It had been a week since I left Jared, my spring fling. After spending two months in Oregon with him, I was ready to start getting my crap together. The first thing on my list was getting enrolled in school again. In the time that I was in Oregon, I had missed the deadline for re-enrollment. Hoping that there was something my counselor could do, I called and he only confirmed that I had to wait till the spring semester. So, there went that, another semester out of school missed.
My moods were depressive every now and then, especially when I thought of all the plans that I had made with Jared. Yes, I was the one who decided to leave him behind, and with good reason. But that didn’t change the fact that I still missed him. I had gotten the closure I needed from him the night before I left after I told him that it was time for me to go home. But I still felt like I was rejected after all that we had been through. I wasn’t the special one to change him—heck, I wasn’t even special enough to be considered his girlfriend and that was what really got to me. After days of moping and criticism from my mother, I decided that I needed to get up and do something.
I started with filling out applications at the mall in town. If I was going to have to wait till January to enroll into the spring semester for school, the best thing I could do in the meantime was get a job and save money. Since I wasn’t talking to my best friend, Melinda, or any of my other friends for that matter, I went alone. I always attracted attention when I was by myself in public and guys always tended to come up to me to strike up a conversation. My self-esteem was way low and none of them ever compared to Jared, so I always just blew them off. They were just looking for a good time and I wasn’t it. After dropping off a couple of completed applications with my resumé attached, I decided to go home.
Every now and then, Jared texted me asking me how I was doing and telling me that he missed me. I was over it, and then I wasn’t. I was definitely going through a rough time. Several times I wanted to text him and tell him that I loved him and that I missed him, but I never had the nerve. I had to be strong, so I always texted back with short words that, in the end, pushed him away, and in a way, I felt free.
Two weeks passed after my trip to the mall to submit applications. And one Wednesday afternoon, I received a call from one of the retail stores I applied to. They were hiring for the holiday season and were looking for a part-timer. Ecstatic, I told them that I was definitely interested and they asked me to come in the following day for a group interview. Within three days, I was hired along with 20 other girls.
It had been a long time since I had felt that I was doing something with myself. Not being in school made me look and see that I had opportunities before me that I had taken for granted. Being accepted into college with a full scholarship was a blessing, one that I never appreciated until then. So it was important to get myself back to school and working a job to get myself where I needed to be.
To say that my breakup with Jared had been a clean one would’ve been a bit of a stretch. I had realized that he had nothing to offer me and my illusion of him as the perfect guy was shattered. Jared was jealous and possessive, yet aloof and distant when he was around his friends. Whether it was something that I needed to work on or something he would get over, I didn’t stick around to find out.
As I reflect back on my relationship with Jared, it was more of a hit-it-and-quit-it deal, “friends with benefits” and that was all. He was my first and that would be the only reason that he would be memorable.
Although I felt like I was stuck in a rut, working this part-time retail job ended up leading to that life-changing moment that I had been waiting for, because it was where I met him.