When I think about my history with relationships, I can’t help but to laugh at what once made me cry. At 23, I look at what I called heartbreak when I was 17 and wonder if my life is an on going episode of a sarcastic comedy that airs on a channel that’s apart of God’s cable package. While brushing my teeth this morning, I started to chuckle while remembering one story in particular. So I figured that I’d share it with all of you because who wouldn’t want to hear about the time I unknowingly advised my boyfriend to break-up with me?
My situation with Tony* started off on a shady note. After my first love cheated on me one week after we successfully managed to stain my Hello Kitty bed-set with small droplets of blood one year earlier (that’s a story for another day), I started seeing a guy named Kyle*. Kyle was a cute, nice guy I’d met through mutual friends. It wasn’t long before my AIM away messages were signed “~*~N+K [o7.31.o7]~*~” and You Make Me Better by Fabolous feat. Ne-Yo played from his cellphone every time I text’d or called him.
But Kyle was always busy (a situation I am still familiar with but again…another day). Kyle loved football and was amazing at it. Football was a close second to school for him and I was third. I understood the situation since I was in a similar situation with my own studies. Football was what would help Kyle get into the college of his choice. Football was also here before I was. But as understanding as I tried to be, I couldn’t help but feel sad when I wanted to hang out but he was too exhausted to due to long practices and mountains of homework. And so, I eventually found myself relating to the lyrics that T-Boz, Chilli and Left Eye sang while dancing in sexy silk pajamas.
Tony was a local kid who was a bit on the popular side. Before we started counting Instagram likes, we had Myspace picture likes to help us determine whether we were hot or not. And by the number of likes and comments Tony had under his shirtless mirror photographs, it was safe to say that he was very well liked by many-a teenage girl. On Saturdays while I was at my weekly dance class, he and his friends would hang out around the community center where classes were held. I never thought he’d ever be interested in me, let alone know who I was at all. We knew a lot of the same people but it wasn’t like I was memorable. That, and he had a very pretty girlfriend and they’d been together for quite some time. Tony was just one of those guys that you’d swoon over from a far, maybe tell your friends about crushing on but mostly keep it to yourself because it would never happen.
But one day, I was surprised and giddy to find that waiting in my friend requests was a request from Tony. Needless to say how quickly I accepted the request and IM’d Shan about it because I knew she’d be just as giddy as I was. A few weeks went by and every now and then we’d have brief conversations through private messages, like each other’s pictures and stick those sparkly “Showin’ Love” graphics on one another’s comments. But I was still in a relationship with Kyle and I soon found out the Kyle’s friends were Tony’s friends so I had to tread very lightly despite my growing crush.
One night, however, Tony took our flirtation from MySpace to AIM once an IM from him popped up on my computer screen one night. The jokes flowed naturally and soon we started confiding in one another about our issues with our respective significant others. He told me how all he and his girlfriend did was argue and I told him how Kyle and I never got to talk or see each other because of his demanding schedule. A couple conversations later, Tony decided to acknowledge that there was something brewing here and suggested that we explore it. Despite the fact that Kyle and I hadn’t seen or spoken to one another much, I didn’t want to cheat on him (or cheat on another level than I might have been already). So I gently reminded Tony of my situation and of his own. Despite my best efforts to be a better girlfriend, I eventually gave in and Tony and I started hanging out together alone and it was clear that our interaction was the farthest from innocent and friendly. My relationship with Kyle ended shortly after my conversation with Tony. Somehow, word got back to Kyle about Tony and I talking and hanging out as much as we had been and so he broke up with me. I was sad I’d hurt Kyle but this now meant that I could openly pursue whatever was cooking up between Tony and I. But Tony wasn’t as ready to cut his ties with his girlfriend just yet.
“Her aunt is really sick and they’re really close. I can’t just break up with her while she’s going through this. I will but not right now.”
A sick aunt? Of course she had a sick aunt. But I was foolish and gave him the benefit of the doubt. I took on the role of “side chick waiting to get chose”. We snuck around together while his girlfriend’s aunt was “dying” and he was being her support system. This was the kind of guy I was hoping to make my boyfriend. Don’t I know how to pick ‘em?
The aunt finally passed away and he broke up with the girl a week or two later. I faked sympathy but was too selfish and greedy to really feel bad about what I was doing. Where Kyle’s initial once was, Tony’s was typed and a new date followed. It was finally time to be an official couple in front of the world! The first few weeks were great, but karma caught up with me and one night, instead of Tony’s usual away message consisting of rap lyrics, he wrote the following:
[Away Message]: How do you handle a situation where you’re trying to make someone else happy but you’re unhappy? You don’t want to hurt them but you just aren’t happy where you are.”
In retrospect, I should’ve seen that this relationship was about to become equivalent to a Bad Boy record deal. Tony was Diddy, I was the musical act that’s not Biggie, and I was about to get dropped after only one album. But I was young and dumb and thought that I was being a supportive girlfriend by replying with this:
NYCsPYT900: It’s a tough situation but in the end, you’ve got to do what’s best for you. Your happiness is important too. If this person cares about you, they will understand.”
It’s a clear day, Noelle. Land.
He never replied to me and, the next day, he blew me off when we were supposed to meet up after school. That night, I tried calling him but his mother answered the phone and told me that he wasn’t home. I knew it was bullshit because his away message had come down on AIM. He was avoiding me. I was getting pissed and needed a response.
NYCsPYT900: What’s your problem?
[Away Message]: I’m Away.
NYCsPYT900: I know you’re there. Answer me!
Tony: I think we should break up.
NYCsPYT900: What?? Y???
Tony: I jus got out of a really long relationship and jumped into a new 1. I want to know what t feels like to b single.
NYCsPYT900: but u wanted a relationship!
Tony: I changed my mind. U even told me to break up wit u
NYCsPYT900: no I didn’t
Tony: last night when u wrote me
NYCsPYT900: that was about me?!
Tony: I’m sorry
(Tony is away)
Leave it to me to unknowingly council my boyfriend on how to break up with me through instant message. I handled the situation like any teenage girl would though. I spent the next few weeks filling up my away messages with angry/sad R&B sing lyrics, changed my profile picture on MySpace to a black and white photograph, stalked his page and got angry whenever a girl wrote something under a picture of him, and showed up to his house unannounced after school once or twice. Totally healthy coping behavior. After our rough patch, we faked a friendship for about a year and continued to sleep with one another since I was single and he was lying about being single. But that ended too and we went our separate ways for good once I left for college. Kyle reached out as well and admitted that he knew that Tony was cheating on me but didn’t tell me because he believed that I deserved it. I wasn’t angry and agreed that I could have went about the entire situation better.
I took a few gems from the entire thing, however. For starters, where there’s smoke, there’s fire and the fact that Tony was more than willing to cheat on his girlfriend with me should have made me run for the hills and not towards his house every Saturday afternoon. The “relationship” came to its demise faster than Da Band’s dismemberment. I also learned that karma works quickest when you’re the one that’s going to get got. And lastly, I learned that away messages that seem open for interpretation are usually meant that someone wants to break up with you. So break up with them first.
*names have been changed