Learning How to Love: Chapter 6




May 26, 2012

I can’t believe he expects me to spend the weekend with him at my boss’s house. He’s so nonchalant about it, too, like it’s not a big deal for me to sleep over at my boss’s house who I literally just met 2 months ago. If he thinks he’s getting laid this weekend – he’s going to be in for a rude awakening. I just think it’s too much, too soon.

I’m no stranger to spending the night at a guy’s house. I once spent 2 weeks in New Mexico with Mr. Right. We cooked breakfast, we lounged, we explored, we smoked weed, drank beer – you know – the usual. I wasn’t scared of spending the night with another guy. I was scared of what would happen after Mr. Money and I spent the night together.

Does this mean we would be exclusive? Does this mean we have to start dating?
Does this mean I have to make you my boyfriend? 

Mr. Money is a natural salesman. If he were selling me a car, it would have been a best-in-class 4-door sedan with additional warranties and policies that I really didn’t understand or need. I’m sure he would have thrown in some free all-weather mats and a roadside assistance kit, too, just for flair. He doesn’t know how to take no for an answer and will convince you why you should say yes. Eventually, you will say yes.

He might think I’m playing hard to get, but I’m really not playing. I really am hard to get – even just to understand. I don’t have time for games; I invited Mr. Right for a summer in Humboldt and I’m pussyfooting around with another guy. This romance doesn’t feel authentic – it feels like it’s been built on a broken foundation waiting to crack open at any time. I haven’t been honest about Mr. Right, mostly because I feel a deep shame for having made those plans in the first place.

You can’t let your guard down around these heteroguys. Once you do, they’ll think they “won you over” as if you’re some sort of consolation prize promised to the bird who squawks the loudest. I’m no consolation prize; nobody worth keeping around wants to truly love me. But I only think Mr. Money wants me so bad because he can’t have me. Truth be told, I’m not really looking for anything serious, anyway.

I really do like how easy it is to talk to Mr. Money, though. He doesn’t make things complex; He accepts statements with ease and engages in great surface-level conversations. Being around him is so easy, too; I don’t have to change much about myself to make this work. I just keep things simple with him.

I heard this piece of advice once: “If their kiss doesn’t leave you mesmerized, they won’t leave you mesmerized, either.” Truth be told, I’ve kissed a lot of folks, and not many were lips worth bragging about, not even Mr. Moneys. His lips were timid but strong. The way he parted his mouth to let me inside was half-assed; I had to lead this kiss. I don’t think he’s ever learned to kiss anyone with a passion.

The lackluster kiss is hardly what struck me as odd; it was the apparent lack of understanding that what he delivered was indeed a bad kiss. In fact, he described the kiss as “amazing.” Yes, in fact, was amazing. I’m a great kisser with loads of experience. Mr. Money, however, kissed me like it was his first time; It was brief, dry, and a little awkward. Nothing short of a business email – I’m sure.

But he cradled my neck when he kissed me. Just the gentle touch of a young man sent chills up and down my spine. No one had ever caressed any part of my body like that. If he hadn’t done that, I would have never kept kissing him. I would have never stopped the first kiss he attempted and took control of the second kiss. I placed a hand on his cheek and guided his chin toward mine. I puckered my lips and gave him a soft and wet kiss with no tongue – the lingering kind that leaves you wanting more.

For the last week, he’s treated me like an absolute princess – not a Queen. A Queen is not scared, is sure of herself, and knows how to use her power. A princess – me – is spoiled, still learning how to wield power and is dependent on others. Mr. Money has taken me out for breakfast, lunch, dinner, coffee, and ice cream dates all in the last 7 days.

I will admit, walking around town with a new dude holding my hand seems really weird. I told Mr. Money I’m not into public displays of affection, but I lied. I am actually terrified of Mr. Right showing up out of nowhere and starting trouble with me and my new friend. He’s not supposed to be in town for another week, but I still wiggle out of every arm-over-the-shoulder and awkward-hand-holding opportunity Mr. Money gets.

We did have one sleepover in this last week – let me rephrase that. After two hours of begging me to spend the night with him, I finally agreed to spend the night. Just one night (this was before I knew there would be a whole ass weekend). One weekday night of cuddling – that’s it. As long as we didn’t have sex, there wouldn’t be a risk for greater attachment, right?… Right?

But that was it – that’s what did it. When he held me, his body molded into mine and we stayed that way all night. In the morning, his roommates asked if I was able to sleep with his loud-ass snoring in my ear, and I said what snoring? You mean I slept through what sounded like someone choking all night? Fuckinaye. If this isn’t a sign, I don’t know what is.

I keep telling Mr. Right that him coming to Humboldt is a bad idea – that I wasn’t thinking straight when I agreed to these terms. I hinted that I changed my mind and things weren’t going to work out. But his response was assuring me things would be fine and everything would work out as planned. He made it sound like we were going to start a life together – in Humboldt. Is that what I agreed to? In his “defense,” he couldn’t get a refund on his Greyhound ticket, so he had no choice but to come.

Erykah Badu – “Didn’t Cha Know” – Official Music Video

June 7, 2012

Before I knew it, the web of lies I spun had caught up with me. Not really, I had to come clean to both of them. I came clean to Mr. Money first – after all, he’d done for me he deserved to know the truth about what I did. Shortly after the weekend I spent with him – after we slept together, after we played house, after we fell in love – I broke it off.

“Listen, I don’t know how to tell you this,” I tell Mr. Money in a sad and soft voice. While watching the passersby on a park bench, I decide now’s the time to come clean. “Remember that guy from last month? The one who threw the fit in my dorm?”

“Yeah, your ex-boyfriend? The one who was an asshole to you?”

“Yeah, yeah. Him.”

“What about him? Did he contact you again?”

“Actually…he’s supposed to be my roommate this summer.” I look down at my feet and away from him. I can’t look him in the face right now. I don’t want to see his reaction. 

“What do you mean?” he asks nervously. “What do you mean roommate?”

“I mean, before I started dating you, he and I made plans to live here in Humboldt – together.” 

“Are you fucking serious right now?” he snaps at me.

“Yes, I’m serious.” I pause and let out a sigh. “Look…i’m sorry I didn’t tell you sooner. This wasn’t supposed to happen this way. I told him not to come. But he’s coming anyway.” My legs shake as I wait to hear his response. Part of me wants to get out of here as soon as possible and the other part of me wants to call Mr. Money right then and there and tell him to fuck off with his stupid non-refundable Greyhound bus ticket.

“So, what does that mean for us?”

“I don’t think we should see each other anymore.”

He bites his lip, stares off into the sky, and doesn’t say another word. Suddenly, my heart aches, like I’ve lost a loved one; more like I just pushed my lover into a volcano. He didn’t deserve this. He deserves so much more; a better me.

I have to keep the promise I made to Mr. Right. I feel like an early 19th Century European middle-class white woman caught between a budding romance and her cruel and vicious husband. She can’t leave her husband because (1) she can’t prove he is unfaithful to her and (2) he’d probably hurt her if she tried. Here I am – 200 years later – anxious to leave an abusive relationship, even after experiencing healthy love. The details may have changed, but women are still expected to obey men, regardless of what they really want.

New Chapters are available to read every Wednesday @ 8 PM.

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