050. played for a fool
For the longest time, I believed everything that Eric told me.
I had no reason to doubt him. He had been honest about everything with me. He was truthful about his past engagement, about the child he had made, and his fits of rage. I was never concerned about his ire being turned on me— he swore that he would never do anything to harm me.
An unsavory trait he had forgotten to tell me about was his impulsiveness.
It was just before Valentine’s Day when I received a text message from him, the simple and ugly ‘we need to talk’ flashing through my inbox.
He told me about the other woman, a girl I referred to as Moolissa. I have no reason for my childish hatred aside from the fact that she had given him something I could not.
Eric told me it wouldn’t happen again, and I believed him. I had not given him my body, something he had needed. It was my fault that he had strayed. If I had only allowed him to touch me a little more intimately, he wouldn’t have needed to seek the comfort of another woman.
I blamed myself for his infidelity for the longest time. He cheated on me again and I broke it off, but there remained that doubt buzzing at the back of my skull. What had I lacked? Had I pushed him to chase after another woman?
One day, long after we had gone our separate ways, I came to the realization that it had never been my fault. It had never been about me. It had always been about him, and what he needed. Never had he asked me what he could do for me, and he had been annoyed with my platitudes about doing anything for him.
He had made me think that there was something I inherently lacked to men. All men would cheat on me because I was deficient in something that they needed.
That wasn’t the case.
Eric was just an asshole.