Six Straight Hours of Dragon Ball FighterZ

Six Straight Hours of Dragon Ball FighterZ

By Lauren Frazier

I’m very good at falling out of love with the people I’m in relationships with. It happens slowly—as I lose respect for them for one reason or another—paving the way for complete apathy and thinly veiled disdain.

Usually it happens over a couple of weeks or months. The love I feel evaporates, leaving behind a musty and guilty feeling that makes their touch feel like that of a creepy uncle. Then I break up with them.

The catalysts for falling out of love have varied, from realizing the person had rage issues to realizing they would never love me more than they loved drinking. Objectively good reasons to fall out of love. I’ve been able to cut people out of my life and appear to feel nothing, which I’ve always appreciated about myself.

The most recent time I fell out of love, though, that was different. The biggest change was that we were never in a relationship to begin with. He was, and is, and probably always will be, the great unrequited love of my life. And I fucking worshipped him. For a really long time. Too long.

However, two weeks ago, in a flash of clarity so jarring and bright it felt like I had transcended planes into an alternate dimension, I didn’t love him anymore.

So imagine my shock when, at 1:58 am, I was no longer in love with Andrew, when at 1:57 am I had been.

Here’s how it happened: I woke up on his couch to see the brightly colored images of Dragon Ball FighterZ flashing across the screen. I hate that game. It’s boring to watch, ugly as fuck, and I don’t understand it.

He was now in his sixth straight hour of playing Dragon Ball FighterZ. I looked over at him, you know, as I had always done, expecting to see the boy that I loved.

 I just saw a boy.

He looked over at me then and smiled. And I felt nothing at all. Which is impressive, because he has a great fucking smile.

It was like someone had invaded my mind while I was sleeping and removed the part of my brain that saw him romantically and sexually.

I didn’t feel the relief I expected to feel, which was immensely disappointing. I cannot over-stress the enormity of this letdown. After so long of a stagnation, stuck on one person, I fucking deserved to feel happy that it was over and that I could finally move on.

Instead, I felt incredibly sad. Years, I had spent thinking about this man: imagining what we would be like together, fantasizing about being his girlfriend, trying to remember what it felt like that one time we made out drunk. This was my normal, my neutral—what I was used to.

But now, I didn’t want to think about any of that. It was over, and I looked at him and didn’t even feel the warm feelings of friendship that I should have felt in the absence of the usual romantic attraction.

I felt kinda bad about that, because he was supposed to be more to me than a romantic conquest. We were supposed to be friends. Best friends, sometimes. But we never really were, because I wanted him from the moment I met him. I had never known what it was like to just be his friend. No agenda, no conniving, no yearning—just existing in space as normal friends.

And I think I might never know what being his friend is like. What was our friendship but me loving him and him pretending not to notice? Where do we go from here? Do I start over, decide if he’s even worthy of being one of my ten friends, or keep going and pretend everything is fine?

The truth is this: I don’t want to be his friend. I want to never see him again, like I’ve always been able to do when I’ve fallen out of love before.

It’s sad to have to put him in a box with the rest of the people I’ve set aside and given up on: the abusers, the whiners, the drunks.

It’s kind of like he died. I think I’m still in mourning. I’ll miss the wild conjectures about the state of his relationships, the dreams I would have where he held my hand ever so gently, how I would interpret his every word and quirk towards me—even picturing him during sex. I’ll miss the fond memories, like when he would bike me home from campus,  standing up and pedaling while I sat on the seat, clutching him for dear life as we hurtled down the Santa Cruz hills.

I guess I’m really mad at him. I’m mad at him, at his stupid new obsession with Dragon Ball FighterZ, and mad that he made the decision, over and over again, to never love me back.

The moral of this story is that I’m finally free. And it doesn’t feel good at all. It kind of feels like shit.

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