Sunday, August 8, 2010

73. Love hurts

"You need to get rid of Casey and go find a good guy! You deserve a good guy."

This was the advice I'd get from everyone: my roommates, my friends, my coworkers, and even my mentor/adviser at work.

"But Casey's not stopping me from finding a good guy. I'm still putting myself out there for a good one to come along."

That was always my response. In my head, it was true. I was single. I was still going out to the bars with my girlfriends. I was still letting guys buy me drinks. I was still my flirty, outgoing, tell-it-like-it-is self. Casey wasn't stopping me from anything. I could make out with whoever I wanted to. I could date whoever I wanted to.

Casey had no say in any of it. Besides, he was juggling more girls than he knew what to do with.

But deep down, I knew they were right. Casey was my crutch. I leaned on him. I relied on him to be my fill-in boyfriend because both of my roommates and most of my close friends were in serious relationships. I didn't want to be odd-man out. I was already left out of conversations about sex, because I was usually the only virgin in the room. But I wanted to be in on those conversations so badly. I wanted to hear the details, learn what this guy did or that guy didn't do. I craved the insider info so I'd be in-the-know when I did finally cash in my V-card. At least with Casey around, I had something to contribute to the conversation. He'd even do boyfriend-type things sometimes: bring me flowers, surprise me with chocolate, text me throughout the day.

The problem was, those flowers and chocolates were usually the result of a fight the previous night. We rarely ever fought, but when we did, it was usually because I was hurt that he didn't want to be with just me. I felt like I wasn't enough for him, and that's why he had to have all of his other girls. I was falling for him, and it was killing me.

He'd told me he loved me, once. I refused to say it back. For all I knew, he was saying the same thing to all of the other girls in his rotation. He was back and forth with the ex, back and forth with a handful of others, but still in my bed five nights a week to cuddle me while I slept.

The day I got back from Christmas break my junior year, I put my foot down... kinda.

"I really want to stay over here tonight, but I don't think it's a good idea," he said.

Of course it wasn't a good idea. But that hadn't stopped him for the past year and a half.

I was just stepping out of my bathroom after changing into a pair of long basketball shorts and a tank top to sleep in. I looked up at him, sitting on my bed, leaning up against the wall the way he always did. I wanted to run over and jump on him, feel his warm hands on my hips, his lips on mine. That was one of the things about Casey and I, we had the strongest sexual attraction.

But instead of pouncing, I waited in the doorway to hear what he was going to say next.

"I mean, you know I want to, but I don't know if we should start this up again. Lord knows I'm fine with it, but I don't think you are," he said, cautiously.

It had been almost a month since the last time I'd seen him. He'd slept over every single night of dead week and finals week before I headed home to Texas for the holidays. He'd called and texted almost every day over the break. He sent texts like, "ImissU," "yRntUHereWhenINeedU?" and "THINKINAboutU." Don't ask me why he typed like that. It always drove me nuts trying to figure out what the hell he was talking about. Sometimes the text would be to cryptic I'd feel like I cracked the code to a hidden secret when I translated it.

And then there he was, sitting on my bed, saying he didn't want to stay the night. I wondered if something had happened with Abby the ex over the break.

"So, you want to end this?" I asked, leaning against the door frame. Part of me hoped he'd say yes, just so I wouldn't have to be the one to end it. The other part of me told me I wouldn't be able to handle it if he did.

"No way. No way," he replied, shaking his beautiful black curls.

I was only half relieved.

"Well, stay or go. It's your choice," I said, trying to act nonchalant about the whole thing.

I pulled my bedroom door open, shut off the lights, and crawled underneath my covers. I kept my back to him as I lied there silently.

"Is that my hint to leave?" he asked.

I didn't answer. I was running over all of it in my head. I knew this time would come and I had a whole speech prepared, but right then I couldn't force myself to say any of it.

He made his way under the covers and fit his body perfectly behind mine. His familiar scent of soap, laundry detergent, and a touch of cologne brought back memories of the past year and half of nights where we'd fall asleep just like that.

"What do you want to do?" His whisper tickled my ear. He knew my weak spot.

That was it, that was my chance. I could say everything I'd planned on saying.

"I want you to make a decision," I finally said. The last few words were barely audible as I tried to swallow the lump rising in my throat. His arms wrapped around me and he held me tight. My skin burned everywhere his skin touched me and ached everywhere it didn't. His lips met my neck, and he tried to turn me over to face him.

But I didn't budge. I knew if I looked into his big brown eyes, I's buckle. If I felt is soft lips or tasted his warm mouth, I'd lose my nerve.

"It's her or me. You can't have both of us anymore," I said. I could have been talking about any one of the handful of others, but we both knew I wast talking about Abby. I had finally said it. I was finally taking a stand against him. Hot tears were rolling down my face, but I didn't bother to wipe them away.

"Do you want to be with Abby?" I asked.

At first he didn't answer. He just clung to me like he knew he was about to lose me. I could tell he was shuffling through his thoughts, trying to pick out the right thing to say.

His arms tensed up and I wanted to touch him so badly. I wanted to rub my hand up his forearm and feel his baby soft skin. I wanted to squeeze his biceps, which always seemed rock hard, even when he wasn't flexing. I wanted to run my finger along the slightly raised skin on his shoulder from his tribal tattoo. (He was part Native American, so it wasn't just a cliche tribal tattoo.)

I tried to push his arms off me so I could think clearly, but the harder I pushed, the tighter he held. There was no stopping my tears. But it was a silent cry; no gasps or hiccups, no real indication that I was crying except for the slight quiver in my voice and growing wet spot on my pillow.

"Casey, answer me. Do you want to be with her?"

"Whitney..." The way he said my name made my heart beat faster.

"Whitney. Do you want to be with me?"

"That's not the question. Do you want to be with her?" I responded.

"Do you want to be with me?" He said again.

"Casey! Stop! You know I want to be with you. Now answer my damn question."

I was sure he could feel my heart slamming against my ribs and feel my body temperature rise.

"Whitney, I want to be with you. And you want to be with me," he said, matter-of-factly.


"And... I want to be with her."

I took a deep breath and tried to calm down. I wasn't going to be his No. 2 anymore.

"Casey, just leave."

My voice was exhausted, my body was exhausted, our relationship was exhausted.

He tried to wipe my tears but I shoved his hand away. He grabbed both of my wrists and I wanted nothing more than for him to force me onto my back, press his waist against mine, and hold my hands up over my head while he kissed my lips, my neck, my ear. But he just held them tightly.

"Please just go."

"Whitney, do you know how much I care about you?"

"If you care about me, you'll stop playing with my mind. If you care, you'll leave."

I could tell the silent tears weren't going to last long. The irregular breathing, gasping, and uncontrollable sobs were on their way.

"So, what I'm just supposed to leave and then what?"

It was so much easier saying what I needed to say without facing him. I stared into my alarm clock, looking for the answer in the bright red lights that read 12:48.

"You're going to leave, and then you're not going to call me, or text me, or see me."

"Whitney, I can't do that! I love you!"

It was the second time he'd told me he loved me. He meant it, I could hear it in his voice, feel it in the way he was holding me. He loved me in his own little fucked-up Casey way. But just not as much as he loved Abby.

"Well, you're going to have to do that. I need time to get over you."

"I don't want you to get over me! I won't get over you!"

My whole body shook as I broke down. I felt him loosen his grip. He finally saw what he was doing to me. He finally felt defeated. I rolled onto my stomach and buried my face into my sopping wet pillow.

"Just leave," I said. It came out muffled but defiant.

I felt his arms pull away from me. I heard the comforter rustle as he pulled himself out from under it. I felt the mattress shift on both sides of me while he tried to crawl over without touching me. He quietly put his shoes back on and slid his phone and keys into his pocket.

He must have been two feet from the door when I heard him hesitate.

"Why is it that every time I tell you I love you it seems to be the last time I get to talk to you?"

I lifted my head to study him. Through blurred tears I could see the look of hurt in his eyes. His black, curly hair was slightly flattened on one side from lying on it. His perfect body, which usually stood so tall and proud and confident, was hunched and deflated.

One last look at him and then I rolled over to face the wall without answering his question. I heard my bedroom door close behind him and I held my breath until I heard the front door close as well.

Then I exhaled slowly, closed my eyes, and whispered, "I love you, too."


  1. There should be a "I feel for you" reaction button. That was hard to read without remembering times like this.

  2. i'm pretty sure we are the same person whitney. seriuosly...we have the same birthday, we look the same physically, every time i read your blog i feel like im reading my own life story (minus the hot british guy). i even started my own blog. it's creepy to me how much we are alike. lol

  3. No way?? Crazy! The most beautiful, brilliant people were born on September 28 :) Haha, at least that's what I tell myself. We need to get you a hot British guy...

  4. yea girl! it's nuts. I have gotten about half my sorority hooked on your blog. haha i read all of them in about two days and i check everyday for updates. I started my own blog but haven't been as dedicated to it lately. and YES to hot british guys. haha does cayden have friends?? oh and we're both from texas!!