JARROD AND BEN
(sometime in late 2000)
The reason, I guess, I say that I’m never really sure how special love can be stems from my long string of failed and disastrous “loves”. I never knew that a guy could be both good-looking and nice and funny and smart and out of the closet. In the past I had only ever seen glimpses of these things. Like one good quality per guy or something ridiculous like that. Jamie was nice and treated me well material wise, but he was ten years older and not the young, sexy and charming creature that I wanted and in the end he turned out to be a cheating arsehole much like the rest of them. He was my most recent before Jarrod and before him the string of sluts and bastards blurs with only the occasional sticking out as more painful than the others; Chris – the guy who cast me aside after a small disagreement and told me I was only being used for my money, but what do you expect from an immature spoilt brat? Ron who loved me so passionately, but couldn’t handle the hurricane of emotions that is my life. Jeremy – couldn’t put up with my negativity was the excuse, but basically he just wanted to sleep around. Steve – don’t even know why he left.
And then there was Ben – one of my “real” loves. Exactly a year to the day before Jarrod I was with Ben. So sweet and more than a spunk I thought he was the one. Until he turned on me viciously and tore my heart out. He slept with about twenty other guys behind my back. No exaggeration.
But they are all remembered for one reason or another. Usually one good reason and one bad reason as if I’m still trying to weigh up the options in my head and decide, probably for the worst, what to do. After all this time. That’s the Libra side in me coming out. What a combination! A passionate and impulsive Scorpio full of gushing love and affection blended with the deep consideration and, still, the stupidity of a Libra. That’s me all over. Always so much feeling, but never quite sure where to direct it.
Cest la vie.
But Ben was my ideal guy at the time. I didn’t know any better. My first boyfriend, Sebastian, the love of my life, had been somewhat of a novice. I think perhaps we were both testing the water when we were together, but Ben was a lot later and I thought I was more mature and ready to settle down when I met him.
I dragged Linda to spy on him with me at his work – Toys R Us, Miranda. The weeks of phone chat and wondering what he was like were all but forgotten when I finally saw him. Across the store there was this beautiful carved face topped with black spiky hair. Smiling at the girl he worked with, he stepped out from behind the counter, gliding along the floor like a surreal being, the hideous uniform that made anyone else look like a fool was stunning on him and ever so sexy. My jaw dropped and smacked the floor. So did Linda’s. Surely I couldn’t have found a being this beautiful and this nice on a phone chat-line? But looks can be deceiving, as I was to learn over and over.
Months later the novelty of having a boyfriend had worn off for him and Ben was tiring of me. I wasn’t always the happiest place on Earth but was I that bad? I started to suspect that something was going on so I looked through the received text messages on his mobile; I just got out of the shower and I’m so hot for you. Wish I was there and we could do what we did the other night. Luv Joe. Who the flying fuck was Joe? What did he do with my boyfriend the other night? But I let it slide. And slide our relationship did; til one night when I got what was soon to become a familiar message; We need to talk.
But there was to be no talking, just further text messages that turned abusive and the replacement boy who was there kissing my boyfriend on the lips and sleeping on my side of the bed had something to say; This is Pat, ruler of Ben’s domain. Get a fucking life and leave us alone you fuckin’ freak. Needless to say I went feral.
I convinced myself as I have done since that Ben would come to his senses and he would return to me. I sat in my room, collecting the petals from the roses he gave me and put them in a shoebox with all the things Ben had left at my house. Part of a spell to recall one who hasn’t been faithful. The box was still under my bed and I was still waiting a year later. I’ve only seen Ben four times since. Once at the Easter Show, twice in the audience of Pepsi Chart on Channel 10 and at a trashbag gay night club the night I met Jarrod.
But it wasn’t until three or more months after the break up that I found out the true extent of how much he was sleeping around behind my back. I went feral again but to no avail. First thought was that I should go and have some tests done just to make sure. I didn’t need to, but that’s another story.
It amazes me now how much Jarrod reminds me of Ben. I mean in looks. Exactly one year after Ben I am dating a guy who could all but be his twin. So much alike and yet so very different in personality. Bizarre. One part of me half expects Jarrod to turn out like Ben. But the other half knows that he won’t, because I could never be hurt like that again. I’ve developed a callous now over my heart and maybe that’s a hindrance because it’s harder for people to get in, but at least it stops me from being so hurt.
Ben was nothing but a fantasy that I painted in my head. His personality and sweetness were an act on his part and a well-orchestrated illusion in my mind – a tradition that I would carry from relationship to relationship. All’s fair in love and war though; I broke Scottie’s heart to be with Ben and I was to pay for it. Sometimes if the mood is right and there’s something in the air, I still pay for it. I can occasionally feel Ben by my side, the fantasy of what I believed him to be is stuck in my head and I miss him
from time to time. It was fun when it was fun. First time I didn’t have to sneak around on account of him living in his grandparent’s garage. First time since Sebastian that I fell arms open into the gaping, sharp-toothed jaws of love. But it’s over now and the past is the past. But why does the past hurt so bad? And why does it come back to haunt us?