Travis • pt. 2

Age 22.

By the time I was 22, I was a senior in college, a faithful girlfriend, and an empty shell of a person. My panic attacks had grown more intense, lasted longer, and came more often.

Travis contacted me earlier in the year, and left voicemails regularly. It wasn’t until May that I responded. I was alone for the first time in almost 7 years and I desperately wanted attention. My drinking had become unmanageable, and I knew that Travis wouldn’t ask questions.

He had moved to Florida with his parents, as they were still supporting him. He was in his early 30s now. I used my graduation money to buy a ticket for a week-long visit to West Palm Beach where he lived.

I spent most of the flight fantasizing about how happy we could make each other. I couldn’t wait to be swept off my feet.

He booked a hotel suite for us and stocked the place with liquor. He picked me up outside of baggage claim and instantly kissed me. It felt cold and clammy, and not at all what I expected it felt like to kiss my next true love. I was nervous that my body would seem unfamiliar to him- I had gained almost 40 pounds since the last time I’d seen him. We drove the 45 minutes back to the hotel, smoking cigarettes and listening to the Rolling Stones.

I was so numb in both body and mind. We spent the week in a sea of liquor- being angry drunks, breaking glasses and yelling at each other until the front desk had to call the room and tell us to keep it down. I didn’t like him, but I liked the drama. It was the first real thing I’d felt since my breakup.

It was so hot and sticky that week in Florida- we barely left the room except to buy snacks from the local gas station. Back then, I thought he was brave for fucking me during my period. I continued to feel sick from his heavy breathing, his emaciated frame, and his cold appendages against my body. He thought he knew what I wanted.

I faked 17 orgasms that week.

He cried the whole way back to the airport and continually squeezed my hand and legs. I rolled my eyes- I knew he was faking sadness. He wanted me gone and I wanted to leave- back to my life, my friends. I didn’t hear from him for a month- he left me a drunken voicemail to tell me that he had 4 other women he was sleeping with on a regular basis and that I was no longer special.

I didn’t care- but I was embarrassed.

I was just as alone as he was.

Devon Dadoly