I feel like I should begin this post with some cliche about love; about this post being about the one who got away. But this is my story and I am the heroine. I am the protagonist. I don’t need to be saved. There is no need to pity me or feel sorry. I survive and at the end of the day, I am victorious. In what ways, we have yet to find out. This story is still being unveiled, even to me. As I live life, edits are made to what was and what should be. Luckily in my world, I have a higher power that controls the switchboard, who plans the curtain calls, and can call the plug when it’s time to finally go home. In the meantime, I just live my life to the fullest and write my experience as it was written.
I first met the love of my life, Diego, at the local grocery store. I was sixteen and was just hired on as a courtesy clerk, someone who bags groceries, pushes carts in, does go backs, etc. He was the nighttime front end supervisor. He had just turned twenty one. He happened to be dating one of the other courtesy clerks who had just turned eighteen. She had long, blond straightened hair, was super thin and athletic, very popular at my high school, so essentially everything I despised in another female. It was looked down upon that the two were dating, but upper management looked the other way. Diego was very much loved and adored by everyone with his infectious laugh and addictive personality. He was a very large man, roughly six feet tall and two hundred eighty pounds. Many wondered how he got a girl like Taylor at all since she was very superficial and fake. Also, she was a terrible employee. I mean, the laziest person I have ever worked with, to this very day.
I would often come in to the store close to closing time while he would stock the drink bar just to talk to him. He could see how depressed I was and asked me about myself. Mind you, this was during the height of my mother’s alcoholism, so she would be belligerent and emotionally abusive so I would find any excuse to leave the house. He asked about my home life, how school was, my friends, church life, and just about me. We exchanged numbers and would text until four in the morning, even though I had to be up by six for school the next day.
Months passed by, Taylor and him got more serious, but we would still talk. Eventually she graduated high school and went away to university and they broke it off. He was devastated. We still talked and I was there for him. Meanwhile, at seventeen, I was still not medicated nor seeking counseling for my depression. I was still attending church regularly. I met a guy named Jake, he was nineteen and the night before church camp in August of 2015 I lost my virginity to him. At the time, Diego was still working things out with Taylor so it didn’t matter that I had a crush on Diego; he wasn’t physically or emotionally available for me, but Jake was.
I entered my senior year of high school with an older boyfriend, still depressed, but was entering what I now realize was a manic episode. Jake and I would have sex every day and it became an obsession. I became obsessed with sex. The heightened endorphins, the pure ecstasy, I couldn’t get enough. I was still working at the store so I would see Diego regularly. Jake started to become very jealous and almost possessive over the fact that Diego and I were such good friends. I kind of blew it off as young love and then we would sleep together and call it a day. Then I developed my first UTI. I didn’t think much of it, I thought it would just go away. As I later found out, that’s not how infections work and I was sent to the ER for what then became a kidney infection.
After three ER visits within a week, I then had to have exploratory surgery to try to explain my flank and pelvic pain because antibiotics and narcotics weren’t doing the trick. I later found out that my appendix nearly ruptured so they had to remove it. I was on bed rest for a month and was out from school for nearly four months. Mind you, this is supposed to be the happiest time of my life. I had my dream job, I had a great boyfriend it was my senior year of high school, and the start to the rest of my life. Yet I spent every day, quite literally, sobbing in pain and in self pity because I missed so much school and had no idea how I would even graduate.
Jake spent every waking moment by my side through it all. Once I got sick, my mom managed to put the bottle away and keep her pill poppin’ hands away from my Vicodin enough to help take care of me. But Jake was in the way so much, that he wouldn’t let her do anything. Then one day, we get a knock at the door. Who is it, you may ask? It is none other than Mr. Diego, the man of the hour. He brought flowers, candy, and an adult coloring book with some colored pencils. Jake was LIVID. I remember me being high on my medicine and I wasn’t wearing anything besides shorts and a sports bra due to my surgical incisions and I kept asking Diego if I should put a shirt on to be more modest. Then Jake tried to put a shirt on me so Diego couldn’t see my cleavage. Ha!
After those initial two weeks, I had two more weeks of bed rest. I was in severe pain, even with the narcotics in my system 24/7. Jake drove me to his house in his truck and proceeded to carry me up the stairs in order to sleep with me. I kept saying no I can’t and that I was in too much pain, but he begged and begged and begged until I finally caved in. I was in tears the whole time, but his selfish desires took precedence over my health. This happened multiple times a day for the whole month of October and into November. By December, I got the okay to go back to work on light duty. I hadn’t seen Diego since he came over and brought me flowers. But he talked every day which only make Jake more angry.
Diego asked me out to dinner one night as “just friends” on December 29th, 2015. Well he actually asked me to mini golf and it started raining on the way there, so we rain checked that idea and decided to go to dinner. He asked me where I wanted to go and I thought of the most expensive and fanciest place I could think of. As we sat down at a table at Olive Garden, I proceeded to order the cheapest thing on the menu and we talked and laughed all night. Jake kept blowing my phone up and I just ignored it. Diego and I proceeded to go back to his house where he lived with his parents. He took me into his room and the plan was to watch movies on that cold and rainy night. His true intentions was just to cuddle and nap together, but since he was much older and I thought he might have a similar sex drive to that of Jake’s, when he began to spoon me, I grinded on him. I worked him up until the point where we were about to have sex, that I said I couldn’t go through with it. I said it wasn’t fair to Jake. So Diego, rightfully so, was angry for the blue balls. But he took me back to my car and that was that.
In retrospect, I probably shouldn’t have gone back to Diego’s house at all since I was in a relationship with someone else. Granted, that relationship was abusive and he was manipulative and controlling, but that doesn’t justify nearly cheating on him.
The next day I decide that I need to break up with Jake because my feelings for Diego have grown stronger. I was at his house when I called it quits and he proceeded t block the door and would not let me leave. I blurted out that I slept with Diego, although it wasn’t technically true. I knew it would hurt him enough, and hopefully anger him enough to let me leave the house and not want to speak to me again. He unblocked the door, mouth hanging open, and I ran out and didn’t look back.
The following four months, Diego and I talked more and more and hung out more often. We didn’t have a lot in common, but boy were we drawn to one another. During our work shifts, we were inseparable. Jake proceeded to call and text me repeatedly to the point where I had to block him on all social media and block his number. He would drive drunk to my house and every night he would throw rocks at my window in order to try to win me back. My parents talked to his dad and we threatened getting the police involved for harassment. Eventually he stopped altogether and I never had to hear from him after that.
Diego and I dated from the summer of 2016 until February of 2018. We found a house to rent and lived together from September 2017 til September of 2018. I went through my various jobs while he stuck with store management. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder while we were dating. I was learning about my mood swings and my cycling style when I worked for a bank and met a guy whom I was deeply attracted to in January of 2018. I didn’t think much of it besides it being a humongous crush on this one guy. During my manic state, I hit on him and he reciprocated my advances. He knew I was in a relationship, but didn’t care. One night when I was very suicidal, I messaged him because Diego was working late and I knew this thirty one year old would message me back with the attention that I craved. I thought about driving my car off the bridge that was nearby Diego and I’s house. But my bipolar, sex addicted mind thought, “I can either kill myself or sleep with this attractive man”. So instead of committing suicide, I slept with this dude who is insanely attractive.
Again, in retrospect, I do have a sex problem. Does that give me a right or even an excuse to sleep with someone when I’m in a long term committed relationship with someone else? Absolutely not. But this was irrational, manic bipolar brain speaking and she does what she wants. She takes opportunity and runs with it. Whether it be for better or for worse, I don’t know. But this is my story and I’m telling you the honest goddamn truth of what happened.
Inevitably, Diego finds out about my infidelity. I mean, of course he did. It’s not like cheaters are ever that secretive or good at hiding it. We tried to make things work since we had our house together and he understood the extent of my bipolar disorder. But things were never the same after that. We proceeded to date on and off after that, I kid you not, FIFTEEN different times. We were back together in August of 2018, but proceeded to give our rental up to move back home and save money and rebuild our relationship. By October of 2018, we were engaged. I think we had a lot of hurt in our hearts that we both needed to work on, but thought that marriage would fix the issue. By December 2018, I ended our engagement in a manic spree, even though our entire set for September 21st of 2019 had been entirely planned and booked out. I didn’t care, all I knew was that I was unhappy.
In 2019 alone, we got back together and separated again just about every six weeks in accordance to my mood swings. Never once, until this very last time, did he ever break up with me. Ever since I cheated, he was very controlling on whom I talked to and who I saw. He held my infidelity against me and became a very bitter person. He has every right to feel the way he did/does because I can’t take that away from him. But his actions truly affected our relationship. Trust was never the same again. I was never treated as an equal or as a peer. Just someone he had to take care of and I seemed as if I was a burden to him. He frequently called me fat and not as good looking as I used to be. Nothing I did to potentially improve the relationship was right, nothing I did was right. He criticized my every move and said I never had him in mind when I did.
We were like moths drawn to a flame. Every time we came back to each other, we were a little more hurt and burnt than the time before. We are polar opposites and I think that is what drew us towards each other. At the moment, we are not together. Last time we were together was January 5th of 2020. So by cycling standards, we should be trying to hook back up any day now. But I stopped all contact with Diego. He is in the process of buying a home because he feels he should be more reckless like I am. I think he is trying to make me jealous and build a life for the two of us, but i have come to the realization that two wrongs doesn’t make a right. Neither does fifteen fucking get togethers. We are only going to get more burnt. He truly deserves someone who can make him happy and so do I. I have learned that we can’t find that in each other. And maybe not now. But maybe not ever. Right now, hearing from him hurts. In order to move on, I can’t have contact with him. That may change, maybe not. Until then, I am moving up and onwards.
He may be the love of my life. He may be the one that got away. Who knows? I certainly don’t. But as I stated earlier in this post, I am the hero of this story and I don’t need to be saved.
Til Next Time,