I don't know what makes me more upset, the fact that I got mad at them or the fact that he would think my friendship with him so artificial that I would gladly use him for fifty percent off two days stay at a hotel. Eighty dollars, that's all our friendship is worth to me in his eyes.
Most of the time it's the things that I've gotten mad for, or how I feel I've wronged them by getting angry but this, this is completely new in my experience.
For me to be so upset at their lack of acknowledgment for my struggle, for my loss of moral integrity in the attempt to keep theirs intact.
I'm not a religious person; I don't abide by religious thoughts. But for her, to come from a family with their own ideals and to completely ignore them simply because of the jump from one country to the next is flabbergasting. The idea is tempting but never would I stray from my traditions as she has.
How many times did I suffer silently as they enjoyed each other before I had the courage to get up out of my bed and open the door? The numerous times I laid in a place I thought to be safe, where I could go to at the end of the day and cocoon myself in protection and blankets, to lock the door and be free of all embarrassment, harassment, judgment.
Over a dozen times, and that was when I was awake. How many times could they have done it when I was asleep and innocently believed that they held the same values as I did?
Values, that I found, we did and still do not share. Though tolerate and abide by them they do.
Making love is between two people and two people only, that is love. There are of course circumstances and settings that can alter the normal perception of making love but this was not.
I'm not romantically inclined to either of them; I'm not attracted to either of them. One of them being female, which I am of the same sex, and the other, my roommates boyfriend. If he weren't off limits, he would be sloppy seconds. If I ever held any sort of fascination other than curiosity of his personality, which I do not.
So what does the general public call it when two people in a relationship, either romantically, physically or any other type of closeness perform the acts required to be labeled as copulation, intimacy, fornication, intercourse, sex, or making love in the same room as another person is?
Most scenarios would be termed pornography, depending if there's a camera or not. For me, and my definition of this, is not making love. Making love wasn't meant for someone on the outside to watch this intimate, personal moment between two people that connects each other to the very cores of their beings. It isn't something to be filmed or recorded, to be watched or seen.
It's meant to be felt, to be scorched into memories and bodies in a way no other memory can. Intruding on that is forgivable but that knowledge, to know of that love being exchanged in ways that words just can't describe takes away from the experience. Someone else has seen or heard; someone else knows how you describe your love without words.
I can't call that making love.
The first three times it happened I was shocked. This couldn't be my roommate; this couldn't be the guy I've come to know as a good friend. I wasn't dreaming though and I couldn't react. All I could do was lay there, trying not to move, not to breathe as I heard them.
The next eight times I just didn't know how to confront them, to move or to say something. How does one interrupt the supposed lovemaking? It couldn't have been that though because I was witnessing it even if they didn't know. My integrity for them was compromised for them.
I spoke to many friends about this, the ones I knew and the ones I trusted. They gave me advice, get naked and turn on the lights, telling them they were either having a threesome or he was leaving. Get my cellphone and call her, because she would love to hear what I have to say at four am in the morning. The one I found the most appalling though was where she told me to put headphones in and ignore it.
Ignore it? We aren't exactly in bunk beds and I don't keep my musical device on my bed for situations such as these. I'm the innocent one, believing they wouldn't put me in that kind of position. I was wrong.
So the twelfth time it happened, or at least I think it was the twelfth time, at this point I had lost track, I got up, took my pillow and cover and slept on the beanbag chair we had out in the main room.
There. I had thought; I've done it. They know I'm uncomfortable with it and maybe they won't do this again. To my dismay, to my irritation, she walked out not fifteen minutes later in just a bathrobe, one she did only took in the shower with her because she hated wearing clothes wet, and came out to grab something.
I was so angry. She didn't say a word to me, just grabbed her things and went back to the room, closing the door behind her. It held such finality with me. She didn't care that I had left, all that mattered was I was gone.
It hurt me, to realize that the pleasure of physical gratification could be so overwhelming they didn't think of how I would feel. I wouldn't know how they feel though being a creature lacking the other half of what is needed of this kind of gratification.
They left early the next day, were gone before 8 in the morning, both of them. That hurt me too, that they would rather run and hide rather than come face to face with me and explain or apologize or whatever they would do in this sort of situation, which I didn't know.
I had the entire day to mull it over, to wonder, and to contemplate. Being who I am, I wanted them to start the conversation first, to make sure they were comfortable with it so I would at least know where to begin. I don't remember when she or they came home but I distinctly remember that neither groups brought the subject up.
And so it happened, again and again.
Three times I got out of my bed, the only place I have to turn to when I want to shun the world and all those in my life before any of us said anything.
Honestly I think it was my crying.
I have this nasty habit of crying when I'm angry, it's sort of a guard, when I get so angry I start crying so I won't get angrier and destroy anything, say anything I don't mean. So I was in the shower and I curled up into a ball on my feet and cried, sobbing and choking back the wails that threatened to fall out of my mouth. I'm an ugly crier.
He must have heard me or our other roommate must have heard it and said something because when I was out of the shower, he wanted to talk to me. I immediately felt dread. I didn't want to talk about this, I wasn't ready for this.
It took me a moment to steady myself as I set my laptop down and walked back into the room I had once felt safe in. It wasn't as bad as I anticipated it to be. He talked mostly and I couldn't help but look to her for any kind of confirmation, for any sort of assurance that my sacred place would be undisturbed again.
I felt good about it for a month, and then I started to get irritated again. They said they wouldn't but I couldn't be sure anymore, my place of sanctity had been destroyed once; it could be easily torn down again. I was jumpy; I started to lose sleep again, my inability to fall asleep being the cause of all this since I tend to sleep through the night completely.
Then one night there was more shuffling than I had heard in a long while. The sound of the belt jumped me out of my shock and I couldn't be there anymore. I grabbed my pillow, my cover, laptop charger and phone, having done this several times I was aware of what I would need for yet another night on the couch.
I shut the door behind me and made camp on my new bed, the couch. Twenty minutes or so later, there she came again with her shower robe on, out to use the bathroom for reasons I don't disgust myself with the thought of.
Then she went back and shut the door with a finality that I was becoming absurdly familiar with. That was the excuse that she had been waiting for, to be able to get in his pants and they could go at it without me in the way with my stupid values and pious thoughts.
I was angry. Angry enough that I could not sleep well for four days and had a emotional breakdown in my own bed on the single night I was able to fitfully get about four and a half hours of sleep on my own bed. Three of those I slept on a couch, staying awake until the wee hours of the morning and getting enough rest to function before class. My functioning capacity is about three hours of sleep. The fourth day, I slept only five in over forty hours, it was awful, and it was torture.
All these days they went on as if their life hadn't changed, as if everything was fine but it wasn't. I didn't speak to them and if I had to answer it was no. Polite and quick. No.
Only twenty-four hours into this forty-hour long period did I show any sign of emotion. Angrily telling him that No. I did not want pizza because I hate peppers. When they finally had had enough of ignoring my protest of their invasion of my only living space, when he had his own apartment with his own room, I was the one who wanted to talk.
I asked her if we could talk about it, she immediately replied that she would feel better if he were there. Uncertain, I told her it was fine, I wanted to talk to him afterwards anyway.
To my dismay though, with this lack of sleep and aching body, the couch was terribly uncomfortable, I found myself listening to him explain that while he understood he was overstaying his welcome by sleeping four days over in a row, two of them school nights, he wasn't okay with me being passive aggressive because No. I don't want pizza and that he wanted the vacation we were planning on taking with friends to be fun and that the only reason he wasn't going was because he was getting a discount on the hotel rooms, for two out of five nights.
She never said a word, he fought his own argument and made his own rules, no sleeping over and in my exhausted state, and I told him that that wasn't fair to him.
That that wasn't fair to him.
I never slept so well from three in the afternoon to noon the next day. If I could have skipped class at one I probably would have slept longer. It wasn't until today, weeks later that I realized just what had gone on and what I had let slide by as if it were my fault.
We were having a meeting for the vacation, she wanted to move up the time so she could go see a movie with him, forgetting to mention to me that she would be absent while she took a test she knew was at the same time.
So we had the meeting without her. Hours later, after the movie, after they would have had enough time to go get food, they come back and berate me. We don't have enough money planned for gas, why don't we do this, no why don't we do that, well past midnight and long after I've wanted to go to bed.
The repetition after repetition of what they're saying grating my already frayed nerves from the crazy weekend and accumulation of homework that can never seem to be completed. A headache of rare proportions for me appeared and I couldn't take it anymore, I snapped and told them yes, fine, I agree. Now will you stop badgering me and let me go to sleep?
They did, getting on her laptop to write about what they could not say aloud because I was in the room. Half an hour later he left, having spent the last ten minutes laughing over something as silly as her facial expression because he was standing.
An hour after that, around three, I can't help but start crying, feeling guilty for snapping at them and rush to the bathroom to dry my tears.
This is the fifth time I've had an emotional breakdown because of them over the past eight months. How many more times will it happen? How could they do this too me? To make me feel guilty for being mad at them? Of course, that was when the thought popped into my head, the memory of him telling me he didn't like me being passive aggressive towards him when I was so tired I could barely string sentences together cohesively. That he didn't just want to be a discount for our vacation.
Eighty dollars on a six hundred dollar trip. That was the discount he thought he was worth to me.
I started crying harder, wondering why he thought I was so artificial that he thought that after I had five mental breakdowns, I had given up sleep, security of my own living space, and my moral integrity of the definition of what lovemaking was, after I had spent a cumulative amount of twelve days on a couch in my own apartment that I pay rent for when he can drive the two miles to his own apartment with his own room, that I didn't consider him to be worth more than eighty dollars.