Confession of a former side-chick
October 24, 2013 § 34 Comments
I got this email from someone who was one, and I appreciate the honesty about it all. I have been given permission to publish.
2009. I was 18. Vibrant, spunky, outgoing. I had just settled in a new town. A new academic venture had just begun – tertiary level.
The first day of lectures, I laid my eyes on who was going to fast become my best friend. She was dark, slim, taller than average. Most interestingly, she looked foreign. Just like me! For 3 sessions per week for the following month, we always made eye contact in class. One day, I finally approached her and asked for her name. It was Vivian*. She had a nice smile. We had a very chatty introduction. The outcome was her inviting me to her hostel room. We ended up laying on the bed and talking for the next 5 hours straight. By the end of the day, it felt like I’d known her my whole life. It was the days when Mxit wasn’t a big joke. We stayed up chatting when we weren’t together.
3 months later, she invited me for a girls-night-out club-hopping mission. I lived at home with absolutely conservative parents, so I sadly couldn’t go. She asked me for my digital camera, I agreed to give it. She later told me not to bother; a friend had lent one to her. The next day, she showed me photos of the fun that was. They dominated the dance floor. She asked me if I could dance. She told me to prove if I could. I did. The slow wind, the booty hop, the Shakira – I showed her all. She recorded it on the borrowed camera, absolutely stunned. She played it back over and over again. She told me that the owner of the camera, Cyrus*, was soon coming to fetch it. She received a call and went downstairs to give it.
Within the next 10 minutes after she returned, she received a phone call. Cyrus was begging to know who the dancer was. She said it was her. He knew it wasn’t. They grew up together. He senior-ed her (and me) by 10 years. He knew her body and motions inside-out. He begged and begged. I left her room that evening with Cyrus still pleading on Mxit to know who the dancer was.
Around midnight, Vivian sent a Mxit message telling me that she’d given my Facebook name to him. I asked her if he was cute. She said I would see.
8am the next morning, I saw a friend request from someone with the silhouette of a built man as his profile photo; with a window pane as the backdrop. It was his name. I refused to believe it was his actual self on the photo. It was just too model-ish. I accepted the request and before the page could refresh, he sent a “Hi” inbox message. I sent a “hi back”. He asked for my mobile or Mxit number. He claimed to detest Facebook messages. We chatted on Mxit till 5pm. He knocked off from work and asked to meet me just for a while. I was scared to. What if he wouldn’t like me in person? I had previously told him I was on campus in the library, so he came anyway. Immediately he entered the lab I was in, I knew it was him. He was all versions of hot. Tall, dark, built, with chiselled facial features.
He located me and just sat next to me and smiled. I blushed. I heard his voice, his accent for the first time – My God! Yesssssss…
Fast-forward to a week later. We had spoken about the basics. Age, education, background, relationship status. Two single people getting to know each other. We somehow flirted to the point it got sexual. I wasn’t a virgin, but I was quite untainted. He was dirty. I was intrigued. Highly.
He said he liked my innocence. He said he liked how he knew I wouldn’t be able to handle him. I told him I could. I wanted to.
One morning, he told me he had a hard-on. Asked me to prescribe something to calm it. I sent him a nude. The first nude I had ever sent in my whole life. I told him to jack off – the hard-on would go. He called me a tease, said he wants to teach me a lesson. I told him pick me up after his work.
5:30pm, we were at his flat. We fucked. It was not sex, it was not love-making. It was intense. I bled. I felt like a virgin over again. From that day on, he became my every desire.
My days became exciting. I’d wake up to messages from him telling me how amazing and mature I was. It made me excited to go to school and get all my work done, so the evening would come quickly and I’d see him. Sometimes I’d sneak off to a toilet to send him photos. It was insane. He would just send a text: “Babe, turn me on. Now”, and I’d do it. Despite the extremely passionate, yet almost sadistic approach he had to ‘loving’ me, I felt it was the best thing ever.
One evening, he reported that Vivian was giving him attitude. That she’s not a very good person when she’s angry. I had unintentionally distanced myself from my bestie. I visited her that day. She was very cold towards me. We had a bit of a spat. I told her she’s a spoiled brat and always pushes people away. She told me I was a bad friend for going after her love interest. She added that I was not even his girlfriend. Someone called Janine* was (by the way, that’s my name too. My middle name). She went into detail about how I’m just his sexual toy.
I felt all kinds of weak. All kinds of sick. I didn’t understand the emotion. I had never been heart-broken. But I was sure that wasn’t it. It was more than that. I felt worthless, then stupid, then angry, then absolutely shattered. I wasn’t yet sure if I was in love with him; but it occurred to me that I most probably was. Or was I just drawn to his sexual kinship? He was the best I ever had. From his looks to his demeanour and all the way to the bulge in his pants. All I really thought was: why didn’t I ever know? Why had I never noticed? There were no hints in his flat. The next hour, Vivian took me through his Facebook. The little hints were here and there. I just trusted him off the bat. Never snooped or felt insecure. The posts from Janine were obvious of affection. His own statuses were too. He fondly called me “J”, I had assumed the “J” references on his Facebook were to me. It was all too easy for him. I threw up. I couldn’t believe how it all affected me.
Vivian apologised. Next blow: she confessed to sleeping with him too. Constantly for over a year. She confessed to loving him. She used to get all the attention I had been getting from him. But it all changed when I started talking to him. He had told her that she shouldn’t behave as if she was his girlfriend. That he just wanted to meet me. He told her he wouldn’t try anything with me. That Vivian was his favourite other female. It disgusted me how she was okay with it. Knowing full well about Janine. I would never – or so I thought.
That evening, I confronted him. He apologised. He kissed my hand and said he thought I knew. I just wanted to erase him from my memory. It was tough, but I stayed away from him – for a while.
Little did I know I would go on to see Janine everywhere on campus. I started to notice things I never did before. I would even see them chill on campus after 5. I had seen him pick her up before. Vivian had Janine as a friend on Facebook and I would read her posts. Once, she gushed “So happy Cy-Cy doesn’t have to stay at work late anymore.” I was that ‘work’.
I had not only found that thin line between love and hate. I crossed it.
2010. Life went on though. I got a post as columnist for the campus newspaper. Janine had a post there too. One day she clashed with a friend of mine, and it made me dislike her more. So I fell back into a bad habit I had been off for almost 3 months – Cyrus the Virus. I called him. Told him to pick me up immediately. He did. We had sex. And that’s how it started all over again. This time I was fully conscious; fully aware of my position.
I started to smile at Janine. I felt powerful. He was hers, but he was mine too. Cyrus even found a way to get us to be friendly. She even admitted once in a Mxit group chat to having a thing for me and admiring my confidence. She had no idea where it stemmed from.
The year was over. He got a new job in another province. He and Janine broke up. I and Vivian fell out completely. I got into a steady relationship. Life went on…
2011. A whole year later, now in the days of WhatsApp. He sent a message quite out of the blue and told me he’s in town for the week for an event and that I have his number. I knew what he meant. I missed him. I contacted him. We did it. I was now a cheat. I later broke up with my boyfriend. Guilty conscience took me over.
I found out a little while later that Cyrus got back with Janine. I was emotionless.
2012. Same time the following year, he was in town again. Same event. Just one week. I was in a year-long relationship. His name is Laki*. He knew about my past. He knew about my addiction to being Cyrus’ sidechick. But he still wanted to be with me. This was the longest relationship I’d ever been in. I cared about him. A lot. But we fought a lot. He said I lacked respect for him. We had a big fight the beginning of that fateful week. Sometimes I think I subconsciously planned for the fight to happen. And happen, it did. I linked up with my guilty pleasure. We did what we knew how to do best to each other. It was always the greatest familiarity that I just couldn’t get used to. I couldn’t get enough of if. Every new time was better than the last time.
I broke up with Laki after that week despite his apologies and pleas to try and sort things out. I was not prepared to tell him what I had done.
2013. Some months later. Laki did not relent. And I caved into his re-advances. I fell in love this time around, and cautiously. He treated me like a gem. He publicised us. He made sure it was known that I was his and he was mine. I initially found it hard to trust him totally, but he eliminated all traces of doubt. He still showed me respect, and I showed him the same. I really had changed. I had grown up. Not only to my credit; Laki made me feel like the only girl in the world. In a healthy way this time. Cyrus was a bad memory. I deleted him from Facebook. I deleted his phone number. The plan was to be faithful.
That time of the year arrives again. The time Cyrus always comes into town. He hasn’t outgrown his favourite event of the year. I hope he won’t contact me, but I wish he would. I want to feel like he actually wanted me because he WANTED me, not just because he could have me. He is still with Janine. Someone told me so.
2 days into the event, I get a WhatsApp message from someone with a silhouette of a masculine body; and the sunset as the backdrop.
HIM: “Hi Miss J”
ME: “Who is this?”
HIM: “Haha. Classic question. It’s Cy.”
He’s still cocky as ever. I play it cool. He does too. After a civil chat, I eventually tell him to enjoy his stay, then roll out. Laki is not impressed. He feels I’m not firm enough. He feels he’s still scarring from wounds Cy left behind. We have a big fight. I’m charged to take control now.
I open the chat again and type away. I pour out 4-years of sadness, emotional turmoil, inferiority of being second-best and ultimate guilt into a WhatsApp message. I make it clear that he is never to contact me again, and that I’m preserving what I have going on with a great man this time around. I press the “Send” button, and my heart starts racing.
The “last seen today at…” bar turns into “Online” and I hold my breath. Few seconds later, I get a new message notification.
That was all he replied. That was all it took for me to feel totally sober. Sane. Powerful.
And that was the end of it.
(* – Names changed).