Cassie and I met as casual friends, and by casual friends I mean we met specifically to sleep together casually, without attachments. Because that’s how I do (that’s not really how I do. I know that now).
Everyone who I mentioned this meeting to said the same things – Oh. That’s going to end horribly. You’re going to get hurt. You’re going to fall in love. You’re going to be so sad oooh girl this is going to be a mess – hand me the popcorn.
I wasn’t ready for a relationship because the prior one was horrible – if horrible was a word for something worse than horrible. I’ve spent about 20 minutes trying to think of way to describe the awfulness but there aren’t enough profanities and insults to convey it. I’ve mostly started pretending like those two and a half years never happened. Maybe I’ll start telling people I had a head injury and I can’t remember those years because I was so significantly traumatized. It feels WAY better like that. Ex? What ex? I don’t even know her.
This casual friends/with benefits deal seemed the safest way to ensure I didn’t end up in a relationship, because Cassie was engaged to someone else living far away. They had an open relationship while they were so far apart, so this appeared like it was a fantastic idea for the both of us. What could go wrong?
I guess the notion of casual sex sort of flew by the wayside after she moved in to my spare room and became my roommate six weeks after we met. And by roommate I mean the person down the hall I was having a lot of hot sex with, sometimes when other people were trying to sleep in the other room. (SORRY KIM! TOO MANY DRINKING! WE ALL HAVE REGRETS!) Then we easily, and quickly, became the best of friends, which to her means you are one of roughly 38 people she has designated as best friends and, to me, means you are probably one of maybe three people I ever tell anything. This is to say that our relationship became emotionally intimate. And that is where everyone who told me “you’re going to fall in love and get hurt” was absolutely right.
I knew it would happen. I said from the start that I agreed with my own inability to disconnect from the part of myself that wants to CHOOSE people. But her engagement felt like a fail-safe. I could only get hurt *so much* because I knew it was impossible to end up together. There was nothing to count on, nothing to pin hopes to. It was all here and now and in the present. I had no future to plan and we had none to plan together.
Until, suddenly, we did.
If I had managed to write about our relationship from start to present, it would have been something like this:
I have a new friend but it’s kind of a secret. We made out. We had sushi and then we had sex, so pretty much the best date ever. Her roommate is in love with her and wants to kick her out. Now she lives with me, in her own room. I’m a landlord! Having sex with my tenant! This is not how she pays. Christmas! She’s going home. I miss her and I’m sad. She is back and now I’ve been dumped. Ouch. This sucks. This still sucks. This still sucks. This still sucks. This still sucks but I have to do something. This sucks but I’m going to make new friends. This sucks but I have a new friend I like hanging out with. This extra sucks because Cassie and my new friend hate one another. I guess we’ll just have sex again because what else are we supposed to do? THIS SEX IS AMAZING but also I’m angry. Cassie is angry. New friend is angry. No one knows we’re having sex, amazing sex, but we’re both still angry and maybe she’s going to leave. She should probably leave. IS she leaving? I’m going to be sad when she leaves but maybe she should leave. Sex. Sex. Sex. New friend is awesome, but this is going nowhere. New friend hates her so much she said she can’t really be friends if Cassie is in my life. New friend has friend-dumped me. Cassie and I are getting along great now and we’ve talked a lot and apologized for all the things. Summer is ending and I think we both have fallen in love with one another but NO THIS CANNOT HAPPEN SHE IS GETTING MARRIED. Cassie is meeting her fiancee in Baltimore for a friend’s wedding. What’s happening? It’s lonely here without her. I’m confused. I think they split up. I think she dumped me again? I’m confused. I’m confused. I’m confused. I’m sad. I think she’s leaving. I think she’s moving to England. I’m so devastated and broken and I want to die. This is way worse than I anticipated. THIS IS SO BAD. She’s back and it’s awful and I am confused and she’s confused and WHAT THE HELL IS HAPPENING. So many talks and I cried so much and lost my mind. I may have met a strange guy at a park and driven with him to a second location and thought – oh he might kill me, but oh well. Who cares. I’m probably not mentally sound right now, but these pills he gave me make me not care anymore. She’s leaving. She’s leaving. She’s LEAVING. I’m sane enough now to recognize that whole stranger drug thing was a real terrible lapse in judgment. Whoopsie! But she’s leaving and I’m sad. Not crazy sad, just devastated sad. Is she leaving? Maybe. No. Yes. No. No. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes she’s leaving. THEY BROKE UP. Did they? They broke up. What’s going on? They’re broken up. I think. Halloween! Things are weird but manageable. Happy Thanksgiving! We’re together and they’ve definitely broken up. She sleeps in my bed every night, but she still has a room. Fret. Fret. Fret. Unsure. Together but unsure. I cry a lot. She cries a lot. Confusion. Frustration. Worry. Sadness. Heartbreak. Merry Christmas! I love you. Slowly but surely we’re figuring it out. Happy Valentine’s Day! We’ve got this. We’re in it. HOLY SHIT HOW DID THIS HAPPEN. THIS IS AMAZING BUT THIS WAS NOT SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN. HOLY SHIT. I love her. SO MUCH. Life…future…we are planning and dreaming and doing it for real. My nephew loves her and calls her Cass Malones. He keeps asking when we’ll get married. I don’t know…but I imagine the possibilities.
So there you have it – life, in all it’s chaos. Painful, gorgeous, intense chaos turning into the sweetest love I’ve known.