There is a saying that ends something like “first time, shame on you, second time, shame on me”. I am not sure if this is exactly how it goes, but its meaning is akin to “fool me once, can’t fool me twice.” Maybe if I had known the exact phrasing, I could have used the mantra to help me avoid falling for Alex again. I doubt that I made any codes or rules that I wouldn’t obliterate to make room for her. She was bad for me and I knew it. I am not sure if this is why I dealt with her bad qualities, but I never gave her reservation, that spot in my life reserved for bitchiness, away to anyone else. Of course this means I forgave her, not long after she challenged to me to bed Yessica. We were back in the computer lab, debating music, as we did 6 months before, when we first met. Now we were there again, buddies again.
Everyone else could see it but me. I was whipped. She treated me like an abused puppy, feeding me just enough kibble to keep me loyal and panting for more. I didn’t want to admit it. I dated a girl earlier in the year who had a fit at me because I stopped returning her calls. She blamed my infatuation with Alex. I wouldn’t let her win that argument because she herself wasn’t a keeper. But when three other girls I dated, friends and more, asked ‘hey, what’s up with y’all” routinely, clearly perception and reality had blurred.
How do you know when you are in love with someone? Is it the constant unbearable weight, that pang in your chest, like a steroid laced cupid is doing dead lifts with your heart? Is it he stillness of the moment when they are in your thoughts, that comatose state of stone when you envision your magnificent Medusa in your mind.? Or is it nothing more than heat you feel when you are alone with them, the sheer chemistry of it? When I was in high school, when my sexuality installed an emotional system to go with the mechanics of it all, I developed a crush on this very soft-spoken skinny girl with big tits. Her boyfriend just graduated, but when he was there, he was a decent football player and above average prankster. So when I finally moved his girlfriend to kiss me, it was more than I had ever expected. Dammed fillings overflowed and I became a man of what ifs and maybes, but I knew it would never culminate. She would never break up with her boyfriend for me, no matter how many states away he might be. Not in this town, where things like high school boyfriends matter forever, because you die survived by your high school friends in this town. I’d been in Tulsa long enough to know that. Summer ended. School started, and my heart needed a tune up from pumping too much lust. And right away, my infatuation for the skinny girl with tits was over. She was not worth the chase. In that school, she was a princess. And the princess never marries the slave. With Alex, it was different. While she could make me feel like a champion for a year, Alex would make me feel like a king.
But even Alexandra was no queen. And this was my hindrance. Six months before, my confidence was low when she was new to me. I couldn’t have expressed myself even if I’d known how I felt. I’d grown a lot since then, in that department anyway. I was sure I could tell her how I felt, and I might even convince her to be with me, but I was no longer sure I wanted to. She had been selfish with me, or so people said. She kept me away from relationships because she wanted me to herself they said. All I knew was that I grew tired of her fondling my dick and nothing more (that started up again soon after the AKA party). I wanted more. I remember when it dawned on me. I was laying in her bed in between classes. She sometimes became the cuddling type and I cherished these times when we lay together to chat ourselves to sleep. When I lay behind her, her hair, flowing and black, draped down her back and lay against my chest. I always loved her smell, and realized the aroma lie in her hair. Her tresses were not sprayed with any sort of perfumes. It was a natural smell, of milk and honey laden soap, perspiration, and the spring morning that surrounded us. It was like she showered and walked the campus in her robe moments before lying next to me. I blame her scent to this day. It was the hook. I would not let on. Even when I skipped class to lay another hour and another 30 minutes after that before I decided to get up and walk away, and only before she asked me to go. I never let on that I was in love with her. I walked back to my dorm, and I decided on her. I would pronounce my love for her that night. I knew she was a bit twisted. She was abrasive at times. Who knows if she was ever serious about anything but herself. I didn’t. But I wanted to know these things and everything else about her and I hoped to spend eternity doing so.
Shame on me. I had to be the first to know she said. As soon as the day ended and I finished dinner, I called her up and we met in her room. It was a weird feeling in the air.
“I’ve been talking to him since me and Antonio broke up and today I just decided that I need to feel what he feel like. It’s hard because I just want to use him. But he cute, so I think I will wear him around for a bit too”, she said. I’d heard this one before. I don’t really remember how the conversation went after that. I definitely didn’t pronounce my love. I sat on the edge of her twin bed, pressing my palms together around a pillow so tightly folded that it looked like crumpled paper. I remember swelling up in a fiery white rage then trying to scale it down before tears boiled over my eyes. I left while she was still talking. It rained as I walked back to my dorm room, so I let a tear or two go as I stepped through the bustling campus. She killed me again. Just like before. It wasn’t a confidence thing and it couldn’t be blamed on bad timing. It was something more.
Shame on me.