The One I Want Beside Me

JANUARY 21, 2015


So, last night I had my first post-breakup drunk texting episode.

These are the facts:
1. I didn’t text my Ex.
2. I did text 5 other Boys.
3. 1 of those 5 is another Ex…we’ll call him my Other Ex


I got home around 12:30am, and one of the Boys came over. I told him in no less than very explicit terms that I would be watching Gilmore Girls and that I would not be having sex with him. He wanted to come over anyways. I knew it was a bad idea, a wrong and misguided invitation to open my doors to him. To this Boy who at some point actually liked me, and who I tried to gently, but honestly let down by pointing out the obvious: we have no chemistry. None. I realize compatibility is a sliding scale, and ours had rusted over, the slider jammed at zero.

We haven’t talked in months, his attempts to contact me met by radio silence. But with one easy “So hi” – his instant willingness to drop everything to come over was the definition of a guilty pleasure. The devil on my shoulder told me I needed someone who cared more. Because why should I always be the one who cares more? That’s been the story of my life these days, and I deserved a break from caring. My angelic side was passed out in a beanbag chair.

And so I let him come over. 15 minutes later, I kicked him out. I don’t think his intentions were that bad – he told me he wasn’t trying to sleep with me. But he sure as hell was trying to hold me and kiss me and talk to me instead of watching Gilmore Girls. After unceremoniously leaving without a word or a glance, he texted me, and that was the first time in my life I have told anyone that I’m emotionally unavailable.

Then, my Other Ex came over. We had actually been hanging out earlier, but I left the party first. He texted me asking why I left, which in party people language basically translates to an invitation to come over. Other Ex and I are great friends. We are the pristine example of two people who turned an emotional, romantic, invested relationship into an honest, supportive, genuine friendship. So I didn’t need to have my guard up when he walked through my door. We watched Gilmore Girls in earnest, and I answered his constant stream of “who’s that?”s. As my eyelids began to betray me, Other Ex kissed me gently and asked if I wanted to talk about it, if I wanted to hook up, or if I just wanted to sleep. I thought in silence for a few beats before saying that sleep sounded good. And so we did.

The next morning, I felt relieved when I finally had the bed to myself again. My Other Ex’s scent, one I know well, lingered in my sheets and burned my nostrils. I longed for it to be gone. The only thing the soft morning light made me realize was how acutely I missed my Ex. It felt wrong – excruciating, even – to be cared for, held, and wanted by anyone else. He is truly the only person whose touch would be welcome, whose embrace I would lean into, whose gaze I would actually meet. His is the only warmth I can take lying next to. His smell the only one I crave. Feeling empty and untouchable, I drifted back into sleep alone and hoped in vain to wake up wrapped in his arms.



  • Liz Furl 3 years ago

    Love this! You’re so fantastic, Danielle!

  • Alexis Teevens 3 years ago

    <3 Just a word wizard.