The Second Love That Was Never Meant To Be, A Sordid Dream That I Was Too Blind To Wake Up From

After the traumatic loss of the first girl I had ever loved two years previous to starting university, I was hoping to reinvent myself, start a fresh life and change everything for good. And that optimism and hope blindly lead me into the worst year of my life. 

Considering myself single without feelings for anyone for two years had made me a lonely yet hopeful guy when I came to university. I could break the mould of being classed as a boring, strange, lanky, invisible loner with a handful of friends that make me look even more of an outsider. I could find my own friends, be my own guy in an adult world and find a girl to love and be loved by; find happiness and everything I had never had before. I was too naive to see the reality of what life had waiting around the corner for me.

Two weeks before I left to live in the halls of residence on campus, away from home, I fell ill; leaving me with no energy, no appetite and a need for a bed and a bowl. The illness I had lasted all the way up to the first four weeks of university. I missed the first day of introductory lectures and team building exercises with the new people I was going to spend the next three years with. I spent the entirety of Fresher’s in my bed watching TV because I could not eat or drink or go out and so once again, fate dealt me a cruel hand. I was back in my old role, type-cast as the boring, strange, lanky, invisible, lonely outsider… great.

On the second day of introductory lectures I managed to muster up enough strength to go out into this wide new world and since then, despite my illness, I attended every lecture and seminar, listening and taking notes as best I could. As I had missed the first day though, most people had already established their friendship groups and I was left with this other guy that felt a bit like an outsider too. For the entire year we sat together, either on our own row in lectures or on our own table in seminars because everyone else sat together. Everyone liked each other, I liked my class but we were outsiders. He commuted to the campus so he had his own life back home and I just had no life so everyone socialized through alcohol and the illness I had, plus the braces I had too prevented me from drinking. I was really achieving my naive little dream here…

I can honestly say that the only good thing that I can remember when I look back was a conversation that I had with this girl that was a friend of my flat mate and on my course too. The conversation came naturally, though we were both nervous, and I distinctly remember a joke we shared about stalking people on social media; she said everyone does it and I laughed and said not me, I honestly don’t do that, I prefer people to tell me about themselves rather than get to know one side of them where everything looks happy through the camera lens. I said to her that later she could stalk mine if she wanted to and then we sat together in the lecture for an hour and shared a few more jokes. For the next two months I saw her here and there, catching the bus, in lectures or across the halls of residence. Neither of us really said much to each other but for some reason my mind kept going back to her. At the end of that second month, we had our work placement where we were to just observe for a week and get a feel for the job. On the second day, the 22nd of November, I realised that we had eachother on social media and so I made the first move; I just started a general conversation into how the past two days had gone.

For the rest of that week, we began to message each other more and more until the Sunday night at the end of that week We both caught the same flu that had been going around and neither of us could sleep and so we talked until 5am, only four hours before we were due for a 9am start the following day. She confessed to me that 5am was the latest she had ever stayed up and that she was scared, but I made everything better staying up for her. Within the next two weeks, I had never been so attached to my phone before in my life, messaging up to 14 hours most days. We must have lived about 300 metres from eachother and yet I only saw her in lectures. Messaging eachother got intense pretty quickly and with this new life, I had feelings I had wished for my whole life, I could say out loud that I was in love! Only two weeks and I felt that way already? I was incredibly naive!

Especially when after everything she had said to me about feelings and wanting to take things further, she once again confessed to me although this time it was serious, she had a boyfriend back home!!! She broke he news to me whilst I was in a Mathematics seminar and while I was struggling to pay attention in the first place, this gave me all the more reason to disengage with life in front of me and fire back on my phone, asking to meet her in the library later on that day. I massively regret not walking away there and then, that girl came to play me on for another two months and yet I listened to her and I went with my heart. I can remember the amount of consideration it took for me to think of something positive to say and feel for her that night in the library when inside I was erupting with the fear of losing her, the anger that she had led me on to think that she was single and the blind love telling me to find a way to make it work. And that night she told me that she wanted to carry on getting to know me, give us time and that she did not want a relationship with her boyfriend any longer after two ears of being together to support each other through mutual hard times. She asked for me to hold on and keep talking to her until January when she would make her decision. I look back now, six months physically older and probably mentally six years older and I cannot believe I agreed to this with her. She had a boyfriend of two years and she did not mention him once to me, that is pure dishonesty right here and yet I gave her a second chance. I should have seen that her dishonesty and lust would foreshadow much more pain to come. And still for the next month, we talked for 14 hours a day, spoke much more intimately and ultimately got to know quite a lot about eachother.

January, the month I had been waiting so patiently for had finally come. On New Year’s eve, I came back to university after spending Christmas at home to see her and unfortunately we were not alone; my bumbling numpty for a flat mate was their and her incredibly intimidating, northern, twenty year old best friend and also flat mate was there too, talking at the speed of light and we just sat there and talked for about four hours, making eye contact and texting each other when the other two took over the conversation. This girl was the worst stress head I had ever met in my life, it got the point that a week later in our relationship she developed a rash over her whole body due to stress, and that night, she was stressing out so much and did not read a message I sent her properly and sent some very mixed messages for the final hour before the new year began. She stopped replying to my messages and gave me the cold shoulder in conversation. I had known her to often skim read a text and get the complete wrong idea I thought unfathomable to see from what I had written and every time, with the withdrawal of contact from her, I would spiral too. Combined with the starchy takeaway pizza, the effects the illness months ago made on me and my anxiety running rife among the thoughts and emotions inside of me, I literally got up off of the couch in her kitchen, stumbled to the door and walked back to my flat.

Once again, anxiety was twisting my stomach and this time had forced me to make a public exit. Naturally, when I reached my flat she finally sent me a message, apologising for not reading the message properly and offering to come and help me with this panic attack I was having. That night made me realise that I needed her in my life, someone to care for me as that night I felt like I was going to be sick and for a girl that had a phobia of sick, she was willing to face that fear to be there for me. I realised that I was no longer alone and that I needed to fight to keep her in my life so that I was not alone anymore.

The next week, we hung out and watched movies together with my flat mates and we would always sit next to each other on the couch, with a cover over us and hold hands. For many people, holding hands may seem laughable but to me it meant everything. It meant that she could not help herself but feel passion for me, she even told me so herself. That week was on track to being the best week of my life until on the Friday, she told me her boyfriend was coming up to see her. This was no longer the best week of my life.

The next day, I was compelled to have to be the one to comfort her whilst she walks into town to meet up with her boyfriend because he was incapable of walking down a straight road to the university, a road he had walked down before with her and he could have just used Google Maps. But this was only one example to the many, many reasons I hated this guy. For starters, he was rich, he was re-sitting the year because he did not get the grades to get into the top two universities on the country, he had insulted his girlfriend many times about her choice in university, made her feel like shit, he had no social skills whatsoever and when we were all together in the common room that night, he was talking to himself whilst playing pool with us. Who the hell talks to themselves to encourage themselves to win in a casual game in a public place?! I think I might be a little side tracked but yeah, the guy was a tool.

All night she kept making eye contact with me again, she flirted with me and she was texting me too, all with her boyfriend sitting next to her. Once again, huge signs right there and then that I should have run in the other direction but as a love-struck, naive little puppet, she was telling me that she had decided that night on me.

Which brings me to one of the most confusing, fucked up and totally demented things that I had ever heard of in my life. She once again confessed to me the morning after we were all together that half an hour after leaving the common room and I said goodbye to her, she had sex with this guy that she had been ignoring all night, talking about behind his back and flirting with me! And you might think well, that’s not too bad, he is her boyfriend after all, well it gets a million times worse… her justification for having sex with him was that she was thinking of me when she was fucking him?!?!

So upon that rude awakening, that day I came so close to breaking up with her and I should have but with this love that I had and with someone to listen, instead of being alone again I told her to put the relationship on hold until I could think clearly again. And she managed to get inside my head and convince me to listen to her apology and she said that she was going to end things with him by the end of January. An absolute mess for the next 48 hours, blasting Royal Blood at full volume and shooting Nazis on my Xbox, for the first time in my life I contemplated suicide as a possibility rather than something that no matter how bad things got, I could never even consider it. Three months ago that was what I would have said but after walking to the river, watching everyone walk past me, completely invisible to the world, I sat down on a bench and gazed into the water. Knowing that I could not swim, there was no way that I could survive that death and as an atheist, I still believe that would most likely be the end for me. I would like to believe in reincarnation but with no real, heartfelt belief in what is beyond, I was happy with death. Death meant that I did not have to live my life as an outsider any more, I would never have to be hurt by someone I love again and I would not have any regrets because I would be dead.

For me, life appears to only have one purpose and that is to fight for what you love and believe in, above all else. And today as I write this, if I were to die in the next 24 hours, then that would be okay with me. I have lost the hope that I used to hold on to and believe and I have alienated everyone I know and I am bound to a lonely life as an outsider. And that day was the first of many visits to the bench by the river. I still felt in my heart that I could not let this love go and rather than dwell on the river’s cold embrace, I decided to fight for that love still after everything and I went to see my first ever counsellor. I just walked in, soaked from the pouring rain and I poured my heart out to this guy, also misunderstood, a hopeless romantic and he was only a few years older than me. I spoke to him for about three hours, telling him everything about this relationship and listening to everything that he said too and it felt good to finally get all of this feeling off of my chest, this counselling had worked and I went back to this girl with a clear head and we went back to normal, talking for 14 hours a day. And now, she had arranged a day where she would go back home, see her boyfriend and end things with him. This was the weekend before our second work placement week and with us both stressed about that, we had to get some closure before it started so we could think about us and be there for each other from then on out. And yep, that’s right, you guessed it, once again she confessed to me that when she saw him, they spoke, went to the cinema and then spoke some more and decided that she would give herself a week to think about their relationship as she told him that she was falling out of love for him and he was nothing like he used to be. Naturally, I had another panic attack when she told me she had failed again to end things with someone she had so easily slagged off and complained about to me.  It made absolutely no sense why she would torture herself like this, break her promise to me and string along her boyfriend that was utterly clueless.

So the following day, after the work placement in which I had managed to bottle up my feelings and survive, I went back to the very same counsellor and opened up that bottle. After a few hours talking, I decided that I would give myself the week to think, decide whether she was worth all of these second chances I was giving her and whether she be the one I could spend the rest of my life with. That week, we saw each other every night but one and it was just the two of us this time, no flat mates or any other distractions. The lust between us reached new heights of intimacy early on in the week with supporting eachother through and after work and when we were face to face, we did more than hold hands. You can probably tell I am still a virgin by how I worded that and thankfully, I still am. I like to think that as someone at the lowest point in their life, they still have standards.

However, towards the end of the week, after everything we had said to each other and the love that we had shared over three months, she still could not bring herself to tell me she loved me when I said it to her, even when she had whispered it to me once before. This lead to a night where after all of this, she didn’t say a word to me for the last fifteen minutes that I was at her place and then when I left, she just closed the door. After thinking about it all day the next day, I chose to forget it and she came to mine and we shared our first kiss. And do you know what she said? Somewhere in her heart she managed to reach a new low as after we looked into each other’s eyes and then kissed in the heat of the moment, she said, why do all boys kiss like that? As you can imagine many thoughts popped into my head that night, such as how many boys have you kissed? Why are you comparing me to your exes? And… you cold, heartless bitch.

That really got to me, so much so that I brought up the night previous and other things and for a girl that constantly told me that she wasn’t a slut, suddenly seemed to epitomise to that which she had been trying so hard to avoid, especially now with two boyfriends. I didn’t see her after the final day of placement. And the next day, she told me she had seen her boyfriend again. In a whirlwind of luck, I happened to fall ill with another flu that weekend and with everything in my head from the past week, that night she came to tuck me into my bed and she acted just like my dad. And at that moment in time, I knew that as soon as I have the strength to get out of bed, I will end things with her.

The next day, I told her we needed to talk and she had pretty much already feared the worst. She came to my room, she was angry and was in tears, and after half an hour, she left. I told her she could have as much time to sort her life out as she needs, do whatever the hell she wants with her boyfriend and to not contact me at least for the next two months. The following morning was the beginning of the next week, 9am lecture and like usual, she was early and I was late and I had to walk past her. She always sat right at the front and I always sat at the back with my trusted outsider. And her face was haunting. She was all red, tears running down her face and makeup all smudged. She could not stop messaging me and I was trying to be friend and let her down easy, say we could talk in person when other people are around but nothing else, keep it civil. And she did not listen. I had to block her on social media and tell my flat mate to stop bringing her anywhere near me when she knows I’ll be around and what happens? This girl knocked on my door and hid in my flat mate’s room because she couldn’t face me. I will never forget when my flat mate emerged and asked me if I knew who knocked. I said yes and then she asked me if I wanted to talk to this girl and I said no, I have made it pretty clear and as I turned and locked my door, I heard her try to come out into the corridor but I distinctly told her time and again, I will no talk to you until we give it time, we need months apart. And the truth was that I had never been so happy about being single ever in my life! I had those 14 hours back to myself and I did not have to craft every message in fear that she might read it wrong and worry about what she was going to tell e next about her boyfriend; I felt free. I made some new friends straight after too through my bumbling flat mate next door. And despite having to see this girl every lecture, I was free of her. No more drama, no more betrayal and lies, I could live my own life again.

And then a week later, I came home to an A4 sized envelope under my door with y name on it. I opened it up and four sides of hand-written, A4 sheets of paper declared her love and feelings for me. We had been apart for two weeks and disrespected our agreement and then she puts that under my door? I felt enraged and after sleeping on it, the next day I showed my new-found friends the letter. It had a numbered list counting the main reasons why she loved me, there were apologies in there and towards the end, there was a whole paragraph telling me what I had done to her. Apparently she had heard through someone (the idiot next door that fancied her flat mate) that I had complained about talking to her so often amongst other things and that was not what I said at all. I was willing to talk to her so much because I loved her! What I had said afterwards was that it was nice to have that time back, not once did I insult her or say anything negative about her. But this cruel letter changed everything. After I showed my friends it, they helped me get over it. And after thinking of what to do with the letter, rather than keep it, I borrowed my friend’s lighter and I set fire to it. We watched it burn and with that, she was gone from my life. I highly recommend burning things after a breakup, it is incredibly therapeutic!

Within the hour, the idiot next door had told her I had set fire to the letter and the girl emerged from the flat down the corridor once again. I did not even give her a reason. To be honest I think it was pretty clear why I set fire to it. She had lied to me since the beginning and after everything she had done, that letter was the final nail in the coffin. I said nothing to her and I locked my door and turned Royal Blood up to full volume. Since then, I saw her around the campus almost every other day. She all of a sudden came to every gathering in my flat and the common room and I just ignored her. Lately, since the diagnosis of my depression after my third and final ex, loneliness has consumed me. I have felt tempted so many times to message her out of the blue after I unblocked her a month after she stopped messaging me. I have wanted to feel some love again, just feel capable of being loved and I feel like I could have that feeling if I spoke to her one last time. I wrote a post last night about looking at old messages from her and my other ex and as much as I have enough self-dignity never to say anything to her, my heart is crying out to say something and I cannot shake that feeling.

Writing over 4,000 words about her has helped me to remember why I should never speak to her again. I cannot get over any of past alone and I did not expect this to help me get over it, however, this has given me a reason to keep my temptation at bay. I have all of the answers I need, all I need is the happiness now. All I want is some happiness again.

And now it is time for me to say much love from your friend and to get some sleep now it is 4.23am.

Alex. 

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