By Briana, age 18, Pennsylvania
I've recently gone through just about the toughest time in my 18 years. This past July, my boyfriend of three years (and best friend of seven years) broke up with me. I can't say it was completely out of nowhere, since we'd been having some problems lately, typical petty fights and such. But it was, in a way. He'd just gotten back from his two week family vacation that they take every year. I was excited to see him, so I went over to his house for the day. I had been on vacation too so I had brought him back a bunch of souvenirs, as I always do. Normally he'd do the same, but this time he only brought me a few seashells. They were beautiful, unique seashells he said he'd taken a long time to find, and I still believe that. At the time, I just brushed it off since I did like them and appreciated the time he took to find them.
So after that, we spent the day together just catching up and hanging around. It was such a great day, and he was being extra sweet, which was obviously nice. So when my dad came to pick me up, he told me he loved me and gave me a kiss as I left.
Now began the worst day of my life. I went home, hung around with my parents for a while, and discussed a vacation we'd been planning. I'd been trying to convince them to let my boyfriend tag along, since I'd always wanted to go somewhere with him besides the shore. So after I'd finally convinced them to let him come, I called him up to tell him the news. After I told him, he finally came out and said that he didn't really want to go, after he'd been telling me he did for weeks. I was so mad at him. I don't really remember exactly what happened after that, but we got into a huge fight about it and he wound up breaking up with me over the phone.
I was completely devastated. I couldn't even think straight. I was so out of it I don't remember any conversation that went on between us after he said he was breaking up with me. All I remember was my mom yelling at him on the phone (which, in retrospect, was pretty funny) and me crying my eyes out. I remember calling my best friend and telling him what had happened and him comforting me. Still, I went to bed that night crying.
The next day, my mom tried to cheer me up by bringing my best friend over to go out shopping and to dinner. Nothing worked. I was so devastated that I even refused my mom who was trying to buy me expensive things (which is strange for me!). The only thing that made me feel better was talking to him, which I still don't understand. (At some point in the breakup conversation we'd agreed to still be friends, but I don't really remember much.)
It took a few days for me to stop crying and pull myself together, but I was still not myself. See, I have a very bubbly personality. I'm constantly smiling and always happy. But for a good while, I was not very happy. I only saw him once again before I went away to school. We were on pretty good terms, both agreeing that angrily breaking up with me was wrong of him, yet it was good for us to not be a couple anymore. He made me feel better about everything by telling me that he didn't deserve me and that I'd find a guy who'd be better for me. That made me feel like he actually still cared about me.
Then I went away to school. I was ok. I didn't really have any friends yet, besides my roommates, so I talked to him on the phone a lot, as I always had. However, he'd asked that we not talk as much since we were both busy with school and it would be too much like we were still together if we talked every day. I understood this request and I respected it. After all, even after what he did, he meant a lot to me and I didn't want to completely lose him by being clingy.
In October, I came home to visit him and my two other best friends and my family since I was getting a little homesick. I spent one and half of the three days I was there with him. We had fun, but I was emotional because I'm very sensitive, and I felt like they were all hanging out with each other and kind of forgetting about me. They're all guys, so this is typical, but I let it get to me and wound of being upset a lot. One night we had a sleepover at his house and he and I were up late talking. It was nice, and it made me feel like we'd be able to actually be good friends again as we were before our relationship. I had a great rest of the weekend catching up with my family and then I went back to school.
A few days later, I called him to tell him what a great time I'd had and that I appreciated everything he did and said. When he answered he said he couldn't really talk because he had a lot of homework to do and that he'd call me later. I said okay and hung up the phone. About two weeks later, I still hadn't heard from him. I only called him once and left a voice mail because I knew he'd be upset if I bothered him. So I just texted him 'Happy Halloween' and went on with my life.
A week or so later, I called his house because I was starting to get concerned. See, to me, 'later' means a few hours or a couple of days. Not a month. So I talked to his mom, whom I'm still very close with, and she said he'd been really busy, but gave him the phone anyway. When he picked up I asked where he'd been and if everything was okay. He kind of freaked out on me, from what I remember, because apparently I was yelling at him, although I wasn't.
A couple of days later (I'm not remembering exactly how this went) he decided to chat with me on Facebook, which is extremely odd for him since he's, like, anti-Facebook. He started saying that he didn't want to be friends with me anymore because I drove him crazy. My response? I cannot say it here, but I was pretty mad. So I called him up. And yelled at him. And told him what a jerk he was and how I couldn't believe he'd lied to me and strung me along for so long. He said he only stayed friends with me because he didn't want to hurt my feelings. How dumb is that?! I told him, if he didn't want to be friends he should have told me when we broke up, so 1) I didn't have to waste so much time being a good friend to him, and 2) I would only have to be devastated once.
But actually I wasn't devastated. I was just angry. Angry that I'd been so stupid to think we could still be friends. Angry at myself for still accepting him even after how horrible he'd been toward me. So I got off the phone and didn't talk to him again ...
Until I came home for Thanksgiving. I went back to my high school to see my friends and hang out at play practice. (My mom directs the shows there and I was, like, the queen of my drama club when I was there.) So guess who decides to show up? (He was, like, the king when we were there.)
It's common for alumni of the drama club to come back and hang out, but I was pretty up-in-arms when he showed up. And then, on top of that, he decided he was going to talk to me like nothing had ever happened. I still don't get that. I blew him off. I did it for myself. I'd been just getting used to losing my best friend of seven years and he just screwed it all up. I wasn't upset though. I was just angry with the whole situation.
I haven't seen him since then. But I did talk to him once. My friends told me when I came back for Christmas that he had been really sick and was recently diagnosed with Type I diabetes. I felt horrible because my first response was, Well, that's what he gets. But after that, I cried. I felt horrible. After all, I wasn't the bad guy in this situation. I had done nothing but love him and take care of him and he'd blown me off. My natural instinct was to be concerned and want to help him, but I was reminded of what he'd done to me and I mellowed out. The one thing I did do was to email him. I told him I was tired of being angry and that I couldn't handle it anymore and I wished we could just be at least friendly again to lighten the weight on my heart. He responded with a text that said, I got your email, but I don't have time to respond right now, but I will as soon as I can. That was understandable to me since he'd been constantly going to doctors and so on. I knew he was busy.
So I waited. This was over Christmas break. Even up to the third week in February I was still waiting to get a response. Finally, last week, I went home to see my best friend Layton* in his senior play at my high school. I brought Sebastian*, my best guy friend from college, with me. I knew my ex was going to be there, since he's friends with Layton too. So when I saw him, I was polite. He said hello first, and I returned it. He asked how I was and I said great, and then I introduced him to Sebastian. That was conversation number one. I was happy with that because I really had no desire to talk to him. As we were walking away, I told Sebastian that it was one of the most awkward moments of my life.
Later on that day, I saw him again. We were in a group, but he still kept talking to me, asking me questions about school and such. I didn't mind so much because they were just general questions that any acquaintance would ask. But then, as Sebastian and I were walking out, he looked at me and nodded his head toward Sebastian, implying the question, Are you two together? Now that annoyed me. So I decided that the next day I was going to pull him aside and say something to him. After all, I was very confused, going by what he had said to me last. So I pulled him aside backstage and said, "I'm confused. The last time I talked to you, you said you didn't want to be friends with me anymore, and now you keep talking to me and asking me personal questions like we're best friends again. Did I miss something?"
His response was, "I was just trying to be polite. And I just needed a break. I don't hate you. I don't even dislike you!"
That just made me livid. So I rolled my eyes, and said, "Whatever."
As I was about to walk away, he was, like, "Wait! So you and Sebastian ...?"
I just laughed with an air of Seriously?, and said, "No, that's none of your business," and walked away. I didn't talk to him the rest of the day. I couldn't even look at him.
But that's not even all of the jerk things he did. We have a tradition in my high school drama club. We always go to this one diner after the show. So I was obviously planning on going with them, and spending time with Layton and some other close friends. So when we got there, guess who was plopped right between my two closest friends? I was a complete and utter mess. Going through my mind was, You can say whatever you want to me, but DON'T get in the way of me spending time with my friends. Although Sebastian encouraged me to go sit with them anyway and just ignore him, I just couldn't do it. So I wound up sitting with Sebastian and some of my fellow alumni, which was fun, but I really wanted to spend time with Layton. He prevented me from doing that, so I was pretty devastated. After all, I had taken a plane home mainly to see Layton.
By now, I've gotten over this. I'm still not happy about it, but I'll be seeing Layton sooner than I had expected. So I'm doing just fine. I've filled the void left by my ex, and I'm back to being as happy as I was, if not even more so! I don't need him and I honestly would be happier if I never had to deal with him again.
* Names have been changed.