The Worst Thing Luke Ever Said

I have to tell you that Luke never said anything to hurt my feelings. He supported me and agreed with me about everything. It was… disconcerting. He’d get mad and say things about other people, but I never heard a single note of an angry tone in his voice when he discussed anything with me, if you can call them discussions. He mostly just did whatever I told him. It was terrible.

So the worst thing Luke ever said to me? “Can’t you please just give me a reason why?”

The summer after my freshman year of college, I came home broken. I’d taken an ROTC scholarship my freshman year, and the ROTC program had pretty much beaten most of the joy out of me. I’d utterly failed at every aspect of it, had managed to fail one of my classes (my first failing grade in all my life), had failed to get enough of a scholarship for my sophomore year to make up for the ROTC one I wouldn’t be getting anymore, and, oh yeah, I had a boyfriend who was living at home and selling vacuum cleaners part-time, and who followed me around like a devoted puppy.

Perhaps you’ve noticed by now: When I’m down and out, I tend to take drastic measures. I reinvent myself, or I fall in love with some boy I’ve never even met, or I dump the guy I’ve been dating for three years who’s never given me any cause to be anything but devoted right back to him.

So I dumped Luke. He cried. A lot. And then he blubbered, “Can’t you please just give me a reason why?”

I’m not a heartless bitch. There are at least little pieces of heart in my chest, I promise. And that’s why I couldn’t tell Luke why I dumped him. The bulleted list of reasons why was way harsh.

  • You are nearly twenty years old (which, like, is totally an adult, duh) and you are still living with your mom, selling vacuum cleaners, and making lame jokes about how your job sucks… literally.
  • You never ever disagree with me, and it’s kind of true that nice guys finish last. You at least need to stick up for yourself when I bait you on purpose (not proud of that, by the way), but you won’t even do that.
  • I’m in college now and I want to meet new people and see new things and make new friends, and I can’t do that if my high school boyfriend is around all the time.
  • Your idea of a good time is wearing a nerdy costume (usually a super-hero themed one) and driving around town hollering incoherent phrases in Spanish at anyone we happen to drive past.
  • I have outgrown you.

See? Harsh. So I refused to tell him. I may have mumbled something about how it just wasn’t working and it was me, not him. And he would cry some more and beg for an answer again. We spent several weeks in a row doing this.

And then he let go. I’m not sure what happened, but he stopped calling to ask me if we could talk and stopped finding ways to run into me (like, oh, showing up at my house randomly). He let it go.

Maybe he read between the lines and figured out the reasons. More likely, though, he figured out that he deserved better than to devote himself to me, or at least the broken, pissed off version of me. He deserved his own happiness. And he went out and got it, and never sold another vacuum cleaner again.

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