My spring fling with Jared slowly started to fizzle out. The lust we had for one another was just that, lust. No matter how hard I tried to reform him, he was still grasping hard on his immature side with no hope of ever growing up.
School was a big issue for me and I didn’t realize how much of an issue it was until I saw how strong Jared was against it. The fact that he didn’t even graduate with a high school diploma was a major turnoff, not to mention embarrassing, for a girl who was planning to pursue her Master’s degree. I wanted someone with the mind to make the effort for future financial stability and Jared made comments more than once that he was happy I was going to school for the both of us.
Had Jared meant that he was expecting for me to bring the money to the table in our relationship? I was never going to let that happen. I wasn’t a gold digger, but I was not going to get involved intimately and for the long-term with someone who was not smart enough to understand the concept of preparing for a future.
There were red flags everywhere and that’s when I decided that I needed to get out. But no matter how many times I said that I needed to leave, Jared’s immaturity and innocence made me stay; maybe, just maybe, there was still hope, I thought.
That hope was soon out the window when his birthday came around. And, of course, he needed to celebrate with a bang. So, when the day came, Jared’s phone was ringing off the hook, along with the continuous chiming of incoming text messages every five seconds. I was a little nervous; it was going to be the first time that I’d ever met any of Jared’s friends and I had to look the part—my hair and my makeup needed to be flawless. When Jared walked in, he looked over at me, smiled, slapped my ass as a form of approval, and walked out to greet his friends at the door.
I kept my distance from Jared at the party, not wanting to seem clingy. There were a couple of moments where he made eye contact with me, but he never fully acknowledged my presence and that was proof enough for me. I went about the rest of the party making light conversation with some of the guests. A couple of guys asked if I was single, and to spite Jared, I said yes.
It wasn’t until I spotted Jared in the backyard surrounded by a group of mini-skirt-wearing trolls that I had had enough. I was going to put him to the test. If our relationship was more than a fling, then he needed to prove it to me. I made my way over to the group and put my hand on Jared’s back. Jared turned around and smiled at me and grabbed me by my waist. I smiled as I took that as a show of affection. Finally. The girls seemed to catch the hint and glared as Jared said, “Uh yea, this is Lena. She’s my friend from Cali.”
Friend. It was a slap in the face, but in the end, it was exactly what I needed. I had to wake up eventually, to see exactly what I was setting my sights and heart on—Jared was a little boy trying to play the part of a man. It’s funny because you don’t realize when it’s time to grow up until you see someone that hasn’t. And Jared needed to grow up, but more importantly, I needed to grow up as well.
I wasn’t living in the world of all my romance novels. For me, there were real consequences and no one but me was going to get myself out of them, not even my dreamboat millionaire fantasy man. Because chances were, he didn’t even exist—or so I thought.