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It wasn't a love story - no, it was being saved. It is four-years ago, and I've just struggled my way out of his clutches. His, he won't have a name. No, because he isn't important enough to have a name. He was poison. Slow and sneaky, so I wouldn't notice how ill he was making me until it was too late.
I'm free, I've said goodbye. He's gone. I delete him from my social medias, I remove all contacts, and I block his number. I feel okay, I have my family, I have my friends. And I have someone new, he's helping bandage my wounds. My emotional wounds. He's sweet, he's nice, he wants commitment. It is too much, I don't want it - no, not yet. It was too soon after being free. I needed time to recover, and he said he understood. He said he loved me, and I'm so open. So vulnerable. I say it back. I am lulled into a false sense of security, safety, love.
Then, he's telling me goodbye. He's saying he can't even bear to show up in person to dump me, because he knows I'll cry. He says he can't see this. He texts me. Goodbye. I dissolve into a darkness, I feel abandoned. I wonder what I did wrong. We had plans for the holidays. It is all I can think of. A party on New Years Eve. His birthday. My friends are still going. I can't go. He doesn't want to see me.
It was three weeks. Alone, lost, confused. Finally, my friend tells me I need to meet new people. Not for love, not for sex, not for intimacy. But merely for distraction's sake. She could see the darkness in my eyes, the eerie cloud that followed me around. Get on Tinder she says, it's a meet people app.
I have bad experiences with online dating and similar constructs. Bad history, what happened to me in the past left a sour taste in my mouth. But I'm desperate, I need to feel at least okay. I need something. I have no faith in this, it seems ridiculous. I go into this with a closed wounded heart, not certain I'll ever find love again. Or trust another man in my life. My father didn't want me. My first love abused me emotionally for five years, my second love abandoned me because I wasn't ready fast enough for him. How could I trust ever again?
I wish I didn't trust, because it is terrifying. I just wanted light, I wanted easy. I begin conversing with a man, he's five-years older than me. He has a great sense of humor and he's incredibly gorgeous. No, I'm not thinking about our future. I just realize I wish to meet him.
I do, I'm scared. I see him from a distance, we decide to meet up after talking over skype. I cried in front of the camera. I was exposed and vulnerable. I thought I drove him off. Just some overtly emotional girl. What guy wants to deal with that?
We're sitting in his car, I don't want to leave where we were. We just sit. The music playing in the background. It is cold outside, two weeks into December. He grasps my hand. The contrast between his dark beautiful skin against own paleness was a pleasant sight. He's seducing me, he's so subtle, and I don't even notice. I'm completely drawn in. He compliments the feel of my hands, he says my skin is so soft. It is such an innocent thing to say.
It sets me on fire from the inside out. Before I realize, we're sitting in the backseat. Still in the parked car, surrounded by the cold. I tell myself not to give in, but I don't listen. I've never had this kind of kiss before, his lips so soft. The way he draws me in, as if I'd never get tired of kissing him.
I'm falling for him. It's been two weeks. I stayed with him on the weekends, I met his friends. All before Christmas. I'm falling. I'm scared and I'm falling. I've never been this open before. Not with anyone before him. He has the key to my soul, and he can do whatever he wants with it. Does he know? Does he know how much control he has over my heart already? No, I don't think he knows. Because I didn't even know. Not at first.
He tells me he's taking a trip, he's going to Florida for a week. I can't ask him to stay, we were barely dating. I tell him I hope he has fun. He leaves. We stay in contact. I act fine. It is New Years Eve. I'm home, upstairs. I wish I could say I felt cold, because even that would have been something. I felt nothing. Emptiness. I didn't know what to do. I was still pinning after the boy who left me so selfishly, the boy whose birthday was today. I want to feel something. But I don't know how. Maybe a hint, a hint of me missed the new man in my life. But he wasn't mine. And I didn't know when he too would leave me.
I don't feel like celebrating. I'm showering in the dark. The countdown would start soon. The hot water is hitting my skin, running down my spine. I know the water is hotter than it needs to be, hotter than it should be. But I can't feel it. I do something foolish. I feel the pain I'm inflicting on myself. I see the blood hitting the tub floor. I'm brought back to reality, as shame washes over me. Overpowering everything else. I'm not this person. I don't do this, why did I do this? How can I fix this? Eventually the wound heals, but the scars remain.
I'm shocked, I'm shocked to see the man again. We resume our regular outings with his friends. The nights at his place. He discovers my wounds. They are fresh, he knows they weren't there before he left. He doesn't question me, he doesn't leave. He looks me in the eyes. He holds my hands tightly as if to ground me to this earth. He tells me never to harm myself again. It is a command. But his eyes were pleading. I promise. Never again. The wounds still continue to heal, but I've put it behind me. I'm trudging forward. And I'm not alone.
It has been three and a half months since I met him, the man. We're intimate, and he asks me to be his girlfriend...out of the blue, and drawing me from what we were doing. I'm shocked. I'm flustered. I'm happy. I've been burned before but I'm foolish. I don't think about the future. I say yes.
A month later, his friends joke about me meeting his family. They tease that this means he's going to marry me. Such an absurd notion. We weren't getting married, not now if ever. That was never on my mind.
It is a year and a half later and I'm walking towards him. He takes my hands in his. And we're locked on each other. I'm trying not to cry, this wasn't something I planned for. I didn't want to be vulnerable. But I fell in love. I opened up. I found a man, my man. The person who gets me. He's marrying me, we're intertwining our lives together. I do. He kisses me. I'm gone. I'm his. And it all happened so fast. But I don't regret it.
I don't regret the men I had to be with before him, I don't regret the pain I suffered through. Because if I hadn't gone through that. If I hadn't done each of those choices. I might have never met him. So no, I stand by my choices, even the painful horrible ones. Because they lead me to where I am today. I love him.