J: Are you sure you’re ready to share this part?
Me: I don’t know.
*Hits Post Button*[PART TWO]
(Part One is here http://bit.ly/219wLs5, if you missed it.)
It was the beginning of sophomore year. I got back to Tallahassee before Michael did. I couldn’t wait to see his face. I waited for his phone call. We hadn’t seen each other all summer. When he arrived to our new apartment complex, he called and told me to come down to his unit. I found the closest pair of flip-flops, walked a few doors down, and saw he and his mom moving his stuff into his apartment. I couldn’t stop smiling. He smiled too.
We hugged. We kissed. He showed me his room decorated in black and red. He showed me his new computer and webcam. We took selfies, before those were even a thing. He kissed my cheek in one picture, we kissed each other in another, silly faces, serious faces – we had every pose covered. We talked about our summers and what classes we planned to take in the fall. We watched movies. We play fought. He gave me a pop quiz on everything he taught me about sex the year before, when he became the first person I’d ever had sex with.
I lived just a few doors down, and I didn’t have to sneak into his dudes-only dorm anymore, like I did freshman year. Almost every night around dinner time, he called me to “come through” to his place. It seemed like I never had any money, and he knew that, so he always made sure I ate dinner. I ate with him and his three roommates. Michael and I were both living off-campus and didn’t have cars, and he also made sure we got a ride to make it in time for our classes each day.
I liked hanging out with Michael in his apartment. I loved being with Michael of course, but his roommates always joked with me too. They teased me about my skinny arms and for laughing too loud in Michael’s room while they were trying to sleep. They mimicked my giggles, and I laughed even more. They were like family to me.
A month or two into the semester, I walked into Michael’s room, and he had his prom picture, with him and his date, sitting on his night stand.
“Michael, what is this?” I asked.
“It’s from my prom,” he said.
“Yeah, but why is it out?” I asked
“It reminds me of who I was in high school and the good times I had then,” said Michael, while I looked at his face, waiting for what he was saying to make sense.
“I don’t like it,” I said.
“It’s not that serious,” he said.
“Then take it down.”
He kept the picture on his nightstand for a few more days. Each time I walked into his room and the picture was still up, my jaws tightened, and my eyebrow muscles contracted. Was I supposed to punch him in his face? I wasn’t sure, but I knew I didn’t want him to hit me back, so I didn’t.
Michael had the nerve to try to kiss on me. I could feel my face getting hot with anger. There was no way I was doing anything with him until that picture disappeared.
Days later he told me he loved me and took the picture down, and we managed to get back to normal. We were both happy again, until one day he said he had to tell me something.
“I slept with my ex,” he blurted out. It was the ex in the prom picture that was on his night stand.
“What?!” Did he say what I think he said? “When?”
“Over the summer,” he said looking directly into my eyes.
I didn’t know what to say next. I didn’t even know how this could happen, so I asked.
“She went down on me and it just happened,” he said.
I just stared at him in silence. I mean the little dirt I did over the summer was nothing in comparison to this. I had a co-ed sleepover at my house, that he begged me not to have. My friends from high school stayed the night at my house, and some of us hooked up with each other, but there was no sex…at least not on my part. Michael was my guy. And truth be told, only one guy ended up spending the night because his mother made him. She didn’t want him out driving so late.
Michael said he was really hurt about the sleepover. I was really hurt that he could sleep with someone else. Having sex with only him was something that I valued. Him sleeping with someone else meant that we had different values.
“I need some space,” I said.
But Michael wouldn’t give me any space. He called me repeatedly. He sat outside of my class and waited until I got out. When he saw me, he kept hugging me and apologizing.
“I’m really sorry, Stacy.” “Are you okay?” “Can you forgive me?” “I don’t want to break up.” “You’re the one. It’s you.” “I didn’t have to tell you, but I did only because I love you.”
I didn’t know what to say to any of that. Was I supposed to believe him? Was I stupid if I stayed with him? I didn’t know what to do. My boyfriend cheated on me, but my boyfriend was also my best friend. Was I supposed to let go of my boyfriend and my best friend all at the same time?
Somehow he eased me back into the relationship, and things went back to being good again. We didn’t have any more issues the rest of the school year.
On the day I was flying back home to Connecticut, Michael and I met outside of his apartment, and we kissed again just like we did freshman year, except this time I cried. I could feel that something horrible was about to happen. Summer break was our worst enemy.
When I got home, my period never came.