As I walked around, I thought back to my life just a few months ago. I was just a simple girl that only wanted a peace of mind and people around her who knew her well enough to leave her alone. The loneliness and the stress from my life had gotten to me and when I was listening to the radio one morning, I had decided to check out their message boards. I wasn’t the kind of person that went out seeking for people or relationships. It had just happened. The message boards became a way of life for me and I knew who Marcus was but for whatever reason, I had felt intimidated to talk to him. I rarely went out of my way to message anyone privately as I just played around in the forums, matching other people’s banter or sitting back and enjoying the interaction between the regulars.
My first true interaction with Marcus was a result of all of us signing up for this new website.
“Oh why not?” I remember myself thinking. It was just one more place for us to mess with each other and kill time. He had left me a comment on my page…the first of many, it was about my favorite author, who, incidentally, he liked as much as I did.
Then came the instant message conversations and the emails. Marcus quickly became one of my best friends who just understood me for who I was, instead of who he wishes I would become. It’s a rare find to come across a person who will value who you are so I just let myself go with him, not being afraid enough to put up my wall. After all, he was just a friend. A friend who shared his joy with me when he proposed to his girlfriend of five years. A friend who shared his pain and his joy with me unconditionally because we had passed all the barriers.
A friend who was falling in love with me.
I still couldn’t wrap my head around that thought because it just didn’t make sense. I was only 19 years old, a child in so many aspects but jaded as life had not allowed me the luxury of enjoying my youth. He had been through so much in his life and he had someone that would be making a lifetime commitment to him. I didn’t doubt that he loved me as a friend but in love with me? I had nothing to offer to him that would explain those words.
He had to have said it because he felt guilty about kissing me but Marcus wasn’t that kind of man, was he? The kind that would throw around such an invaluable word for the sake of covering his mistakes. That kiss was a mistake because I was a mistake.
That’s all I ever was in any man’s life. A mistake. A regret. A momentary indulgence that could be discarded like a used condom.
Marcus was different…wasn’t he?
I could feel bitterness seep in to my thoughts like a venom. I was wrong about Marcus and our friendship because I was a fool. A damned fool for thinking that any grown man would have any reason to waste time on a useless girl whose only purpose in anyone’s life was to be a burden that needed to be discarded.
Tears filled my eyes as I quickened my steps. I found my way back to Becky’s apartment and ran to the bathroom as I could feel my disgust building up. I dry-heaved for a few minutes but nothing came up except for the coffee that I drank with Marcus, which was so beautifully fitting. I flushed away the coffee mixed with my tears but the shame couldn’t be flushed away that easily.
I washed my face, re-did my ponytail and made my way to Chubby’s to meet the one person who didn’t throw my shame in my face.