I don’t really think about most of my exes in my past. I have one or two that are Facebook friends, but most of my exes were exes before the Facebook era and those relationships ended with either a huge amount of indifference or just a little heartbreak. However, there is one that I do think about more than I really care to admit.
I don’t know what it is about this particular ex that he crosses my mind so much. I have not been in contact with him for a good decade now. It is so strange to me. After all these years the pain of our relationship has dulled to nothing more than a minor bruise and maybe a trace amounts of rage left in my heart. But every so often…. It spikes to almost like it happened yesterday.
Why is it that a certain song can pull you back to that time in life and rip scabs off long healing injuries? I have two songs that bring me back to him. “Leave the Pieces” by The Wreckers (I think their one and only hit on country radio) and Carrie Underwood’s “Cowboy Casanova”. Today these two songs played back to back on my Pandora radio station. The fuck, Universe. I can deal with either one of these songs solo. I will of course think of him when they come on, but my insides twisted alarmingly when they followed one another this afternoon. I had to skip the second song half way through because I just couldn’t take it.
Nick was my first love. I fell hard and fast for him. Almost the moment I met him.
My friend Mandy and I were to meet at the mall for some girl shopping time. I needed more bras. We arranged to meet at the mall and when she walked into Victoria’s Secret with this tall guy that I had never seen before in my life. I was pissed. Who the hell brings a guy bra shopping with her girlfriends? Especially a guy that neither one of them were dating? Ohhh I was so mad. But it wasn’t his fault that Mandy had this lapse of judgement. He was new to the area. Only had just moved to Maryland and he had met Mandy at the community college they both attended. Anyways Mandy was a….. I don’t even have many nice things I can say about her anymore. Let’s see I’ll be diplomatic… She was a bit flighty and flaky. So she brought this guy with her she JUST MET bra shopping when it was to be just a girl’s trip. (I’m still mad I guess, haha).
After finding a new bra or two the three of us headed outside for a cigarette. Mandy proceeded to ditch us to flirt or something with other people that are outside waiting on rides or smoking or whatever. Thus leaving me to chat with Nick. At this point, I have gotten over the initial irritation of this outsider being brought along. It is also apparent that this guy was just about everything I found attractive in a guy. So the irritation has turned to a sort of embarrassed thing. I’m pretty shy and never really know what to say to new people. But at least he was a smoker so it allowed me to freely keep my crutch—my smokes—in my hand at a near-chain pace. He was sooo dreamy. Icy blue eyes, dark hair, 6’3” tall, quick to laugh and deliciously broken with issues simmering just beneath the surface waiting for me to come and fix them. Siiigh.
We exchanged Myspace (wow I’m old) info. I was giddy to hear from him. When I did my stomach dropped to my feet. He was interested in Mandy. Who just so happened to be seeing someone. The fuck. Oh well, we had gotten on well enough so I answered some of his questions and then let Mandy know that I was totally into him. She said that was fine because she was seeing someone. WELL about a week later she called me and said that she broke up with her boyfriend and she wanted Nick so I had to back down. (Is this a jerk move? I want to say hell yes. Maybe I’m bias)
After a month or maybe six weeks later she got bored with Nick and broke up with him. Over the phone, when he had been woken up by said phone call. He was taken by complete surprise. Well, I felt little to no pity for Mandy. It was her choice and Nick was new to the area and had all that simmering pain from his past. I made it my mission to make sure he was fine. I took him out either that night or the next to see how he was. We flirted shamelessly the whole time. Looking back, I’m sure he wasn’t going to be totally broken by Mandy. Just a bit of a blow to that fragile male ego.
Nick and I hung out a few times over the next few days. It was becoming clear that he and I had some real chemistry. We were mutually interested in each other though we had not defined this turn in our relationship. A couple days after Mandy ended things with Nick, he slept with a woman that wasn’t me. Nick called me the next day after his one night stand. He was a wreck and said that he needed to talk to me. He let me know that he had slept with someone. I headed straight over to his house. On the way Mandy called me smug as can be telling me that Nick slept with someone and that there was no way he felt anything for me if he did that. I told her that was for me to decide and that he had already told me. So that went pretty far as far as being respectful to me. We were not officially dating so I figured he didn’t have any reason NOT to sleep with someone if that is what he wanted. When I arrived at his house I saw a guy completely broken. He had hit a wall and his knuckles were completely bloody. I’m not sure anymore if he was crying but he was certainly very broken up. I am not sure how he thought it would go when I got there. But I assured him that though I wasn’t happy he slept with someone else I had no claim on him as we weren’t actually together. Did I want to be? Yes, his one night stand did not change that fact.
By the time I left his house that evening we had decided that we wanted to officially be a couple and I had cleaned him up.
Nick and I were together for about seven or eight months before it was time for my life to change. Mom and Dad were moving from Maryland. Though I was legally an adult I had no real desire to leave the comforts of living with Mom and Dad and Nick didn’t want to leave Maryland where his family was because he did not want his dad to just think he was “chasing another skirt”. His words. Not mine.
I got on well with Nick’s family I want to put in here. His dad was away for work for months at a time. I had not met his dad until we had been together for about six months. How I met David was by coming down the stairs after staying over at Nick’s one night and David offered me a shot of Maker’s Mark. We took a couple shots together. He was in town a few weeks and I was over a few times. We always had a good time joking and talking. I went with Nick to his home state to meet his best friends and family back home. I got on well with them after finally winning their trust. It took work on my part, sure, but well worth it.
Eventually our time was up. I chose to leave Maryland. We had thought about moving in together, but it was something that we both figured we weren’t ready for that or maybe it was we didn’t have jobs that paid enough to support that… I’m not sure anymore. But it wasn’t going to happen. I left. We decided that we did not want to do the whole long distance thing.
That would have been fine, but it just didn’t feel like we were really broken up. We would talk every day for hours on the phone. If we weren’t on the phone talking we were texting. While we were dating officially he would always say “sweet dreams” during this time he would say “dream sweet”. Though official words of love weren’t exchanged after we had broken up it sure seemed that our feelings for each other had not changed. Oh, and he felt free to talk about the few dates that he had gone on. Nick did not shy away from any details of these events. Though I am sure I was hurt by these conversations I still relished in them. I guess it was a mixture of clinging to the fact that we still told each other everything and I could “gauge” my competition. Our commentary on these women made me feel as if they weren’t competition at all. Just a physical outlet for him. I justified these as he was a man and needed the physical relationship so they could have it as long as I kept his head and his heart.
For my 21st birthday I went back up to Maryland. Oh, my my my. I hated myself. I hated Nick. I hated life. I got to have my fantasy of us being back together for the week or so I was there, but in my obsession with Nick I upset my two best friends. There was a huge blow out fight that erupted on my birthday. My 21st birthday was totally ruined. I’m sure I was to blame for part of it. Maybe most of it. I had put Nick first for that whole trip so my two besties were sick of the drama and pain I was wrapping myself in.
A few months later I was determined to make him see that we were meant to be together. I had hit the bottom. I was a mess. I was depressed. I thought I needed him. He refused my pleading. He did the ‘noble’ or ‘gentlemanly’ thing and told me that I should be with someone else. This is when we stopped talking the first time. I don’t know which of us determined that we must stop talking, but we had stopped talking by this point. I had moved out of my parents’ house to help a close family friend after surgery. I was across the country from him by the time this happened. He visited me there, but kept me at arm’s length. Part of his ‘noble’ gesture. I still threw myself at him. I cried. I pleaded. I was fucking pathetic.
When my friend had completely recovered from surgery it was time to move on. Those 6 or 7 months in the mid-west were the hardest, darkest times in my life. I built a reputation that was…. Well not what the good ol’ strict Christians of the area could keep their mouths’ shut about. Whether the reputation I had built was accurate or not I found that small town life was not for me. I knew it was time to leave. I also figured at 21 going back to Mom and Dad’s was pretty lame so back to Maryland I went.
A mutual friend of Nick and I arranged with me a time and place to do dinner together and to give me a box of stuff that Nick had of my things. Nick didn’t want to give it to me himself. Well the temptation of me being back in the area really proved to be more of a temptation for us. Things for Nick in Maryland took a turn and he was going to leave to go back home. The night before he left we went out on a date and stayed together that night. It was nice. It was comfortable. But as I left the next morning the tears I determined would be the last that I would cry for him. And they were. I finally let him go. And I am so grateful that I did.
Though I have let the pain and relationship go, sometimes I think about him. I wonder if he is doing well. If he thinks about me too. I don’t know. I don’t think there is any temptation left. After all this time. I don’t see the relationship for what I thought it was anymore. At one point I would have wanted to wish him the same pain that I went through. But I don’t think I even care that much anymore. I just have a lingering wondering on how his life has turned out in the last decade. I try not to think about him at all. But every so often I cannot help it.