Once there was a girl, who met a boy, who also met other girls, which usually isn’t a big problem because the original girl also met other boys, but in this instance – everything turned out slightly more unusual.

For the sake of consistency, and transparency – lets name boy, BOY. I’ll refer to the original girl in first person (Me, myself, I, etc.), the second girl can be referred to as Trixibelle Fontatine (she has a minor role, so I feel it’s only polite to give her a fancy name). For the third girl, we’ll just refer to her as… Deloris.

So! With semantics out of the way, let us begin…

Once upon a time, in a nightclub not so far away, Boy came up to me one night and called out my name. I have a terrible habit of forgetting peoples names, so when I didn’t recognise him in any way, shape or form a slight wave of panic came over me and I responded in my usual ambiguous way,

“Oh heyyy…. you…. …. ….”

“I’m BOY?”

“Oh!….um… that’s right! BOY [insert random guess of last name here]!”

“Oh, no, BOY [insert correct last name here]. We’re Facebook friends!”

Aforementioned wave of panic, now turned to wave of relief. Mainly because at this point I realised I didn’t need to feel any worry that I didn’t recognise him, only that why on earth he recognised me… from Facebook.

ANYWAY! Fast forward a few more weeks, him sending me messages to go out for drinks. Unfortunately each invitation being very poorly timed on the note I was always too hungover to respond, in my defence I did ask his close friend to apologise on my behalf.

And lets fast forward maybe another month, and we can get to the real story at hand.

I was drinking with Boys friend, lets call him Jerk, and as we were on our second Bloody Mary, Boy and his other friend, lets call him Chef, come walking passed and then joins us at the table. I then realise how this situation may be slightly awkward for Boy as I never replied to his messages. I tried to make small chat, until I realised he was being awfully cold to which my undeveloped filter led to,

“Haha oh I know you fucking hate me, it’s okay I get it. I told Chef to say sorry! I was just really hungover… every one of the three times you messaged me…”

His response was slightly taken aback, but respectfully pretty blunt,

“It’s fine. It’s totally not an issue. I have a girlfriend now. In which I have to currently call. Excuse me. I need to call my girlfriend.”

At this point I found it all rather hilarious.

Let’s fast forward slightly to the next night, I end up sitting at a dinner table with Boy, Jerk and Chef with one more empty seat to Boy’s left. For some reason everyone was acting slightly antsy, mainly Boy. I tried to suss the situation out by interrogating anyone who would respond to me.

“Oh, he’s just stressed because his girlfriend just walked passed.” Chef explained.

“Oh! …what?” More interrogation obviously had to take place.

“He didn’t tell her she was here.”

“Oh! …so thats why theres a spare seat??” I got this.

“No, that’s for Deloris.”

“Oh! …wait… who’s Deloris?” Okay, maybe I didn’t quite get it.

“She’s… well… you know.” …Yup, I got this. I got this far too well.

“The other woman?”

“Yup.” Thanks Chef. I looked at Boy. Boy definitely was looking more stressed. I was slightly confused because the day previously he seemed pretty satisfied with his girlfriend, but who am I to talk. My last relationship was dating a guy with a girlfriend for 18 months.

At this point I realised that Jerk who was sitting opposite Boy didn’t quite approve of the situation. Chef couldn’t care less. Boy though… well… I felt bad. I just went through the same situation and 3 months of severe depression over the exact same scenario. I know he wasn’t the biggest fan of me, and for a fair enough reason, but I felt the need to give him some advice. If anything came out of my shit storm of a relationship with my ex, at least I could use it to help others from going through the same thing.

“…look, I know you don’t really like me. And I don’t know the situation very well, but I think I’m pretty experienced in the whole issue. I don’t mean to come across harsh or anything, but you need to end the relationships now. Both of them. As much as you care about either one of them, neither of them are going to work out. Trust me, I just went through this. If you cared about them, you need to let them go. This isn’t going to end well for anyone.”

He seemed to take my advice sincerely, he agreed with me and next minute Deloris walked through the door. She was super energetic, and I kind of looked at her super empathetically. I know how shitty it is to be looked on to as the other woman even though all you did was care for someone. I wanted to make an extra effort to make her feel comfortable, mainly because of the death stares coming from Jerk across the table.

Let’s fast forward another week.

Boy ended up taking my advice (or from what I thought at the time), one thing accidentally led to another and I ended up sort of seeing him. This is where it gets tricky…

My main rule is always honesty. Something which apparently you have to say to a person initially or else it’s overlooked completely. I guess this is when I found out that he wasn’t as good at taken advice as I thought.

“Wait… what do you mean I know about Deloris but she doesn’t know about me??”

This was when I realised that he didn’t at all break things off with Deloris, for all I know she was probably under the impression she broke up with his now ex because of her. Which who knows, may be true, I thought my words of wisdom were somewhat a catalyst, but who knows – I’m usually the naive and ignorant one in most situations.

“Well… she just walked through the doors…” [we were in a bar] “And just so it’s not awkward, I thought I’d just give you a heads up, just in case you kissed me or something and she saw…”

I think this was the first of many times I ended up raising my eyebrow, get infuriated and walking off. On one hand I’m glad he listened to the honesty thing, the other hand, I can’t believe he put me back in this situation I told him I got severe depression from.

Over the next week, the idea of me being put back in that ‘other woman’ situation, specifically whilst I was trying to put a halt to one, got too much for me to handle. I told him that I thought it was best we were just friends. I didn’t sign up for this, I was too emotionally exhausted. That’s where I thought it would end. Oh how I was wrong…

A few days later I met him for coffee to maintain my ‘friends’ part as previously discussed. To which I was greeted with,

“So… I told Deloris about you. She went into hysterics. I think she may of called you.”

No… no no no no. I was trying to avoid this drama. I looked down at my phone, scan through the missed calls and then see a new number with a matching voicemail message.

“…yes… yes she did… What… exactly did you tell her… Just for consistency sake and what not.” And this, is why I spend most of my time on Reddit. Because screw this.

“You know. Just everything. I told her about us, and she asked some questions to which I answered honestly. I may of not of remembered the exact dates of some things… I also told her that I ended it on Sunday night when I told you that I wanted to be with her instead of you.”

I basically spat out my coffee at this point.

“Haha – What!? You. Ended it. On Sunday night. Not me, ending it on Monday morning saying, maybe lets just be friends?? Hahahaha…. ohhh… I get it. Don’t worry, mate. I got your back. Just tell me all the other ‘details’ you told her, and I’ll make sure they match. Buddy.”

I think I retold the story pretty well when I called her back. I told her it wasn’t an issue, and he really cared about her. And sorry for causing any problems – I honestly didn’t know the situation I accidentally fell in. She however seemed pretty reluctant about Boy. She was horrified at what Boy had done, and from what I heard, wasn’t really in the forgiving mood. I told her it was most likely just because ‘he liked her so much, but thought she was too good for him and things would never happen, and when he realised there was a chance – immediately realised his mistake’. Yup, I practised this shit, friend-of-the-fucking-year.

I’m not sure if it’s because people like what they can’t have, or now that I was just a friend and seemed less stressful to hang out with – the next few days Boy and I hung out a lot. He told me that Deloris wasn’t happy with him still, and he thought that he might of made the wrong decision letting me go. I told him I think he was only under this impression because she was angry, and I wasn’t so seemed like the more fun, easy option at the time. To which he disagreed. It was at this point he must of had a massive head change, because instead of trying to make things better with her, he tried to make things better with me.

“…I’m really sorry about all this. This isn’t how I wanted things to turn out. To be honest, you and I have a lot more in common and I want to be with you.”

I somewhat rolled my eyes and nodded.

“…Can I take you out for dinner on Monday?”

I stared blankly for a while. Then nodded again.

Fast forward a few days, with a few more calls from Deloris, in which I told her sincerely she could do better than him. He wasn’t ever honest with her, and she was an amazing girl that deserved someone that would treat her right. Little did I know that me telling her this was then going to be interpreted as me “playing games” to try and win Boy?

I tried to make sure things were easier on her than on me. I didn’t even care when I found out that she stayed at his the night before the Monday dinner, because… well initially I didn’t realise they slept together that night, that made me feel slightly bad. I was sort of happy that he was continuing to be friends with her so she didn’t feel sore about the situation? Again, apparently this was me playing ‘games’. Note to self, don’t put other people in front of you – to society this is seen as a ‘game’ and you will be labelled as manipulative and conniving.

Boy and I are now dating.

The next couple of times I saw her, she started to get evidently more cold. The words she said weren’t though, ‘Oh hey gorgeous! You’re such a babe! How are you???‘. Note to self, don’t take kind words from people that are cold and use them to convince yourself that they’re in fact friendly and you’ve nailed the ‘making sure she’s okay’ effort. You’ll end up looking like an idiot when you find out what she’s said behind your back.

Never light yourself on fire to keep others warm

I read that quote after the whole drama. I wish I read it sooner.

So this is how the hindsight to the story goes. I met a boy, who I tried to help out of the heartbreak of what I went through. I ended up falling for said guy only to find out he sort of fucked me over with the whole scenario thing. To try and remedy the situation I opted out, only to accidentally opt in later on. I tried to keep Deloris happy, happier than I was, during the fiasco. Unfortunately Deloris would rather tell all my friends that I was a manipulative head fuck that played her. Never light yourself on fire to keep others warm. 

The irony of the story is she initially was the other woman – with no regard for who she was hurting. Who I saw and tried my best to make sure she didn’t feel uncomfortable sitting at that table, trying to guard her from the judging eyes from across the table. She was the girl that even though I cared for Boy, I walked away from out of respect. Then when the circumstances changed, I tried harder to make sure she was okay, even if that meant me being worse off.

My breaking point was when I woke up one morning with news about dad related things. Which sparked my depression and anxiety, then my ex contacted me. I was sitting at a bar with tears in my eyes from anxiety. But then I heard she was coming. So in hopes of trying to put myself back together, I told Boy I was quickly going to go somewhere else, away from all of the drama so I could piece myself back together so I wouldn’t be a mess. Why I do these things, I don’t know. But I tried.

The hour away turned into a disaster and more drama because of another friend. I came back to the bar somewhat defeated by everything, but was adamant about putting on a smile and trying to make everyone else happy. But as much as I tried, I couldn’t help pushing away the panic attacks. I stepped out a couple of times to catch my breath so I didn’t make anyone feel awkward. Boy followed me when I did this to make sure I was okay, I said I was fine. He knew it wasn’t about the Deloris fiasco, but things that actually mattered to me, like my Dad.

Unfortunately I guess I didn’t fake smile hard enough. Because I found out she messaged Boy later…

“She was so desperate for your attention.”

“I’m over her games.”

…So… it was this point I opted out. Because I realised that she did notice the tears in my eyes, and she did notice that I wasn’t quite okay. But rather then asking if I was okay, she assumed it was about her, and that I was just trying to play a card…

If I did have enough energy to care, if I wasn’t so emotionally exhausted by the whole story and if I didn’t give up on her already, I would say…

One day… you’ll lose someone you truly love. And once you go through that, the most excruciating pain you’ll ever have to go through in this lifetime, you realise these little battles don’t matter. You’ll realise life is too short to play games… and that’s why I don’t play games.