love is not enough: part two

I remember the first time I was cheated on.

It was fourth grade, and I had a crush on one of my classmates, who I had liked since third grade. This particular school year, it finally came out that he liked me back. One day at recess, I remember sitting with him on a stoop and talking about, whatever fourth graders talk about. In the midst of our discussion, there was a small pause, an awkward silence, and then… he kissed me. My first kiss ever. On the lips!

I was so nervous, I didn’t know what to do. Kids who apparently knew this was planned on his part started cheering and screaming, “yall go together, yall go together!” Recess seemed to be over in a blink of an eye and the bell rang. I nervously got up, told him bye, and we walked back to our respective classrooms. I guess from there on, we “went together”. 

One day, he was supposed to walk me to my bus at the end of the day, because I guess that’s what fourth grade boyfriends do, right? So, walking me to my bus, another girl who he used to “go together” with the year before, called him over to her bus. At first he told her no, but then she got annoyed and kept calling to him. He hesitated. She yelled a few things to him, making fun of me and “dogging me” in front of everyone, and then…he walked over to her bus. Embarrassed, I continued on my walk to my bus, got on, sat down in my assigned window seat, and cried on the way home.

Despite his fourth grade efforts to apologize and make me feel better, I broke up with him, and we never “went together” again.

That situation seems SO small and insignificant. What do kids know about “love” and relationships? But as a child with such a “clean slate” and so little experience with boys, that little heart break was major, and it shaped how I started to trust males, AND females, at that young of an age.

The second time I got cheated on was in highschool.

After that first “trauma”, I never had any “boyfriends” again until high school. I was a “serial liker” of many, ha, but rarely never acted on those likes because I didn’t trust boys. I would like boys from afar and admire them from afar, tell my best friends, and just keep it a secret. I also watched my peers and watched their relationships and didn’t want what they went through. I’m an introvert so the drama of it all and the effort didn’t entice me much. It was more fun to like them and keep it to myself. I didn’t have a need for boyfriends or male attention like that. I was fine being “one of the guys” and just kickin it with my homeboys. I never had any serious boyfriends, but the closest thing I would’ve had to a high school sweetheart was in eleventh grade. He went to another school and I really liked him. We both played sports and we met at his school during one of my volleyball games. We exchanged numbers, talked on the phone when we could, and a couple months later we became a couple.

I wasn’t allowed to date and go out with boys so after a few months of being together, I ended up breaking up with him because being a couple was pointless from my end. As a 17 year old, I had a 9pm phone and hang out curfew, I wasn’t allowed to date or ride in the car with boys, I didn’t have a cell phone and couldn’t talk to him like I wanted, and he was popular at another school and I was sure other girls were more accessible. I ended up breaking up with him, but we stayed cool and in touch on and off throughout the rest of the year.

When 12th grade came around, we somehow got back together. My grandmother became a little bit more lenient and let him pick me up here and there to go eat, or he would pick me up and take me to and from work. One day, he picked me up from work and we sat in the car for a little bit and talked before he drove me home. He told me he was going to spend a couple months down in Atlanta with his dad for the remainder of the school year. I was sad he was leaving, but I knew the time would go by fast. Between work and school and sports, I’d keep busy and he’d be back in no time.

I assumed being in Atlanta he’d be around other girls, and my insecurities surfaced.  I asked him, actually begged him, that whatever he does while he’s gone, to please not cheat on me. I remember crying about it, and telling him I don’t care if he has to call me while he’s with another girl, but to call me and break up with me before he cheats on me. He promised he wouldn’t, and then a couple weeks later, he was off. 

We kept in touch on and off while he was away and he made sure to call me as soon as he got back in town. We talked about his trip, about work, how my summer went, and planned the next time we we going to see each other. During our call, I hesitantly asked him if he met anyone… or if he had cheated on me while away. Honestly, and apologetically, he said yes….he had cheated on me.

I was CRUSHED. I don’t remember our conversation after that, but I remember breaking up with him. I really loved him… I just couldn’t trust him anymore. The rest of the year he made attempts to see me and get back together… But I just couldn’t. I don’t know if it was pride, or my insecurities that wouldn’t allow me to go back, but I didn’t. Even when we got into college, we stayed in touch occasionally and the opportunities we had to even try again then… I just didn’t take it. 

Love wasn’t enough for me…. and unfortunatley, it was something I learned for myself at a very young age…

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