He’s the one you met at a bonfire party, a mud race, or a house party. Your friends told you all about him from rumors that spread around, which included all the trouble he’s been in, in and out of the sheets. Your preppy friend used the word ‘hot’ and ‘mysterious’ to describe him.
He was what we called a bad boy.
And that specific bad boy is looking directly at you.
Not to be presumptuous or anything, but with eyes like that, how could you not feel it gaze upon you? His piercing eyes were something that saw right through your clothes, through your soul. At first you look away, because it overwhelms you. But then you mentally motivate yourself to get your shit together, say it’s just a boy. So you look back at him. Then he does that thing at the corner of his mouth that spelled trouble.
However, he doesn’t approach you. After all the eyesex, you expected him to. But he was still on the other side, either nursing a cigarette or a beer, one after another. You felt anxious and inadequate, a tad bit assuming. So you go back to have a good time with your friends. Screw him. Screw boys.
And just when you thought you were left alone, you hear his voice from behind you. You do that little victory dance in your head and attempt to look uninterested as you looked his way. He uses the same cheesy pickup line you’ve heard from losers before, but the way he said it made you almost believe it. He asks for your name, and you gladly give it to him. He would offer you a drink, ask some questions.
Then he says, “This place is a dump. Wanna get out of here?”
Call it destiny, spontaneity or plain insanity, but you say yes. You don’t even bother to tell your friends that you’re leaving, figured it was your business. There was tomorrow, and you could save that story for when something actually happens. If something happens.
He takes you to his motorcycle or his old beat-up car. He opens your door, he offers you his helmet. He looks at you with a glint of trouble before he revs up the engine and you go so fast it almost feels like flying.
After an eventful night, he doesn’t call you back the next day. You should have known that was to happen with a guy like him. Sweeps you off your feet with his James Dean bravado and then extinguishes like dust the following day. You make a mental note not to associate with someone like him ever again.
And then you see him as you walk out of your dorm or your class, leaning on his vehicle of choice. He holds his cigarette with his thumb and index finger, because using the index and middle finger are for wussies. The amber light of it hypnotic, the smoke from his lips enticing. When he sees you, he does a smirk instead of a smile. And you swear to your god it was the sexiest thing you have ever seen. He apologizes for not calling the next day, but says he’s here now. People are staring at the two of you, wondering who the hell is that with her or vice versa. He asks you to ride with him again, like that night, and he swears this time he will not leave without a trace.
And like the idiot you are for bad guys like him, you say yes again, because the first time doesn’t always have to count. You believe in second chances.
You spend days at the back of his car, making out like it was as necessary as breathing. Your secondhand smoking levels are on an all time high, but you never mind because you got used to the smell and even the taste from his tongue. You’re always late because you couldn’t keep your hands off of each other, and you were never ever late.
He talks to you about how crappy his life is, and he listens to you talk about how crappy yours is in return. He tells you that you are amazing, beautiful, a fucking miracle. You tell him he is better than what everyone perceives him to be, that he can still change for the better. He shakes his head on that. He wasn’t a charity case, he said. So you talk about something else, like movies and bands and heroes and villains. He shares you plans of leaving the shithole one day and never looking back. He tempts you to join his runaway with fun and sex, and you almost say yes. Almost or you do.
Being with him was like being with the sun. He shone so bright that it made you bright too. The once mediocre, tedious life you had finally have light because of him. You were in an eternal high from bliss so wild and so free, nothing could be better.
But he really was like the sun. So much so that if you looked long enough, you would go blind. That if you came close enough, enough to merge yourself to its core, you would get burnt.
And the sun was a star, and stars die. And dead stars, they shine even after they die.
The bliss is still there, the flame still warm, but it became more like desperation and less like love. You love him, yes you do. But it’s debatable if he feels the same. You feel like a task than a necessity, someone he was obligated to than someone he would kill for.
He either never calls again or ends everything with a one-liner, one that was short, curt and bittersweet. No can we still be friends, because he just wanted to be left alone. By you. There was no way of compromising, fixing, or adjusting. Like a shot fired, he was gone. You are left to bleed out on your own devices. You’re a big girl now, he would argue somehow.
And then you remember, he was a bad boy. And bad boys break your heart.