I am writing this article using my phone while seated at the back of the church.
My youngest son keeps tugging at my skirt, I know he is bored and wants to leave. My oldest daughter is seated next to him engaging another kid on the front pew in a staring contest of some sort. I am a good mother but at that moment, I could hardly pay attention to the kids. My eyes are glued on the pew in front of me. I stare unblinkingly at the proceedings. I am sad, almost depressed, unshed tears sting my eyes but I stare and listen.
I know the words will be said at any minute now and part of me wants to run out of the church. However, I can’t tear my eyes from it all.
The he says it, “I do!”
He actually said that he takes her as his lawful wedded wife…… HIS WIFE!!! He just married someone else!
I was devastated and for the first time since I had heard about the wedding, I cried. I just felt the tears running down my cheeks and I couldn’t even wipe them away. My children noticed that I was crying and started becoming restless asking me what was wrong. A few heads started to turn and I quickly took my kids and we started heading out. I turned back and looked at their father once more at the altar and for a moment he held my gaze and then quickly looked away. The coward couldn’t even face me.
In my car, I broke down and cried. I held my children in my arms and we wept together. I cried because I felt sorry for myself for having loved a man for 8 years and still at the end, he didn’t choose me. I cried because for the first time I couldn’t lie to myself or make excuses for him. I knew for certain that he never loved me. I cried for my children who had never met their father because he always told me that the time was not right. He couldn’t meet them just yet because he needed to work on some things.
I cried for myself because for 8 years I had built my life around a man who simply forgot to tell me that he didn’t feel the same way.
I still remember the first time I saw him. We were both first years at the University, and it was during a basketball game. I remember he just showed up half way through the game and turned everything around. Suddenly, he was making shots and pulling moves that were pretty impressive. I asked my friend about him and she told me that his name was Matt. That was the beginning of my eight year crush on a man who later left me feel so broken and confused that I regret being on that basketball court back in 2005.
I bumped into him a few days after the game and he actually said hi. I remember being so happy that I quickly rushed to my hostel room, took out my journal and wrote all about him, how he looked at me and said hi and what he has wearing. I wanted to remember it all. I can recall over analyzing my response, wondering whether I should have said more. Maybe I should have introduced myself or said something witty. I analyzed my dressing and wished I had worn something sexier, something that would have got me more than just that hi.
After that day, I saw him again and we actually sat at the same table during lunch. It was heaven for me. I can’t remember what we talked about but I do remember how he looked like, his smile was amazing. He said that he had seen me around Campus and had always been interested in getting to know me. I was in seventh heaven. I couldn’t believe that I was there talking to him and he was saying all these things to me. I felt so confident and sexy at that time and could already picture us together as a couple. We exchanged phone numbers and agreed to meet later on that evening.
I skipped class that afternoon so that I could go to my room and figure out what to wear. He is going to ask me out! I told myself over and over again. I was too excited that I couldn’t even eat. I stared at my watch all evening waiting for 8 o’clock so that I could see him again. At 8:00pm, I quickly left my room and headed to his hostel. I was so excited; I could hardly conceal the huge grin on my face when he opened the door. We sat on his bed and talked for hours about different things. We had a lot in common and I truly believed we were clicking. At some point, he held my hand and looked into my eyes and I think I floated away right then. Everything was falling into place perfectly. At 11:00pm, he walked me back to my hostel.
I remember us standing at my door step, like something out of movie and I had this stupid grin on my face. I couldn’t even stand still, kept on shifting on my feet and playing with my hands and my hair. He asked me something and I just smiled, didn’t even hear him but then I noticed he was serious as if waiting for my response.” Um … I didn’t get that…what did you ask me?”. “ Is your roommate in?” He asked again. I was confused about that question but thought that maybe he wanted to come in but was nervous about meeting my roommate.
I told him that she had travelled and he actually looked disappointed. That was very confusing for me but still; I decided to let it go. I instead focused on the magic of that evening and the fact that everything had happened.
Little did I know his eyes were on someone else? As bad luck would have had it, it was my roommate. I hadn’t told my roommate about my crush on him and so I left it that way.
After our “magical” evening together, he sort of disappeared on me. I understood that he was caught up with his studies, basketball and whatever else he was doing. Then one day it happened. My roommate came to the room all bubbly and excited. I asked her what had happened and she told me dreamily that Matt had asked her out. I felt sick to my stomach; I was confused and angry at the same time. Up to this day, I can never explain why but at that moment I decided not to mention my Matt experience and just kept it to myself. I pretended to be happy for her.
Soon Matt started coming over to see her. It used to tear away at my heart so bad that I used to go outside and simply avoid them. What is even worse is that he tried to be friendly towards me and act like we were still okay. He would say hi to me every time and hug me like we were still friends. I died inside each time and struggled so much with everything going on.
One day he came to see her but she was out of the room. I quickly informed him that and tried to shut the door on his face. He blocked it with his foot and asked to come in. I didn’t want to see him but still, I was curious and to be honest, I missed him and still had the crush on him. He sat on my bed and started apologizing immediately for hurting me. He looked sad and so sincere that all my anger left me. I asked him why he had done what he had done and he explained that it was because he thought I was going out with someone else. He said that he had heard a rumor. I told him it was untrue and he looked so heartbroken that I felt guilty for thinking harshly about him. We talked and hanged out and he left. My heart was back to square one, I was back to caring about him and actually the crush back.
Then it happened! I found out that they broken up and I knew that my chance had finally arrived. I started seeing him around more often and we actually got to hang out. I was so sure that he would ask me out. I just hoped my friend would understand that I wasn’t to blame for their breakup. If she didn’t, I was ready to end the friendship just to be with him. He was the perfect man and I was almost sure that I would end up with him. Eventually, I stopped being friends with his ex, simply stopped hanging out with her and even changed rooms. Matt and I spent a lot of time together and even kissed once. It was perfect.
However, a few weeks later, he started dating someone else again. I was devastated. He didn’t even say a word to me. I went to see him to ask what was going on. He openly told me that he also had a crush on me but not the kind of crush that leads to relationships but the other kind that leads to “fun times”. Those were his exact words, and then he kissed me. He was still so cute and I was a girl under a spell so I ignored his relationship status and harsh words. He had his girlfriend in public and then he had me in private. I remember how my heart used to skip a beat every time I saw him. I looked forward to just saying hi to him.
After a while, he broke up with his new girlfriend and started dating someone else. I started to wonder if he was really serious when he said that he actually liked me. However, I was still under a spell. In my eyes, he could do no wrong. Everything he ever did was perfect. I didn’t understand why my crush didn’t want to be with me but still, I had hope. I still lived for those moments when I would see him, watch him smile or better yet, be in his arms briefly as he hugged me hallo.
Years after our initial meeting on that basketball court in 2005, we had our first child. I remember when he first found out that I was expectant. He actually looked happy. However, he wasn’t even there for the child birth, he simply wouldn’t even pick up my calls. I took a taxi to the hospital and had my baby on my own. 6 days later, he came to visit. He cried and pleaded and explained that he had been caught up with a work emergency out of town. He stayed with me for a day and then he left.
He was supportive of our daughter although he never came to visit again. I really thought that a child would get me a commitment from this man but it seems I was wrong. I remember him asking me to get a babysitter so that we hang out and do what we used to do before. I would try to get him to come and see her and every time he would come up with excuses about being too busy with whatever. Just over a year after the birth of our baby girl, I got pregnant again. Like in the first case, I was alone for the birth and this time, he didn’t even visit when I told him about his son. However, he sent the money and still he supported me.
I wanted more from him, I wanted us to be a family but this wasn’t happening. I guess I had to be content with just having some sort of a private relationship with him.
Last year around June, it happened. He went quiet on me. I tried calling and texting him but never got any response. I wanted to go visit him at work but I was too scared. I didn’t want him to embarrass me or break my heart by refusing to see me. I went to his house but was shocked to find it empty. It seemed that he had disappeared on me and left no trace behind.
December arrived and I finally found out what had happened. I was in town with a friend when we bumped into an old friend from the University. After catching up for a while, she casually asked me if I would be going to Matt’s wedding. I remember that my knees went weak, my tongue felt dry and my head felt light like I was about to faint. All these years my friends knew I was dating but they never knew who. Matt had convinced me to keep it a secret since he believed that friends can interfere in a relationship hence damaging it.
However, this time, I was done being a secret. I told my friends about Matt and that he was the father of my two children. They were so shocked and angry at the same time. Worse still, I saw something else in how they looked at me. They really thought I was stupid. I don’t blame them. Then the worst part came when my friend told me who Matt was marrying. Like a fool, I didn’t even know he was dating again. My world came crumbling down on me and I just had myself to blame.
The next few days I was in daze. I couldn’t cry but just wanted to stay in bed and disappear from this world. However, I still had a job to go to, children to take care of and a life to live. I have to admit, I have never felt worthless before until that moment.
He didn’t choose me. I gave him 8 years of my life and still he didn’t choose me. I gave him two children for heaven sake and still, he didn’t choose me. I was a fool, I was his fool and I hated him so much for having ruined my life like that.
After having a crush on him for 8 long years, it finally happened. My crush got married to my friend who was also my former roommate. They started dating again last year and 8 months later, he married her.
I went to the wedding even though it broke my heart. I told myself that I would get over that stupid crush once and for all once I saw him get married. I remember how he looked at her just like he used to look at me back when I first met him. He looked so in love and so happy and just then, the sad realization dawned on me. My crush would never be anything more than just that. He would never be the father to our kids or the husband that I had prayed he would be to me. He had moved on again for the last time and worse still, he had moved on without me and the kids.
Two days after he got married, he called me. I was surprised to hear him say that he missed me and still had a crush on me. Then he said “I wish I could marry two women!” That is when it hit me; this man was willing to string me along for as long as possible.
I wish I can say that I got over that crush but I hate to admit it, I still think of him and hope that maybe someday he will actually see me. I hope that someday my kids would actually have a relationship with their dad. Maybe one day he would realize that I had waited for him to choose me for 8 whole years.
NB: I wrote this article on invitation for the launch of the TV series “Mistresses”. Thoughts Catalog invited writers to submit articles on inappropriate crushes to be published during the launch.My article didn’t make it to the final rounds so thought of posting it here….