his family, get those cute “good morning” and “good night” texts. All I got were late night texts and secret rendezvous.

Often I wonder what it's like to be the girl a guy respects. He respects her boundaries and doesn't expect anything from her. He waits for her to say when she's ready, and he brings her home to his family instead of sneaking her over when they aren't home. I bet that's great. But I'm always stuck as the secret girl. Guys call me when they break up with their girlfriends. I always fall for how they say they miss me and love me so much. But they don't love me – they love the rumors that I'm easy.

I've come to rely on guys to make me feel alive, because really, I feel so dead inside. When I'm sad about a breakup, I rely on boys to cheer me up and compliment me until I feel okay again. Just a few weeks ago I went through a terrible breakup. I loved him so much and thought he felt the same way, but of course he didn't. He only said he did because he liked to sneak me over and have long make-out sessions. While trying to get over him, I made out with two other guys, and I almost called another tonight just because I was feeling so lonely.

Most of the time I just let guys use me as their backup. I knew one guy who would only call me if plans with another girl fell through. Once, when they got in a fight, he called me to say he loved me and wanted me back – but after that, he didn't talk to me for a month.

The labels people put on each other are terrible. The label people put on me made me want to kill myself. I wish I'd known then that a label can affect you only if you start to believe it yourself. I started to believe my label, and it made me hate myself.

I want to be different. Lately I've felt myself slipping back into depression, but I'm trying to change. I don't want guys to think of me as the other girl anymore. I want to change, and I'm starting to. This story was my first step.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.





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