Three Boyfriends

Three Boyfriends

A Story by Julia

My three boyfriends


The Accuser

This one was special, or so my mother thought. He was perfection, the prince, my knight in shining armor, here to save me from the life of spinsterhood that I was otherwise doomed to.

I was 16.

He was unattractive, in every sense of the word. I thought myself too deep to care about a man's physical appearance, and I thought his personality would grow on me. He was charming in a way that was sickeningly fake, a fakeness that my mother adored and I mistook for a quirky sort of awkwardness.

We were only together for a week when he decided that I belonged to him. He seemed to be in a perpetual state of anger. Any little thing could set him off. He once asked me what my favorite movie was--I replied with the last movie I'd seen. Titanic. This was a dire mistake, evidently. How, he would ask me for weeks later, could I expect someone as smart as he was to date someone who liked such an unrealistic movie as the Titanic? I laughed at first, assuming he was joking. He wasn't. And it made him angrier.

That's when the first accusation came. Why, he asked me, would I like the Titanic? It glorified cheating. Only someone who that cheating was okay could ever like such a film.

He maintained his charming facade around my parents--he knew better. My parents would agree with him, I was overreacting, I must have misunderstood, I must have mistaken. My mother, for her part, urged me not to fight with him. He's just insecure, she would whine. No reason to break up with him.

So I didn't. I stayed, despite my better judgment. Despite knowing that if my father said anything of the sort to her, he would be kicked out by the end of the day, and that was with 20 years of marriage and two children.

It wasn't long before the accusations turned to insults. No one else could love you, he assured me. No one else would put up with you. Everything I said, he was convinced, contained a subtle dig at him. It didn't matter how far he had to leap. I had to be insulting him. If I said he looked good, I was being sarcastic. If I picked out a movie, I was criticizing his taste in films. If I spoke to another man--even a relative--I was trying to threaten him. I shrugged it off for weeks, and then months. I denied every accusation on every occasion.

One day, it occurred to me that something was changing inside. I was starting to believe the things that he said. I felt he was justified in his probing--any man has a right to have a girlfriend who doesn't cheat on him, after all.

It was only when I noticed that that I decided to fight with him. And I made a fool of him. All of the wittiness and courage that he'd beaten out of me for months came flooding back, culminating within 20 minutes.

I got the facebook notification the next day. He changed his status to single. I didn't bother messaging him about it, I didn't care enough to hear him out. For the first time in a long time, I felt truly free, and I was able to sleep soundly though the night.

My mother still says we're soul mates.

The Competitor

When I first met him, he seemed like a great fit. He was attractive, funny, smart, and incredibly ambitious. He had dreams and goals and a time line to meet them. He was practical. He was competitive. Ironically, that was one of the things that first attracted me to him. Ironic because it was ultimately what broke us up.

It started in gym class. He could run the mile faster than I could, which he was exceptionally proud of. He would beat everyone--he had to beat everyone. One day, a guy named Jimmy Jackson got close to beating him. Jimmy was only five seconds behind. We went to lunch right after, and he challenged Jimmy to a duel of sorts. The two of them swallowed hot sauce until Jimmy caved. He ended up hunched over the toilet throwing up, but he didn't care. He'd won, reassured his dominance.

Then it was grades. He got good grades--very good, in fact. He made a point of taking one more AP class than I did. And when we got our tests back, he would skulk when I beat him, agonizing over two or three percentage points. Well, I barely studied. He would say. I wouldn't have time to, even if I needed to. I'm in so many AP classes I don't have time to study for something as basic as this.

I got my acceptance letter to college two days before he did. I think that was the final straw. We both knew it was over, but he had to be the one to break it off.

I let him win, in the end. He needed it.

The Creep

When I first started college, there was this guy. Not just any guy, The Guy. I couldn't get him out of mind. He was tall and handsome, with these amazing eyes. I could never decide if they were blue or green, they were this lovely ambiguous color. He had this gorgeous smile that I absolutely loved. It was somewhere between a smirk and a grin. I tried to act casual around him, aloof, cool as a cucumber. But when I was at home I would draw love hearts and do those girly love equations that I always made fun of other girls for doing--how compatible are we, they would determine. It was all very scientific, really. And if by some mistake the numbers came out unfavorable (only 23% compatible, it must be a miscalculation) there was always a way to fix it. Add in his last time. Include my middle name. Eventually, we would be soul mates.

One day I saw him in the library. I sauntered over to him, feigning disinterest when Howard approached me.

Howard was a strange boy. My friends called him Dahmer. He had crazy eyes, they said. He was twitchy and awkward, he spoke with a stutter and when he did speak well you still couldn't understand a word that he said. He would allude to references that no one understood, and raise his hand in class to offer bad puns.

I didn't see him coming, and by the time he got to me it was too late to pretend to be doing something else. He asked me out in a painfully rehearsed way that made me think he'd practiced it a few times beforehand, maybe more than a few times. I didn't know what to say--I'd never spoken to him before--when my Guy came to the rescue. He laughed in Howard's face and said, “I've got it from here, little man.” He smirked at me. “Girls like her don't date guys like you.” He smiled that smile that I loved so much and said, “she's going out with me on Friday. Right, Babe?”

I told the Guy to blow me, and told Howard that I would love to go out with him.

It was just a stand, really. A statement. But when Friday rolled around, I knew I couldn't blow him off. He said he wanted to see a movie, but what he really meant was he wanted to hang out in his dorm room and watch weird movies about aliens, occasionally pausing to point out physics mistakes. It was the weirdest date I've ever been on.

We've been together ever since.

© 2014 Julia

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This is quirky and cute, and I quite enjoyed it. You described each guy really well, and got to the heart of every relationship to the point where we felt like we experienced it with you. And the happy ending was crazy enough to be lovable in its own weird way. You have a couple of words missing from sentences in the Accuser and the Creep, and in the Competitor I believe you were wanting to say "sulk" and not "skulk" but this story is brilliantly crafted in every way. I can almost see it as a short film or sorts. Well done!

Posted 6 Years Ago

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1 Review
Added on January 30, 2014
Last Updated on August 20, 2014
Tags: boyfriend, girlfriend, dating, relationships



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