I remember believing once that nicknames like “Lolita” and “doll” were cute, even endearing in some way. I remember thinking that things with Ruben would go on until we were finally able to be together for real. In fact, I had planned to stay with my friend Romero and take a week to visit the city so I could see all my old friends, so I could see Ruben again. We talked of almost nothing else. Ruben and I discussed how we would get together and what would happen when we were finally able to meet again. Of course, as mentioned in an earlier post, he had made it clear that we might get a chance to see each other for mere hours at a time because of other obligations that he had. For some strange reason, I came to accept these terms though I didn’t like them.
It was May 9th of last year that I was sitting in my creative writing teacher’s classroom at the computer working extremely hard on a letter that I wasn’t terribly sure I’d actually send. After all, I had written many before, possibly dozens of letters saying goodbye to Ruben that simply never got sent to him. This one did:
Ok, here's the thing. I really, really like you. like really like you....alot.
And I can't say this to your face cause I'd probably just cry and I wouldn't be able to do it and this would all just be a big mess. And I'll more than likely regret sending this as soon as i hit the send button. So, um, yeah...
You and I both know what risks there are to us (seeing?) eachother. We did it anyway. And I've thought about this more than once, I just never quite get the strength to actually click send. And God knows I probably won't be able to do it even this time... It sucks.
But the bottom line is that you and I both established in the beginning that this wasn't going to go on forever, and well, it hasn't even really started yet, and I don't think it should, like ever. I get that you're risking way more with the bullshit than I ever would've. But I don't want to sit and wait for shit to hit the fan. Cause I know that if I do, I'll be the victim....and I don't play that. But you...I don't want you to have to give up your friends and possibly your kid. And...I just don't think this should go any farther.
I would've waited til I went to visit to say something, but like I said....
I absolutely HATE having to do this. But I've realized that what's kept me holding onto this entire thing is just that the idea of being in a relationship with you, and the possibility of it happening despite the fact that we said it wouldn't.....because I've been in so many shitty relationships with guys that were nowhere near what you turned out to be. And when you came along, things just became so much easier....But after thinking it through, it's not up to you to save me Ruben...
Maybe we just need some time to really think about whether doing what we're doing is worth it. And at some point, maybe we'll look back and laugh at the stupidity, but for now....I just hope that we can stay friends for as long as we know each other. And this summer, we'll chill...maybe. hopefully. I just hate that I've changed so much. I'm not a woman Ruben, no matter how many times you tell me I am... I'm just a kid. And for now, that's all I want to be.
I'm so so sorry. I just really don't want you taking any big chances for me. If this blew up, I would feel horrible, and I'd never ask for you to have to deal with such shit. You mean way more to me than that.
<3 <3 <3 <3 way more love then a little….Lili
I was crying when I left school, the bad kind of crying. The crying where you’re sucking in air like a dying fish and those terrible noises start bursting forth from your body. It was so bad that even my mother noticed that something was wrong with me and wouldn’t let up. I called my friend Daniel who had given me the advice to do what I did. He was proud, and perfectly willing to explain enough to help me feel better about what a terrible decision I had made. He explained that I was an alpha-female while Ruben was an alpha-male. Now, because girls matured much faster than most boys did any alpha-males that were my own age weren’t mature enough for me to want. Oddly enough, if I had known Ruben while he was in high school, I probably would never have dated him.
I’m going to point out now that I realize how terrible that letter is, and I almost can’t believe that it was actually written by me. Of course, my writing skills are far better than they were at the time that I wrote this letter. I suppose I wasn’t thinking clearly enough to use beautiful words to let Ruben know that I was ending things with him. Now, as ridiculously written as the letter is, I meant every word of it. I didn’t want to be the one waiting around for shit to hit the fan; after all, I had been told by a very good friend named Brian that nothing good could come of it.
Of course, I say this now, but when I finally admitted to Daniel who this mysterious poet I was having inappropriate relations with was, he couldn’t believe it. Of course, he told me that there were a few people he suspected, but when I told him it was Ruben, he was blown away. Ruben? Not Ruben!
I recall Daniel mentioning (without my knowledge) to a certain feminist female poet that he knew someone who was having some trouble and may possibly need her help. Of course, when he recommended I talk to her, I was against it. He continued to recommend it after he found out about Ruben, and after enough persuasion, I texted her. It did not go well. Now, because I don’t have my phone anymore, not that I ever kept the messages anyway, I can’t tell you exactly what was said, but I do recall asking her for advice because I had done something stupid. When I finally, after beating around the bush for a while (which she hates), told her exactly what had happened, she told me that I needed to talk to someone else about it, and said not to contact her any further. She wasn’t about to get in the middle of what had just happened.
That night, I received another text from Ruben:
I understand more than you know. I don’t want to be the one responsible for hurting you. Did you say something to someone because Jess is calling me.
Word for word I remember only because it hurt to read that text. He didn’t want to be responsible for hurting me, and also didn’t want me to be responsible for hurting him. I had done exactly what I told him I didn’t want to do. It was mean, it wasn’t fair, it was wrong, and I wasn’t okay at all. I broke down and admitted everything to my mother who called my stepdad, who told her he knew something like this would happen. For weeks after, he would take pleasure in ridiculing me over what I had done. I’m not saying I didn’t deserve it, but I am saying that it was as humiliating as if he had found my pictures and used them as wallpaper in my room. I was sure that everyone in our close family knew about it by the way he spoke of it. I remember preparing that night for him to come in my room and beat the living hell out of me, take away my phone, break it, and all that other nonsense. Now, I sincerely wish he would’ve and then simply left it at that.
Now, I’ll openly admit that ridicule I received from my own family was probably well deserved, but that didn’t make it hurt any less. And it sure as hell didn’t make me feel any better about what had just happened. I was simply content with the fact that neither my mother nor my stepfather knew Ruben’s age. If they had, well, I can surely say that this blog may never have happened…
This, my readers, truly is not the end of this story. If you’ll stay to listen, I’ll stay to tell you about it…