There was a guy, Jason, in my grade 12 health class that I had fallen for pretty seriously. He was a fantastic flirt, but didn’t seem interested in fully returning my affections for the longest time. I pined away over him for what had felt like an eternity, and then finally I must have worn him down. We got together shortly before high school had ended and then we both moved away to schools in different towns which were significantly far apart. We had made no assumptions that we would try to stay monogamous during this time– we were pretty realistic about how things worked during university. Although we both were having a good time with other people (to which was implied but never discussed) we also shared many late night phone calls (mostly when my will power was weakened by alcohol) that usually ended in the exchange of mutual feelings of love and quite a few tears. I used to try to get my house mates to hide the phone on me if I knew I was going to be drinking that night. There was a 5 hour time difference between us – which worked out perfectly when I was feeling sorry for myself at 3 o’clock in the morning.
We had made the 4 year plan, which meant that we would go about our lives, doing what we had to do, and sewing the oats we needed to sew – and then after we graduated, we would be together and inevitably get married. It was a done deal and I pretty much ignored any possible suitors’ advances because of it. I had a few flings and good times, but I always knew there wasn’t much point in searching for any semblance of a relationship with another guy when I had already found my soul mate in Jason.
The summer after we completed our first year, I had the option at starting my summer job earlier, but I had saved my money all year and instead, I planned on flying out to see him for a month and then would start work in July, as usual. At the time I made these plans, Jason was working at a discount department store part-time, and he had mentioned that he had gone out a few times with his boss. She was about 7 years older than us, and slightly on the un-educated side. It didn’t seem to me to be anything worth getting worried about... I mean... really? A couple times I had jokingly asked him how his 'trashy cougar' was doing. He would just laugh, but never answered.
When I got there a few weeks later, she was still in the picture... and what a picture. I hated to resort to social snobbery, but she really wasn’t anything remotely close to the type of people that Jason and I were used to socialising with. She thought that tights and an over-sized T-shirt qualified as an acceptable outfit to wear in public. (That sounded catty, I know, I couldn’t help it.) I still managed to respect her space and I didn’t behave like a predator or like I was trying to make her life difficult. What was the point? Jason and I still had 3 years left of school before our plan kicked in, and I was certain she would be ancient history by then!
Jason and I spent as much time as we could together. It was almost like the time when we first met – underlying tension that wasn’t acted upon for ages. I didn’t mind; I understood the situation and I just loved spending time with him. A few days before it was time for me to leave, he took me for a drive to a beautiful look-out. He must have planned it out ahead of time, because he was prepared with our favourite CD. One of the songs was playing when we first kissed, so it was special to us both. As that song came on, we leant in towards each other and kissed; it was a perfect moment. We kissed for the entire song and then stopped when it had finished – like hearing that song created a void to which we could escape in to and be together, just for a few magnificent minutes. After that kiss, we re-confirmed that we still loved each other and we would surely end up together, just like we planned.
When I arrived back to school, there was an email waiting for me from Jason. It wasn’t long but it shattered my entire world:
Ashley is 10 weeks pregnant and she is keeping the baby. I’m sorry I couldn’t tell you when you were here, but I didn’t want to hurt you. I really do love you, but this is what life has dealt us. I hope you understand that this is what I have to do. Love always, Jason.
WHAT YOU FUCKING ‘HAVE’ TO DO? I was absolutely devastated and furious. My heart was thumping with pure anger. Why wasn’t he more careful? Why? WHY? I read it about a dozen times and then I focused on ‘10 weeks pregnant’ and I quickly did the math and counted back the weeks. My plans to visit Jason were confirmed and made known 12 weeks before that moment. How-fucking-disgusting – is all I could think. She had done it on purpose – I was positive. It was the one sure way she could have guaranteed he wouldn’t leave her for me when I arrived; I felt sick to my stomach.
The major flaw of email is that it is instantaneous. In my state of utter rage and repulsion, I replied, stating my hypothesis, and what he had done to me... to US... to OUR future. What the hell was he doing with me up at the look-out that night when he knew full well that we were doomed... and let me believe that everything was fine?! Not only did he keep the truth from me, but he actually went out of his way to lie to me and lead me on that night!
The next day, he responded by writing things that I didn’t even think he was capable of... saying very hurtful things to me; very personal attacks. He actually tried to turn it around as if I was the evil one and how dare I suggest such an unspeakable idea! He ended the email by calling me a few choice names and that he never wanted to hear from me again.
... And just like that, everything we had planned for and a love that I was so sure was eternal had vanished. I cried and cried until I convinced myself that I couldn’t possibly have had any more tears left. I was resentful and miserable for a long time after that.
A couple years had passed and I had been long-since over him – I had fallen in love again and had been in a relationship for quite a while. By pure chance, I happened to be in the same town again... the week of his birthday, no less. I thought it would be a nice gesture to call him and wish him a happy birthday. He picked up the phone and when I greeted him, he immediately hung up on me. That was the last time I ever tried to contact him.