It started as a slight irritation and then grew into a dull ache. Soon enough it was a full blister, throbbing with pain, oozing with every step.
How ironic that her flip-flops were the cause.
Because she’s just that: a constant hurt that won’t subside.
He lent me the sandals, one day after the dog destroyed mine.
“Just keep them,” he suggested with a shrug. “It’s not like she’ll be coming back to claim them.”
They were two sizes too big and covered in a hideous pattern of flamingos. Even Jill commented that they looked wrong on me, yet I continued to wear them.
Perhaps I was too lazy to find new ones or maybe I was just used to being surrounded by reminders of her…
When we first met, his closet was filled with all her stuff, everything she left behind and intended to return to, but never did.
When we decided to date exclusively, he removed up all her things and set me a picture of his half-empty wardrobe. It made me smile briefly, until I realized the clothing had simply been boxed up and pushed out of sight, but not quite out of mind. Just like her. The bulk of it may have been packed away but some items still remained. Her pink heart covered raincoat was still shoved under the seat of his car, a constant reminder of how fresh his wounds really are.
They still talk, comment on each other’s various posts and photos, but I know it’s never about me. Because in her case, I’m the one out of sight.
Sometimes I wonder if I am the most insecure woman or the most naive fool who ever lived.
I can’t remember ever feeling such intense jealousy and resentment, especially towards a total stranger. It’s disgusting.
Yet, he’s not without his own fears: that I’ll meet someone else, that I’ll up and leave, that I’ll change my mind. In the end we both run the risk of getting hurt, we both have the potential to break each other’s heart, but that’s no reason to call it quits.
Since we made that transition into exclusivity I’ve felt bogged down with uncertainty and anxiety. I’m constantly weighing the pros and cons, debating whether I should just up and leave, or try harder to let my guard down. I wonder if he genuinely likes me or just sees me as something he needs to lock down. I’m not an object, I’m not his personal prostitute, and I’m not her or his ex-wife. I’m just me. I don’t know how to be anyone else.
I know we have no staying power, but right now, being with him makes me happy. Too happy.
I’ve thought a lot about it over the last couple weeks and have come to a realization. The reason my relationships take on the same forms, it because I always get in my head about them. I can’t decide if I should pull away or totally commit and I drive myself (and my boyfriend) absolutely crazy until it decimates and I fall to pieces, fearful that I’ve fucked up and made the wrong decision.
What if this time, rather than waste so much time and energy thinking about him, I focused it on myself and let the relationship run its course? I’m happiest when I feel independent, so why not continue to live my life on my terms, whilst having a beautiful boy on the side. My rules, my schedule, my life and if he has a problem with it, then the door is right there. I need to put myself first and this so-called relationship second.
Easier said than done right?