There was this boy. Once a long time ago in another world where I was a hot mess (as opposed to this world where I'm completely put together and rational all the time). We were friends and after a certain someone and I broke up I rebounded pretty hard, face first into the concrete floor with this other boy.
I pushed and shoved, manipulated trying to get my way.
In my damaged and broken sort of way I was just trying to reassure myself that I could still be wanted.
In his damaged and broken sort of way he was just trying to figure out what it was that I wanted in my messed up damaged sort of way.
We were both jerks. He just happened to be the jerk that moved out of state the week of my birthday. I was the jerk that threw tantrums, lied and said that I was fine when I really really wasn't.
I saw the boy again, a year or so later. Things happened. I was really very hurt and pretty angry about the whole deal. He went back to his state and I moved into a state of denial.
The thing about feeling used when you are a person that needs to feel useful to feel loved is that even when you're used for all the wrong reasons (are there right reasons....?) you think it's love.
We've talked, but not seen each other for a really long time. Until recently. When he came to visit with a girl that is lovely. We chatted and laughed, reminisced and shared life updates.
At one point, I can't even remember what I said, he put his arm gently around me and said: "I'm sorry. I was really a jerk to you."
I replied, "It's ok. I was kind of a jerk too."
Because in truth I was using him too. I was using him to pretend the demise of other boy wasn't quite so bad. I was using him to pretend that I still felt even the slightest bit wanted and needed. I was using him knowing that he didn't want me, because when it all fell apart (and I knew that it would) I could blame him and still remain safe and secure in the knowledge that I was useful for something.
It was nice; his apology in the middle of the aisle. It was nice to know that it wasn't just me. That he could see it too. It was nice to be more grown up with him and not all contrary, angry and mean like I used to be. It was nice.