This wasn’t how it was supposed to be. New love wasn’t supposed to be this stressful. She’d never felt anything like it before. It was unnerving. She felt so confined, restricted. Love was supposed to be powerful and freeing. A welcome addition to an already exciting life. Instead of adding to it, this “love” was taking away everything she ever knew. He was wonderful, handsome, fun…but…it made her stomach flip. Love wasn’t supposed to be this way.
Her entire life she’d done exactly what she wanted. No man, no “love”, was going to tell her what she could and couldn’t do. If he didn’t want to trust her that was his problem. The paranoia was too much to handle. Fortunately there were plenty of other options. And he was always there, when she needed him to be. Safe, easy. She’d saved his life; it was a bond no one else could ever understand.
Not to mention, they were best friends. Just friends. Sex was just a part of being close to someone. It wasn’t a relationship, they just happened to work together and be on the same schedule. It just worked. Why did he have to be such a jealous prick about it? It was so controlling, so insecure to tell her that she couldn’t hang out with her friends.
But when he proposed she said yes without hesitating. Like she knew she was supposed to. She was excited and in love and knew she wanted to be with him. But her mom told her she had to be with him. It was her job to take care of him. And they were just friends. What was the big deal? Why did he even bother to propose if he didn’t understand that?
Like, what was she supposed to do, just sit around and wait for him to get home from work? How was that fair? Of course she was going to go out on the weekends. She busted her ass until closing time, was she just supposed to go home and not have any fun? The messages she sent telling him she couldn’t wait to see him weren’t enough? She couldn’t be held accountable for his neediness. Just because he needed to be reassured all the time. He just didn’t get it. None of the other guys really mattered. They were all just friends. So what if they fucked every now and then. And what was love anyway? She loved all her friends.
It was no wonder her friends didn’t like him. He was too stuffy, too serious, too controlling. Obviously he had issues with trust. Like he needed to prove something. Not her problem. She was always going to be herself, and if he didn’t like it he could leave. If she felt like flirting she would. What was the harm in flirting? Her friends thought he was crazy, a total asshole. Compared to him, he was so lame. He made her feel like the sexiest girl in the room. Out of all the other girls there, she couldn’t believe he wanted her. Not like him. He loved her, she knew, but it wasn’t supposed to be like this. It was so overbearing. Overwhelming.
So after work she went out like usual. She didn’t tell him, he was busy anyway. He needed to get over it. There would be others there. With history. So what? It was a small town, you couldn’t avoid being around people you had a history with. All the more reason to keep them as friends, as options. You never knew, after all. Besides, having attention like that was great. It was a confidence booster. Who would say no to feeling like the most sought after girl in the bar? That was just stupid. He was there if she ever needed him anyway and so she felt safe. That was enough.
She didn’t know why she hadn’t told him they’d gotten engaged. For some reason tonight was the night she put her ring on when she went out. And the opposite of what she thought would happen, happened. It didn’t keep them from talking to her, instead it was a fucking magnet. So she held it up, proudly, and smiled and told them she was so happy to be engaged. But she could see in their faces that didn’t matter. When a hand made its way to her knee she didn’t know what to think. She’d had attention before but this was intense. He was there watching, just as jealous as he was. Now they were both jealous. But the attention, my god, the attention. You could smell the want in the air.
Then all of a sudden he was standing next to her and her would-be suitor was out of his chair. She blazed her eyes at him, furious for being so fucking paranoid and stupid that he couldn’t trust her to come home to him. When she joined him outside she told him so, that he was fucking insecure and needed to go home. All she wanted was to have a good time and de-stress after work and why couldn’t he understand that?!
She followed him back into the bar and glanced at him to see that he was jealous too. Pissed that she was promised to someone else now and that she was going to abandon him. He’d kill himself that night, she knew it. Then she heard I want the ring back and it shocked her back from her nightmare scenario. The ring was off her finger and he was gone and she was left standing in the bar with people looking at her from the corners of their eyes and whispering over the music. Her stomach turned. So goddamned embarrassing.
A glance to him told her he wasn’t going to save her tonight and she realized she didn’t know what to do. So she left and tried to get home to talk to him and he was already gone. Reaching into her purse she removed her phone to frantically text and tell him that he didn’t understand. If he’d just listen to her she could explain everything. He was being ridiculous and he needed to know she did want to be with him and marry him and be happy. But she had responsibilities, she was letting everyone down if she stayed with him. Her friends and family, they didn’t like him at all so how was she supposed to stay?
When she woke up she was still in her clothes from last night. Phone in hand, no response from him. But there were plenty of messages from him. Confessing his undying love for her, telling her how bad he needed her, that he’d fuck her proper. And she knew he‘d been really drunk and she worried that he was dead. So she got up and drove to his house. Because love wasn’t supposed to be stressful. This wasn’t how it was supposed to be.