It wasn't meant to happen like this.
In fact, it wasn't meant to happen at all.
I mean I considered it, you know? I had to consider it, because if I didn't, everyone else would think about it for me. I thought I had it under control, because I am telling you, I thought long and hard about it. I searched the deepest, darkest cells of my brain, looking for a problem. But nothing turned up. I thought I was fine.
And then it happened.
It happened in the most unlikely of places. That's why I didn't expect it. We were shopping for clothes and I was waiting outside the changing rooms, because I had to judge the outfit. The door wouldn't properly lock either so I stood close to it ensuring strangers didn't get a peek of anything private. And then, as if fate intended it, some freak breeze entered the changing rooms and blew open the door and I saw it – well, him.
He was standing there half naked. I don't mean he was standing there half naked intentionally – I just happened to catch the second he was half naked before he put on the t-shirt he considered buying. And that's how it happened.
That's when I realised I had a crush on Eric.
I can't explain it. I have seen him topless before…a lot. We live together and these things are unavoidable, but it was different. I don't know how it was different, because if anything it was less conventionally sexy than the time I seen him half naked when he'd just stepped out the shower; his torso glistening with water.
My heart was pounding and I felt a little sweaty. I'm ashamed to say that my first thought was; "damn, I'd tap that". I never wanted to tap Eric anywhere except the shoulder. Now, I'm beginning to think it wouldn't be that bad. How did this happen to me? Okay sure, I might be a little melodramatic, but I can't just suddenly decide I like Eric. Deciding I like a member of Al-Qaeda would be more acceptable than deciding to like Eric…okay; it probably wouldn't, but just try and understand that this is a bad thing.
I didn't even like Eric as a friend to begin with. When we first met I thought he was a bit of an asshole. We were freshmen and he was totally taking advantage of the fact that there were so many young women, often from small conservative towns, who just wanted to hook up with someone without any emotional ramifications. Eric is the perfect hook-up. He's tall, has blue eyes and his hair is kind of brown, with a tiny bit of red in there, but he has these golden tints that shine in the light. Eric is a gorgeous specimen and that is something I can't deny anymore. However, Eric knows this and he uses it to get laid.
He never hit on me, because back in freshman year I was carrying some extra weight and I was friends with his cousin so even if he was interested he couldn't do anything. He was so obnoxious, but he was also funny and eventually I learned to appreciate his humour over everything else.
That's another reason I'm so disappointed in myself: it's like I'm allowing the casual misogyny to continue. By liking Eric, I am ignoring the plea of my fellow women who can't help but fall for these guys. Now I'm one of them.
I never would have let him live with me if I thought that this would happen. As I said, I searched every part of my mind looking for repressed feelings I might have, but came up with nothing. I decided that I liked him and wouldn't mind sharing an apartment with him. We've known each other for almost four years now, so you'd think I'd have maybe got this stupid crush during my experimentation period in sophomore year.
Okay, so Eric and I decided to live together when his friend and my friend decided to move in together after going out for a couple of years. My friend moved out and so his friend had to kick Eric out and since we had been moving in the same circle for so long it just made sense. He's known for his financial wizardry when it comes to bills and he's also tidy. It seemed stupid to let him go.
I can't just kick him out either, because I have no grounds to do so and it's not like I can just tell him it's because of my sexual feelings towards him. However, I can't just forget my feelings either, because we live together. There is one second when I first wake up and I forget the problem, but then it hits me and I can go get my Eric fix within seconds, because when I'm asleep he sometimes likes to walk around half naked. I know; I don't understand what I see in him.
And now things are all awkward. I mean, I have always considered him a funny guy, but now I feel like I'm under a microscope and I can't enjoy his jokes so I don't feel like laughing, and then I remember I have to laugh so I use my weird fake laugh, which sounds way too eager. Whenever we talk, I find it really hard remembering I'm just talking to my friend Eric, instead, I realise I'm talking to Eric; the object of all my sexual desire, and that's a lot of pressure.
You know the worst part? The jealousy. I've been jealous before, but not like this. Do you know what it feels like whenever Eric acts sexual towards someone or they act sexual towards him? It feels like my heart is turning all the way around and dragging all my veins with it. It's the only way I can think to describe the agony I feel. I'm learning to live with it. The casual hook ups are fine, because those girls don't mean anything to him. I take pride in the fact that I'm the only consistent female presence in his life who isn't his mother.
It's when he likes one girl in particular. That's when it feels like someone set my heart on fire. Right now for instance, he likes this girl called Beth. She's nice, she's in my Global Masculinities class and I'm actually the one who introduced them. They met when I invited her to mine and Eric's apartment-warming party and they hooked up. After that they would see each other sporadically and sometimes sleep together, but now they're always sleeping together. The other night Eric said to me; "I think I might like her."
Okay sure, he didn't say "I think I might love her", which would have been pain on an immeasurable scale, but he likes her. That means he is open to a monogamous relationship with her. We are now in our early twenties and when people get into monogamous relationships in their early twenties, it's way more serious than when you're a teenager. If Eric gets into a monogamous relationship with Beth then I can just forget it.
So yeah, I know it's pathetic and it's not a super serious world issue, but that's my biggest problem right now. And you know why? Because I don't know how to fix it.