Once Brady left, things got serious with Casey (the one who ended up being physically abusive, wrote about him in post 10 and 10.5). We were both single, so we started having sleepovers about five nights a week. It became routine—I'd leave my door unlocked and he'd come over after a long night in the architecture studio and curl up in bed with me. Sometimes I'd wake up when he came in, other times I'd wake up in the morning with his arms around me. Sometimes we'd mess around. Sometimes we'd do nothing but spoon. Sometimes we'd stay up all night talking about life. Sometimes we'd stay up all night talking about death. He'd lost people in his life and so had I.
He was one of my best friends, and we could talk about anything—even the other girls he was seeing at the time.
"She just doesn't get it," he'd say. "I told her I don't want to be serious with her, but she can't grasp that."
The "she" was either Katie, Mandy, Jessica, Karen, or Random Hooters Girl. I couldn't keep his girls straight. But the advice was always the same.
"Well, maybe you need to be a little more blunt," I'd say. "Tell her you're sleeping with 50 other girls and you don't plan on stopping. That should do the trick."
At the beginning, I loved these chats. I found them humorous. Think about it-- I was giving dating advice to the guy IN MY BED. You think I'm crazy, I know. But we were just friends. Friends who loved to cuddle. Friends who loved knowing there was someone asleep next to them. Someone who cared about them. Someone who'd always be there.
I started to rely on him being there. On the nights he wasn't there, I'd miss him. But then I'd remember, if he wasn't in my bed, he was in someone else's. And suddenly I didn't miss him so much.
This went on for months. Five nights a week, cuddled next to one of my best friends. Sometimes my classes would start earlier than his, so I'd have to drag myself out of his warm arms, out from under my warm covers, and force myself to get ready for class. Then, right before I'd leave, I'd look over at him. He'd be bundled under my covers, nestled between my collection of feather pillows. His face was so calm. His breathing so deep. And then I'd want to punch him in the face. He should have to be awake if I was.
A month or so before the end of that school year, he got back with his ex. This put quite a damper on the sleepovers I loved so much. More like I put a damper on them; he was more than willing to continue our nightly ritual. But I couldn't do it. I couldn't cuddle with him if he had a girlfriend.
I hoped that after a week I'd adjust to not having him in bed, but it sucked. I always went to bed hoping I'd wake up in his arms. But I kept the door locked because I wouldn't put it past him to try something like that.
The weeks passed and I still missed him. I got an offer for an internship in St. Louis working at a sports magazine that summer. I accepted and decided it could be a fresh start, a chance for me to get away from things and get over him.
The night before I left for STL, my roommates threw me a going away party. I was surrounded by my best friends and ample amounts of liquor—the recipe for a perfect party.
"Umm, Whitney?" Ann asked as she was coming in from outside. "Casey's out there. He wants to talk to you."
Casey. I hadn't seen him in a month. I didn't want to see him.
I stepped outside, tentatively. There he was, sitting on the stairs next to my apartment, looking adorable yet distraught.
"Whitney," he said, standing up and wrapping his arms around me. "I told her everything. I told her all about you. I broke it off with her. I just want you."
I didn't hug him back. I was too stunned.
"I broke up with her. I miss you."
We walked back through the party and into my room. I was in a daze. I closed the door. He sat on my bed and I sat on my computer chair at my desk.
"Casey, this is ridiculous. I'm leaving TOMORROW."
Just then I noticed I had a new Facebook message waiting for me. Curiosity got to me and I opened it. It was from Abby. His ex.
Casey told me you're nothing but a fat, ugly bitch he felt sorry for. Stop talking to my boyfriend. Stop being a slut. Leave us alone.
Casey was still on the bed, so he couldn't see my screen. Tears welled up in my eyes. Little did Abby know, I was the least of her worries. I was the only one of his rolodex he hadn't slept with. I wanted to punch the computer screen. I turned slowly to face him.
"Get. Out." I said, my throat tight.
"What? What happened? Are you crying?"
"Just get out. Right now. Out."
He came closer and saw my screen. I glared at him while he read the message.
"Oh my god! She's such a bitch! I would never say that! I never said that! Why would I ever say something like that?"
"Get out. Get out. GET OUT. GET OUT."
"She's just pissed I broke up with her! She's just trying to piss you off. She knew I was coming here."
At that point, I was bawling. I'm going to chalk this up to the Jell-o shots and margaritas, and not the fact that I was an emotional train wreck.
My friends heard the commotion and came in to check on me.
"What's going on?" Will asked, his face full of concern. He turned angry eyes toward Casey.
"JUST GET HIM OUT!" I screamed through tears.
"Whitney, just listen to me!" Casey pleaded.
"Hey man, I think it's time you leave," Will said, taking a step forward.
"Wait. Whitney, please believe me!" Casey begged.
"Casey, she obviously isn't going to hear anything you have to say right now. So move it," Dawn tried from the door.
He looked around at my friends, then at me bawling and shaking. Finally, he threw in the towel. He walked out with his arms up, showing he was harmless.
My party was ruined. I was a mess. And before I went to bed, I swore off guys.