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My first boyfriend’s name was Marcus. Our story took a lot of twists, and he's the one relationship that has the most history. I wouldn't call this story tragic...I wouldn't even really call it sad. If there was one word to describe it, I would say it was just "interesting".
We met in first grade, and he was a new student from Israel. We actually became friends very quickly, and even quicker started “dating”. As childish as a first grade boyfriend seems, it was very real at the time. Even today, when I look back, I feel like it qualified as a real relationship.
As part of this “relationship”, we spent almost every minute of every day together. We were in Catholic school, so it was a little hard to do, but we made it work. It mostly involved just sitting next to each other every day, writing each other little notes, eating lunch together, etc. He used to push me on the swing and during our hour of required “quiet reading” at the end of each day, we would sit together and just cuddle without paying attention to our books. Our relationship became something the whole class knew about and understood, despite us being in first grade. I believe we even got in trouble at one point because our teacher called us out, telling us to “stop making googly eyes at each other during class”.
In any case, it felt very real for me at the time. I even told him I loved him before I really understood the meaning of the word in a romantic sense. So, we dated for about the entirety of first grade and then for most of second grade. Around second grade, however, things started getting a little more complicated.
It started with another girl, named Francis, who also liked him. Even as a second grader, I was a jealous person. I hated like how close Francis tried to be with him. She was sit on the other side of him, ignoring the fact that I was there. She would purposely pull his attention while I was trying to talk to him. She always tried to hug him or just be touching him. There was a lot of drama that just resulted in me and her fighting verbally a lot. What made it worse was that Marcus never really stopped her or make a huge deal about quelling my fears. He actually found my jealousy amusing. When I recall the incident now, he actually strung us both along for a while. He refused to pick between the two of us, leaving us to just fight. I distinctly remember one day at recess telling him to just pick her since he couldn’t make a decision. I remember crying as I literally ran away from him and then at lunch, begrudgingly staring at him as I sat at another table.
In all honesty, I don’t remember how that issue got resolved.
Somehow, we got past all that drama and me and Marcus were together still. In actuality, these events involving Francis are foggy in my memory aside from the simple fact that they happened. I actually don’t know where in our history this stuff fits, but it happened.
What I do remember exactly is that somewhere in third grade, Marcus cheated on me. It wasn’t with Francis or anyone else in my school. It was with some girl named Myrna. She was apparently from Israel as well and during the summer, he would see her as his family visited their home.
In any case, what I remember is this: Marcus and I were chilling during recess when all of a sudden he started talking about Myrna. Since he'd told me about her before, I thought he was just rambling to pass the time. Instead, he talked very loudly and to his other guy friends that were around about how pretty she was, how funny she was, and how he looked forward to seeing her again that summer. I automatically started getting jealous, but I thought he was just kidding since he knew I was a jealous person. I thought he was baiting me or just trying to get a reaction from me. When I wasn't reacting, however, he started making comparisons between myself and Myrna. He talked about how she was funnier and prettier instead of just "funny and pretty". And, then he mentioned that she kissed better than I did.
So he finally got his "angry reaction". Being a third grader, I did the only thing I could do in retaliation: I chased him around the playground and tried to hit him.
And thus began a long time feud with him. The rest of my third grade year was dedicated to making his life miserable. I will not lie, I am not proud of bully I became in the following years. I was an absolute asshole to be honest, and I made his childhood hellish in school. The only pride I hold in regards to those years is in my ability to organize such a “powerful” group of people.
Basically what happened is that I somehow accumulated enough power and enough people to make Marcus's life a living hell. It became myself, my best friend Crystal, Francis (the same one I fought with before), Jenna, Jayla, and Gabriella. That is six people total, so I’d managed to gather five different girls.
For whatever reason, they each had a reason to side with me or had something against Marcus. So, for every day of the rest of third grade, we tormented him as much as we could. If any one of us was within leg’s reach, we would kick him under the table or just repeatedly nudge him to irritate him. If I, in particular, was sitting next to him, I would sneakily change answers on his schoolwork. Something as simply as erasing the top part of a seven to make it a one in math, or bubbling extra bubbles if it was a multiple choice test, or whatever convoluted thing I could think of.
What we did during recess was worse. We would never let him actually enjoy recess as a normal kid would. He, and his two friends who decided to try and protect him, would spend all recess running from “my girls”. I joke a lot now about how I’d become a “gang leader” in third grade, but it’s only half joking. The five of them did what I said. If I said “get him”, they got him. So, every recess, it was a hunt. We would grab whatever playground materials we could - basketballs, jump ropes, soccer balls - and we would pelt Marcus and his friends with them. When we couldn’t get things to throw, we would just chase them, and things actually became pretty physical. At one incident, Jenna actually picked me up because she was significantly larger than me, and she used me as a projectile since I was so short and small. At another point, I actually caught up to Marcus and we fought physically. That was the first time I’d ever been punched in the stomach. At another time, he retaliated after something I’d done by dragging me across the pavement by a sweater sleeve.
Things were violent to say the least.
This type of behavior went on until sixth grade. At that point, Marcus moved back to Israel. I don’t remember the reason, but I think it was a family decision. We hadn’t actually patched anything up yet, and I was glad to see him go. So was everyone else.
I didn’t see Marcus again until eighth grade when he returned to St. Johns. By then, I think I’d grown a bit. I had definitely grown since the time our “feud” started.
When he came back, I wasn’t sure what was going to happen. Things were pretty mellow for a while, and it was like nothing we’d ever gone through had happened. I quickly started rethinking all of the things that went down in the previous years, and it didn’t sit right with me not to say something about it and apologize. So I did.
I remember going up to him and just apologizing for everything that had happened. I knew I’d been a bully and that it was wrong. I was surprised because when I apologized, he was actually really forgiving and accepting of what had happened. We made amends rather quickly and actually started back up at trying to be friends. It was the strangest thing because we became really good friends. I suppose all the history, though it wasn’t all positive history, made for a pretty close relationship.
We remained friends throughout the rest of eighth grade and until graduation. He actually became a kind of “protector” for me by keeping perverted boys in our class from bothering me or doing things like looking up my skirt. After graduation, we were still friends and throughout the summer, Marcus and I became really close.
It wasn't until October of that year that things kind of changed again for me and him. We were at our friend’s Halloween party. It was an outdoor party, but that day it happened to be really cold outside. We were all huddled together in a little treehouse in her backyard and somehow, Marcus and I started cuddling for warmth. I remember it exactly to be honest. He was sitting with his back against one of the walls, and I was sitting in between his legs with my back against his chest and his arms around me. It was as warm as we could possibly get.
While we were cuddling, Marcus suddenly started talking to me rather quietly. He said that it was nice cuddling with me, and I agreed. After a little more talking that I couldn’t remember, he brought up the topic of a “friends with benefits” relationship. The way he phrased it, it would just be our current friendship with the addition of occasional making out and cuddling. I agreed with it, and later during the party, we separated from everyone else and made out by the bonfire.
After that, our friends with benefits situation was cemented. We spent the next few months apart because we were starting school. Aside from the cuddling and kissing, we started talking a lot over text. It transitioned into a more traditional “friends with benefits” situation involving sexual things. Because we weren’t in person, it was just sexting and video calls at night. I also became a cam girl for him because I would video call with him and just strip or play with my body in front of him. I personally was very new to any type of sexual behavior, so it was difficult at first to be vulnerable at all for him. Eventually, though, I got comfortable and the friends with benefits situation progressed. We got to the stage of just being completely naked on camera, masturbating in front of each other, and sending nudes during the day when we couldn't video call.
But after a few months of that, we were texting one and he started getting very deep with his words. We weren’t even talking about sex or masturbating anymore. He started telling me how close he felt to me and how much he cared for me. Then he did what I didn’t think he’d ever do. He dropped the “L” word. My reaction wasn’t the best.
I said it back.
I don’t think I really meant it. I just didn’t know what else to say back. Honestly, I do love him now. In a platonic way. I love him as a close friend and as someone I have a lot of history with.
After I said it though, there was no taking it back. Once I’d said it, he brought up the idea of us being in a relationship again. He made the point that we already did all the things couples did: we texted every day, we shared personal information, we had seen each other naked, we cuddled, we kissed, and, as of that moment, we said the “L” word to each other.
Honestly my thought process was this: He was right. We did do all those things. We were very close to each other. Aside from that, I did feel close with him. We had so much history and there wasn’t anyone in the world of the opposite sex that I was that close with. I felt comfortable enough to show him my body all the time and tell him mushy gushy things. I felt like “maybe this is what love is? An overwhelming feeling of comfortability?”
And so I agreed and we officially became a couple again.
We dated for a while, all long distance. Then my birthday came around and we got the chance to see each other. My friends and I went to the mall to celebrate that year, and since they'd wanted to meet him for the longest, Marcus came along. For a little bit of that time, we separated from the group and just stayed with each other. It was a nice time, but at that moment, we hadn’t actually been intimate with each other in person yet.
A few more months passed again and then there was another chance to get together in person. Our friend was having a going away party. We were both there and tried the whole time to get a moment alone. We finally got that moment alone at one point and we snuck into a bathroom together. We kissed. We made out actually and he was touching me in person for the first time in a while. His hands were all over my chest and almost in my pants. The kiss was something out of a movie, tongue and all.
And that's when I realized that I felt nothing.
I realized right there and then that I felt absolutely nothing for this boy. He was kissing me and touching me and I was finally in person with him, and I felt nothing. It felt like just actions and bodies moving. There was no feeling at all. I wasn’t happy, and I wasn’t sad. It was nothing.
After that, I debated for a few weeks about what to do. I didn’t want to keep dating him and telling him I felt things when I didn’t. I knew I’d be actively lying at that point. I also didn't know how to break up with him though. Up to that point, I'd never HAD to break up with anyone considering my last relationship ended in war. Ultimately I decided I had to break up with him. Since I couldn’t see him in person, the next best thing was to call him over video.
Two weeks after the party fiasco, I called him. It was a normal night for the most part, just recapping each others’ days. And then I interrupted our conversations and told him the truth. It took awhile to get the words out because I felt bad about it. After I told him everything, he was silent for a while. When he finally spoke he told me that he also felt nothing and that if I wanted to end things, we could.
So our relationship ended.
Our friendship, however, didn’t end. We remained in contact, though for the first week or two after breaking up, we were distant. Once we got back into our normal friendship routine of just texting, things were okay. We remained close despite what the norm is after a break up.
After a while, though, it became apparent that he still wanted things from me. We weren’t dating anymore, but I don’t think he understood that we were also no longer “fwb”. I was worried about having to tell him that, so I lied. I told him I’d taken interest in someone at my current school and that stopped the “fwb” advances for a while. After that, he was actually the one to start dating. He told me all about his girlfriend too. He talked about how amazing she was and how she was so sexy, hot and cute. He told me all the details about how they met, got together, etc. And he also told me when they broke up.
That whole cycle kind of repeated itself a few times. He didn't really keep a girlfriend for more than about a month or so during that time. And then I started getting concerned because aside from jumping from girlfriend to girlfriend, he would say things to me like “She just wasn’t like you” or “I can’t find anyone who was like you”. To this day, I’m not sure what to make of that. I mostly ignored all of that.
One thing I didn’t like was when we started talking about virginity and "first times". He was dating this girl at the time. I think she was a redhead. He said to me that he was hoping to lose his virginity within the next few months and told me “if it doesn’t work out with my girlfriend, I want you to still be my first.” He even referenced a silly promise we’d made a long time ago to be each other’s firsts. I don’t even remember what my response was, but I know that the fact he said it at all still doesn’t sit right with me. To me, it was anticipating their breakup and also kind of cheating because he was planning a replacement for whoever the girl was. Not to mention, I realized that the stuff we talk about, his girlfriends probably wouldn’t have liked anyways. The things he was saying to me or thoughts he had about me while still dating someone else...it just resembled cheating.
Since that didn’t sit right with me, I decided to lie again. I told him I had a boyfriend. That became a lie I’ve had to maintain for a while now. It was weird too because despite me “having a boyfriend”, Marcus was still asking personal questions. He would brag about his own sex life and tell me the things he and his girlfriend at that moment were doing. He would ask about my own sex life with my “boyfriend”. It was just stuff that started making me uncomfortable.
Right now, in 2018, I think he still believes that lie. I think the most recent addition to the story is that me and my “boyfriend” are currently on break or something. I don’t talk to Marcus often. Or at all to be honest. I think we’re still friends on a superficial level. But we’re definitely not close anymore.
Honestly when it comes to Marcus, I don’t know how I feel. I don’t regret things with him, in any stage of our relationship. We’ve been friends, enemies, friends with benefits, significant others, etc…
I do know that who he is right now bothers me. The fact that he jumps from girl to girl bothers me. The fact that he thinks I would let him cheat on his girlfriend or help him cheat disgusts me. The fact that he cheated in the beginning should’ve been a warning sign to me, but I didn’t really notice at the time. I would say that out of my relationships, the one with him was the most serious and the most dramatic.