In a relationship there can only be the certainty of choice. The relationship in itself never comes with any certainty. I gave myself the certainty of choice when we were together for about a year.
At one moment I said to myself: “This is as good as it gets. I choose you and rid myself of all the nagging what ifs.”
I remember the moment well, because I was walking back to my place from a night spent in bed with Hilde. A girl I cheated you with for the second or third time. You were studying at home, with your parents. The Easter holidays. I stayed. Close to the faculty. Where the lonely studying women were.
Hilde. If I hadn’t been with you, Denise, I might have ventured a relationship with Hilde. And not just a fling, like last night.
A very fine night it was, and now, walking back, I have the quietness of dawn in a sleepy student city on Easter morning to be torn between feeling elated and being scared out of my wits because you might discover what I did.
Yes, FEAR. Fear that you will find out. Hilde and you move in the same circles. It’s not impossible. People have seen us together. Some people you know, vaguely, saw Hilde and I leave after a party, somewhere near dawn.
And now, fear. Not guilt. No, of course, not, I can’t allow guilt, I can’t slip down the guilt lane. My libido needs stability. But there is fear. Fear of losing you.
So no more of that. It’s all very clear now. What this fear is telling me, is that the one for me is you. Could it be? Yes, why not? In fact I’m quite happy with you. We have lots of good sex. You allow me a lot of freedom. You’re always supportive of my writing ambitions. You give sane, practical advice. A no nonsense attitude to life I lack, but envy in you.
So it’s decided then, let’s get committed. I choose you. Just you. No more escapades that make me risk losing you. My devoted partner in the vital necessity of swapping body juices.
And in choosing you, I wasn’t settling for less than I thought I could have. I must be clear about that. In all fairness to you. There was more I could praise you for than there were things I could criticize you for. I am ready to admit that. You understand, I had to tarnish you, after you broke up with me.
You had good taste in everything. A bit posh sometimes, but still, good taste. You looked great. A hardbody. Slim waist. Long legs. D-cup. Very Arian, but with an original face. I especially liked what you called your ‘Ukrainian slut look’. Tight glitter top, tiny tennis shorts and leather orange high-heeled shoes with lots of kinky looking straps. Purple eye-shade. A one-woman sex invasion. When you walked the streets, you were like a magnificently glistening sword cutting through the masses. You never had much patience, and you did look down on most people, especially people in groups.
The only reason I stopped telling you how beautiful you were, was because you got it into your head to sign up for beauty contests. When you told me that, I could already see you in glossy magazines, showing off your new slick looking boyfriend. I was sure you would trade me for a famous soccer player the second they put that crown on your head.
You called me on my cell phone while I was jogging along the river. They hadn’t accepted you. I tried to sound empathic. Hard when you’re smiling with relief. I said you were too beautiful to enter. You wanted to believe that, but didn’t. You said it was because of me and my constant compliments that you even tried. I promised to stop complimenting you altogether. You promised to see beauty contests as what they were: the mainstream promotion of a very shallow beauty ideal, backed by small enterprises who need a national promo face for their brand.
We had a very quiet dinner that evening. It takes a lot of talking to reach a compromise, but as soon as you’ve reached it, an eery silence can creep in. Silence was new to us. We were never silent before. Always laughing, or talking and if we weren’t talking, we filled the room with the sound of your moaning. You were the loudest by far. Your orgasms could trick nearby factories, schools and companies into thinking they were having a fire drill. My dad used to say: “Something kept me awake last night. It’s about 1.75 cm high, blonde and puts a dumb grin on my son’s face.”
Yeah, you were blonde. Out the window went my pathetic adolescent ‘alternative’ boast: “I don’t do blondes.”
I also propagated the anti-macho statement I preferred small breasts. You asked: “I can’t figure it out. What do you even see in me?”
How much time do you have?
When I first saw you, you were unlike any woman I’d ever seen before. You looked like an angel with developed sexual organs and at the same time you looked like you killed your five previous husbands in a way that would make the most talented Nazi henchman envious. You even said you were a Nazi on our first date. Not that you had anything against jews, but you couldn’t stand the sight of weaklings. I remember you saying something: “Without inflicting pain, I go insane.”
The part of you inflicting it, wasn’t quite true. You liked being administered pain. You could reach orgasm by hitting your ‘chatte’. Cunt. You spoke French at home. Which makes it even worse that you beat me nine out of ten times we played Scrabble. We played it in Dutch. As a break in between having sex. Even you and I couldn’t have sex ALL the time. Your father often had ‘I can’t stand losing’, playing in his car. I don’t know if he did that on purpose, but it was a fine soundtrack to those days.
The moment I chose to be with you for good, I became so scared of losing you, that, instead of talking you up, with compliments I had always meant, I started talking you down, with scathing comments I never even believed I meant. I kept taunting you about your mediocre academic results. I knew that hurt you, because you really made an effort to get good grades.
Why do things become so clear only in hindsight?
You broke up with me, because I got too arrogant. Excellent observation, I must say. Arrogance, a bombastic, yet very fragile shield for insecurity. In all those sex marathons, you, looking so aggressively sexy and independent, giving yourself over to me, so passionately, made me overflow with self-confidence until it turned into blind over-confidence. I was starting to feel infallible.
I was dealing with the same question you were dealing with. I could never quite figure it out either, why did you ever fall for me? In the end I was too arrogant to ask you. I think now, you fell for me because I wasn’t a macho, was modest, funny and caring. Walking hand in hand with someone like you somehow convinced me I should be a bigger, taller, more muscled, better, much more confident man to deserve you and so I turned into the exact opposite of what you liked. How ironic can self-destruction get? What we fear has a sadistic tendency of becoming reality.
It took me six months and a lot of innocent broken hearts before I stopped trying to mend the cracks in my arrogance. And three years to get over my fear of the certainty of choice. I felt like I had been punished for being monogamous. I was reasoning that women only stayed when they were afraid to lose you to an other woman. It took me a while to figure out you left because I was vampirizing you. And that outside of bed we weren’t that great a match. I really resented you for your posh taste and your lack of rebellion against such conformist plastic festivities as beauty contests. And your commitment to getting good ‘grades’ for subjects that didn’t matter in my eyes.
We’re still not on speaking terms, but at least I got rid of enough arrogance to finally wish you a happy life and thank you for some of the best sex of my life and especially for those sweet peaks in confidence, when I was showing you off to my friends and family.
sorry to have objectified you and treating you like a status and luxury product.
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