There she was sitting right in front of me; the girl I had been mesmerized and awestruck over and diligently chasing for weeks was finally on a date with me.
She agreed to meet me to have drinks at a restaurant after work.
After showing up nearly an hour late due to a hiccup in communication, she finally managed walk through the door. The old, impatient, less refined me would have left about 45 minutes ago. But the strength I showed only affirmed that I might be onto something; she was special.
I soon forgot about the mishap as we settled into our evening. The conversation flowed so smooth that two hours managed to slip past in the blink of an eye.
To my delight, she was everything I hoped for. She was intelligent, spunky and managed to make me laugh twice in the span of 15 minutes. She was a rarity indeed.
Not only did we share the same sense of humor, we shared the same timely knack for this (at the time) new Harlem rapper named A$AP Rocky. Oh, and she was from Harlem, my surrogate hometown (in my mind).
She was it.
About an hour and a half into the date, the conversation took an ill advised shift when we began to talk about our pasts. Usually I would shy away from discussing self-history on a first date, but the type of connection we made was something different.
I would, however, advise against such transgressions
Going against my better judgment, we began to exchange stories of lovers past. I divulged details about my crazy exes and college flings gone wrong.
Naturally, she was comfortable enough to divulge a few details about her past. It started off normal enough, until about five minutes in when she went ahead and dropped the bomb.
“...And then I cheated,” she calmly uttered gazing at me through the most innocent set of eyes.
For some reason, those words sucked the life right out of the night for me, and made void both of the old fashions I had guzzled. It was as if I was rudely nudged out of a dream I had no desire to to wake up from.
How could she have cheated... on SOMEONE ELSE? She's so perfect. How could she? More importantly, how could I trust her if this became something?
That was my irrational rationale at the time, as my butterflies quickly turned into bubble guts.
And we did go on to become something. As much as I tried to suppress the thought of what she told me that night and brush it off as the past, I just couldn't. Those thoughts would become a recurring theme in my mind, and manifest themselves in various ways throughout the duration of our relationship.
It was quite disastrous. I tried my best to look past it, but I couldn't. I took a burden she was carrying and doubled the weight upon both of our shoulders. I handled the entire situation shamefully. There were times when I would justify my own trust issues by throwing her past in her face, which was completely out of pocket.
Who the hell was I to hold HER past, a life that I wasn't even present for, over her head? It was like I was punished her for a crime she committed against someone else, which was completely out of my jurisdiction.
Instead of providing her with safe asylum for her emotions as she struggled herself to cope with and come to terms with her misdeeds, I made things worse.
Now to be fair, I also cheated in my past relationships.
I made this clear to her, but unfortunate double standards that seem to have been subconsciously accepted by both sexes for some reason, made my misdeeds a little less taboo.
It was my own insecurity and paranoia that made having the burden of knowing this “perfect” woman was capable of such a thing. I was already straddled with trust issues that stemmed from my own doing. However, my shortcomings that rendered me incapable of accepting hers.
In retrospect, I should have had the balls to just tell her I couldn't handle it and just walk away instead of being the one to punish her for her actions ultimately had nothing to do with me. It just wasn't my place.
I can't do anything but commend her for even having the gall to disclose such sensitive information so early on. It was up to me to have handled it better. Furthermore if it was too much for me too handle, I should have just conceded that instead of throwing salt in her wounds and opening up fresh ones for myself.
If you find yourself in such a predicament ask yourself early on if you can handle them. It isn't up to you to forgive someone or condemn someone for their past. It's up to you to either decide to accept it or set them free to find someone who can accept it..