After I spent six months of my life chasing after and pining over Harlem’s biggest asshole, I solemnly swore to never let myself be hurt and look crazy while doing so ever again. There haven’t been many men since him – they come and go – but the ones that I have talked to are ones that I was very, very careful with. I hate to sound like a stereotypically-sappy Terry McMillan novel, but my heart was still in pieces from Carlos and I couldn’t let just anyone step on it, grinding whatever was left into a fine powder.
Peter, an OKC guy who messaged me on the Fourth of July, wasn’t someone who I expected to be significant. We Skyped the first night that we “met,” and it was pleasant enough. After that, our communication was touch and go. He was always busy and I was always allergic to BS. But over the next few weeks and eventually the next month, it seemed like I was peeling back his layers with every conversation that we had. He slowly but surely began to reveal information about himself – like little tidbits about his family and best friends and his dreams to be a lawyer – and even let me hear some of the music that he was working on. And in return, I did the same thing. I told him about my goals after I graduate in December and about my first love, journalism, even showing him this very column. I’m private when it comes to my passion, and for him to be privy to that was kind of a big deal in my eyes.
I’m a virgin, so I’m cautious about what I do and say and who I do it with. Everything matters more to me…especially the emotional interaction. My heart is the most meaningful thing that I have to offer as I’m still making it my goal to wait. So Peter, with his pretty smile and pretty good morning texts and pretty good taste in sneakers, found a way to get me open. Over the span of a few weeks, many long iMessages and a handful of video chats, he told me how vulnerable he is because of all of the games that girls play and how he’s ready for a real relationship with a real woman…and how he knew that I was the one. He listed everything he liked about me and told me that he wanted to know more and grow together. It was honestly some of the most beautiful stuff that I’ve heard from any guy…ever. He told me that I was worth the wait – that my virginity was something that he respected, not rejected. It seems like I had FINALLY found the guy that I not only wanted, but deserved. Not gonna lie…my BS detector initially hummed as he poured his heart out. We were complete strangers…and it’s super easy to lie to someone who you don’t know. But me, skeptical and perennially single Khalea, let my amorous inhibitions go. And why not? It was summertime.
After that monumental conversation when Peter asked me to be his girl, I made sure that he knew that I wasn’t playing around about what I was looking for and about meeting up. I told him that I’d love to be his girlfriend…one day. But we had to go out on a date first to see if the magic sustained in person as well. Over the next few days, I casually invited him out for happy hour, dinner, tried to convince him to meet me in Georgetown when we both got off of work and even invited him to my place (a PG proposition – I had other friends and my roommate over, too!) when he mentioned that he was having lunch in my area. Peter was harder to book than P. Diddy on Labor Day Weekend. Yeah, we’re all busy people…but at the end of the day, you make time for what and who you want to make time for. It seemed like he was too tied up to fulfill all the artfully-crafted promises that he made a few days ago.
Eventually, his calls and texts subsided and Peter was nowhere to be found. He even stood me up on a Skype session where we’d planned on brainstorming column topics – his idea, not mine. He haphazardly resurfaced on Monday morning, simultaneously apologizing and bragging about his “crazy but fun” weekend. He was too late…my mind was made up after our Skypeless Thursday night. So after some persuading from my friends and a whole lot of liquid courage, I politely broke things off with Peter. Which shouldn’t be that big of a deal to most…but it was huge for someone like me who’s always on the tail end of the breaking. True to douchebag form, he read my well thought out, perfectly-polite but to-the-point iMessage and didn’t respond. And that’s that.
I’m not surprised when things like this don’t work out for me, honestly. But this time, it stung a little but more. I was so open with him and so eager to be this optimistic girl who could actually believe in love instead of being eternally skeptical towards it. My clothes never came off for Peter but I still felt naked. Exposed.
Now I’m back where I was a year ago…licking my wounds over an asshole that probably never cared in the first place, vowing to never fall fast again and tiptoeing around anything that looks like heartbreak. And I’m not even that mad at Peter…I’m more upset at myself for letting my guard down like that. It’s hard to let yourself fall when guys like Peter snatch away that emotional cushion. Sigh. C’est la vie.
When she’s not watching for Blue Ivy sightings or doing some serious Facebook creeping, Khalea moonlights as a print journalism major at the REAL HU, Howard University. Follow her on Twitter at @letsbeKHAlear, or feel free to Twatch. Whatever works for you.