Y came into my world after I was lifting myself up from a self-inflicting depression.
For the first two years of college, I had suffered from terrible acne which caused my self-esteem to plummet to the ground. I didn’t make that many friends. I rarely dated. I hated myself. My obsession with fashion dissolved. After all, I didn’t look good in clothes anymore, anyway.
By the time I turned 20, my acne had cleared completely, but my self-esteem had not. I was still wearing jeans and a sweatshirt every day. I never brushed my hair. No makeup. Why bother?
But I was happy enough to join the college newspaper—something I had intended to do for the past two years.
As soon as I joined the staff as a writer, I immediately developed a crush on the handsome sports editor, Y. Half Egyptian-half German, he was the best-looking guy on staff and I knew I didn’t stand a chance with him. So, I didn’t bother talking to him and for the most part, I pretty much ignored him.
But a few months into my new job, Y took me aside as asked me to start writing profiles on all the prestigious athletes at our school, to bring a more human interest aspect to the sports section. I agreed and soon I found myself forced to spend more time with Y. But still, I kept to myself and never looked him in the eyes.
Oddly, everyone on staff kept insisting that Y liked me. And sure enough, strange occurrences opened my eyes. Once, when I was shivering, Y ran all the way across campus to buy me an $80 sweatshirt. The day after I had a minor surgery, Y took me out for a picnic.
We ended up becoming close friends and then shortly afterward he confessed he was in love with me. It was the happiest day of my life. It had been the first time anyone ever told me that.
I felt like the most beautiful girl in the world. I started wearing a little bit of makeup again. I threw away all my jeans and sweatshirts (well, except the one he bought me, haha) and started wearing my favorite clothes: mini dresses, long skirts, silky blouses, and cashmere sweaters.
For the next year things were almost perfect. We spent every single day together. He would always surprise me with little gifts. He called me every single night to tell me he loved me. I found myself smiling every day.
But things weren’t perfect. I learned when Y was a kid, his mother had left the family. As a result, his older sister F became a second mother to him and his little brother. The two guys constantly put her on a pedestal, even though I secretly believed she didn’t deserve it. She treated her brothers like slaves, asking them to drop everything they were doing to drive her places or do her own school assignments. They were always cleaning her apartment. She never thanked them, just expected it.
It was a nuisance I put up with, because, after all, F was his sister. But soon it became clear that F would not put up with me.
You see, F was getting her Masters in journalism. She had been the editor-in-chief of our college newspaper years before, and her goal in life was to be a reporter.
So was mine.
While I was dating her brother, my undergraduate career as a journalist was taking off. I was receiving national awards for my stories. I was earning prestigious scholarships. Our local newspaper (my current employer) even created a special winter internship just for me because I was interning somewhere else during the summer. It was a dream-come-true.
F wanted to kill me.
She started making chores for Y on days she knew we had plans. She started telling him that I was not good enough for him. She made up rumors about me to all her friends. She tripped me in the hallways at our university and laughed about it.
I tried to explain to Y what was going on, but he would not hear it. F was the most important woman in his life. She could do no wrong.
It broke my heart that I wasn’t the most important woman in his life. I spent a lot of nights crying, wondering why he couldn’t see how much his sister was hurting me.
A month after our college graduation, it all fell apart.
I was offered a reporting job at our local newspaper. It was a highly sought after position that a lot of my fellow journalism students and even F had applied for.
The day after I broke the news to Y, he broke up with me. His sister had told him to do it.
It was shocking and horrifying. I had loved him so much and yet he could just break up with me on command. I felt like someone had ripped out my insides.
I didn’t eat for eight days afterward and had to be hospitalized. It took me six months to get over him.
But it is three years later and I still don’t understand. And every time I see a mutual friend on facebook refer to him or mention him, it still burns. Every time I hear about a new girl in his life, I want to cry.
I’m with someone new now—the real love of my life—but the pain still lingers. Y was my first love and it ended because of his immaturity. It ended because his sister told him to do it.
What a shame.