We were happy for a while. We were happy when you walked through my door and we could pretend he didn’t exist. You have to admit that it was actually pretty easy. Sometimes I’d ask about him, to be polite and all that, but you two together felt like a different reality.
I knew you first. Actually, I am not entirely sure about that. But I was definitely with you first. We had a whole timeline that didn’t involve him. We had drama and adventures and that crazy night when we went to that sketchy EscoBar with our classmates. We have a history—a long and complex one at that. When you walk past that bar with the red neon sign, does it take you back? Do you think of me?
Sometimes I feel as if I don’t have a right to complain about you. We never used a definite label besides ‘friends’ and you really pushed the envelope on that one. I always knew you weren’t being fair to me most of the time, but I didn’t really have the right to say anything, did I? That’s not true, actually. I did, I just didn’t. That’s my bad. At least he doesn’t know how badly you treated him. He doesn’t know that although you may have labeled things with him, you didn’t exactly always honor that. You took the labels more as a loose suggestion. Hey, I’m not judging. I got something out of that, too.
Sometimes, I wonder if he and I would have been friends. If I had gone up to him one day and been like, ‘Hey, so, I know we’re sleeping with the same girl and all, you’re even kind of dating him, but let’s be friends anyway!” would that have worked? We seem to have something in common at least. I know a friendship between him and I would have been your nightmare. Your happiness with him was mine though, and you didn’t seem to care much.
I was first, but he is still with you, so I guess that makes me the other man. Or maybe just the one you forgot about? I know I must be on your mind still sometimes. Nights (and afternoons) like the ones we shared aren’t easily erased. Neither are the my memories of you and him, or the way I imagine you guys. I hate that I know of him, that we have mutual friends, that I hear through the grapevine what he has been up to, even when I really don’t want to hear it. Does he know my face, what we were, my name? I know his, but you didn’t really try to hide it from me anyway. You knew I’d keep your secret; after all, I was yours.
He definitely knows what I look like though, even if he doesn’t know who I was to you. Remember the time I ran into you guys by the park? That really sucked. I kissed you innocently on the cheek like I didn’t want to kiss you all over, like I didn’t know I was going to do just that, only a few days later. Still haven’t been able to decide who I felt sorrier for that night: him or me. He had you, but I knew you. I knew you’d text me, I knew you’d think about me. Prove me wrong.
I blocked him on social media. Not because he might stalk me, but because I was afraid of what I’d find. I hated knowing that you weren’t replying because you were with him. I wish you would have just been out getting drunk with your girls, banging random guys whose names wouldn’t matter come Monday. Those stories of yours did always entertain me—you really have a knack for seducing the crazy ones. Now that you’re with him, do you still accidentally hook up with as many taken men as you used to? Maybe that’s what I was doing with you: accidentally landing in bed with someone who wasn’t mine, just like how none of those guys were ever really yours.
Despite what he may try really hard to portray on social media, you and him weren’t all solid and happy though. And every time you ended things you’d be right back on my couch, cracking jokes and giving me that sly smile, one that suspended time and let us both believe that the night wouldn’t count, that it was a free pass from our timelines. That I was still just your friend and a couple of hours of fun wouldn’t change anything. No harm done.
And we’d be okay and friendly and hanging out on my couch and sending snaps and suddenly we weren’t. Well, you weren’t. My snaps went unopened, my texts unanswered. And I knew you or she had said sorry and that I was no longer relevant, pushed into the back of your mind because I didn’t fit into the sweet little picture you tried so hard to create.
I’ve seen him Instagram. You guys at a ball, arms around each other at a bar, posing on the ice rink. They’re cute, really. But I bet he doesn’t ask you to choke you like I did. Bet he wouldn’t sink to him knees just to prove that he’s in charge. I would take the bet that you don’t sigh him name quite like you did mine.
Miss me yet?
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