(Done as part of this New and Amusing E2 Game)

You were never one to be too vocal about those sorts of things, so I never bothered asking. To be honest, it wasn't a question that ever reared up in my head. From time to time I'd worry that you'd been kidnapped by the mafia, or that your plane had disappeared into the bermuda triangle, or that you'd been savaged by wild dogs while out for a jog. These all seemed to be perfectly rational, of course. Wild dogs are a worry in todays wild dog ridden society.

I'm a worrier. I can't seem to avoid picturing horrible things happening to my loved ones. I'm not sure if this makes me a bad person, per se, but I don't think that such horrible mental imagery could make me a good one. I wasn't too taxed though, all things considered. I didn't have panic attacks or telephone the police or strap on a small arsenal and scour the city. It was simply that now and again I would think to myself "Perhaps she's been ravaged by hounds", and, after a quick analysis, dismiss it as being wildly unlikely. Statistics have always comforted me, in a strange and numerical sort of way. The odds of being slain by dogs in New York City are actually staggeringly low.

Perhaps I should have paid more attention to all of those articles about the rising divorce rates. Maybe, when Mike and Susan broke up and you said that it would probably be better for both of them, that they were too young to be so committed, that they were throwing their lives away -- well, maybe I should have done some math. I worked it out a few minutes ago, and realised that Mike and Susan are two and three years older than us, respectively. I guess it just sort of flew right over my head at the time, though.

A lot of things did. As much as I developed an amusing hobby of doubting the intentions and relationships of everyone and everything, I never for a minute doubted ours. When I spent time away from you, I noticed a definite waning in my libido. It was the old "Why eat a hamburger when you've got a steak at home?" scenario. The world was full of hamburgers, and the ketchup probably sucked too. I actually think that some sort of subliminal effect born of knowing that phrase caused me to cut down on my hamburger intake after we met. By this I actually mean hamburgers -- like McDonalds -- not other women. There was no metaphorical hamburger consumption on my part, I can assure you.

There is a wide body of literature about stupid people who place too much value on any single thing. The stories of Narcissus, Moby Dick, Indiana Jones (Nazis, Ark, etc.). All of these have taught me an important lesson: never commit yourself so totally to something that you cannot question the legitimacy of it. I'm not sure how I managed to miss out on that for so many years, but there's public schooling for you, I guess.

I thought, then, that you could invest yourself into one thing, that you could be all that you can be without dying on foreign shores. I'm starting to wonder if I wouldn't have preferred being cannon fodder, at this stage. I loved you so much that I never stopped to wonder if you loved me back. It was an assumption, like seeing two flies on top of each other bouncing around on the lampshade -- they're having sex, right? They could be engaged in a fight to the death, but that never enters my mind. Piggyback Flies + Lampshade = Sex. Similarly, Me + You = Love. It was that basic to me, and to my childish sensibilities.

I suppose that nothing can be done, save to bury those three years in which I lived what could only have been a delusion. If you never loved me, it invalidates all that I felt for you, as those feelings were inextricably tied with your loving me.

I suppose that's all there is to it. Time to keep on keeping on.

I thought you loved me.

Of the least bit of respect, trust and faith I have left for my boyfriend, I've gathered it all together and dumped it into a tiny saucepan to serve as redemption.

The thing is..

1) He lied to be about it. Several times. I had been suspicious about his whereabouts with his ex-girlfriend when she had come back to visit. He had only hung out with her one day; and that one day he promised me he would never do. His brother had actually called me and told me he was hanging out with his ex. Yes, I know, his brother was a bit of a gnark for that; but I was so grateful he did. We had met up later that night and he looked me straight in the eyes, "I promise I did not cheat on you, baby." I believed him..for the most part.

2) I had to find out about it from someone I didn't even know. Who didn't even know him. This girl had contacted me and told me that I should keep an eye on my boyfriend more often. We got into a heated conversation about it; turns out that she was the ex's best friend. She and my boyfriend's ex had gotten into a fight and she was telling me to get back at her. She had showed me this whole conversation that my boyfriend and his ex had on AIM. It said numerous of hurtful things such as: "She's the other girl", "You mean more to me than she ever will" "I miss having sex with you".

3) By the time I had gotten enough proof to throw in his face, he had to admit it; he was trapped. "Why did you do it?" I ask him. "It was just sex. She means nothing to me" Don't mind me, if you don't agree..but I think that just makes the situation worse. Not only did he cheat on me, but he cheated on me with someone who meant NOTHING to him.

4) I had always trusted him a lot more than he had ever trusted me. He would make up rules that I couldn't hang out with my ex's or talk to them. He would get jealous if I was talking to another guy. He made restrictions against me. But of course, I made him abide by the same rules. In which he broke.

When he admitted that he cheated on me, we had a very long talk, as you can imagine. I told him how pathetic he was and how his ex (whom he made look like the bad guy; when in reality, she was the one telling him that she didn't want him to cheat on me) was the better person than he was and I told him that I've basically lost all trust and respect for him. Then I told him that I still loved him. After every broken promise, with every hole in my heart, I took him back. See, I've always believed in second chances; that people can change. Then again, I've always believed that once a cheater is always a cheater. I realize how those two don't mesh well..and for a while during my relationship with him early on, he didn't give me a reason to believe that he would ever cheat on me, like he has done to girls in past relationships. I believe that he loves me too, and the he sincerely regrets screwing me over.

Words are just words unless they're followed by actions. Until the time I found out he cheated on me, he treated me with great love and compassion. I've never been treated so well, before. Of course, that made it all the more harsh to handle.

I had asked him.."If I had done the exact same thing to you, would you have broken up with me?" His answer was yes. I asked him, "If I had done the exact same thing to you, would you ever be able to forgive me?" He said he probably wouldn't. I asked him, "If I had done the exact same thing to you, would you still love me?" He said yes.

He couldn't possibly know how much it hurt to have the love of your life cheat on you; especially if you know they feel the same way. He couldn't possibly know whether or not I can ever trust and forgive him again. What he does know is that I love him and that I would do anything for him.

I only believe in second chances. And he knows that.

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