Saying Goodbye to JKm

Finals are over, the dorm is packed, and I leave via public transportation (fingers crossed I end up in the right state) in two hours.

The last few days have been amazing. I’m reminded how I need to take time to truly relax – it’s just been quality time. Listening to a symphony with WH. Spending all day with AM and sending him off. Grabbing lunch with ES. Spending the night at JKm’s.

Last night was…bittersweet. I know it’s only three weeks. But I’m going to miss him so much. We slept a grand total of four hours, took two showers, and spent the night just talking and kissing. My first orgasms. My first salad from the eatery. My first time being completely comfortable with our nudity. Our first time pooping in front of each other.

Full disclosure on how much he’d liked me before we’d started dating. Those chocolates? He’d walked to the store that morning to get them. When we’d seen his grandparents that one night at the concert? He’d told them ahead of time. When he invited me over for a movie and retracted the offer five minutes later? He’d been nervous that I’d think ‘Netflix and chill’, and paced around his dorm in a panic while his roommates shook their heads.

We care for each other. I can’t imagine this ending.

If I Was Honest About Who I’ve Had A Crush On

FRESHMAN

V. Planning my outfits around the days that I would see him. So coyly ignoring him in class – s much that I think he thought I disliked him. Assuming that he liked me when he messaged me on Facebook just to chat. Talking loudly, acting confused about a math problem that I clearly knew how to do, just so V would hear and volunteer his help.

A myriad of other guys, obsessions with whom were hidden from them, from everyone. What was I even doing freshman year.

SOPHOMORE YEAR

Nothing. Nothing. Too immature for anything to happen, too mundane to be remembered. The shedding of EMC curled around my feet; paralysis came from envy.

JUNIOR

ML. My goodness. Yes, I did. I remember casually sitting in a spot that was sort of on the way out of my last class (but, you know…30 minutes after my last class had ended), just because I knew that he would walk by that spot and sometimes say hi to me. I remember my heart filling with joy when his friend insinuated, during the frikin’ goodbye, that ML had liked me. I remember the breathes I held, waiting for him to respond on Facebook messenger, and the wonderful butterflies when he did, when he said of course he would always respond. I remember pushing so hard until he finally told me he liked me.

SNK C. I led him on. I know that now. I led him on under the pretense that I hadn’t known his feelings, while really – I’d known his feelings. Maybe not directly, maybe not for sure, but goddamn it, I was not the oblivious, guilt-free idiot I pretended to be.

WB. Out of reach, perfect; he was nothing but an object for me to resent as part of EMC’s perfect life. And then he borrowed my flute. Guard your heart, I said. He asks for a flute, and all he wants is a flute. I was successful. And then: come with me to this dinner, he calls me last minute. Last minute. Really. But: Let yourself make friends, I said. Let yourself be open to people. I went. We talked. But: guard your heart, I said. There’s no way he’s into you. Him tossing me a grapefruit across the room. Casually ignoring him – I would not like him more than he liked me. Waiting for the nightly text, what I now know was nothing but an excuse to talk to me. And then: so many people asking about us. I laughed. No way, he’s just a friend. It started so early, was so consistent that my answer became automatic, expected, from my lips. Our state became frozen in time, my head became a ball of too much thinking, and when he drifted away the fall of the next year, I let him.

SENIOR

KD. I led him on as well, and this time, I was fully aware of it. I think there was a sort of power in it. I wanted a boyfriend, I didn’t want him as a boyfriend, but the acts of interest were tempting enough that I let me him keep doing them. I grew somewhat attached to these random affirmations that I was desirable, and that was what I missed when he moved on.

MF. Short-lived, summer dreams. What an idiot, and at the same time, those eyes, those fingers.

And WB. Always WB. Friend life overlapping with romantic, and all from afar.

COLLEGE

AYl. It started with a fascination, then a disbelief, then butterflies that wanted more. He took a multitude of my firsts without even knowing it. Summer brought us together and fall took us apart. He was too above me. He was too above me for me to treat casually, to ever let my guard down completely. He was the boyfriend that we didn’t acknowledge; he was the guilt-trip that I never truly felt, 3000 miles away.

JKm. Finally confident enough to acknowledge a pursuit. Thanks to AYl, experienced enough to have a foothold. Thanks to everyone else, secure enough to be vulnerable, to allow myself to respond. I am happy with where I am.

Dream

I was outside, near a fence. I Saw JlKm, with her friends, but spectacularly ugly. We ended up walking together up towards JKm’s house – I was wearing my tribal print dress, and she was wearing heels, and I have this image of my strides overtaking her stunted ones.

We walk into the house, and JW, JKm’s best friend, is there, and he’s been drinking. “You’re wasted,” I say. Then I revise, after looking at the only slightly red glow of his face: “No, you’re just drunk.”

We walk down a hallway and into a room, where we talk about I completely forget what. He shows me pictures on his phone with his arm around me. I’m not sure if this is ok, but I let it happen. After a bit, he starts to spoon me, and I know this is not ok, although it feels so good. “Would JKm be ok with this?” I say. I get out.

Later: The party’s over, and I help clean up. Taking something off the ceiling. I feel like JKm wasn’t ecstatic, though for what reason I cannot remember.

Dream

*warning* it’s gross.

I take out my retainer to find that I have a cavity in my gum, on the top face near my front teeth. There’s also one in the same spot on the bottom face. I’m horrified because I didn’t know they were there in the first place, since huge cavities really don’t just appear over night. I eat a yogurt, and the yogurt fills the cavity such that it’s almost not there, and all is explained. *gross warning* I then press it, and the yogurt literally spills out of the cavity.

Also, I inexplicably have an extra tooth behind my front bottom tooth.

Panicking, I think of calling my mom, but I don’t. I find an oral surgeon, and I’m nervous so I hang around the alley for a bit while everyone watches this parade go by. After it’s gone, I go up to him.

“Are you an oral surgeon?”

“Yes.”

“Because I have this cavity and this tooth here…” as I show him.

He nods. “Yes, ok. Just don’t pull it out. Or maybe yes, just pull it out.”

By now, we’re just walking down the street. I bite down hard, and the extra tooth is now blocking my bite. My normal tooth falls off and breaks into pieces in my hand. I catch the pieces and show it to him.

I woke up to find myself still wearing my retainer, and I was so relieved to find that my teeth were all still there.