I’ll Take It Black - “Chapter 5: Beat That Dead Horse, Baby”

I thought I was going to feel better, but I didn’t. Better, having a different definition than relieved. The weight of the decision was now gone, but the impact of it still resonated. It didn’t matter that he ghosted me for days after, or at least, I didn’t think it did. Because when he finally reached out, my initial interest to respond had nearly dissipated. Images of his texts and actions popping into my head like infectious flash backs that I couldn’t stop. It was all bullshit. I wanted to forget it. To forget him. To drop the past and move forward with my life. I felt broken though, and I didn’t yet know how to rebuild. At first, his texts started with the regular “Hey, wyd?” type shit. Unsurprisingly, I didn’t respond. At least not in the prompt fashion he wanted. It only took about two unacknowledged texts for the content to rapidly change. Suddenly my phone was blowing up with a berate of insults and accusations. More talk of how I’m a “hoe” that “has been passed off to his homies”. More about how he “knows I’ve fucked his friends”. More claims of it not being his kid with demands for me to stop “harassing him for the money”. You know, the money he owed me for the abortion? The money I hadn’t brought up since January 18th. It felt surreal, being attacked for existing within my own space. My own bubble. I couldn’t help but think about my dad and how he would also made aggressive, random threats. Attempts to manipulate and draw out buried emotion. You’d think that my awareness of the similarities in these situations would have helped, but it didn’t. Between all the tough decisions and the negativity from him, the world started to feel heavy. It was a lot of new territory and it felt like I had no one to figure it out with. I did, of course, have a support system, but in reality, it just wasn’t the one I wanted.

As much as I had “convinced” myself I didn’t care about how he had, and was, treating me. I knew it was a lie. I wanted an apology. Honestly, I needed one. It wasn’t just that I had loved him. To me, we had gone through something serious together. We had made a decision that would have otherwise impacted the rest of our lives. When he texted me on February 17th asking to do a photoshoot and see a movie I, very hesitantly, agreed. I knew I shouldn’t have and that by doing so, I was being that girl I always hated. Minimizing the weight of his behavior and therefore giving the impression it was excusable. But maybe, just maybe, he’d apologize. Maybe he’d give me the closure I was so desperately seeking. We spent the afternoon exploring, stealing signs from construction yards and smoking. When we were done, we loaded up on snacks and hit the movie theater. The apology I wanted didn’t come, but by the end of the day I had nearly forgotten it was the reason I had agreed to hang out in the first place. I had always been forgiving in relationships, but normally, it took longer to be sucked back in to the bullshit. Just not in my experiences that relate to him, obviously. It took us a mere 2 days and just like that, we were slipping back into our old routine. The routine I had watched my dad and step mom perform for years and years. It didn’t matter how quickly things fell back into place, there were still pieces that didn’t fit. Pieces that couldn’t quite fit back into the mold that had previously been made for their specific shape and size. When I woke up that Wednesday, the one after our photoshoot date. My roommate solicited me with a day plan I had never previously considered. ACID! I wasn’t one to tamper with hallucinogens, butttt I was also still experiencing severe writer's block and was down to try anything that might help. The voice in my head screamed, “Do what you want but do not do acid with him! You’ll stab him in a fit of rage!” Seconds later, I called him. It wasn’t shocking to hear the reservation in his voice that implied he had the same thought as me. Because when he agreed, it was only to hang out for the first portion of “the trip”. (Disclaimer: He hung out with me the whole time, despite how much he insisted he wouldn’t)

I’m not going to get into the specifics because as anyone who has done acid knows, a lot happens. (You probably won’t understand that comment if you haven’t done it) I will say this, it was one of the best days of my life. Not because we had long serious talks that spiraled into discussion of our dreams and creative outlets. Not because we imagined the same hypothetical music video for the same song, as if we had ESP. Not because he played Yaeji so loud I saw sound or because the way he kissed was so real and passionate it made my soul melt. But because I got the most sincere version of the apology I could hope for and honestly, I was just happy to be spending the day with him.. After this, everything fell back to what it previously was. Forget the rude comments and the hard decisions we (Or really, I) had had to make. Shit was good! For the third time now, it seemed like maybe we had found our groove. We had been going strong for a month and for the exception of a few (pretty fucking crazy) speed bumps, it seemed to be working. I no longer got emotionally hijacked by his crazy outbursts and attempts at manipulation and he no longer made direct insults towards me. I knew this shouldn’t have felt like growth, but it did. I guess that’s the story of every dysfunctional and emotionally abusive relationship though. Mid March was approaching, as were some different trips for us. I was heading to The Netherlands for vacation and he was heading to Texas for SXSW then Atlanta. Making it as good a time as any to bang out the details of what we were doing. Our discussion was short and concluded with us deciding to finally, after months of chaos, make it official. You know, stamp a title on it? The timing was less ideal than we had anticipated. Primarily because our relationship was now starting off with a two week separation. One that involved us being in not just different states, but different countries. After everything we had been through, it seemed this should’ve been a no-brainer. A small speed bump in our already overly dramatic relationship. Too bad this wasn’t the case. 

It was clear there was some tension, as it seemed he was being sneaky in my absence. One of the clear indicators was when he interpreted my comment of “I’ve been eating a lot of fries here” as “I’ve been getting a lot of dick”. You know, the thought process of a cheater? I didn’t give it much thought, as I was on vacation, but it turns out I didn’t need to. It’d find a way to come full circle on its own. When my flight landed in DC a few days later, after about 13 hours on a plane, I saw my DM’s light up. There was a bunch of messages from a girl I didn't know, but apparently, she had known of me. Her message contained a timeline of the last two weeks ranging from how frequently they hung out to how they had fucked on his birthday. Not to mention, he had gotten her a souvenir in Texas. All I could think was, “How pathetic your guys relationship must be that you have to reach out to me. That you have to brag about a souvenir… A fucking bath bomb. What a joke.” After a slew of screenshots that varied from pictures of them together to shots of their conversation, I had enough ammo to confront him. When I called him out, he denied it, and when I cornered him, he begged me not to leave. I was furious, but I’m also not an idiot and understood how things started between us. Or really, how things have been this whole time. So after a few days, I dropped it and agreed to “start fresh”.

When she messaged me again a week later, I had no reaction. It was my best friends birthday weekend and I had no time for bullshit feelings about a fuckboy cheater. I texted him the screenshot she so kindly sent me and proceeded to block him. Fuck him, fuck this, fuck dating. I didn’t need any of it and I sure as hell wasn't going to argue or entertain his excuses. If only I had known this decision would be the catalyst of his nervous breakdown. The beginning of the most dramatic break up of my life (Thus far). 

Bonus Content! (Screenshots from her DM’s and his begging me not to break up with him)

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