Eleven Miles

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Confession #7

Shell Out

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Now, it’s not that love bothers me. I mean, let’s be real, I love jet-skiing. There’s no reason to assume it’s a dirty word. The problem, however, was that this girl believed she would get me to marry her or something. Obviously, that’s the only reason she’d ever say it. Truth was, I didn’t want that kind of involvement. So I called it quits. That’s when the fireworks exploded.

So, as much as I wish we’d fought over peanut butter, bologna, and loud dogs, that was our trigger. Most likely. With Rachel, it’s hard to tell sometimes. But I’m pretty sure it had to do with the fact that I’d broken up with her.

When I use the term “fireworks,” I should mention that they began as small firecrackers, not a full array of M80s. Even though the tension resembled a cloud visible from miles away, Rachel never yelled at me. In fact, I’m not sure she ever yelled a day in her life. Her big thing was passive-aggressiveness, to be polite when she insulted me and then shed a few tears for emphasis. She was a dirty player, certainly, and that’s how the dislike for each other escalated. The more she turned her anger into words, the more I’d flip them back at her. Our exchanges became cold war matches to see who’d get madder at the other without intensifying it with volume. In the end, she proved she was better at the game than I. It usually took three insults to break my patience. Of course, my eminent yelling always brought her to the point of flinging her arms upward and turning her back on me, to which she’d finish with a sob-fest. We eventually became tired of fighting and acknowledged that “quits” meant no contact of any kind. That’s when we agreed to end the tension and avoid each other completely.

So how does one go from dating, to hating, to going jet-skiing together? It’s complicated to the untrained mind. The bottom line is we both love to jet-ski, and neither of us knows another soul who shares our passion, so we bear the burden of sacrifice for our one true love, the one that doesn’t degrade over time.