School started again that fall and we just didn’t need each other anymore. We were in different places – both mentally and on campus. I don’t remember much of our interactions after that. I’m sure I was heartbroken about the loss. What girl wouldn’t be?
I mentioned a few posts ago that I had recently been to a church picnic…and ran into a guy from college that flooded me with memories of the soccer team. Well, memories of a certain soccer player.
It’s crazy to think all of this happened 17 years ago. Am I really that old? Yes. I was a freshman in college and at the time met and fell head-over-heels for a soccer player. Only one problem…he had a girlfriend back home and I was the fool at school.
We talked late at night and often exchanged notes…but I was the fool at school.
He let me borrow his car when I needed it…but I was the fool at school.
He would snuggle with me while we watched the movie True Romance (maybe that “romantic” pick of a movie should have been a sign)…but I was the fool at school.
He came home with me one weekend (along with his 3 buddies who wanted to go fishing on our farm) and spent time with me at the house, not with them at the lake…but I was the fool at school.
There was some physical interaction (the details don’t matter now) so it was more than just a “friendship”…but I was the fool at school.
Although he had a girlfriend, I can’t really blame him for the situation. It takes two to tango and I always showed up for the dance. Plus, here’s the kicker. I knew all about her and she apparently knew all about me. I knew the weekends she’d be visiting so I’d have to steer clear. I even passed her in the dorm hallway one time as I was leaving and she was arriving. There were glares.
So although it wasn’t right, it was real and it was honest. And I think that’s what I got out of the situation. I was looking for honesty at the time. I was getting over a high school boyfriend who was never honest. Lies, cheating, etc. A truly bad relationship. One that I, for whatever reason, couldn’t withdrawal myself from. Couldn’t break the habit. Until the soccer player came along. Until he showed interest. Until he provided a distraction. Until he was honest.
Heartbreakingly honest. He was not planning on ditching the girlfriend. He vocalized her irritation towards me. He called me his bad school habit and constantly reminded me that I was only going to get hurt in the end. Honesty. (Heck, they are probably married today.) But I don’t regret the situation. Some of my girlfriends and my roommate thought poorly of me due to the situation. Some didn’t believe any of it was real.
It wasn’t a relationship I made up in my head and my true friends knew that. But it was more private, more discreet. And exactly what I needed at the time to rebuild my self confidence, get myself detached from the high school ex-boyfriend, and just move forward. Crazy, but true.
I honestly believe people come into your life for a reason and then exit when the task is complete. Saying goodbye while packing up that May was sad for me. I’m sure deep down I knew that proximity had held us together and the goodbye was more than a goodbye-for-the-summer.
We did meet up over that summer after our freshman year. I went to one of his soccer games and we went to Frisch’s afterwards. I remember every detail. But we both left that day and then there was distance – the true kind on a map that prevented our constant contact we had at the dorm.
Although none of my heart belongs to him anymore, some of my gratitude does. I’m still grateful for that relationship. I wouldn’t be the same person I’ve ended up without it. Whenever I travel for work and drive past his hometown his name pops to mind and I do hope that he has found as much happiness in life as I have…and I have him and that timeframe to thank for being a part of getting me to where I am today.