he called again. just like he always calls. casually. out of the blue. at the wrong time. with the wrong intentions. without regard for my mental state.

but that’s also how he lives. that’s also how he shows up. that’s also how he plans his vacations, our dates, his classes, his life. this is how he functions. it’s something that i don’t get. it’s something that i can’t understand and something that i don’t like.

he’s like a poltergeist. an annoying, yet endearing, poltergeist who only shows up when i don’t expect it and, usually, when i don’t need it. he doesn’t come when i ask, he comes when i’m too busy. he doesn’t come when i need him, he comes when i’ve had a rough week. he doesn’t come when he promises, he comes when i tell him not to. but those are also the times that i need him the most. those are also the times when i just want to be held by someone who gets me. by someone who loves me. when i just want to feel safe.

but, he’s almost like a beautiful dream that comes by only when i am not trying to dream it. and, when i wake up, it takes too long for it to come back. that’s him. i’d like to write about us. i’d like to write about how i don’t understand. i’d like to write as a warning to girls that he’s not what you want.

today, in tennis, i told one of the girls who was struggling to make a serve tricks on how to serve. she took them and made it in. i went to serve, and double-faulted over and over. i laughingly told her that i couldn’t take my own advice. and it’s true. not just in tennis, but also in life. i’m potentially the best advice-giver but only due to hindsight being 20/20. my immediate judgment is sub-par to say the least.

and, the truth is, he is the kind of guy you’d want. he’s smart, funny, intelligent (somehow, i feel like this is different than smart), witty, sarcastic, athletic, musically talented, tall, handsome, fun. he’s a good kisser. he can play the drums. he skateboards, but isn’t necessarily a hooligan. he doesn’t have any tattoos and only pierced his left ear. and he’s been working on his mustache all summer long. oh, and his favorite band will always be tears for fears.

he’s unafraid. he doesn’t care what people think about him. he is strong. he feels safe. he is familiar. he has that soft, ruffly kind of hair. his effing smirk. oh my god. he has this smirk that literally makes my whole body just flame on, ja feel? his skin is always tan and his arm hair always blond. he’s hygienic. he dresses well. he has a job. he thinks about the community. he understands greek life. he loves jesus. he pays me compliments. he sends me “sweet dreams” texts because he knows that’s what gets me.

but he’s insecure. he doesn’t care what strangers think, but he cares who i talk to. let’s call that insecurity jealousy. he’s loud. he gets intoxicated pretty regularly. he’s dealt in marijuana (dealt as in purchased, not dealing). he’s hit harder drugs. he parties. he makes me feel like shit. he calls me names that he knows get me. he listens to my struggles and he uses them against me. he barricades me from my friends. he doesn’t want to meet my friends. his whole body is so tempting. which sounds way too sensual, but it’s the truth. he’s far away. he leaves me. he doesn’t come. he expects us to be in different places. he shook me so hard and held my arms so tight i had bruises. he left me alone. he’s jealous. so jealous. he needs me to watch out for him. but i need to watch out for him. he needs me and i need that. i need to feel needed.

he’s such a huge part of my life and, yet, almost nonexistent. he’s a ghost. even when i have him, he could slip away. he’s never really there. he’s never completely in my life. he’s so important. he’s so present. he is so not here. he’s not at baylor. not in waco. he’s been in pennsylvania for so long. it’s like i’m talking to someone who i don’t even know.

don’t get me wrong, i love to kiss. i love to be held. i effing love a good make out session. it’s fun. kissing is fun. i having his hands on me and my hands on him. i like the feel of his back. and of his chest. i like him. but, i don’t always get that. and it’s not enough. it’s not enough for him to show up once in a blue moon with a bottle of whisky and a new CD.

it’s not enough.

i’ve been doing the enneagram and i’m a seven. sevens are optimistic to a fault. today, a friend reminded me that that optimism applies to dating. and i realized that for every time i’ve told someone “jealousy is bad. he’s not good for you. he’s not even around.” i haven’t taken my advice.

we broke up almost two years ago this new year’s. two years. and what have i done with my life? nothing.

he’s dated. he’s fallen in love. he’s been denied. he’s tried.

i’ve done nothing.

it’s like, because we dated from apart for so long, i don’t know how to date. i don’t know how to flirt. i’m so used to saying “haha, no.” or shutting it down or immediately friendzoning every boy i meet because i had a boyfriend. and not a boyfriend who was there to say “that’s my girl.” but a boyfriend who never knew where i was and i never knew where he was. it was separate, but we always had something to talk about.

i thought it was perfect, because so many couples break up because they spend too much time together. we stayed together because we always had something to say, something new. we never tired of each other. we didn’t text constantly, or anything. it was almost a courtship.

but there was too much give. i helped him through addiction after addiction. i forgave him when we were “on break” and he hooked up with another girl. i forgave him when he went too far. i forgave him when he shook me. i forgave him when he called my friends. i forgave him when he yelled at them. i forgave him when he was jealous of my best friend.

i forgave him.

but i shouldn’t have. i realized that i was addicted to him. i was addicted to the abuse. i was addicted to being his mother figure. i was addicted to him. and i kind of still am. he’s the kind of boy you can relapse into. while i was helping him with his addictions, he was pulling me into him. he knows when you need him the most and he knows when you’ve almost broken your habit. he knows.

he called again today. he asked me about my brother’s play. he asked me about my classwork. he asked me about my little sister. he asked me about my ymt. he asked me about my residents. and, what sucks the most, is that he cares. it’s not like he asks these things to impress me. he asks because he cares. just like i ask about his little brother. how i ask about his dad. i ask if he’s visited his mother’s grave. i ask if he’s dating anyone new. i ask about his new job. i ask about his old friends. i ask about everything. it’s weird to think that he was the same age as i am right now when we were dating.

when he proposed, it didn’t make sense to me. why would he think that we were ready? why? he was a junior. and i’m realized how much of a step that is from where it was.

he asked me if i was dating anyone. he apologized for ruining dating for me (to which i replied with a lizzie mcguire-esque offended sound). he apologized for everything he always apologizes for.

he asked me about a boy.

jace asked me about a different boy. jace asked me if i liked a boy. this is different. he knows something. he knows me better than anyone else. like he’s an extension of myself in a way. he knows me better than anyone i’ve ever known. and he thinks i like this boy that i don’t like. but the thing about jace is that i always believe him.

that bastard.


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