In the past months, I've finally realized some of my own poisonous patterns.
I have always been the surrogate girlfriend.
Tonight I ran into someone at Fellini's. I haven't seen him since July 4th of last year, when he stopped by the redneck cookout with his girlfriend to quickly wish me a happy birthday.
At that point, I hadn't seen him since several weeks before I left for Perugia.
He and I had been inseparable for almost a year before that. Never dating, but always (I do mean always) calling, writing, hanging out, giving presents...whatever. The fact that he had so much social anxiety never bothered me, but complicated the rest of my life. I kind of lost contact with everyone else. And those who I was still in contact were growing more tired of me by the second. The only stories I ever told were about him, I was always shifting plans around him, etc.
I won't pretend that I'm very wise or even practical. I went back and forth about having a crush on him and totally despising him. I never brought it up.
Then he got a girlfriend, and I was out.
While I was in Perugia, it really sunk in that I had nothing to come home to. Everyone was on Skype all day with their loved ones, and I had to beg him to set some time aside to talk to me. When I called we talked for all of 2 minutes. It basically went like this:
"I'm really homesick. And I miss you."
-"Katie, I'm not your boyfriend."
That's the moment I started feeling at home in Italy.
When I saw him tonight I gave him a hug, and he kissed me on the arm. We talked casually and quickly about how he had heard that Shawn dropped me like a bad habit, and how he is at a serious crossroads in his relationship.
Then he asked me to call him.
When I told him that I wouldn't, I don't think he understood.
He explained that the screen on his phone is broken, and that he couldn't see my name to call me.
This time I added that I am leaving in a month, and that I would not be calling him.
I've had different versions of "that guy" in my life since I was 14. The only difference is that back then I had the courage to be like, "Ok, so, you're my boyfriend, and I'm your girlfriend... k?"
I'm really not as independent as I seem.
But for the first time in years I don't have "that guy" in my life, and I'm really happy about it.
My mom says that I should be someone's real girlfriend.
She's right. I have plenty of friends already.
I'm really not interested in new guy friends. It's taken long enough, but I know now that it just doesn't work that way.
I'm still not that girl who desperately wants to get married or anything. I mean come on. I'm 22.
Just say "no!" to the friend-zone.