The more I write these blogs, the more it feels so important to do so. I lost all the air in my lungs while looking back through photos to attach onto these entries. It feels forceful to have to confront everything but writing out every detail without poetry or riddles has finally started to silence my mind a little.
The featured photo was taken soon after February 11. I’m on the floor with the purple hat and striped sweater. My knees are tucked up to my chest; a position that for years I would automatically curl into every time I sat down.
So comes the aftermath.
The night of February 12, I pulled myself from my dorm and walked or was picked up (I don’t remember) to the methodist foundation. There, I was ushered into the back apartment of the building where all of the girls had gathered.
Before I go on, there is a division in this girls group. At this point, I was close with all of them. I struggle to make myself use their real names because it makes this blog feel more vulnerable. The names with an asterisk are ones I lost contact with but have no hard feelings towards: Loran*, Dani*, Laurel*, Taylor, Bethany.
They asked me what happened because they had some details from their long term boyfriends who were also the band members and Jared’s roommates. Jared had sent a text the night of February 11 that basically stated I would be spending the night. The next morning after Jared had dropped me off, Loran’s boyfriend Chris confronted Jared about what exactly happened and he told him we had sex. Chris told Loran because he was worried about me. Chris knew Jared was unpredictable.
I kept contact with Chris and Loran for a long time after that. Chris joined my dad and I during the summer of 2011 to a U2 concert in St.Louis. I didn’t attend their wedding in January 2013 because Jared attended with an old (ex) friend of mine as his date and I couldn’t stand to be in the same room as them. Loran said she understood.
I told the girls group the basics. He was drunk, he picked me up, I didn’t realize I was spending the night until there was no other option, yes this proves he really did like me all along, yes we had sex, and then he told me we could never do it again. The older girls were worried about me, telling me to ask them anytime if I needed to talk. The younger ones (by younger I mean my age) were giddy and happy for me. They were excited that this proved he actually liked me all along.
Jared didn’t show up to the foundation that night. It would be a few more days before he would arrange to meet me there only to say that the sex would never happen again. That we couldn’t kiss or hold hands because we weren’t in a relationship. He wasn’t interested in a relationship.
I can’t tell you why I still wanted him after this. Why I still wanted a relationship with him but not really. I know I hated the feeling of all those months lost and here was the sex as proof that he liked me and he still couldn’t say so. He could talk down to me and break the news that this was wrong like I was the one who pushed for it.
Not an apology for being drunk for it? Not a confession of liking me all these months? Not a question if I am okay or if what happened was okay?
He said we should take a break for a while, like this was an actual relationship. I didn’t get the chance to talk during that conversation because I couldn’t find my voice. I was silent. I figured this meant we were going back to flirting and texting and seeing each other a few times a week at the foundation. I was so wrong and even after what happened, was still so heartbroken to be so wrong. Because he didn’t text me at all. Wouldn’t text me back. Started going to a different church group with a different church and old high school friends in town.
I never saw him at all anymore, but I had so many questions. I was so confused and still so in love with him. I began to isolate myself from everyone.
A boy from my dorm sat beside me in the dining hall one day. I can’t remember the details between having lunch together and meeting him at his dorm one night, but that progression happened somewhere in March 2011. He was heartbroken over his ex girlfriend and I was still waiting for Jared to come back. We had sex and it wasn’t loving but it was consensual. Ben and I both agreed we didn’t want to be in a relationship, we just wanted to be fuck buddies (I hate that saying now). So on a nightly basis, I was with him, two buildings down from mine.
I became less involved in the methodist foundation. Stayed with Ben almost every night. Continued to smoke and drink with my old floor mates. Continued to go to class.
Somewhere during March, Jared came back to the foundation. I wasn’t there, and after asking around for me (I was told later), he texted me to ask where I was. At that exact moment I was angry at him. Being with Ben and listening to him talk himself through his breakup made me feel like I had gone through an actual one with Jared. By the time he sent this text to ask where I was, I felt more powerful than I had since I first fell for Jared. In that exact moment I was leaving Ben’s dorm and headed for my own. I told him I was with Ben and when he asked who Ben was, I told him he’s someone a boy I sleep with now. Jared was furious. I was confused. I texted him to ask why he cared when he said we could never do it again and we weren’t in a relationship? He responded something with, “That doesn’t mean we’re not together. How could you go and do this to me?”
That text was my tipping point. The edge of a stair, tipping my foot down to the next. A private message on Facebook from a boy back in my hometown who thought I was cute who I’d go home to fuck over spring, summer, and fall break. An old high school friend a few dorms down who I’d fuck while we were both high one rainy night in the fall. Somehow, between February 11, 2011, and the fall of 2016, my list of boys I’d slept with grew to 26. I don’t remember all of their names. Some happened in the same night. Some became fuck buddies for years. Two were relationships that were purely physical. Most were purely physical and rough. I was good at sex and I could lose myself in it. I was always the one to break up with the boys and I was always the one who could get them to want me.
I loved that power.
Back to March 2011. By April, I was almost completely unattached from the methodist foundation. The girls from the group still reached out and we would occasionally hang out. There were a few nights in a row where I didn’t see or talk to the girls group. Bethany and Taylor had apparently shown up to my dorm room one Saturday night looking for me. I was with Ben and had put my phone on silent. They asked all my floor mates (I wasn’t close with any of them) where I was and even roped my RA in, telling her something bad must’ve happened to me. I came back to my dorm around 2:00 am of that night. My floor mates looked horrified to see me. They hesitantly asked if something was wrong and when I responded confused, they told me there had been two girls looking for me. The two girls told my RA I was missing and if I didn’t check in with her tonight, she’d be notifying my parents in the morning and possibly the campus police.
I was gone for one fucking night. My RA was chill about it, a little confused why I called them my friends and why it was so bad I was out for the night. My floor mates thought it was funny and one of them still likes to joke with me about it.
I was beyond angry at Bethany and Taylor for it. After calling them the next morning to ask what the fuck happened, they came by to pick me up. They said they were angry I stopped answering their calls and texts that day/night. They demanded to know why I had become so distant from the foundation and stated they would continue to check up on me like this and would continue to report me. I told them I was out fucking Ben and didn’t care that they had been worried because it wasn’t their place. It wasn’t their fucking place to report me to my RA or especially my parents. And don’t fucking think you will ever pull that shit again. Taylor was huffy and hurt, Bethany apologized, but both remained pretty distant from me for a bit.
Ben and I faded out by summer time. Seth and I had sex only when I was home on breaks. The people I regularly talked to included Brooklyn, Emily, and Justin (my old floor mates), Bridget (another blog post dedicated solely to her sometime soon), and occasionally Bethany and Loran.
Summer came, and back in late fall 2010, I had applied to be a camp counselor at a methodist church camp in western Illinois with Loran, Chris, Dani, her boyfriend Patrick, and a few people from other colleges in other methodist foundations.
I continued to talk about Jared and ask about him. I continued to try and text him though he rarely responded. It wasn’t until almost a year later that he would text me back, “Get me out of your phone man,” and I would really never try to contact him again.