It was a warm Thursday night in February 2012. On that same Monday, I broke up with my pathetic high school boyfriend of 3.5 years. I had a huge crush on someone else, he was an ass, and I was changing into the person I am today. I was a 19 year-old sophomore, it was Homecoming week at the University of Hipsterville, and decked out in a face tattoo, nike shorts, a pink bandana around my forehead, and knee socks I quickly scurried back to my dorm room to freshen up after competing in the school’s dodgeball tournament. I had plans to go to a friend’s party and then to see a movie afterwards with Dexter. He was picking me up in 5 minutes.
I looked in the mirror, that face tattoo was not coming off. I took off the bandana to mess with my hair. It left lines across my forehead that I knew wouldn’t vanish in the next 5 minutes. God damn… I retied it and decided to rock it. I shrugged, spritzed perfume and packed my backpack with a handle of vodka.
Now, this “friend” was in fact an older guy’s party that I discovered later was a “social event” I definitely should not have been at. He was an upperclassmen leader of a freshmen and sophomore program I was a part of and partying with your youngins was apparently strictly forbidden. I found out a few weeks later that me and Dexter’s attendance at this party was a key event that lead to him getting fired. Oops.
We walked into the party and quickly began our socializing. I beamed with happiness. Dexter was just as, if not more outgoing than I was and was fully self sufficient at entertaining himself at every party. My 3 day old ex-boyfriend would have followed me around like a lost puppy, suffocating me and pissing me off the whole time. I walked through the living room and spotted a familiar face sitting outside on the balcony. It was Savannah. Two years ago, Savannah and I knew that the other existed but that’s about as deep as the relationship went. I waved and went to the kitchen to join what looked like a hilariously fun drinking game.
30 minutes later I was happily tipsy and unknowingly flirting with a guy that was not Dexter, who I was technically on a “first date with”. His name was Ken. He was tall, dark headed, confident and hilarious, and he was (and still is) dreamy as fuck. Ok, who am I kidding, I knew I was flirting. Caught up in his glorious sexiness I leaned against his chest and we laughed about God knows what. Dexter glared at me from across the room. Shit, straighten up! At the very least, I still need that kid to give me a ride home.
I excused myself and made my way out the balcony where I previously saw Savannah. I sat down across from her and made small talk. I always really liked Savannah and was curious to get to know her. Her and her girlfriends always looked like they were having so much fun! After a few minutes she looked straight at me with her blue eyes. “So, did you come here with Dexter?” she asked. “Ya!” I gushed. “We’re going to see the movie ‘The Woman in Black’ after too”.
“Just, be careful about him.”
My eyes widened. I wasn’t offended, I wasn’t disturbed, if anything I was curious. “What? How come? I mean I know that he had a fling with,” my eyes looked up to the sky to recall and quickly count the rumors I had heard “…two girls I know, but he doesn’t seem sketchy.”
“That might be just the ones you know about, who knows what you haven’t heard. You know?”
Another 30 minutes later Dexter asked if I still wanted to see the movie. He later confessed that he thought I was no longer into him because I was obviously flirting with Ken just moments prior. I didn’t want to see the movie anymore, but I told myself that if I didn’t go it would be because I was too nervous about dating after a stupid, long-term relationship and I did NOT want to be nervous. I wanted to be fun. I wanted to be flirty. Off we went, Dexter and I to see some dumb ass movie I honestly had no interest in.
It didn’t matter because we didn’t watch any of it anyway.
Reflecting on this night, ground zero, the original source, I can’t help but feel like the universe was screaming at me to not get started down a road with Dexter. I still wonder what could have happened between me and Ken, what would have become of me if I literally didn’t dump a dude of 3.5 years because I wanted to flirt with Dexter and not feel guilty, and what would have resulted if I turned down the movie invitation and stayed at the party.
Now, two years later, Savannah is one of my closest friends. Why didn’t I listen to her that night? Why didn’t I pick up the warning signs and question Dexter from the start?
But, what’s done is done and this history is written. Live and learn and keep moving forward. It’s crazy how things change.