There you have it. I decided. Broke up with my boyfriend (or should I say devastatingly ripped the rug out from under him), and decided to give Guy #1 a chance. So exciting, right? Yeah….no, not really.
We started dating, movies, dinner, hanging out at his house, getting to know his family. They all loved me. Very welcoming. There was no pressure to have sex because I had come to find out that he was a virgin. And even though I was not it was nice not to have that added pressure. However, two months later, we finally did it. Now that the first time was out of the way, it became a little more of a part of our routine. Don’t forget this is still early on – honeymoon phase – so everything seems fine although I start to notice a few things that really bother me.
He decides to walk with me past the building where my ex lived. Don’t forget, I knew everyone in the building and so I felt the daggers from everyone. We walked through and I remember pleading…I do not want to go on the block. He really wasn’t hearing it. Didn’t see anything wrong with walking by there. Almost like parading his new trophy. To make matters worse, he wanted to sit in the park that was directly under my ex’s bedroom window. My heart was breaking. I knew he would see us. I felt horrible. I just wanted to run out of the park as fast as possible. Thankfully, we didn’t stay long. This was the first time I started to question my decision.
Not long after, my new boyfriend (Guy #1) received a letter in the mail. This is when I started to learn a little bit about what went on while he was gone for a year and a half. Some of the trouble he had gotten into resulted in this letter regarding a Grand Jury indictment. What did I know about this world? To me this meant…he’s going to jail. It was also the first and one of the very few times I saw him cry. He cried because he didn’t want to lose me. He had just gotten back and now he had me and he wanted to get on the right path – now this. I don’t really remember what led up to the change in mood but I am sure – as would become the usual excuse – I did something to provoke it.
I remember standing in his room and after something I said he reached out and slapped me in the face. It was the last thing I expected so of course I was not prepared and with the impact of his hand to my face, my entire body spun around. A complete 360. My body and his mood. WTF? I was stunned. I can’t even remember what the hell ran through my mind at that moment. I just remember my cheek was burning and I said a few curses and went for the door. He grabbed me – lovingly – and apologized profusely. Blamed it on his fear of possibly going to jail. Okay. That’s plausible. Again, what do I know. I’m 17 years old – just left the love of my life for a guy that just hit me. Now what?
Who do I tell? Do I tell anyone? I can’t go back to my ex because he is devastated and would probably never forgive me anyway. Do I go to my parents? Well, my father kind of hit my mother over the years so I’m not exactly sure how that would go. They didn’t like him anyway, as they also didn’t like my ex. Guy #1 was too old for me and Guy #2 was black. They forget that we’re a biracial family…my father being Puerto Rican and my mother Italian – but I digress. Long story short…I kept it to myself.
He promised it wouldn’t happen again. I believed he was upset about the possibility of prison. So we started working on getting a lawyer and figuring out what was going to be happening with this case. Plus, I still had school and was about to graduate in a few months. So we went on with our daily routines.
As I’ve already mentioned….I thought I knew it all. Ha! Don’t we all. In the mornings he would wait for me to walk to school, already drinking his morning beer. (Don’t forget he is 5 years older than me). I quickly got annoyed by the smell of beer and the drunk – but not really drunk – state. It was annoying and embarrassing. He was super jealous and was always questioning me. Who was I with before him, does anyone talk to me, have I seen my ex. It became overbearing and scary.
Then arguments in public started. More hitting. More excuses. As I look back now I can clearly realize how the manipulation worked. There was always a reason. Always.