I thought I’d grow afraid of being alone. Turns out I’m more afraid of hurting. This dull little ache you feel in your heart only comes from loss, disappointment and rejection. Dwelling on the past is getting so old. I swore I’d stop doing that.
I’ve been thinking about relationships a lot lately. Long term relationships. How to maintain them. I wondered if they were real. If it was possible to find this one person, someone to complete you and next thing you know, you’re fulfilled. You don’t want anything more. Ironically for me, those kind of relationships don’t exist. Yet here I am thinking about them even though none of my so-called romantic encounters went beyond those so-called first dates. Why bother. Really. I keep going back in time like my life was ideal or something when it was anything but. All my memories are predominantly negative. But since I’ve been reflecting on past encounters with men, the non-sexual ones, I can’t help but think about this one promising encounter I had back in college where I was approached by a guy named Nicholas at a frat party. He was a college graduate, I, a sophomore student.
That night I was persuaded by Carly into going to this stupid party. I was reluctant at first, mainly because, after the Paul incident where I claimed I was attacked and sexually assaulted, I was trying to keep a low profile. After that event people looked at me weird. Of course there was some sympathy, but for the most part, I was looked at as if that one incident defined who I was. I admit, the public perception was something I should’ve considered before going ahead with my plan on accusing a teacher of raping me. But all I could think of back then was how much anger and resentment I had in me, most of it was because of that asshole, that I felt totally compelled to do it all that while forgetting how I would be perceived once everything unravelled and the information regarding the incident were out in the open.
Flash forward to the frat party, I am standing in a corner contemplating my surroundings. I remember I was dressed and smelled nice. Nicholas was standing on the other side of the room filling his cup with alcohol. I already had a beer in hand, sipping only some of it. I hated beer back then and I still hate it now. That one in particular was cheap and tasted so bad. I hated the way it dried up my tongue. Anyway, so Nicholas ended up approaching me. I was slowly spacing out at that point and didn’t realize when he first talked to me until he was two feet away. I was embarrassed when I couldn’t remember the first words he said to me, so I awkwardly smiled. He scratched his neck a couple of times as I mumbled a few words. I don’t think we’ve ever crossed paths before that night, and the way he enthusiastically socialized with me, never cutting eye contact, definitely proved he was attracted to me. I don’t think he knew about my reputation, and that put me at ease. When the music got too loud and the room too crowded, he asked me if I wanted to wander around in the backyard. Next thing we’re outside, surrounded by drunks and a couple of virgin sluts hanging out with this horny freshman stud so eager to stick it into either of them. So conscious of our surroundings, we kept making fun of every drunk and stupid person. We then left and walked around campus.
Throughout our walk together, Nicholas’ eyes were fixated on me. I made eye contact with him a couple of times and smiled, but he seemed to want more. He wanted to kiss me, but I felt like it was too soon. We had just met, and I wanted to take things slow in case our encounter was the start of something special. I didn’t want to screw it up. But he seemed to really want to kiss me, so when we stopped walking, I looked at his lips and he looked at mine. My heart was pounding, and before I knew it, his lips were touching mine. His breath smelled so good, and his sharp and smooth facial hair brushed against my cheeks when he started kissing my neck. When it was over, we stared into each other’s eyes again. He was drunk. I was exhausted. We exchanged numbers before we parted ways, and in the next couple of days, I spent every second of every day glued to my phone waiting for him to text or call. Shockingly, he never did, and admittedly, that caused me to panic. And so I found myself laying in bed, trying to make sense of the situation.
I replayed every moment of that night countless times in my head, trying to figure out if there were signs that he wasn’t interested in pursuing something with me or if I did something wrong. What if I came off as cold or distant? I kept thinking about that. I kept myself in check that night because I didn’t want to make any assumptions or do anything I might regret. I wanted to look confident, interested but at the same time, wanted to avoid coming off as needy or desperate. I wanted to make it work, but apparently, he didn’t. And that devastated me. The first two weeks were the hardest. I felt empty inside, and suicidal thoughts crossed my mind various times during each day. I couldn’t sleep without shoving sleeping pills down my throat, and the only time I ever considered eating was when I couldn’t function and felt like I was about to faint.
I never heard from him since that night. Then years later and out of the blue, as I walked back home from the animal hospital where I had to leave Hugo when his sickness started, I saw him parking his car in a parking lot downtown and walking out with a beautiful blond man with whom he held hands all the way as they walked to this fancy restaurant. That moment screwed me up real bad I was afraid of going home and hurting myself in some way so I decided to do what I was always used to do; I decided to do something about it. The only way for me to not be affected and make the healing process easier for me was to put matters into my own hands by doing something. I had to make an impact in order to move on. Sitting around in my apartment weeping for days on end wasn’t going to do me any good. As far as I know, it would’ve made things worse. I entered the nearest grocery and supply store, bought a snow brush and a pocket knife, and walked out to the parking lot. I waited until it was completely empty then surreptitiously made my way to the car and slashed both back tires with my knife and used the ice scraper part on the other end of the brush to smash the car’s windshield and four windows. The car’s alarm went off at that point so I fled the scene before anyone showed up. As far as I can remember there were no surveillance cameras around the area, and it was night time so there was a very low chance for me to be seen.
I know Nicholas probably moved on from that now, and that he might be married to this guy, but as far as I know and as much as people want to deny it, revenge does make you feel good. It’s not about being evil or getting back at the person who wronged you, it’s about being able to cope and move forward with your life. It’s about establishing justice. That night I was hurt, and the only way for me to avoid the suffering that would’ve followed was to project that suffering onto him.