After I knew Adam for about 8 months, I started to notice a pattern with him. He always complimented me and made me feel amazing. It was the biggest high and that’s what kept me hooked into the friendship. But, every once in a while, he’d throw in a criticism that would bring me further down then he brought me up.
“You’re not cool enough, you don’t have nice enough clothes, you’re no fun,” which he always said jokingly.
Then back up with,
“I love how hard you work, that top is hot, you’re such a fun girl.”
One night on a Saturday in March, Lisa and I went out with Adam and his friends to a club downtown. It had been a long dark winter, so it was nice to get out and do something.
Maggie wasn’t there. Where was she, who knows? Regardless, it felt nice to be welcomed into a group after moving to a new city not knowing many people. It felt nice to be a part of something.
We’d all been at the club for about an hour and were a good level of drunk. Adam, Tyler, Lisa and I were ordering drinks at the bar. Lisa and I joked about being single and how we should find someone. Out of nowhere, Adam threw in a comment that slapped me in the face.
“You have a big nose. Nobody would be into that,” said Adam. He burst into laughter with his friend Tyler. Adam laughed a bit harder then Tyler. Tyler laughed, but seemed a bit off put by what was said.
“Oh haha, you’re so funny,” I said but had an uneasy feeling in pit of my stomach that was familiar. I’ve always had a big nose and was bullied in elementary school for it. It didn’t get to me too much but it did hurt sometimes. I liked the way I looked, but it was a sensitive subject for me.
The four of us stood there awkwardly, nobody knowing what to say. I left the group and headed towards the bathroom. I pretty much ran there and Lisa followed me. I took out my bright red lipstick from my clutch and applied it while looking in the mirror silently. The loud bass from outside shook the bathroom.
“Are you ok?” said Lisa.
“Yep. I’ll be fine,” I said quickly. I didn’t want this to ruin the night, so I ignored it the best I could.
“What a fucking jerk,” she said. I remained quiet while I finished my lipstick application. The few beers that were in me helped numb whatever hurt feelings were trying to surface.
“Let’s go back,” I said after about 30 seconds of silence. I grabbed Lisa’s hand and we headed to the dance floor.
Lisa and I danced, talked with strangers and were having a fun time. Adam, Tyler and a few others found us on the dance floor.
One of Adam’s friends, Jamie, was cute and we started to talk. It felt good to flirt with someone who wasn’t Adam. To flirt with someone who was actually available.
I was always a spiteful person; I need to win all the time. And that night, I wasn’t winning. I was losing. I had lost Adam’s attention and had lost my high. He embarrassed me, so I looked for a way to get back at him.
“Come, let’s dance,” I said as I pulled Jamie away from the group after our short conversation. We started to dance together, out of sight from the others.
We had a good vibe going on, so I grabbed his face and started kissing him. If Adam is going to be this mean to me, I’ll show him. Maybe he’ll pay attention to me now that I’ve made out with one of his friends. It made me feel better about myself.
We continued to kiss as Jamie’s hand started to wander around my body. He grabbed my butt. This was a great distraction and I loved it.
“What are you doing later?” Jamie asked me. That question popped my fun, carefree bubble. Later? It was almost 2am. I tensed up and realized I didn’t actually want anything else to happen.
“I’ll be right back,” I said as I unlatched myself from his body and ran away. Yes, ran away. I did circles around the club to find Lisa and ironically ran into Adam alone ordering another drink.
“I made out with Jamie,” I went up to him and said proudly.
“That’s hilarious,” he said. He didn’t have much of an expression on his face. He really couldn’t have given two fucks.
After leaving Adam I eventually found Lisa and we waited in line to grab our coats. Adam found us again minutes later.
“Jamie’s looking for you,” he said with a smirk on his face.
“I’m going to get my coat and then I’ll come back and find him,” I said.
Adam left, Lisa and I grabbed our coats, and I couldn’t have run out of that place faster. I got what I needed from Jamie and I didn’t want anything else.
When I left the club that night, all I thought about was if I had made Adam jealous by making out with his friend. The cruel comment from earlier faded away but never left.