I cringed when my phone went off, knowing full well who it was and what she wanted. Somehow she had gotten the idea that we were a couple and therefore requested my attention and my company on a regular basis. Such requests had never bothered me before, but with an inability to commit even an ounce of my freedom toward somebody else, I felt chained down.
“You should come over tonight for dinner, I’ll make us pasta.”
Hesitantly I looked at the text message like an obstacle to overcome. I had already avoided her “I got laid off today” party the previous night, by telling her that I was busy. I felt that I couldn’t use that excuse again.
I started to think of reasons. Medical issues I’ve always thought were the dumbest excuses. If I were sick, I’d like to see my girlfriend more than anyone. I couldn’t use family emergencies either since I am not willing to lie about family problems to further my own agenda. All I had left was that I was busy, which I wasn’t. Back at square one.
I flipped open my phone, making sure to look up at the busy road, shift gears, and still type the message. It was a fool’s idea of multitasking and had gotten me into near misses more than once. I wish I had had something better to say. I wished that I could’ve liked her more, that I didn’t pick her apart like I did. I wish I didn’t have all these emotional issues. In the end all I could come up with was “I’m busy tonight.”
Vanessa was no idiot. She knew what was happening but still tried to fix it. I had to make sure that she couldn’t.
I had already lined up another date for the following night with a tall, dark haired, incredibly skinny, full breasted girl. I already felt bad enough about having planned this date while Vanessa was in the room next to me, after which I followed her back to her apartment to spend the night. I could not bear the thought of continuing this “fling” that we had and having a date on the side as well. I had known from the first date that Vanessa and I were not going to work out, but the idea of having someone with whom to share moments, sexual gratification, and alleviated loneliness seemed reason enough for me to indulge the relationship that we had.
I was looking to sabotage whatever it was that Vanessa and I had. In order to do that, I had convinced myself that we had irreconcilable differences and that I was acting rationally. I had blamed her for having too high of a sex drive, a problem which most men laugh at when mentioned. Almost the whole of the time that Vanessa and I shared together was spent with me inside of her. She thought she was showing me affection, but I wanted more than that. I blamed her. Her hair was always a mess. I couldn’t stand the way she laughed. She was not a good kisser. (She wasn’t bad, but I found her style of kissing to be intense and therefore undesirable.)
“I think we moved too fast” was the only explanation I gave her. My emotions were torn. I did not personally care for this girl. I had no connection to her, and I did not even want to keep her as a friend. The guilt came from knowing what the receiving end of that kind of apathetic behavior felt like. Having been in her position and knowing full well the emotional damage that rejection of this kind can have, I could feel her pain as I drove on to work. Surprisingly, the one benefit that these wounds have accomplished for me is complete disinterest in the feelings of other people, which made it easier to just walk away from Vanessa rather than confront the situation head on.
She sent me two more messages, neither of which I responded to, not because I had nothing to say but because I was afraid of the repercussions of continuing the conversation. I knew that it could only end in her telling me how terrible a person I was. In the first message she reminded me that it was my idea to go to the bedroom on the second date. True as the statement was, at the time I was only voicing what Vanessa, straddling my lap, subconsciously grinding on me, was too embarrassed to say. Regardless, she had at that time managed to keep her mouth shut, and I had not.
I hoped that it would be her final words, but I was wrong. She left the conversation open ended. She asked me to call her whenever I got my “shit together.” From any other girl this statement would have been sarcastic, but with Vanessa meant it.