I grew up in a small town. I kept to myself and was very shy. In December of my senior year in high school, “the new girl” entered my school, my grade, my life. I will call her Jessica. She was nothing like the girls from where I lived. A mix of mostly hippie, a little punk rock and some Stevie Nicks. Every guy in school was fascinated with her. She had an air of confidence that we had never seen. She used profanity and smoked cigarettes. The other girls hated her on sight, in part because she was sexy and beautiful but mostly because she commanded all the attention. I was smitten along with every other guy in town.
For some reason I will never understand, Jessica quickly took an interest in me. We sat together in science class and were paired to do an assignment together. We got homework and I felt like I had won the lottery. But I was also petrified. I wanted her to like me but I was so dull in contrast to her wild and exciting ways. I felt it best to just keep quiet and let her handle everything; this way I could look cool.
We made arrangements to meet after school and I invited her to my home. Both of my parents worked and I longed to be alone with her. Not because I thought we would have sex (I was a virgin) but I figured being alone with her could lead to a real relationship—and it did. We became inseparable. My parents were not happy. Her parents loved me. I think they hoped I would calm her down. I let them down.
For a year and a half I celebrated and endured the most bizarre, upsetting, exciting, crazy and exhaustive relationship of my life. I let her take me over. She said “Jump” and I asked “For how long? How high? Would you like me to add a skip?” I was a complete doormat for her. I put off college, which infuriated my parents. I fell out of my small circle of friends. My life was all about Jessica. I thought I was happy but looking back, I think I was always on the verge of tears. She stirred me and I think I always knew our time would be fleeting. I was always desperate for her, even when we were together.
I lost my virginity with her. She was not a virgin. She would say all these crazy romantic things to me about our love and future. She would plan out our wedding, talk about the kids we would have, how we would travel and lead an exciting and unconventional life.
We had been together for over a year. That February she became pregnant. I was secretly elated when she told me. I thought to myself, THIS would be how I would have her forever. We would HAVE to get married now. I really believed for about five minutes that I had her locked in.
She told me she was going to have an abortion. I crumbled. Something inside of me knew right then and there that somehow she would be out of my life soon. It was awful. She had the abortion and afterward we cried together. She explained that even though we had discussed marriage and children, there was too much she wanted to do with her life. She wanted to travel, to live. I just sat back, listened to her and felt her slipping away.
In May she told me a group of friends invited her to stay the summer in France. She was supposed to come back in August. I argued with her; I pleaded with her not to go. I then offered to go with her. She told me that there wasn’t enough room for me and this would be a good way for us to miss each other. By the time of her return, our love would be new again. There was no winning with her (at least where I was concerned).
I will never forget the day I took her to the airport. She was so happy and excited. I was a complete disaster. I was angry at her for being so happy and feared I would never see her again, despite her promises to write often. Because we were so young and had little money, we couldn’t afford the long distance charges to speak on the phone.
I do not remember a darker day in my life than the day she left. I sat in the airport parking lot in my car for two hours and sobbed. I was weak and felt like I had no energy for anything. Even now, all these years later, writing this brings back the severe pain I was feeling. I am lucky I survived the drive home. I can barely even remember it. I was drunk with sadness.
I wrote to her and she replied twice. Her letters proved that she was having the time of her life. I feared she would meet someone else. I feared everything and was angry. I resented the fact that I was too young to go there and bring her home. Then the letters stopped. August came and went.
I visited her parents and when her mom opened the door, I could see the pity she had for me. She told me that Jessica was staying on and planning to live there. I was crushed and defeated. I cried, I sobbed; I felt so sorry for myself. The pain was so intense for so long. I went through two years of torture, waiting for her to surprise me. I withdrew even further and had absolutely no social life. My parents were concerned and insisted I go to therapy.
The therapist did help me. She let me talk and cry but no one could take the pain away. That took years. She had me write down my goals, she tried to encourage me to date other girls but I couldn’t even think about anyone but Jessica. I was completely obsessed with her.
I can’t put a number on how long it took me to get over her. Writing this out and thinking deeply about it brings it all up for me again. I do not feel devastated now. The last time I saw her I was nineteen years old. But I remember the pain I felt. I can feel that pain this second. It took me at least two years to get to the point where I felt somewhat normal. It took three years before I went on a date.
Over the years I have looked for her online. I’ve looked on Facebook and haven’t found her. I admit to being curious but I think it would really be best if I never see or hear from her again. She had an unhealthy power over me. I’m not sure if she still would but I can sense that I might still be vulnerable. I am married now and quite content. My wife is more suited to me. We have a good life. I trust her and wouldn’t want to put her through anything negative because of Jessica.
Jessica not only broke my heart, she ripped it into shreds. She made me feel so insecure and in the end, walked away so easily that I questioned if she ever really loved me.
I thought I loved her. But I was obsessed with her, infatuated. It was a crazy sick attraction. I longed to be close to her but I never felt I “got in.” Therefore I felt like it was an unfair field. She was IN me. I was only about her and I think I was a part of her for a brief time until something else captured her attention.
Over the years I have wondered what I would say if I had the chance to see her again. I have thought to ask if she ever really loved me. Now I feel like it is best to let go. There is some weird grip she will always have. But not to the point where I feel pain. As I said, I love my wife and don’t wish to break that bond.
I do believe in soul mates. I think Jessica was one, is one, but not THE one. I am not sure why she came into my life. Maybe to help me appreciate my wife in a way I might never have. My wife is the soul mate I wish to spend my life with.