The Boundary: The Door

Posted 12/15/2009 by Editor in Labels: , , , , ,

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by CtotheB

It was the end of Spring Break, and I was on my way back to campus after an incredible week in Charleston. I found time there to be mind cleansing, which I needed desperately. On top of schoolwork, extra-curriculars and typical adolescent angst, my estranged girlfriend and I were trying to make things work. I had seen my share of “It’s Complicated” statuses on Facebook, but never lived it. We’d broken up the week of Valentine’s Day but still did all the things couples do, both publicly and privately. Hard to tell if we were confused, lonely, or somewhere in between.

Once reaching campus I made my way to her room, bags still in hand. It was a little after eleven and he was there. Sitting on the floor, television on, reading for class as she did the same from her elevated dorm room bed.

I blew up.

Commanded him to leave the room, and immediately began my inquisition. I’d like to think I’d be calmer if it were any other guy but knowing that she was in here, with him, with their history (they’d been together as recently as a few weeks before we started dating) made me a jealous mess. This insulted her.

“Do you think I’m that easy?!”


“Considering you have already, have no classes with him, so it’s not like you were studying with him, and he was in here at this time of night?! What should I think? Nevermind the reason we are broken up right now is because you stepped out on me already! You’re right, I shouldn’t be concerned.”

It is here that I learned words have power. And unfortunately, when we’re the most out of control is often when we’re the most honest.

“It’s dangerous. You shouldn’t be in here with him, or any guy, not this time of night and not with you in your bed.”

“I’m not going to do anything!”

“I wouldn’t be surprised if you slept with him before the end of the week.”

We argued more, then fell asleep so we could attend our Monday morning classes.

As the week passed on, we argued less and forgave each other. Smaller arguments arose but none akin to Sunday’s flare-up. I had RA duty on Friday and saw the guy in the student union. We talked about sports, told stories, and cracked jokes. I never considered him a friend, but we’d always been friendly, so I found no reason to stop. I wanted to apologize for blowing up on Sunday but never brought it up. We parted ways and I was almost through with my rounds but took time to stop by a friend’s room and talk. During the conversation I brought up the hope I felt. For the first time, I really believed my relationship was salvageable. He had hope for me and told me I’d be in his prayers as I departed. I was on my way to my dorm, but as hers was on the way, I figured I’d see what she was up to. I stood outside her building and dialed her number.

Her voice had the cadences of a hostage. She asked me how I was, implored me to go to my room, and enticed me with an evening together. I told her okay and continued to talk with her as I entered her building. I heard her pleas to go to my dorm and asked her if she was okay as I made my way up the stairs. With a stealth that surprised me, I made it to her door. Her voice cracked.

“You’re outside aren’t you?”

I told her I was going to open the door and she begged me to leave. I told her to open the door and she asked why I was doing this. I told her to open the door and she said alright.

Then he said, “Hold on, let me put on my clothes.”

I laughed. It would be a few more semesters before a professor told my class that laughing in moments of tragedy was a sign of hysteria. Your body becomes desperate for an avenue of reaction, having never experienced the aforementioned, identifies the absurdity, and laughs. My laughs were interwoven with praise. “Thank You Jesus.” I felt an inner peace and clarity that still doesn’t make sense. There were tears in their eyes as I spent hours yelling at them. I cursed them, called them liars and betrayers. I pitied them, mocked them, and told them they deserved each other.

After a while, his tears turned into anguished wailing and he exited the room. He had tried before but I commanded him to stay. His listening made me feel powerful; I knew I could destroy him with my fists or my words. I chose words. The barbs were relentless and the power grew frightening. I knew, if it were my choosing, these words could do anything. I could have destroyed him. When he left she pleaded with me to go after him. I refused. I saved my worst for her. He had no obligation toward me, she did.

“Yes, we had broken up but I intended to fix things, didn’t you?”

Now I could cry. The power I felt went away and I was empty. She told me every detail. They shared a bed while I was away, even on one night while we were on the phone. They didn’t intend to hurt me. “You deserve better than this.”

I told her to take a shower, she asked me why. I kissed her, and we began but it was too painful. I still don’t know why, but I stayed there that night. Perhaps she was too afraid to ask me to leave and I was too afraid to be alone.

It wasn’t long before we continued to behave as we did prior to that night. On the outside, we were still dating but weren’t together as much. We were guarded, and our conversations were terse. Friends would ask for her and I’d pretend to have the answer. I assume the same for her. It would be another fall until I could no longer maintain the charade. During another argument, she exclaimed, “But, I’m your friend!” I returned, “No! I was always a friend to you but you were never one for me.”

1 comment(s) to... “The Boundary: The Door”


PicMuse said...

It's an erie feeling knowing that you're happy/relieved when you're predictions about a significant other are shown to be true.

I think that more people should pay attention to that internal desire for their partner to cheat and analyze what it means.

I can't believe he cried. The little punk.

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