It started in high school. Chase and I were the best of friends. Sparks would fly when we were together and everyone around us could’ve felt it. Sometimes it seemed as if nothing could’ve come between us, no matter who we were with or what we were doing: playing basketball, playing cards, or hanging with the crew. There was always a connection. Although we were only fourteen at the time, what we had was serious. I felt like I really loved him and I’m not talking about puppy love either. It wasn’t infatuation where I always wanted to be with him or would die without him, but rather a deep and sincere friendship that came with the acceptance of flaws and quirks.
After some time, Chase and I decided to become a couple. We were young. What did we have to lose? We had fun, laughs and steamy compromising encounters, but it never actually ended up with any sex. I wasn’t ready for that then. But after a while, Chase started acting immature. He started showing off, getting loud when he saw me and acting the fool, at least that’s how I felt. I mean we were young, but I really was mature for my age. Girls were envious because the boys liked and could get along best with me. They showered me with their attention. Of course I was BRANDED the BAD GIRL, but who cares. People will talk, right!
With me being so mature, Chase’s childish ways started getting on my nerves. Before I knew it, my feelings for him had changed considerably over a short period of time. One day while sitting out near the soccer field on the school compound, he asked to kiss me. I don’t know what happened, but I hesitated as a smug grin spread across his face like a little boy, confirming my doubts about his maturity. All of a sudden I snapped back and said, “Please don’t take this the wrong way, but I don’t want us to be together anymore. I’m sorry, but we should be just friends.” I saw the hurt in his eyes, but I didn’t care. I didn’t know why, but I just didn’t have love for him, not like I used to. It’s like everything I used to like about him repulsed me. His thin, muscular legs just seemed like scrawny sticks to me now. His arms looked like golden brown string beans. His hazel colored eyes seemed beady and too close together all of a sudden. And his curly hair seemed like it needed to be cut. I just wasn’t feeling Chase anymore.
Shortly after, I graduated school and immediately took a job because I wanted independence. My parents didn’t stop me or push me to get a career leaving me to follow my own path, so I did just that. For the first few years out of high school, I moved through life progressing from one meager job to the next until I met my now husband. Mark was a bad boy, athletic, real worldly, attentive, loving, and seemed to be ok. We hung out, partied and romanced each other for a year and we were sprung on each other. At 19 years of age and 5 months pregnant I got married… people were disappointed, but I wanted it. I was hesitant at first but I thought, hey I love this man, nothing and no one would get in the way of that! Hmmm! I was dead wrong.
After the birth of my first daughter, I was happy, we were happy. The attentiveness continued. Mark stayed up all night with the baby if he had to. Things were ok. But after the birth of my second daughter, everything started going downhill after my company asked me to transfer from one branch of my company to another. This meant Mark had to leave his job and settle in a new state with no jobs lined up for him. I felt bad for Mark during this time because he couldn’t find a job and I could tell it was messing with his manhood. But I was left to do almost everything: pay the bills, take care of the kids, and take care of him. He became so demanding. It’s like he was competing with the kids and my job for my attention. I was juggling so much and I was slowly getting burned out. With so much on my shoulders, I was depressed. I cried myself to sleep most nights because being so young and naive I thought I was doing something wrong. I tried harder to please Mark and hold down my household to the point where I forgot about me and almost went crazy.
Growing up in a Christian home, I decided to be the better person and give my marriage a chance. I said for the sake of my children, for the sake of Christ I’ll stay, so I stayed with him. I still wasn’t given a dime, still paid all the bills, and took care of the kids. Mark gave me no emotional support either. He was always cussing and fighting with me. He was emotionally abusive, too. He would manipulate me into feeling bad or guilty for not providing his needs. And oh, he always accused me of cheating. To be honest, there was a guy at work who showed some interest in me. He was a real sweet talker, but nothing happened between us. Mark checked my phone one day and came across a text the guy from work sent me and flew off the handle. Even after he realized that nothing happened between me and this guy, he still searched for ways to accuse me of cheating. He still reads my emails and texts, and asks foolish questions over every little thing.
Even though I made a commitment to stay in my marriage, I just couldn’t take it anymore. Every woman has a breaking point and I had reached mine. It seems like as soon as I threw my hands up, the strangest thing happened.
After my family and I relocated to Baltimore, I eventually left my company and got a job with a law firm that helped me through school. I decided get my degree. I really loved working in this law firm as a clerk because I always dreamed of becoming a lawyer. Hey, you have to start somewhere! One day during lunch, I bumped into Chrissy, an old friend from high school who recently moved to Baltimore, too. While eating in the Harbor, we started reminiscing and she asked me about Chase, my high school darling. After working fresh out of high school, a few boyfriends and a marriage later, you would have thought that I had long forgotten about Chase, but I had thought about him recently. That seemed strange to me. But stranger still, Chrissy told me that Chase had been trying to get in touch with me for years. I couldn’t believe he still thought of me after all of these years, especially how I treated him. WOW. Out of curiosity I gave her my number and email address to give to him.
Surprisingly, Chase called me a few weeks later. We talked and I found out he wasn’t living in the country anymore and that he was coming home to visit so we planned to meet. I’d grown used to living under my husband’s microscope and tried to avoid conflict with him for so long that I was apprehensive about meeting up with Chase. But I went to meet him anyway. We met at a bar and had a few drinks. We sat and talked about the good old days and caught up on each other’s lives… Of course, I sat there looking at his now chiseled golden brown arms, his buff chest, and those gorgeous hazel colored eyes. The scent of his cologne danced in my nostrils and his deep, sexy voice melted me to my very core. When he leaned over to hug me, my panties instantly became wet and a chill ran up and down my spine. He had matured, indeed. Chase was all man now. That first meeting left me wondering what if.
From then on, we kept meeting in secret and it was fun trying not to get caught. The funny thing is that it felt like we were kids all over again. We went to the movies, hung out and talked in the park or just chilled just like old times. We met every time he came home to visit. We’d have the most intriguing conversations that made me examine my life. And the sex was BANANAS! When we were kids, there was a spark between us, but as adults there was an unquenchable fire.
After all of these years, Chase had become the perfect man for me. I wished we could be together. But whenever I’d bring it up to him, he’d say that he always cared about me, but warned me of falling in love with him because I’d get hurt. But it was already too late for that shit because I was caught up and had fallen hard, real hard. I didn’t want to let go!
I did get hurt, though.
Just like I had a whole other life waiting for me back home, Chase had one, too. He had a live-in girlfriend who he was supposed to be getting married to in a couple of months. They had a son together, but to be honest, when he showed me the picture of the little boy, I couldn’t see any resemblance of Chase. But I could’ve been hating because I so wanted to switch places with his girl. I wanted Chase. He was supposed to be my man. But my female intuition wasn’t too far off at all. I don’t know why, but his girlfriend confessed that the little boy wasn’t Chases’ son. This news devastated Chase and really crushed his soul. He always wanted a son and had grown to love this little boy. Their relationship went down the drain. I still remember the night we met and lay in my arms and cried like a baby. I hurt for him. I was there for him during this trying time.
But it seemed like we started seeing each other less and less after that. His attitude changed somewhat and I got impatient and irritable with him. The last time we were to meet, he called me and we got into an argument. I got tired of him acting so flaky and asked him why he acting so strange. He finally admitted that he had slept with someone else. That one hit me like a damn freight train. But I acted real cool about it. I didn’t think it was something to go off the hook over because after all I was doing the exact same thing to Mark! But the shit hurt nonetheless!
In a way, I felt like this whole thing just blew up in my face. I mean in spite of our circumstances, Chase has fine qualities that I love. He’s patient, understanding, kind, loving, and fun. But then there’s the complete assness he does that gets me upset. But throughout this whole “friendship” I still don’t know what to think. He’s straight forward, down to earth and isn’t afraid to be himself even if it means acting the fool. I have a level of trust in him as far as a man could be trusted. But I still don’t know what he wants from me. When I ask him if he only wants sex from me, he never confirms or denies it. I still have many reservations due to that quality he has…It confuses me immensely!
One time, during general conversation, Chase told me that as long as a man can have sex with a woman he knows that he’ll have a hold on her. I never forgot that statement. It lingered in my mind. Frankly, I want so much than to be friends with benefits with Chase. Maybe I’m asking too much. That is why I am making a concerted effort to pull myself away from him emotionally because I have to be realistic. I still have to consider my kids and my husband. Even though Mark treats me like crap, I don’t want to be unfair to him. I want him to be happy even if it’s not with me.
Needless to say though, my life at home doesn’t hinder the deeply connected feeling I have toward Chase. If at any point Chase wants to truly end what we have, I am willing to let go, but I’d be lying to myself if I say I don’t want him in my life and that I don’t love him. BUT, if he says he wants me and all that I come with once my drama gets straightened out, I will fight like a hellcat to make it work! I know and don’t doubt that Chase cares and might even love me. However, I can’t depend on mere intuition, feelings, or assumptions. I wish he would tell me what’s what. Oh, I hate that he has so much power in this.
On the other hand, I’m trying not to let the dead marriage influence the decisions I make in wanting that emotional connection to Chase. However, I made up my mind to end my ten year marriage. To me it’s over, but not to Mark. No matter how we say we are going to try & patch things up, (he’s even taken on a new attitude and is working even harder to impress me), things are just getting worst because to me it’s not genuine. I grew, changed and progressed, becoming wiser to his foolishness. I now refuse to be a victim of Mark’s railings. I have become more aware of who I am. I love myself more and stand up for myself, but he is constantly trying to hold me in the cycle that is draining me mentally, emotionally, and physically. Mark’s new act is stifling because he is trying to suck me in and it is pushing me farther away.
Finally getting to happy in my life will be difficult because Mark isn’t going to let me leave that easily. I’ve prayed night and day for an answer and a sign. But after every escalating argument and my mere disinterest, the answer is obvious: To move on. Being with Chase would be awesome, but the next moves I’ll make will be for me, my sanity, and my existence, not for anyone else.
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