In the summer of my twentieth year, I lost my virginity to a man seven years older than me.
He is a musician, a writer with a colorful mind. He’s a lover of books and drugs, a lover of the fast life and actual love making.
Our first exchange was through Instagram, I slid into his DM’s with a dumb question I can’t recall about one of his bands. He answered instantly, and three days later we met for coffee. It’s all a blur of foamy cappuccinos, walking under the hot sun, and a goodbye kiss in my car. It was our beginning.
What we had was constantly shattered by him while I tried to piece us back together.
He would blame his choice to end things on the fact that he didn’t want to commit to anyone at the moment, on his relapses to his vices and dark ways, and how much he enjoyed having a long list of women that waited to wrinkle his bedsheets. My instincts told me to run away, this boy was no good. But how could I move on when every time he kissed me my knees quivered?
And then one day, after having the perfect date—
That was the day I gave myself completely over to him. Over the blue sheets on his bed, under the ceiling fan that moved the hot air around the room and with a record playing in the background.
I realized I wanted something real with him, something more than this, so I spoke to him about my feelings. A switch must’ve been flipped inside him after we made love, for he went against his own instincts and erased all the other girls from his phone and from his life. At first he seemed content and at peace, but with time I could see something shift behind his dark eyes. A struggle. A hunger he couldn’t quiet satiate with me.
I could tell he missed taking a girl home after playing guitar all night in one of his shows. That he missed those bodies that would fling themselves at him because they wanted to know how a rockstar fucks.
We were both growing uneasy, I offered to give him space to sort out his troubled mind, but he didn’t want to end things between us—not even if it was a small hiatus.
One week later, while he caressed my hair, the doubts kept clouding his mind. Our age difference made him nervous and he felt anxious because what we had was forbidden. Hearing him say those words made me realize I was being kept a secret. That even though he introduced me once to his best friend, that he sometimes held my hand in public, I was never an actual part of his life.
I could feel a knot forming in my throat and the weight of a thousand bricks pressing upon my chest. I couldn’t breath. I quickly put on my boots and left, refusing to kiss him on the lips as I walked out. When the door closed behind me, the tears started to roll down my cheeks.
Somehow, I knew it was over. The next day he ended things.
He blamed the dark patch he was going through and the uncertainty of our future. But I knew he was already sharing his bed with someone else while he wrote me these words.
I felt guilty because I wasn’t enough. I was full of hate for him, but I also wanted him so badly it hurt my heart. So after a while I convinced myself to be alright with what he offered: nothing. Well, maybe just the side of his bed where all of his other lovers later slept. To me, having a small part of him was better than not having him at all. But that feeling of not being enough, of not feeling loved and respected, just grew.
Neither of us are wrong for not wanting to change our ways. We tried each other’s lifestyles and it just didn’t work for us. But he uses my love for him as bait to get me into his bed, and that is the problem. He doesn’t see me, or his other lovers, as people—he sees us as bodies for his pleasure.
I write these words with tears in my eyes, while he blows up my phone asking when we can meet up for a quick midday fuck. But a moment of clarity has taken a hold of my mind. That being viewed as a doll for his pleasure is NEVER alright. That having a different definition of love is fine, but it should never be confused with lust. That giving someone your heart is courageous, but it is alright to take it back when they no longer appreciate it. That even though I love him, I need to love myself more. That I am always enough.
So I won’t answer him. And neither should you.