I could have been a hoe.
As a matter of fact, if my memory and mathematical abilities serve me correctly, I was approximately three f-ck boys, two premature heartbreaks, and one motherless childhood away from choosing this said path.
I started dating in college, so when it comes to love and successful dating experiences, my frame of reference is limited at best. During that time, I'll be honest and say that I wasn't the best at selecting the men I gave my time to.
In fact, through a strange twist of role reversal, I did most of the pursuing, which led me to meet my first love; let's call him Zack. As life would have it, I met him through a mutual friend about a month after he had just gotten out of a year-long relationship. He was living up North at the time, so we were just two star-crossed lovers with nothing but space and starved infatuation between us.
His charm and sense of humor made falling for him easier than any of the subjects I was studying at the time, and before I could pick myself up, I was in love.
He was something new.
He was my little secret that none of my associates on campus knew about, just my dad and sister who were annoyed by the time that I spent talking all night on the phone with him. I was consumed by him. He was the first voice I wanted to hear when I woke up and the last one I wanted to hear at night, even when the two merged together.
He was my first everything. Before him, I had no idea the superhuman abilities that love could arm you with, how light and airborne you could feel even with your feet planted on the ground. But even with my newfound superpowers, I was left crippled with the inability to read minds.
Zack had a secret: he was still healing from his previous relationship and I was his kryptonite.
With all of the therapy sessions I committed myself to with him, I was unknowingly assisting him in an emotional suicide. I thought for sure that with enough time and effort, I would be the very thing to put him on his feet, nurse him to health, and have him back on the frontlines of love with me. But the opposite was true.
Only recently did it dawn on me that I was his rebound chick.
I was the vessel used to help him get over his previous girl by getting under, around, and through me.
At the time, I thought, "This is just how love is, this is just what happens when you're committed to someone. You love them through the pain even at the expense of yourself."
I wanted so badly for him to get better, for him to stop talking to me about "her." About what clothes she looked best in, about her pageant days, about her voluptuous physique, about all the guys he fought on her behalf. I wanted those stories to end so ours could finally begin.
I wanted him to see my value, to not refer to me as his "friend" when being introduced to his family on Thanksgiving. I wanted him to put a title on this "thing" we had and make me his girl. But after 10 months of love unloved, I knew my happily ever after would never come from him. So yeah, I would have been a hoe.
Looking back on this, I don't know why I chose to take the high road in my healing process. They say the best way to get over a man is by getting under another one, but that logic never seemed to add up to me.
How was this hypothetical new guy just supposed to swoop in and take all this pain away? What healing powers did his penis possess? How could he possibly save me?
In theory, after I broke things off with Zack, I should have been humping and bumping everything in sight as long as they'd sit still.
I should have had bodies on top of bodies for the sake of my heart. I should have experienced all the dick that my school, town, and the entire Southern border had to offer as long as I did it in the name of self-care. But I regret to inform you that I just didn't have it in me.
I couldn't see myself using another person's heart as a sacrificial offering to my grief.
I couldn't see myself choosing my temporary satisfaction over their long-term pain. I couldn't see myself doing them like Zack did me, whether initially or not. I'm not blaming him, heck, it takes two to tango, but he taught me a valuable lesson in self-love. I had to do the work myself.
My healing process was a one-woman job that only I had the tools to execute.
Maybe not at the time, but certainly in retrospect, I saw that only I could help myself out of the rut that love has placed me in. I had to love me, again.
So yeah, I should have been a hoe. Maybe for just a day, or a week, or up until this very moment, but I decided to heal instead.
*Article originally published on aleyarion.com