yes i cheated
It was a dark night, clouds were covering the sky and the first flakes of snow slowly fell on the windows of our dorms. We laid in Danny’s bed; watched a random movie on Netflix while his long arms wrapped my body. His fingers slowly traveling down my back and stopping right before the line of my underwear and then resting on my sticking out hip bones. Occasionally, he lightly touched the spaces between my tiny ribs then kissed my forehead. It’s been a while since someone kissed me and made me feel so calm, so untroubled.
Yes, at the time I had a boyfriend. Yes, I knew that in his eyes I was stabbing him in the back. But I felt at peace, I felt totally and completely whole with my actions. Things have been complicated between the two of us, I was hurt, injured and completely devastated. His actions made me feel weak and worthless, and every time he kissed me he made me think about how disgusting I felt. So being with Danny made me feel good, it made me forget the darkness that surrounded me, it made me feel skinny and it made me feel happy and free. Freedom is the one thing I wanted the most at the moment, freedom of commitment, and of my thoughts. And Danny was ready to provide it to me.
It all started on my 19th birthday. of course, we had some problems leading to it; Michael was a jealous person who constantly invaded my privacy, he thought he was just trying to be involved in his girlfriend’s life, but for me, the constant questioning and the peeks to my phone were unbearable. “what are you doing?” “where?” “with who?” “who are you texting?” “why?” “don’t do it”. All those drove me insane, and I imagine my desire for a bigger personal space made him feel horrible. But setting that aside, what caused my mental state to degrade was my 19th birthday. Usually, my birthday is the best day on earth. It is the day that I get all the attention I could ever desire, I get to be to queen of the world. Every year, on my birthday I walked around with a crown on my head, smiling so much that by the end of the day my cheeks started hurting. It was the best day of the whole year. Until my 19th birthday.
It wasn’t enough that I was far away from home, from my friends and family but the night of my birthday turned into the worst night of my life. It started okay, I woke up early enough to have a proper breakfast; I promised myself I will not restrict food on my birthday. “I deserve it,” I told myself a moment before I headed out of my room towards the cafeteria. I met my new friends; Thomas, Derek, and Jim, then I headed out to my classes which were not that boring for once. Between the congratulating cellphone calls and texts, the day flew by incredibly fast, and before I knew it was 6 pm and time to get ready for my birthday dinner with Michael. I was really excited, my makeup looked flawless, the black dress that I wore made me look like the sexiest person in the universe and my high heels created the illusion of endless legs.
My phone buzzed and a text saying “I am here” signaled me that it’s time to go downstairs. I loved the feeling I got when I realized that people were staring at me, admiring my beautiful looks. As I mentioned before, on my birthday, I get all the attention I desire and once a year my insecurities disappear. Michael waited in the car, and when I sat beside him on the passenger seat he handed me an adorable ring. “next ring, will be an engagement ring” he said and smiled. I remember my muscles tightening up, my thoughts turning dark a foggy again. He was going so fast, and his expectations of the relationship were much more serious than I could handle at the time. He knew how I felt about it, but he chose to focus on the hope that one day I will grow up and agree to move in together and start building a life. I hated that. “But he tried and I cant start a fight on my birthday,” I told myself while I thank and hug him.
The night went by, we had dinner in which I had a little more than a few drinks. I never planned to drink on my birthday but I had to take my mind of the thoughts that were racing in front of my eyes. I had to stop thinking about whether my stomach had bloated, or whether the fat from the steak is already visible on my thighs. I was so exhausted of hearing the voice in my head that counts every single calorie in every bite I took. Michael was aware of my mental condition, he was aware of what triggers me and what drives me crazy, and yet the conversation about a future life together went on making my thoughts close up on me. But I want to believe I was strong enough to hold myself together because he couldn’t possibly understand how hard things were for me.
Soon enough dinner was over, and we headed to a hotel with a bottle of wine. By the time we got there I was already drunk enough to be stumbling instead of walking and yet I chose to keep drinking. The night went on and at 10 pm Michael started kissing my lips, my neck and suddenly, our clothes shed off and with every piece coming of my anxiety grew bigger. I remember at some point I told him to stop, and he did for a few minutes, but I was laying on the edge of the bed staring into space with tears running down my eyes with thoughts that criticize my naked body, when he tried again, and again. I never felt so alone, I hated the feeling of wanting him to stop but getting no reaction. I hated feeling so worthless, my whole world turned dark and even the alcohol couldn’t stop me from feeling so shitty.
Even now, when I close my eyes I can feel the same things I felt that night. The darkness surrounded me when at 2 am after we both agreed to go sleep his hand traveled down my pants to my intimate parts. I remember how scared I felt how offended and hurt I felt. The words “I need your help with this” that he kept saying over and over again pointing at his genitals. “it hurts you know” he kept saying when I refused.
That night ruined my birthday, it made my 19th birthday a horrible memory. The next two days I couldn’t focus on my friends and family who truly wanted me to have a great belated birthday because all I could think about was that night. And yet I couldn’t talk to anyone. I was feeling disgusting, and ashamed I didn’t want anyone to know and I still don’t. after that night all michael and i did was fighting, even after he ‘understood’ his mistakes. He truly tries to make this up to me, but how can I possibly forget that night? Those feelings? It also made me relapse, all my affords to recover from my eating disorder went to hell.
Soon enough I found myself going back to my laxatives, pushing a toothbrush so deep into my throat that I threw up my stomach content. Restricting food; not eating after 2pm unless totally necessary. Not drinking calories, not eating more than a 1000 calories, looking in the mirror at least a thousand times a day just to make sure that the “mars” bar I ate didn’t make me fat. I realized that I was buying food, taking one bite and than throwing it away because I felt guilty. My period didn’t come to visit since May, which added up to 6 months now and my hair started falling out again. But the real problem was; that I wanted it. I stopped wanting to recover. My birthday night ruined everything I worked so hard for.
This is why being with Danny felt so good. It wasn’t involved with any commitment and it wasn’t Michael who hugged me. He was touching me but not crossing the border, respecting my space.I felt numb; for a moment, I wasn’t thinking about my birthday, for a moment I actually felt how skinny and bony I actually was. I felt happy for a moment. I dint feel disgusting and I felt as if I was worth something. So no. I don’t feel guilty for technically cheating on Michael, I don’t feel like a traitor. I feel in peace.
Well, I felt in peace. Right until the day when I had to meet Michael again, until the day I had to pretend to want to see him.