Gray Area Girl


You meet him at a party. He’s cute and funny and that combination gets to you. Every. Single. Time. In a room full of beautiful people, he locks in on you like a nuclear missile. He listens to your stories, laughs at all the right cues and shares what sounds like a series of well practiced humble brags from his own adventures. You’re drunk and feeling as light as Tinker Bell, which makes it too easy to reciprocate when he leans over to kiss you.

You go home with him that night. The sex is clumsy but fun. He makes scrambled eggs and perfectly brewed coffee in the morning. He gives you a warm kiss and insists on exchanging numbers before you walk out the door. You skip your way back to your apartment. “This could be something,” you say to yourself as you smile inside.

A few days pass and he calls. He takes you to dinner; even holds your hand as you make your way through the streets. You end the evening feeling his pillow on your cheek. You decide not to sleep over this time, but he insists it isn’t safe to head out so late. You’re happy you’ve found such a chivalrous bedmate. “This could be something,” you say to yourself as you get back into bed and intertwine your toes with his.

You continue to see him quite regularly in the next month and your time together is always filled with laughs and decent lovemaking. You don’t know exactly what “this” is and you’re scared that by talking about it, he’ll think you’re clingy. You tell your friends that you’ll wait for him to bring it up, but he never does. You’ve turned down other dates because all you can think about is when he’ll be free to hang again. You’ve started to wonder when it’ll be good to introduce him to your friends, though he seems perfectly fine to just see you.

The second month comes around and his calls to hang have become less frequent. When you try to see if you can make plans, he apologizes that he’s been quite busy with work/school/life. It appears impromptu trips have come up and he won’t be able to see you for a few more weeks. Other girls are writing cryptic things on his Facebook wall. You’re spilling with jealousy but know you have no right to feel this way. Damn it.

You haven’t heard from him in weeks. You’re hurt and angry with yourself. You start making justifications in your head; there were things about him you found annoyingly cliché. You knew he wasn’t relationship material and you were just in it for a fix. Yup that’s it, this was just a fix.

Then your phone vibrates and your heart starts beating when you see the first letter of his name flash on the screen. He explains how his life has been so chaotic: a fight with his flatmate, family visiting, and piles upon piles of work. But it’s all over now. He wants to see you; he’s dying to see you. The butterflies in your stomach that you thought were pulverized have miraculously come back to life.

Soon after, he vanishes again. You check his Facebook page and notice he’s been going out regularly. There are photos of him laughing and having a grand time with groups of friends. Girls included. You try to decipher every inch of his body language. Is he sleeping with them too? Your head can’t take anymore of this mind fuck.

You finally get the nerve to casually text him a few weeks later. “Hey, how’s life been treating you?” you think of ten different ways to say this before you send these six little words. He responds politely and offers to come by your place tonight. You sit cross-legged together on your couch, wine sloshing in your hands. You laugh together about some of his recent misadventures till you notice that it’s getting late. You offer for him to spend the night. He looks at you with puppy eyes, strokes your face, and says he shouldn’t because he’s started seeing someone and it might be something.

Your world starts to feel like you’ve had one drink too many. You try to look cool and nonchalant but the tears start falling. “Please don’t cry,” you say to yourself as your throat clenches and the warm stream of salty tears makes its way to the corners of mouth. He looks perplexed by your reaction.

“Wasn’t this just for fun?” he asks. “Wasn’t this a situation of two people having a good moment?” When you can’t answer through the sobs, he realizes what this meant to you. “Why didn’t you tell me?” he says as he picks up his jacket and quietly walks out the door.

When you’ve given yourself a few days let the tears evaporate to salt, you think you’re ready to be a masochist and check out his page. “What does she have that I don’t?” you ask as you click on every bland photo. You know you’re infinitely more attractive and people constantly tell you how incredibly smart and talented you are. You don’t get it.

And much later on it hits you. The biggest difference between you and monochrome chick is one little thing: her voice. She’s told him that a gray area relationship isn’t what she wants; it’s certainly not what she’s worth. And like any sane man who finds confidence attractive, he’s decided to give it a try. Because if she thinks she’s worth this much then she probably is.

Are you?

You should follow Thought Catalog on Twitter here.

image – Neil Conway