It was my birthday. Everything after my 21st is kind of a blur, so I can’t remember the exact one. Maybe it was 22, or 23?
It was the night that I, officially, introduced my boyfriend at the time — the spoiled, rich jock — to my small group of friends.
Gary wasn’t thrilled to be out of his element. Oh. He was friendly enough, to the people that mattered most to me, but I also knew him well enough to catch the momentary lapses in his patience. It was something that I tried hard to ignore; his disturbing arrogance.
It was really like something out of a Jane Austin novel. I could feel his disapproval, even as he pretended not to feel superior, to the rest of us. I think, that in his mind, he fancied himself some sort of noble lord, swooping in to rescue a servant girl from her little life, and questionable background.
He thought I was pretty enough to keep, without much embarrassment. As long as I kept my mouth shut, and minded my manners… but my friends? He “did me a favor” by “lowering himself” to spend time with them.
We ended up at some crowded club, gathered around a table. I went over to the bar with Dan, to help bring over some more drinks, and to try to avoid the awful truth… that I was tangled up with such a douche bag. I just wanted to have a good night…
Dan was amazing. The truth was that I had been in love with him, from the moment we met. But… he was with my best friend; not an option. It was hard for me to imagine, because of V, that Dan would be the least bit interested in a screw up like me. That didn’t stop me from looking at him though. Generally, out of the side of my eye, trying not to be too obvious… about my feelings for him.
Ha! He was terribly drunk. I’d never seen another man drink that much whiskey, and still manage to stay on his feet. He had sort of a mass murderer presence, with his “fuck you stance”, misanthropic gaze, metal t-shirt, and shit kicking boots — but Dan was a gentleman, through and through… well, unless you pissed him off, while he was drunk on whiskey. It was a good night though. No one was intolerably stupid, or rude.
We got back to the table, and Gary shot me a stern look. He was annoyed that it had taken so long to get the drinks. It was a little tense for me, but pleasant… until Dan decided to play protective big brother. He put his arm around Gary’s neck, and said something like, “Noelle’s a really nice girl. She’s a beautiful person… and if you do anything to fuck with her, I will hunt you down, and kill you.”
Dan had been half joking, but I could tell it got under Gary’s skin. He looked a bit intimidated. I mean, Gary wasn’t a small guy. He had played football, and he could have probably taken a hit, but he seemed a little spooked anyway.
We continued to drink, had a few laughs, and I thought that was that. But it wasn’t that.
Later… Gary grabbed my wrist, under the table, and he squeezed it hard. He leaned close to me, with the most jovial smile I had ever seen him flash… and he whispered through clenched teeth, “I just want you to know that you look like a fucking slut right now.”
The strap from my top had fallen down my shoulder a bit.
He continued, as I tried not to flinch… he was really hurting me. “We’re leaving. Tell your friends whatever you have to, but we’re going home.”
There was something about his tone that reminded me of my mother. I don’t know why I didn’t just tell him to go fuck himself. I felt so small and pathetic. My eyes teared up, and I swallowed hard; I was on the verge of tears. Gary noticed, and he just got angrier.
“Don’t fucking cry. You’re going to make me look like an asshole.”
So, I told everyone that I was feeling sick, which was plausible; I never could hold my alcohol.
Before Gary and I left, Dan came over to say goodbye. I had never known him to be overly-sentimental, but he hugged me and said, “I just hope he deserves you…”
I didn’t say anything. I was about to break down. I just nodded, and said, “Tell V I love her… okay?”
I cried all the way to Gary’s place, in the car… because I didn’t know if Gary deserved me, but I felt like I deserved him; the mean asshole I couldn’t stand, but who I was in love with, or at least I thought I was in love with. In the end, I think I just felt sorry for him.
As much as he seemed to dislike the “small people” of the world, I think the person he hated the most was himself. I don’t think anyone wants to be that small, afraid, or petty. I thought that if I loved him enough, he would change.
I think about it now, and I cringe. I still don’t totally understand why I put up with Gary for so long. It baffles me, that I would allow myself to be treated that way. But he did teach me an important lesson…
People, like that, will try to abuse you. They won’t change, or stop. Drop them the first time they try to make you feel small, because they want to feel big. It never gets better, it only gets worse.
Every second you stay, you’re gambling with your health; physical, mental, and emotional. No one. No one deserves that.
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- secretmedium said: It always baffled me how someone could take something so beautiful and try to consume it. I’ve found those people angrily try to control what they ultimately can never be, never equate to.
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- moaningatmidnight said: Once again you write something so personal for everyone to see. And you do a great job at it. You’re really amazing.
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- janelwritespoetry said: honestly one of my favorite things i’ve ever read, can i pin it up on my wall or is that creepy
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- clintirwin said: The fault lies in one’s own feeling of low self worth. I have much experience here.
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- echo4charlie said: spoiled, rich jock- nope, not me. :D
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