“And I’ll say he never hurt me, and look at it as learning…” (Silverstein)
Everyone found out within weeks. And I hadn't told anyone. It was rapid fire
gossip, as if everyone had magically figured it out. I guess it wasn't that hard.
I was pretty mopey at first. The week after Eric and I had spoken for the last time, I sat at home and didn't talk to anyone. I was a hermit. I went to work, but wasn't all there mentally. One day, I even took a bath, and I just sat in the water, and bawled my eyes out. I don't know what came over me.
It's not like breaking up with Eric was a big deal - it wasn't like he had impacted me that much. I was over the relationship within that week. I guess it was just a shock that he had done the breaking up, and not me. I was ready - I had it all planned out. And he just changed everything that I thought I had figured out. Things seemed to go that way with Eric.
Because he had also kicked me out, I had very little time to find a new place. And because school had already started up, and it was mid-semester, there weren't very many places up for rent.
I ended up with a small, dingy apartment, shared with two other women. And I say women because they were both older than me. I was just turning nineteen at the time. One of the ladies had just moved from China, and was middle aged. She was a scientist. And also spoke very loud Mandarin-Chinese at all hours of the night -and- morning. We didn't speak much. She was pretty shy around me.
The other roommate was from France, and she was closer to my age - she was in her early twenties. And at first, as I said, I didn't really talk to anyone or go out anywhere. I was a hermit. But, as I lived there for longer periods of time, we talked more, and became pretty good friends.
Meanwhile, the apartment was a sketch place. I was paying a pretty damn good price for it, because it was within walking distance of my school, and I had gotten it at such short notice. But. It was dirty. There was no living space. The bedrooms looked like dorm rooms. The kitchen was the size of a small hallway. The bathroom had mold growing in it. The landlord was also a real jerk. But, what can you expect for so cheap in a city?
It was all I could do. I was just glad I -sorta- had my own place. Finally.
One night, I had accepted a drive home from Simon, once again.
It was like I was in elementary school all over again.
Of course we talked. I told him all about what had happened. He didn't have an opinion, this time.
I couldn't look him in the eye.
"Are you sure you're okay?" He asked me, leaning over in his seat to stare at me, making me even more uncomfortable. I didn't look in his general direction.
"Yeah. Just... the break up. I'm taking it a lot rougher than I thought." I lied.
"Well, if you're sure that's all that's wrong." He didn't stop staring. "You know. Sarah and I broke up, too."
This caught my attention. I looked up at him abruptly, and immediately regretted it.
He looked over at me. His eyes pierced into mine.
"Things just weren't going well. She... well... she did some things to me that I'm not too happy to talk about." He ducked his head, fiddling with his fingers. I watched them, as if expecting them to do something interesting.
"I... I'm sorry to hear that." I really wasn't. My insides were jumping around excitedly. I told them to stop. It was making me nervous.
"Thanks. I appreciate it." He said to me, smiling so that the side of his mouth curved up playfully. It made my heart skip a beat. So I stopped looking.
We had stopped in front of my new apartment. We always just sat outside and talked - finshed our conversation. He didn't mind. I sure did, at this point.
"Thanks for the drive." I said without lifting my eyes towards him. "I should go inside."
And then. He took his hand, and placed his fingers lightly on my chin, and pulled it upwards so I would look at him. My cheeks blazed up, fiery hot. If he didn't notice that -or- any of the other signs, he was sure oblivious. He could put two and two together. He could probably figure it out.
"If you need anything... you have my number. Give me a call. Or message me." He looked at me with intense attention. Those all-knowing eyes. I looked downwards. "I know what you're going through. I want to help you, Kate."
Even the way he said my name-
"Thanks. I will. See you later, Simon." I stepped out of the car carefully, and practically ran into my apartment. I didn't know what to do.
Obviously, I had a giant crush on Simon. Why wouldn't I? He was there for me. He was being a great friend, someone I could tell anything to, and not expecting anything back. He was the only guy I could trust. He was one of my best friends at the time.
But, god. What were the consequences? As I knew so far, we had both just gotten out of serious relationships. Eric and I had been together for over a half a year. Simon and Sarah had been together for almost two years. They were getting very serious. And even if she had hurt him badly - however she had done so - he still probably had feelings for her. What did that mean for me?
And what was I going to do about it?
I didn't have the guts to tell him yet. I mean. Jeeze. Things with Eric had just happened. He had initiated everything. I had just sat there and 'acted pretty'. I didn't know how to start relationships. I didn't know anything - I was so fucking naiive.
Not to mention, it was a bad idea, so close to breaking up with our exes.
And. Also. Eric and Simon were pretty good friends. How would that effect their relationship?
I wanted so much to not care about it all.
But I wasn't the selfish type. I couldn't just set everything aside for myself. As much as I wanted to.
As much as I desired Simon. I couldn't do it.