Love & Sex

Five Stories: Post-Breakup Insanity

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“It was ridiculous, immature, and downright spiteful. But at the time, it felt right.”

Men Seeking Men

Admittedly, this was probably an immature, ridiculous, and wholly spiteful thing to do after I broke up with my ex, Spence. But God, it was funny.

It was a couple days after we broke up, and I was changing my status of my Facebook profile and trying to untag pictures of him and me. Naturally that sucked me into surfing his profile just to play the obsessive what-is-he-doing-and-I-hope-he’s-in-a-ditch-game. To let you know, it was a pretty bad breakup, cheating was involved — or more bluntly, he cheated — so it did not help to see recent pictures of him in bars, partying, drinking, hanging all over random girls. And I know the way women deal with breakups is different than men do, but his way of dealing seemed to have extra douche-ocity thrown in. You’d think guys from the U.K. would have more class than guys in the U.S. but no, no, that whole manners thing does not go with the accent.

Admittedly, it was immature, ridiculous and wholly spiteful. But God, it was funny.

As I sat there looking at his pictures, I started to get upset. That led to anger, and that led to the sensible-at-the-time thought that I should do something really awful to him. He doesn’t own a car, so I couldn’t trash it, and I couldn’t go and toilet paper his building — his neighbors didn’t deserve to pay for his asshole-ness. Then I saw a link he posted about some place he and his shitty improv troupe were performing, and that got me thinking about how unfunny he is (he thinks he’s the missing member of Monty Python. Well, he’s missing something). And that, in turn, got me to thinking about how he always was playing sucky practical jokes on people. Well, two can play that game, buddy.

So after a shot (or four) of Jameson, and various encouraging texts from my friends, I went onto Craigslist and posted his ad in the “Men seeking Men” forum, and included his real phone number. Just to make it look real, I threw in a Halloween picture I still had from when he dressed up as Lady Gaga. I heard from mutual friends he ended up having to change his number because of it. It was glorious. And if it makes me the crazy ex-girlfriend, well, at least I’m not the lying, stinking, cheater. — Kim Phillip  
 
Submit to our next “Five Stories” contest! Unlikely First Meetings: Did you ever vomit on a girl at a party, only to end up dating her for six months? Drunkenly sleep with a guy who you told people was “just a rebound,” only to end up marrying him? We want to hear about it! Click here for more details, or send your story to submissions@nerve.com.

Homeless

I finally walked out of our apartment just three weeks after my best friend Mike accidentally killed himself following a night of drinking and passing out in his garage with the car running. That morning I said something to my girlfriend about missing Mike.

“Jesus. When are you going to get over this?” was her response.

And that was it. If the three previous years of her chiding me and insulting me and reminding me how unemployed I had been during the recession wasn’t enough, this was. I was done. After a fight she picked with me about why I like to do favors for friends and how she thought I was terrible at grocery shopping, I headed for the door. Usual breakup words were exchanged, including her saying, “Getting over you will be the hardest thing I’ll ever have to do.”

“Good,” I said. “I hope you miss me.”

“Good,” I said. “I hope you miss me.” With that, I was out the door, in my car, and over to a bar to meet an old college friend, where we got so hammered that I don’t remember the girl’s name or driving her home, and I certainly don’t remember why I decided to sleep in the backseat of my car instead of the couch in my friend's apartment. I suppose, like most of the decisions I made over the next four months, these seemed like good ideas at the time.

I bounced from couch to couch until I could find a job and get my own place. The little money I was making as a freelancer was going right to handles of J&B Scotch and packs of cigarettes. I saved money by using matches I’d stolen from restaurants instead of buying lighters. It’s hard work maintaining a steady stream of drunkenness while simultaneously trying to get work, plow strange women, and not roll your car at the off ramp of the freeway.

Four months after the breakup, I was at a bar near our old place where she was still living. When I was thrown out for puking in my beer and demanding a clean glass, I stopped by the late-night liquor store and picked up another handle of J&B. I walked to the apartment and sat down in the alley that looked into our old bedroom window. I drank half of the bottle and passed out with a cigarette in my mouth.

I woke up at dawn to a homeless man covering me up with a blanket.

“You should have this,” he said. “You look fucking pathetic.” — David Himmel

Submit to our next “Five Stories” contest! Unlikely First Meetings: Did you ever vomit on a girl at a party, only to end up dating her for six months? Drunkenly sleep with a guy who you told people was “just a rebound,” only to end up marrying him? We want to hear about it! Click here for more details, or send your story to submissions@nerve.com.

Justifiable Homicide

I met Ilsa through a mutual friend, and we hit it off right away. I’ll spare you the mushy stuff, but there was plenty of it, those first couple days. And I, three weeks into my first year of college, made the fatal mistake of confusing lust with love. I still don’t know what I did that turned her off. I probably never will. What I do know — what I’ll never forget — is the night she left me. We ran into each other on Wednesday, and she happily agreed to meet me Friday at the school coffee-house at 7:00.

Come Friday, I was the happiest guy in the world. Pulled out my nicest shirt (even ironed it, for crissakes!), and sauntered out. Not even the looming storm clouds could dampen my mood, though in retrospect, I was being set up for a betrayal worthy of a film noir.

Not even the looming storm could dampen my mood, though, in retrospect, I was being set up for a betrayal worthy of a film-noir.

I got there at 6:40 — I was excited, so what? — and I waited. I read every bulletin and found a chair facing the door, so I’d see her the minute she walked in. When she hadn’t shown by 7:30, or even called, I started to worry. I called her, I texted; no dice. Fearing the worst, I called her roommate, and was told that my darling was… sleeping.

She slept through our date? A lie, I knew it. I walked outside into the pouring rain, wearing my nicest shirt, and I still couldn’t believe it. I walked back to my room, all the way across campus, with a comical look on my face and my guts kicked out onto the floor.

I decided I wasn’t going to let Ilsa get me down. So I changed my shirt, put on a coat, and went to a party I’d heard about.

I walked in the door, out of the rain… and there was Ilsa, sitting in a chair facing the door, like she was waiting for me. But from the way she was straddling the guy in the chair, I could tell that I was far from her mind.

So I got drunk, drunker than I had ever gotten before. At one point, I actually punched through a window with my fist — just like in the movies — before staggering home to bed. The last thing I remember thinking was: what’s the definition of justifiable homicide?

Which in a way, was fitting, since when I woke up the next morning — with the sensation that my head had been split open like a ripe melon — there was blood on my hands (I’m pretty sure it was my own). I’d made it to my bed, but not out of my clothes, which were caked with mud. And still, my one treacherous thought was of Ilsa, and when I could see her again. I was pretty sure we could work it out. — Adam Singer

Submit to our next “Five Stories” contest! Unlikely First Meetings: Did you ever vomit on a girl at a party, only to end up dating her for six months? Drunkenly sleep with a guy who you told people was “just a rebound,” only to end up marrying him? We want to hear about it! Click here for more details, or send your story to submissions@nerve.com.

The White Jacket

During my junior year of college, my boyfriend of two years, Grant and I split amicably after two months of arguments. We both decided we wanted to do our own thing for awhile. Predictably, after two weeks of sleeping alone, no dinner dates, and no sex, I decided I had made a terrible mistake and wanted him back. It seemed he wanted nothing to do with me; he was having too much fun making out with girls in bars and didn’t want to commit. I was hurt, but decided to not push it, figuring he would come to his senses eventually.

Three months later, his fraternity was having a wine mixer with another fraternity, and one of his brothers invited me and my friends. My plan was to look hot, get drunk on free wine, flirt with some other guys and hopefully let him see a little of what he was missing.

Who did she think she was, leaving her things all over like she owned the place?

I was three drinks in when I arrived and found him cuddled up on one of the couches with a girl, Mandy. I knew through mutual friends that they had been hanging out for awhile. I tried to avoid them as I pounded glass after glass of wine, leaving rooms when they would enter and throwing myself on other guys. It seemed to be working; I was having a good time and was getting plenty of attention from everyone but him.

After five or six glasses, I really had to pee. The bathroom normally reserved for girls was occupied and I couldn’t hold it, so I made a mad dash to the secret basement bathroom. The whole floor was deserted. After I finished, I drunkenly wandered into Grant’s study room, two doors down. I think my plan was to look up something on his computer. I plopped myself on his couch and discovered his computer was dead. I was too intoxicated to find the charger, so I looked around, gathering up the gumption to get myself back upstairs. At the other end of the couch, I noticed a coat. A white coat with a light blue pattern. Upon closer inspection, I discovered it was a size small. It definitely wouldn’t fit Grant’s 6’5” frame. I rationalized that it had to be Mandy’s coat. Who else’s would it be?

Slowly, my face got hot and my heart started pounding. Who did she think she was, leaving her things all over like she owned the place? Seemingly disconnected from my body, I watched as my hand picked up my glass of red wine, and dumped it all over the inside of the white coat. It looked like a giant bloodstain. Satisfied, I got up, and rejoined the party.

Two hours later, Grant had taken Mandy home, come back to the party, told me I looked great, taken me into his study room, and grabbed me by the waist and kissed me. Then he pulled away a little and asked, “Did you pour wine on Mandy’s coat?”

“No way!” I told him. The sex that night was great. — Lindsay Bache

Submit to our next “Five Stories” contest! Unlikely First Meetings: Did you ever vomit on a girl at a party, only to end up dating her for six months? Drunkenly sleep with a guy who you told people was “just a rebound,” only to end up marrying him? We want to hear about it! Click here for more details, or send your story to submissions@nerve.com.

Flight or Fight

My most horrific breakup was the first one. Puppy love, first love, my one true love. I was a junior in high school and he was a senior. He was headed to college in (not kidding) Kalamazoo, Michigan, and since we were in Massachusetts, we figured the long-distance thing wasn't going to work. We'd gone back and forth a few times about whether we should break up before summer or postpone the inevitable by living blissfully for three glorious more months. I decided on three more months of bliss, but Marco had a different idea.

Here we were at our friend Jason's house. It was early summer, and we were swimming in the pool. I casually asked what Marco and Jason had been doing the night before. They casually mentioned that they had been hanging out with Emily Smith… then they exchanged a glance. I'll never forget that glance. It was the glance heard 'round the world. It told me something was "up." 

It’s probably the craziest I’ve ever looked.

"What'd you guys do?" I asked. And my query was met with silence. After a beat I continued. "Wait, Marco, did you and Emily…?" This query was met with a silent nod. At this point the edges dissolve from my memory. I let out a guttural expulsion of anguish and began to sob. Bear in mind I'm still in a pool. The love of my life had had sex with the blandest, strangest, weirdest, most nothing-like-me girl, and I was shrieking like a banshee at him — in a pool.

I sob-yelled at them, trying to form words that would hurt him but instead just roaring like a rhino emerging from the mud. I made it to my car, threw a towel on the seat and drove away, narrowly missing a few pedestrians and mailboxes. Unfortunately, I had to stop for gas. The attendant came up to my window and saw a sopping-wet, bathing suit-clad teenage girl sobbing recklessly. He asked if I was all right. I asked for five dollars of regular. It’s probably the craziest I’ve ever looked.

I cried for three days. Then my mom took me to a gathering of her closest girlfriends, and they schooled me on what it means to get your heart broken for the first time. ("Nothing will ever hurt this much ever again," my mom said, and nothing ever has.)

Marco, Jason, and Emily ended up spending that summer getting high on Ecstasy and hanging out in the woods. I ended up a few pounds thinner and okay. And life went on. — Bianca Brady

Submit to our next “Five Stories” contest! Unlikely First Meetings: Did you ever vomit on a girl at a party, only to end up dating her for six months? Drunkenly sleep with a guy who you told people was “just a rebound,” only to end up marrying him? We want to hear about it! Click here for more details, or send your story to submissions@nerve.com.