Learning the Hard Way

Learning the Hard Way

A Chapter by Victor Cartel

A memoir I wrote for school. I've changed some of the names for personal reasons.


                I broke up with him.  What could I say?  I’d had a thing for Raa from the beginning, before Dre and I even happened, and now that I had a chance I had no intention of giving it up.  Not only that but I’d had a history of cheating in the past as well, and because I didn’t want to go back to that nor give up, leaving Dre for Raa was my best option.  Of course other factors led to that decision but none of them seemed to matter when all was said and done.  Raa was my mate now.

                I was always bugged a bit by Dre, not that I minded at the time or ever, it just made the relationship slightly harder to keep up with.  He and I were opposites, for the most part, and our relationship was always a little odd.  Lately he’d done something that just really bothered me…

                I was feeling very, very low.  In fact, I was so low I felt like I was in a constant depression.  I told Dre that I was having thoughts of suicide, that I was scared and didn’t want to die and all I wanted was to be happy again.  All he told me was, “If you’re serious about killing yourself, I can’t change your mind,” which only devastated me all the more.  All it meant was if I was left all alone in that last moment, choosing whether or not to do it, calling him for help would do nothing.  It hurts to know the one you’re supposed to rely on most isn’t there for you when you need him.  That played an extremely big part in my leaving him for another.

Not only that but I’d done plenty of things that were devastating to our relationship too… So whenever I looked at Raa, it seemed like fate was telling me “this needs to happen.”  I went with my gut; something I’m learning is usually my best option.

                Raa and I fell apart two weeks later.  We thought we were in love, but he realized we weren’t and broke it off.  I was torn apart, however, because I was still under the illusion we were meant to be…At this point, Dre snuck up on me in my dreams.

                He was constantly on my mind, and I was mentally battling myself for who I actually loved.  Some days I thought, “Why did I leave Dre?  He and I almost never got in fights like this…He wouldn’t have done something so absolutely cruel…” and other days the only thoughts I had about Dre was how angry I was for what he’d told me when I’d gone to him for help, and how Raa even after leaving me in the state he did, was still there for me.  Conflicts like these arose every day until I just couldn’t take it anymore.

                I didn’t know what to do for a long while, but I thought long and hard about it.  I’d promised too many people at this point that I wouldn’t kill myself, and killing myself over love life issues felt almost pointless anyway, so I ruled out that option quick.  Begging Dre for forgiveness only to possibly leave him for the same feelings I had still had for Raa just felt too cruel, and getting back with Raa was just not an option right now, if it even ever would be again.  So I finally decided something… I told my friends I was done; that I couldn’t do it anymore.  That I was planning on going cold.  All that meant was saying goodbye to any and all emotions so that I would stop thinking about how sad I was or how angry I was and anything related to that: only rational thoughts.  I thought it would be much easier then, but it only cut me off from everything, starting with Dre who right now was no longer a part of my life.

                It was Winter Break, and I was just sitting in the living room, typing in something to watch on YouTube when I got a call.  It was Raa…he never called anymore at this point.  I was always cold and emotionless except when he was around.  For everyone else I faked, but for him I just couldn’t.  Faking was impossible around Raa.  So I just decided not to talk to him, and apparently that was mutual…until the call, anyhow.  Was something wrong?  I answered the phone.  “Can you talk?” he asked, a question that implied I go somewhere a bit private so as to not disturb the other people in my house.

I nodded at my phone, as if he could see me, as I pushed my laptop off of my lap and got up to head upstairs. “Yeah, I can talk.”  He didn’t respond until he heard the click of my bedroom door shutting behind me.

“I’m dating again.” He said bluntly, hesitating before giving me any more information.  “I’m dating Kaiine.” I was shocked.  A while back when Raa was talking to me about his own love-life conflicts, he told me he didn’t know if he should leave his girlfriend " after leaving me just to have her back " for Kaiine and risk not having a relationship at all, or if he should stay with a girl he doesn’t even know why he loves.  At the time I told him to talk to Kaiine, telling him I’d rather he was with someone who made us both happy over a selfish b***h who’s only reason for being with him at all was probably the social side of it, and if she didn’t work out he always had me " his back-up plan.  That’s all I was...

He took that to heart and talked to Kaiine who claimed to only have feelings of sisterly love toward him, and now hearing that they were together…it disheartened me.  She lied?  My best friend lied about her feelings?  Why didn’t she just get with him before, when it would have been better for everyone?  Why did she choose now instead, to sneak up on me and crush me from the inside when I was already at my lowest?  I felt betrayed, and I’m not going to lie: it hurt like hell.

I was so frustrated at everything.  I just wanting to break all of my belongings, tell everyone I knew goodbye, and walk out the door with nothing but a wad of cash stolen from my parents and my dog, the only living being that hadn’t turned his back on me.  That wouldn’t have helped, however.  It would have only made things worse.

All these things went through my head in the 2 or 3 seconds of silence between our responses, which in turn made me sound more angry than I’d intended to sound, yet I kept my cool as best as I could.  I questioned him about it, simply said “Ok.  Congratulations.” And from there we hung up.  He knew I was pissed and that I did not want to talk about it anymore.  And the moment the phone line was gone, I burst into tears.

For the rest of Winter Break things went like this.  I felt lonely, unloved, given up on, betrayed, depressed…all those emotions that movies exploit for money, that end relationships that once prospered, that can even drive a person mad.  I felt them all.  One body " a million feelings.

So I suppressed them.  I was cold, emotionless, and didn’t need to feel.  And from there my gut led me on.  Following my gut, I ended up talking to Kaiine again the day before the end of Winter Break.  I wasn’t about to be the jealous ex who didn’t even say goodbye to her best friend over a guy before turning my back on her.  So she and I fixed things, and then all I needed to do was deal with Raa.  In short, he and I agreed to start over, which led to us becoming as close as we are today.

There are many other good things that resulted from this time of pain, but those are other stories for other times.

From this experience I learned many things… Forgiveness, the importance of friendship, how to better myself, and I’m much closer to learning what love is.  I do not regret anything I did or that happened; regretting only holds me back when I need to move forward.  I’m happy for Raa and Kaiine, though it still makes me sad to see them so happy together knowing that I couldn’t do that for either of them, and instead I was angry and sad.  Without those feelings, though, I never would have learned to appreciate all I do, the way I do, and as much as I do.  So for them I am grateful, and for friendship I am also grateful.  Without them, I would be alone.

What I will always hold with me is this lesson: good things can come from bad experiences.  I learned that shouldn’t always question things so much all the time, and that I should sometimes live a little spontaneously,

The grass may burn now but soon it’ll grow back greener than before.

© 2012 Victor Cartel

Author's Note

Victor Cartel
I'm considering making a book full of memoirs but I'm not sure if people would be interested. Lemme know what you think of the idea

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Added on February 27, 2011
Last Updated on May 31, 2012


Victor Cartel
Victor Cartel

Westminster, CO

Check the about me page on my website, Ashira's Notebook, for an extensive survey about myself. more..

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