Living with the Devil
Ever have something happen in your life that felt so completely right at the time, that you're sure would've remained right, had it lasted? But then having it end abruptly, out of the blue, leaving you floundering and wondering what the hell went wrong, or "what if things had worked out…" Well, I have a story to tell about that. Something happened to me six years ago that changed my life. Actually, someone happened to me and he changed me, for the better, I like to think, but then he disappeared from my life far too soon and left me miserable and hateful. And then what if he came back? What would you do then? I suppose I ought to get started on my story so you can tell me. Or so I can figure out for myself, just what the fuck I'm supposed to do about it now.
I hate winters. I hate everything about them. It didn't help that I lived in a country that might as well have been called Winter. They're dreary, irritating and not to mention, incredibly, painfully, cold.
I was running to my oh-so early morning lecture on that dreary, irritating and not to mention, incredibly, painfully, cold winter day about six years ago, after having fallen flat on my ass at only the most crowded street corner outside campus. That's another thing I hate about winters: the stupid patches of ice lying at all the most slip-worthy spots. How convenient. It's almost as if the winter-demon or whoever it is that runs this shit fest chooses the icy corners based on how many people are likely to see you fall. The higher the better.
I flushed at the memory as I breathlessly made it into the lecture hall, discreetly taking a seat at the very back. I didn't bother to take off my jacket or scarf. I didn't even pull out my notes. I just sunk into my seat and shut my eyes, breathing deeply.
I had just about reached the halfway point of my fall semester in university as a second-year pre-med student at one of the best universities in the country. I was getting my grades, I had a very pretty apartment just five blocks from campus, I was living with my best friend, and I had recently snagged the coolest, most sought-after debate captain hottie as a boyfriend. I was happy. For the most part, that is. I just hated the goddamn weather.
I sighed dejectedly and opened my eyes as the shuffling of papers brought me out of my brief reverie. The professor was talking almost perversely about cell membranes. You could see him practically letting the current slide of the ion channels in a cell membrane, seduce him. I withheld a laugh as I struggled to get out of my jacket and pull out my notebook from my rather stylish (if I do say so myself), brand new tanned leather messenger bag that I was very proud of. Ignoring the few glares I received from the people around me for the ruckus I had inadvertently created, I forced myself to focus and write down everything the creepy old prof. seemed to find so blatantly sexy about the cell membrane.
I raced back towards my little two-bedroom apartment as soon as my final lecture for the day ended. I slipped on the very same patch of ice as I had that morning, but this time I actually managed to remain standing; wobbly, but standing all the same.
It was the weekend. Finally. I panicked as soon as I got into my room. I had to pack, take a shower, make a sandwich, and get to the bus station in less than an hour. I quickly made a list of stuff that I needed to take with me, because yeah, I'm organized like that. I retrieved my duffel bag from the corner I had left it in after returning from my last trip, and I began frantically putting everything on the list inside it, praying it'd all fit.
After a blur of more frenzied activity and yelling, "Yo, cover for me this weekend if my parents call. You know the drill!" to my roommate, I found myself on the backseat of a large bus, heading out of the city and towards my boyfriend's university. Yes, that's right; I wasn't living quite the fairytale lifestyle.
He lived three hours away from me, which meant that we only got to see each other every other weekend, if we were lucky. It also meant that I was bordering on bankrupt, given the amount I'd been spending on bus tickets. My beautifully expensive leather messenger bag had been a present from my parents, who of course were completely oblivious to the fact that I was taking these alarmingly frequent trips to see some guy I had mentioned maybe once to them in passing. They'd never understand. But it was easy to keep it a secret from them. They lived on the other side of the country, and I was old enough to manage my own funds, thank you very much. Except, I wasn't really doing that great a job of it, seeing as how I had chosen to buy another ticket as opposed to paying my cell phone bill. Ah well, no one can truly understand the reasoning behind the priorities of a nineteen-year-old girl. It's far too complex for parents, anyways.
My brand new boyfriend, the esteemed and practically famous William Gross was totally worth the trouble, though. He was gorgeous, and intelligent, he had a horde of friends, a great sense of humor, and, sigh, he was all mine. I grinned contentedly at the thought. I had met him only six weeks ago, right at the beginning of the semester, when he had come down to my university for a debate, and we had hit it off instantly. Two weeks later, we were officially a couple, and I was extremely happy. Yep, I definitely was.
I know you're probably thinking, "What the hell kind of a last name is Gross?" I admit that it threw me off at the beginning too, because I realized that it meant I'd become Sophia Gross after we got married, or Sophia Fox-Gross, but then I thought, "Times are changing, so hey, maybe I can remain Sophia Fox and he won't have a problem with it." And he really wouldn't. He was great like that. He wouldn't do anything to disappoint me, ever. And if keeping my maiden name was what I wanted, he'd be fine with it. But what would our kids go by? Hmm…
I threw my arms around him at the bus station, pushing these very important and plaguing thoughts out of my head for the time being. It had been a ridiculously long ride, and fortunately, I had had the sense of mind to bring my Organic Chemistry textbook along with me. I had a midterm right after the weekend, and I wasn't about to let some guy, no matter how perfect he may have been, ruin my chances of getting into medical school. Yeah, I definitely had my priorities straight when it came to school.
He pressed his lips against mine almost lazily, sending a shiver down my spine. And then we were off. We were supposed to take a mini road trip with his buddies to a cottage by the lake they had pitched in for, and I was bursting with excitement. Yeah, it was winter and being by a lake was not the brightest idea, but we would have a campfire going, and it'd be so utterly romantic… too bad it wasn't just the two of us. It was our first month anniversary after all.
He introduced me to his friends who were outside his house, loading a rented van with enough alcohol and food to last a month. A girl, Layla, her boyfriend Jack, another girl, Anita, and her boyfriend was supposed to come along too but he hadn't made an appearance yet, so Will dragged me into his house and up to his bedroom, where we spent the next twenty minutes getting intimately re-acquainted with each other. It had been two whole weeks.
Will wasn't terrific in bed, but then again, neither was I. The first and only other time that I had ever had sex was way back in high school when it was the "right" thing to do, and I hadn't exactly practiced it since because the whole experience had seemed rather boring to me. What the hell was all the fuss about? And then Will happened, and even though it was just as boring as I had remembered it to be, I was certain that someday it'd get meaningful and maybe even fun. So I was a little rusty, and well, I assumed his story was the same as mine. I was sure that we'd get better eventually. After all, this was only the second time we had done it with each other. What? Don't look at me like I'm a whore. Honestly, I was nineteen. And most girls in this day and age, in this part of the world, are well versed in the whole sexual thing. So, whatever. It's not like I sleep around. Will was my boyfriend and we were in university, so far away from our parents... it made a whole lot of sense, if you ask me.
I had just finished getting dressed and running a finger through my straight, dark, shoulder-length hair, when there was a knock at the door. Will had just about put his pants back on, and he went to open the door. And that's the first time I saw him- the antagonist of my story.
He was tall and lean, with skin darkened from what I learned eventually to be from spending hours and hours in the sun, playing tennis, and a somewhat exotic parentage. He had a mess of careless black hair, which I later found to be shockingly soft; he had large, chocolate brown eyes, hidden slightly behind his sophisticated frameless glasses. He was wearing the preppiest outfit you can possibly imagine- grey pants, with a navy blue v-neck sweater, revealing the crisp collar of his white shirt. He had a pair of shiny black shoes that matched perfectly with his belt, and lo-and-behold! He had slinging from his shoulder, a tanned leather messenger bag that mirrored mine right down to the tee, except somehow, he made his look very masculine.
"Hey, bad time?" he asked with a smirk after walking in and letting his beautiful (yes, he was pretty damn hot) eyes rest on me.
"Nah, man, we were just… Sophia, where's my shirt?" Will muttered distractedly, looking about.
I felt myself blushing under this guy's gaze, silently grateful that I had made the bed right before. I found a lump under the blanket, so I hopped up on the bed, pulled the lump out, which turned out to be Will's blue t-shirt, and tossed it to him.
"Thanks. I'm just going to the bathroom for a bit. Are you ready to go?" Will asked the guy who was still studying me.
"Not really," he replied, his gaze on me unwavering. He was beginning to border on being creepy.
"Come on, man!" Will yelled. "We've gotta get this show on the road before it gets too late. Oh, and by the way, this is my girlfriend, Sophia Fox. Sophia, this is my extremely tardy buddy, Alex Fox," and with that, Will took off for the bathroom, leaving Alex and me alone for the first of many times.
He broke his gaze, finally, and looked at himself in Will's full-length mirror as he went about fixing his seemingly untamable hair. "Nice last name," he said to me. I decided that I liked his voice. It was really… smooth, if you know what I mean. Everything about the guy seemed to scream "Charming."
"Anita's my girlfriend," he announced almost shyly.
"Okay. Will's my boyfriend."
He rolled his eyes at me. "No way!"
Will came back and glared at Alex. "So what's your reason for not being ready? Did you just get back from school?" Will asked, noticing Alex's sexy messenger bag.
"Yup. Hey, you know what's really weird? My bellybutton is like so high up it's almost inhuman. I mean my legs reach up till here," he said, putting a hand on his pelvic bone, "So it makes sense that my bellybutton would be right about here, but it's actually up here," he finished, pulling his sweater and shirt up high enough to show it to us. And there it was. His bellybutton.
It took all of my willpower to keep from laughing, as Will stared incredulously at his friend. "What the fuck is wrong with you?" he demanded. "Well, mine's here," he continued, pulling his own t-shirt up and standing next to Alex so that they were both looking into his mirror, comparing their navels. I couldn't handle it anymore, so I burst out laughing, getting an amused look from Will and a slightly bashful one from Alex.
"You guys are so cute," I gushed.
"Shut up," they replied, quickly pulling their shirts back down and suddenly looking very uncomfortable.
"Listen, Will," began Alex. "I can't make it this weekend. I have that lab midterm on Monday and I haven't done half the labs yet, so I had to book the electronics lab for the entire weekend."
"What! There's no way, man. I don't want to be stuck with Jack all weekend by myself!" Will exclaimed.
Well, he would have me there…was he forgetting that this was supposed to be a romantic ordeal?
Anyway, Alex never did come with us to the cottage that weekend, despite a very solid effort from Will to convince him otherwise. Anita, Alex's girlfriend came with us, however, and she spent the entire car ride there talking about how great Alex was. I decided right then and there that I didn't like her. She was far too irritating for my taste.
The following month went by very rapidly, with me juggling classes and midterms and my volunteering gig at the hospital during the week, and spending my weekends with Will. We alternated the traveling so that one week he came down to visit me, and the next I went there. It was working.
I met Alex again at the end of November that year, when he happened to be walking by Will's place, just as Will and I were about to head out to dinner. Apparently Will hadn't seen Alex around much, and so we invited him to join us, and he readily agreed.
We had dinner at a Vietnamese restaurant and I vividly remember feeling extremely bold that night. Alex was a generally all-round shy guy, and he didn't really talk much. Sitting across from the two boys, I went off on a diatribe about how kids take funny pleasures in killing little creatures to feel big. Will concentrated on his dinner, while Alex listened to me, enthralled. His attention gave me the confidence to go on, and I ended up telling him all about my dad, and the way he likes spicy things so much so that he carries a little box of cherry peppers around wherever he goes.
When I was a kid, I had cruelly fried a bunch of ants under my magnifying glass, put it in an empty Altoid box and given it to my dad as a birthday present. My dad had washed the ants out and had placed his tiny cherry peppers in there instead.
I had no idea why I chose to tell Alex that. I barely knew the guy but yet, he knew more about my childhood than Will did. Alex never spoke, but laughed at my story occasionally while I told it. I found that I couldn't stop talking. At the end of the night, when I was buying us ice creams, I heard Alex tell Will that he thought I was the most genuine person he had ever met.
And that was how he described me from then on. Never to my face, but whenever someone asked about me, he'd say "Sophia's the most genuine person you'll ever meet."
Alex and I spent that weekend getting better acquainted, as Will became surlier and surlier with every minute that I spent with Alex.
"Sophia, you're my girlfriend, and you're here to see me, remember? Alex has Anita."
I just laughed and told Will he was being a dork. I couldn't help that Alex and I had hit it off so well. I mean why should Will stop me from becoming friends with someone just because he wanted to spend time with him? I mean we had seen each other every weekend for the past three months, and as much as I hated to admit it, I was getting slightly tired of it.
The following weekend, instead of having Will come over to visit me, I told him that I'd go there instead. My motive: to hang with Alex.
That was the last weekend that I spent being Will's girlfriend. Alex and I spent every night at either the pool hall or the bar, or the movies, with Will tagging along behind us, while the two of us connected. Alex and I played tag in the empty movie hall, while Will sullenly watched the movie by himself. Alex told me all about his life, and his ambitions and I told him everything about me.
Back then, Alex was a pre-law student, in the midst of getting a degree in Electrical Engineering (I have no idea why), and like Will, he was a year older than me. His mother was from India and his father was American, and so Alex had spent the first five years of his life in India. Everything about him fascinated me. He played tennis with a passion, debated alongside Will on the debate team, and he wanted to be a lawyer more than anything in the world. He watched the girly teenage dramas that I watched every week without fail, and he admitted it to me without a trace of shame. It was safe to say that I was completely hooked on Alex by the end of that weekend.
Of course, I'm speaking platonically. I had Will and he had Anita (who was always too busy studying to come out with us, thank god…) and he loved her very much, or so he claimed. I had never once thought of Alex as anything but a really awesome, new friend, no matter how attractive he might've been. Let me just get that straight.
So when Will confronted me that night about having feelings for Alex, I got very angry. We got into a huge fight, and Will's insecurities turned out to be a lot deeper than I had imagined. In retrospect, Will had every right to be insecure about Alex, because I did focus a lot of my attention on him, almost completely neglecting my boyfriend… but when Will started saying things about all his other male friends having feelings for me, that was just too much. I told him he was a psychotic prick who needed to learn to trust me, but he just shook his head and said he couldn't, not when I was being an asshole about Alex.
So that was the end of that. Alex and Will saw me off at the bus station and I gave Alex a big hug and Will one last kiss, knowing full well that I would break up with him as soon as I got home. Yes, I was too much of a chicken to break up with him in person. It had to be done over the phone.
I figured that even though the Will era had ended, that the Alex era would remain intact. But I was wrong. However, this isn't the end of my story. It's just the beginning.
The following semester, I became friends with a group of guys Alex had told me about. They had been his best friends in high school, and he referred to them affectionately as his "brothers". They went to my university, and one day, one of them called me and said, "Yo, come chill."
I became their closest friend in no time at all, the only girl in their group of four boys. Julian, Arvin, John, and Rich. It took a little getting used to, hanging out with boys all the time but soon, I couldn't imagine spending my time with a bunch of girls instead. I spent every evening with them, after completing my homework and all that, and I grew to love each of them. I was like a mother to them, more often than not. They lived like pigs, obviously, being male and all, but they needed me to keep them from turning their home into a garbage dump. I made sure they were eating healthy, and made them quit smoking. All in all, I like to think of myself as their guardian angel. Heh. Although, they'd never admit that.
They spoke of Alex occasionally, and I couldn't figure out why Alex had severed all contact with me. I got over it quickly though, because technically, I had only known Alex for a couple of weekends. I moved on with my life pretty effortlessly, not thinking too much about what could've been.
When Spring Break rolled around, Alex showed up. The boys were going to spend the week at Alex's home, a city not too far from ours. I was going to Mexico with my roommate.
I don't know how he did it, but as soon as he walked back into my life that night, we picked up from exactly where we had left off, rediscovering the reason we connected so well, and by the end of the night, I had cancelled my plans to go to Mexico (much to my roommate's wrath) and the next morning, I found myself squished between the guys, driving to Alex's parents'. To justify things, Alex told me that I was officially "one of the guys" and there was no question about me going on a holiday of my own.
You must think I'm crazy. I mean how could I forego Mexico?? I know, it was pretty stupid of me and I berated myself about it endlessly on the drive to his home, but to this day, I haven't regretted my week with him. Not once.
His parents were extremely conservative, and I could tell that they didn't like the idea that their son had brought home a girl with him. His mom didn't approve, for sure. As far as she was concerned, no girl was deserving of her son. Well, not at the time, anyways. But somehow, I won her over, and she realized that Alex and I were just friends, and that my intentions were good. She liked that I looked after the boys and made them study (we did have midterms immediately after the break). Alex was astounded that I had gotten through to his mother, and I secretly reveled in the attention he gave me when he spoke about that "achievement" of mine.
That week solidified our friendship. Alex was over at Julian's every weekend thereafter for the remainder of the semester. We grew closer and closer, and his girlfriend grew angrier and angrier, and they started having problems. Alex used to run away from it all by coming to see us. It made sense.
One night, after drinking far too much and dancing too close for it to be considered entirely innocent, Alex and I came back to Julian's and fell asleep beside each other. It was the most natural thing in the world when he wrapped his arms around me and intertwined our legs. So natural that we slept beside each other every night that he was around from then on. His girlfriend had no idea, and hey, it's not like we were making out or anything for it to have been considered cheating, right?
Alex was there to comfort me when Arvin and I fought or when I broke up with whatever guy I was seeing at the time. I was there to listen to his problems with Anita. We became each other's confidantes and inevitably, when the boys realized that I was paying more attention to Alex than any of them, they began to hypothesize that something was going on between us, and the relentless teasing ensued. We always laughed it off, though. Because really, nothing could ever happen between us. We were best friends, right?
Their teasing made me think, however, of what it'd be like to maybe be more than friends with him, no matter how absurd it seemed at the time. And it was that thought that started all the trouble. With every phone call that I got from him during the week, and every weekend night I spent wrapped up in his arms, pretending to sleep, I started falling into that dark, dark place, people usually refer to as hell. Or love. Same thing, really. And by the end of the semester, I was hopelessly and completely in love with him.
And I knew for sure when I began to cry when he left after that last weekend that semester. I actually cried. Over a guy. Me, Sophia Fox, who prides herself on her independence. Jeez. I was so screwed, it wasn't even funny.
Alex went home for the summer, and he was pretty much imprisoned for the first two months. His parents were incredibly strict, and it was horrible. I was working full-time at the hospital that summer as a lowly nurse's assistant, and I'd call him as soon as I got home in the evenings, and we'd speak for hours until his parents started getting annoyed.
We made one of those back-up marriage plans… you know, the ones you make with your friends, "If we're both single when we're thirty…" Alex and I made one, except ours was for thirty-two, because it would give me just enough time to become a full-fledged doctor, with a couple of years of experience. And then we'd be able to have kids.
We began talking about this all the time, which struck me as odd because only girls tend to think about these things, right? Alex had no qualms about having long discussions about our future marriage whatsoever, and soon I found myself thinking that there was no one else I'd rather be married to. I stopped thinking of it as a back-up plan when we named our kids and agreed to own two bloodhounds.
Alex told me he loved me on a regular basis. He said it was a really big deal to say "I love you" and I felt the same way about it, but I never once said it to him. How could I, when I was in love with him and he just loved me as little Sophia, the girl he would marry if things didn't work out for him otherwise. Ugh.
He broke up with Anita a month into summer, and he was completely inconsolable all through June. It scared me because Alex was always happy, and for the first time, he really wasn't. I was there for him, lending him my shoulder over the phone for him to cry on. Anita had cheated on him and I couldn't help but feel a little guilty about things because Alex had practically cheated on her too, with me. Even if we never did anything that bad…
At the end of June, he convinced me to take a week off from work, and call his parents and charm them into letting me stay. And before I knew it, I was wrapped up in Alex's arms again. We bought a bottle of rum while his parents were out one night, and we hid it in his basement until they had left for work the following morning.
The two of us got wasted that day, and it ended with me puking my guts out with him holding my hair back for me, and then us making out under his blanket. Yes, we made out. Feverishly. And it was amazing. He told me that he had always been into me, but never thought I felt the same way. And now that he was single…
We secretly kissed at every opportunity we got. I felt like I was back in high school, sneaking around like that. It was such a rush. And then on my last day there, one thing led to another, and we ended up having sex on the backseat of his mom's car, locked up in his garage. Yes. How cliché. But that's what happened, and for the first time in my not-so-experienced life, sex actually felt right.
I was madly in love with Alex. He told me that we had to keep it a secret from everyone because A) if our friends got involved and things went wrong between us, we wouldn't be able to get back to being the fabulous friends that we were. He said it'd get awkward. It seemed logical to me at the time, and I agreed. And B) a secret relationship is always a thrill, don't you think? So I was all for it, except he also said that we should keep the status of our relationship "undefined."
I never really understood why, but he claimed that things would get fucked up if we tried to define things. He told me right off the bat that I wasn't his rebound girl and that he loved me very much, so at least there was that. But we weren't exclusive either, and I wasn't allowed to be his girlfriend. It ate me up inside, but I went along with it, figuring that if he was as in love with me as he claimed, things would develop between us naturally, over the following months. Right?
He managed to get away from the clutches of his parents one weekend and he came down to visit me. We spent every waking moment together, and needless to say, I was completely exhausted after he left, albeit heartbroken. We had grown a hundred times closer, if it were even possible, in those precious few days we had together, and so when he left, I was crushed.
I couldn't speak to him on the phone anymore thereafter because he started coaching tennis to little kids, and was always too exhausted to stay on the phone when he got home in the evenings. I composed long emails to him, but his replies were rare. Sweet, but really rare. I was looking forward to school reopening again, so that we could be together. Who looks forward to the end of summer? Who? He had intoxicated me bad, he really had.
It took a lot of getting used to, but eventually, I wasn't as upset about not being able to speak to him as often as I used to. I immersed myself in work and studying to get into medical school. The only thing that kept me sane was knowing that as soon as September rolled around, Alex would be back in my life, and then maybe finally, we'd be able to define things between us.
That long, arduous summer finally ended, and all my boys were back in town. Alex went back to his university, and he visited the following weekend in secret. He stayed at my place this time, without telling any of his friends that he was in town. He couldn't because then he would've had to stay with them. It was still a huge secret as none of us had told a soul.
And then one night that weekend, while lying in the safety of his arms, I asked him if we were exclusive. He began fidgeting and said it'd be better to just leave things as they were.
I couldn't take it anymore, so I flipped out. I demanded an explanation and he quite calmly told me that I wasn't girlfriend material. And after that, I do believe I kicked him out of my apartment. He had to stay with his friends for the rest of the weekend, and I didn't speak to him for weeks on end.
He called and emailed, trying to get me to talk but I stayed strong. All right, so maybe my past record wasn't exceptional. I had treated Will pretty poorly, and that hadn't lasted very long… Alex had seen it first-hand. And I had had a series of brief relationships in between Will and Alex, but none of those had escalated into anything serious either. Alex had never approved of any of the guys I dated, but he would always just laugh and tell me I'd lose interest in a couple of weeks. He was always right.
Alex had once told me that he believed I was afraid of commitment like so many others our age. He said I was afraid to get too involved. He might've been right, because in hindsight, I did bail whenever things began to get too serious and well, suffocating. But he was wrong about one thing: I hadn't been afraid to let myself fall in love with him. I wanted to be with him so badly that it was slowly driving me mad. And to hear him say that he wanted to keep things "undefined"—that just shattered me.
After those hellish weeks, I forced myself to recover and go back to being his friend. It was the hardest thing I had ever had to do, but somehow, I managed. It killed me to be around him and our friends and pretend like nothing had happened between us, but I did it anyway. He never seemed to have a problem with it, and I think that's what bothered me the most. My feelings for him were always so obvious. It was clear that it was hurting me so much to be that way around him, and he knew it, but he never once displayed any weakness on his part. God forbid he let the secret slip, right? Pfft.
His visits became less frequent, but we continued to speak on the phone. We'd never talk about what had happened between us, but it was always there. Unsaid. I began to believe that we were actually back to being as tight as we used to be before all the other stuff happened.
And then, right before I had to go to Boston for my medical school interviews, he called me and said that it'd be best if we let each other go. I didn't know what he meant at the time, and I didn't think too much about it because I had med school to worry about, but when I came back, I found that Alex had disappeared.
Well, not literally. He just ceased to talk to me. He wouldn't pick up his phone when I tried to call him, he never replied to my emails in which I would practically beg for an explanation. He just cut me off completely. And slowly, my seemingly unbreakable friendship with Arvin, Julian, Rich and John, faded into nothingness as well. Guess Alex was wrong about our friendship staying intact as long as no one found out.
They graduated the year before I did, and I didn't bother to keep in touch with them because it hurt too much when they spoke of Alex. I found out from them, later on when I was about to graduate, that Alex had gotten a scholarship to Yale and that he had been studying law there for a year. And that was the last I heard of Alex.
So, you can imagine how I feel now about having him just randomly reappear in my life. Do I stay angry? Do I forget about it altogether? Do I avoid him? Do I pretend that we're still best friends? Do I give him another chance? What? I can't believe that six years later, after four grueling years of medical school and two crazy years of my residency here in New York City, I'm still dealing with Alex and the hurt he's caused me. Un-fucking-believable. I think I'm going to stay angry with him. Yeah, I've made my decision. It'd be the most honest one, anyways.