When I met him, I was very naive and, without a doubt, innocent. I believed that life was gonna play out like this: find the guy, fall in love, spend life with, roll credits. Of course, it never came to that. He was pretty old in my eyes (I was 16, gimme a break), but you couldn't tell. Not only did he look like he an adonis, but boy, did he have stamina! We would go at it for hours and he wouldn't falter. He was handsome, smart, charming and everything you look for.
But, with everything that seems perfect, there was a catch. In this case, a big, fat, monstrous catch.
He had a wife and a son. He knocked her up when they were just 19 and in college. She dropped out, he stayed, but they raised the child together and he loved her, or so he claimed. Of course, this should have been a dealbreaker for me, of course, there was this voice in my head screaming: NO! You do NOT wanna lose your virginity to a married father! No, no, no!
But I didn't listen. And, god, it was wonderful. Usually, the first time isn't good, but mine was spectacular - and I fell in love. I fell so hard and so fast and I couldn't care less that he had a family, I just wanted to be with him, one way or another.
Now, I can admit that I was totally selfish. I didn't want to think about the fact that there was a woman and a little boy sitting at home, that I was committing adultary there. What I did was wrong, but I didn't want to think about it. I was just a 16-year old boy in love.
And I told myself that he loved me, too, that he was just afraid of admitting that he loved a guy, so I kept on trying to get to him.
Every thursday, 5 p.m., Ballpark Inn, Room 218. A shabby little hotel room, my little corner where I could think that everything was alright, that he was my lover and that nothing could stop us from being together.
But over the months, it was getting harder and harder to pretend everything was alright. I couldn't sleep anymore, my appetite was gone and it was getting harder to concentrate on anything. I got depressed and the worst thing was that I couldn't talk to anybody about it.
One day, my best friend Stella, who had noticed that something was wrong, wouldn't stop asking me and I heard that voice in my head, saying: Tell her, just tell her!
So I did. The one thing he told me not to do, to keep my mouth shut so no one would find out.
Now she knew and she was with me in this mess.
Of course, she said I should end it. It sounds so easy, but it really isn't. When I thought about never seeing him again, I felt like I couldn't breathe. He had become my life.
I tried to tell her how I felt, that I wanted to but couldn't and she only said that I was so selfish.
To hear it, not just have this notion floating in my head but pawning it off as stupid, was tough. I didn't wanna hear it, I screamed at her, I told her that she was lying and that she didn't know jack squat, but in the end, she was right and I hated her for that.
It only got worse from that moment on. I felt her accusing looks on me, but I didn't want to accept responsibilty for my actions. I mean, I didn't force him to be with me, did I? It was also his choice.
Then one day, an ironically rainy one, I knew that he was gonna be at a party of his 5-year old son
's kindergarten, I knew his wife was gonna be there and I felt this sick masochistic urge to see him with them.
I went there, the rain was pouring and they were all under a tent and for the first time, I realised what exactly I had been doing. I had never seen his family, not even pictures, so it was easy to pretend they weren't real. Now they had been in my face, I could see his little boy who had his eyes and the beautiful woman at his side - and I saw that I was destroying all of this.
But I didn't know that I wasn't going to be the one to destroy his life - he was gonna be the one to destroy mine.
I should have mentioned this before, but he was a pretty famous lawyer and people had caught wind of me. He panicked and in the next printed interview he had, he said that a boy named Sam Montgomery was stalking him and that said boy started those rumours.
I was totally devastated when I read the interview. He went on with saying that I started to follow him around and when he wouldn't return my advances, I had promised to destroy everything he has.
I felt like dying, like someone had opened a big hole beneath me and I was spiralling downwards. I didn't understand why he would say this. I just hoped that nobody would read what he said.
Little did I know that too many people read that interview.
Not just my parents read it, but also some students from my highschool. The rumor, that I stalked the famous lawyer Jake Bennington spread like a wildfire and my life became a living hell for the next 2 years.
That wasn't the only problem, but I was in much more pain than I could have ever imagined. I just wished that somehow I could stop feeling - I wanted to be empty so I wouldn't have to feel the betrayal and the hurt. The memory of him haunted me, his touch on my skin and his scent filling my nostrils.
I wished I could forget him. I wished I had listened to this voice that was now laughing at me and saying 'I told you so'.
I decided not to go to college but to work in this music store called Soul Kitchen and the owner, Ferris, loved me like a son. So much that, when he retired, he inherited the store to me, saying I could handle it far better than him.
I was 21 at that point and life started to get good again.
There was this guy who had been eyeing me for some time and we went out. He was nice and the best guy I had met in a long time and I felt safe with him.
But still, Jake floated around me and he wouldn't leave me alone. The guy, Chace, ultimately saw that I couldn't get rid of Jake and left me, but he told me something I took to heart.
"This isn't just because of that guy. You can't be with me or anyone else for that matter because you're still the 16-year old boy who got his heart broken. You have to grow beyond that. Only then you can love other people like you should."
After that, I realised that I shouldn't get involved right now, not until I have found myself and who I am.
So I started to let go of my past and I felt good. I felt alive.
And right in the process, something happened.
It was last night. The store was already closed, but the door was still open and I was cleaning up. I heard the annoying bell above the door and yelled: "Store's closed. If you wanna buy, come back tomorrow."
And then, I heard the dark timbre of a voice I never thought I'd hear again.
"I'm not here to buy."
I froze. Of course, I immediately recognized him without so much as looking at his face, but to see it gobsmacked me right across the face.
The years hadn't taken much from him, he still looked like he did 6 years ago.
I couldn't respond. No, no, no, I didn't want this, I didn't wanna see his charming smile and his friendly look on me.
"What the fuck are you doing here?!" was the first thing that splurted out of my mouth. I sounded resentful and full of pain and I hated to sound like that. I don't want him to know what I feel.
"I.. I heard that this store belongs to you and I... I wanted..." he looked a little insecure and laughed quietly. "Actually, I don't know what I'm doing here." He looked at me intently and tilted his head. "You look different." I huffed. "No shit, Sherlock."
His laugh, as quiet as it was, bursted my chest. "No, seriously, Jake, what the hell are you doing here?" I sounded a little weary, which I was. I was so tired of feeling this way.
"I wanted to see you again."
"What?!" I responded angrily. "You think it's that easy?! After everything you've done to me?! You told the press I was a stalker, you said my name in that interview and now you pop in here and pretend like nothing happened?! You broke my heart!" He looked at me irritated and astounded. "What? You thought you'd just come here and I'd jump into your arms?!" I was enraged. I literally could have taken his head off.
He sighed heavily. "Sam, I know that what I did was the worst thing I could have done and I'm sorry."
"Well, sorry isn't enough for me." I crossed my arms in front of my chest. "My life was a living hell after this. Sorry's not gonna cut it."
"I didn't know what I was doing. I wish I could turn back time."
"Well, you can't."
It was a hard fact and he realised it. This wasn't just the emotional outburst of a drama queen, it was the truth. He had hurt me and he had to bear the consequences.
"Can't you let me try to make it up to you?"
"What are you gonna do to make it up to me? Why the hell would you even do that?!" I felt all those different emotions crashing down on me and I lost complete control over my mind.
"Because I don't want you to hate me, Sam! I can't bear the thought of never making it up to you after the shit I did!" While his voice was loud, mine became small and fragile.
"Tell me one good reason why I shouldn't hate you."
"Because I love you!"
The bomb dropped and after the big bang everything grew silent. I couldn't grasp what he said.
"Wh..What?" My voice was even smaller than before. He looked embarassed about his outburst.
"I...I didn't, I...I'm sorry..." He stuttered totally out of it and like a little schoolboy.
"Do you mean that?" It was the thing I wanted to hear from him since I was 16 and, even though I didn't wanna admit it, I still wanna hear it now. After 6 years, he's still my life.
I can't quite explain my action after those words, but I closed the few feet distance between us and we kissed. For the first time, since 6 years, I felt his velvet lips on mine and they tasted the same. It felt the same - but it wasn't.
This was new and big and when we stopped kissing, it became scary.
We just stood there, motionless and there were a thousand thoughts running through my head. What am I gonna do now? Should I forgive him? Can I? Would we ever be happy?
But the million dollar question was: Did I still love him?
And to be honest, now that he's lying next to me the next morning?
Of course I did.
I never stopped.