“One lesson life teaches us over and over again,
Is that even when everything seems to be going bad,
It doesn’t mean it will remain that way forever!”
It started with guilt. I had been able to avoid any real guilt towards Brad from the start. For one thing he didn’t seem real to me. I had never seen him, I had never met him, he was just like some made up character in a movie which I hadn’t yet seen, and didn’t really want to see, an illusion.
The other thing was the only time I ever heard him mentioned was obviously by Ellie, and when Ellie mentioned him it usually was in context of something like “You wouldn’t believe what fucking Brad said to me today” or “I can’t believe what an asshole brad has been lately”. Ellie never had even the slightest kind word to say about him. She made him out to be like some demonesk creature, sent to earth from the devil himself just to mock her, and berate her, and make her feel ugly and worthless. And I was her angel sent to treat her like a goddess, and make her feel loved, and beautiful, and wanted.
I had no reason to feel guilt for Brad. I wasn’t doing anything wrong. I was saving Ellie from evil, I was spreading happiness, and I was taking away misery. I somehow conveniently forgot to think of the fact that Ellie had once loved him, that he may still love her, that I only ever heard one side of the story, and that maybe Ellie wasn’t the same incredibly being around Brad as she was around me.
That all changed though on a day I decided I needed new underwear. Well actually Hannah decided I needed new underwear. She was around at my place watching television with me in my as usual messy apartment. I had crap flown all over the place, including pretty much all of my clothes, which for some reason included having a pair of underpants hanging from the rabbit ear aerials I used to get television reception. Actually they were there from the night before when Ellie had ripped them from my body and tossed them aside right before letting her hunger overtake her and devouring my penis for her dinner. I didn’t tell Hannah that though. As sexual forward as Hannah had always been with me I had never been able to feel comfortable with talking about my sex life with her at all openly. In fact our sex talk usually just went along the lines of her saying something like “You got laid last night didn’t you, you little sex fiend?” and I would reply by smiling just a little, then trying to hide the smile from Hannah, which would make me smile even more, before Hannah would jump on me yelling something like “Watch out for JayJay sex god”, or “When am I going to get my turn you sexy little stud?”
Anyways I had underpants hanging from the aerial. They had been mentioned briefly earlier in the night when Hannah had arrived, something like “Nice decorations”, but nothing else. Until about two hours after Hannah had arrived when she turned to me and said “If you’re going to use underpants as decorations, then you should at least use your nice ones”
“What do you mean nice ones? ….all my underpants are like those” I replied
“I really hope you’re joking JayJay”
“No…why…there just underpants”
“Jason, those are disgusting….they are old and they have started to turn brown….I hope just from age….and surely you don’t let Ellie let you see you in those”
“Oh no Jas, that’s awful….I would have got you some nice ones if I had of known you were wearing these all the time”
“What’s the difference….there just too….um….you know….hold in your bat and balls, its not like I parade around in them”
“But they are the last thing Ellie sees you in before you have sex?”
“Well that’s gross….that is not a pretty sight”
“All the more reason for her to nudenise me all the quicker then” I declared
“And you wouldn’t care if she was wearing disgusting old panties under her skirt?”
“No….well you know nice underwear is nice….but guys don’t care about stuff like that…we’re all about getting to what’s below the panties”
“Well trust me JayJay….girls care about the state of a guys underthings, it tells us a lot about you….and these say ‘I’m going to give you genital warts’”
“Yes really, well more likely ‘really are these your underpants? Then no I have changed my mind and we won’t be having sex after all’” Hannah said, with her best attempt to replicate Ellie’s oh so cute baby voice
“Then what should I wear?” I asked
“Don’t worry about it…I’ll take you shopping tomorrow”
“Um…well thanks Hannah…but I think it might be better for me to go underpant shopping alone”
“Don’t be silly JayJay…you know I’d never let you pick out clothes on your own…I want you to look good”
And so the next day Hannah was around at my house bright and early to take me underpants shopping, hip hooray. She took me to this place called ‘Big Brothers Smalls’, which apparently was quite a fashionable place to go to buy underwear and things like pajamas, handkerchiefs and toiletries. Upon entering we walked through about three hectares of women’s lingerie, in all sorts of arse flossing design’s, mostly looking incredibly sexy, and putting some quite nice images in my mind, until I started to look at the clientele around the store and found it to include a large smattering of older women and larger women. Not that there is anything wrong with either of those things. Just that I don’t want to picture women like that in a g-string small enough to be stored in a match box.
Eventually we found the menswear section hidden way in the back corner. Now for some reason underwear manufacturers feel that the best way to encourage a person such as myself into buying their products, is for them to put on the cover a large picture of a man with a six pack as obvious as the rocky mountains, and with a penis bulge as prominent and as big as their heads.
I can promise any of you out there right now, if you want to sell me underpants, do not, I repeat DO NOT, force me to buy a product which both makes me feel completely inadequate as a man, completely unattractive, and make the shop assistant question whether I am in fact buying them because I need underpants, or if I’m buying them because I am a closet homosexual and find this the least embarrassing way of buying porn for me to masturbate to. That does not make for a pleasant shopping experience. Why cant we have the pictures of women in lingerie from the women’s section, like Kylie Minogue in a g-string on the men’s underpants, and girls can have Marky Mark and his amazing twelve inch tool over there.
“So what should I get” I asked Hannah while looking at a male g-string out of the corner of my eye and getting ready to run out of the store if Hannah even suggested they were a possibility
“You need boxer briefs”
“What the hell are boxer briefs?”
“They’re sort of like boxer shorts, only with the tightness of briefs, so you can still show off your package”
“And that’s what the girls like us in these days?” I asked, full of skepticism
“Depends…if you have a good body, then these are the ones for you”
“So then they are not the ones for JayJay!”
“Jason…I know you like to joke that your still the fat kid from highschool, but you know that you are not anymore, time to start being proud of that hot little body you have been working so hard to achieve”
“Well I don’t really work that hard, just the odd run…..I guess my metabolism just changed”
“Even fucking better…you’re naturally hot…you dress like it on the outside now…now start dressing like it on the inside…trust me, girls have a sixth sense…they can tell when they will like what they will find under a guys jeans, and if they think they will like it then they will want to get there all the more often”
“Ok….so which ones then”
“These” She handed me up a box of Calvin Klein white boxer briefs which had a picture on the cover of a guy giving me a look like he was saying “Come on you know you want to get into my underpants”.
I looked at the price and literally dropped them on the floor. They were seriously more money than the entire rest of my wardrobe had cost me with Hannah at the second hand store. I think Hannah could sense my disapproval, because without even asking me she said “JayJay, we got your other clothes at a second hand store, you cannot under any circumstances buy second hand underwear, you get the rest of your stuff cheap so you can afford these…besides you have your big animation man money now anyway”.
“Oooooo…kkkk” I gave as my usual reluctant give in response to a tirade from Hannah. Hannah jumped up with enthusiasm at having again talked me into something, and then went about stacking my arms with a section of boxes of underpants with enough semi naked boys on the fronts to cover the whole gay porn industry.
Hannah then pushed me on to the check out counter where I plopped them down on the counter. The check out chick was surprisingly a man. He was a large plump roundish sort of fat man, with a shaved head and little goatee beard, wearing a suit which looked a couple of sizes too small, and a look on his face which clearly suggested that he had had one hell of an awful day.
He sighed as he went about scanning all of my extravagantly expensive undergarments, and then proceeded to look sadder and sadder as we waited for him.
“Are you ok?” Hannah asked, being the one of the two of us most likely to have the confidence to ask a question like that
“Yeah I’m ok” He replied
“Are you sure”
“Yeah just been a hard day” He said while clearly now struggling not to cry
“Oh my god” Hannah said “What’s wrong…you can tell me”
“Well….I don’t know” He said now clearly now no longer trying not to cry, and instead trying hard not to cry too much
“It’s ok mate….you can tell us…we might be able to help” I said
“You gay fag” I thought, about myself, not him
“You big girl” I thought, about him, not myself
“Well….um….it’s just that” he paused while he wiped a stream of tears away from his face “well it’s a lot of things….I just got demoted, I used to work in the computer section of our parent company, ‘Tifamart’, and I love computers, but they sent me down to here to sell underwear…and wouldn’t even tell me why”
“That’s horrible” Hannah said with genuine affection “Go on”
“Then down here all I get all day is women buying sexy underwear to wear for their boyfriends and their husbands, and they’re are always asking me questions like ‘Do you think my husband would like me in this g-string better or this teddy better?’, and I’m like ‘I don’t know, how do I know what your husband likes’…..and the thing is….it just makes me so depressed….especially when I see a happy couple like you two….because I love someone…my girlfriend….but I don’t think she loves me anymore”
“Oh my god why do you think that?” Hannah asked
“We’re not actually a couple, we’re just friends…I have a girlfriend though….its just not her” I added, which actually didn’t help anyone
“Its just that….I don’t know….she’s not affectionate anymore…..we don’t hug anymore, we don’t kiss anymore…..we live together, so we see each other every day…..but we haven’t actually been together for months”
“You mean you haven’t had sex?” Hannah asked, I thought quite nosily, but he didn’t seem to mind, he seemed quite happy for the opportunity to talk about this stuff in fact, I could think of better people than two strangers buying underpants to talk about my relationship issues with, but I did honestly feel bad for him, I know what its like to feel un-loved, and its not a good thing
“Oh no, sex hasn’t been an issue for at least two years…I don’t even bother suggesting it anymore….Ellie actually told me once…that I was too….that I was too…..that I was too fat to have sex with anymore” He struggled to get out without falling into a huge mountain of crying
“Ellie! What a coincidence” I optimistically thought to myself
“So what do you think she wants?” Hannah asked
“I think she wants to break up with me…..I just don’t think she knows how, and I love her way too much to make it easy for her….its just getting so hard now……I just want things to be the way they used to be….we were happy…she loved me too….I want that again”
“That just might not be possible” Hannah said
“I know…I know….I can’t let go…not yet….just not yet” He said before suddenly wiping away some more tears, then giving himself a shake “Ok ok….that’s enough….I don’t need to bother you two with this anymore….I mean thanks for listening, but it’s my problem…I’ll deal with it, I don’t need to bother customers”
“You have been no bother….honestly, I’m glad you told us…I just wish we could help more” Hannah responded
“No no…you have helped honestly….I haven’t talked to anyone else about this…..I just couldn’t, but….I don’t know…..I just needed to....and you have such a friendly face”
“Well thanks…..listen here’s my number ok” Hannah said as she grabbed a business card off the table and began to write down her number “you call me anytime you want to chat…seriously….I know it’s good to have a stranger to talk to sometimes”
“Well thankyou” he looked at the number and read her name “Hannah….I’m Brad by the way” he reached out and shook her hand
“Nice to meet you Brad….we’ll leave you to it ok…call me promise, ok?”
“Ok….really nice to meet you too” He said
“That’s a fucking huge coincidence, isn’t it, that his name was Brad and his girlfriends name was Ellie, and they were having troubles, just like my Ellie and her boyfriend Brad, what are the odds on that, two couples in this area, with the same names, and the same issues, quite ironic actually, is that irony? What is irony anyway, that’s more like when you go to the doctor to complain that you might have a brain tumor, and he does some radioactive scans on your skull, which show that you in fact have no tumor, but then the radioactivity of the machine gives you a brain tumor. Or is that just bad luck? JayJay Domey kind of luck. What is it with bad luck anyway? Do some people actually have bad luck, and others actually have good luck, and it will always just be like that forever? Or is it like tossing a coin, there is a fifty percent chance that it will land on heads, and a fifty percent chance it will land on tails, and that’s always the case, on average every second one will be a head and every second one will be a tail, but if you throw the coin a few billion times there will still be times when the head comes fifty or a hundred times in a row, its unlikely, but over enough throws it will happen. So is luck just like that? People with bad luck are just the one in six billion people alive who just happened to have picked tails at a time where heads are running. Even though he has got it wrong fifty times in a row, statistically he still has a fifty percent chance that the next throw will be a tail. That’s quite a comforting thought actually. I know I have received heads most of the time in my life, but I have hit some great tails. Like meeting Hannah of course, someone who has pre-set bad luck couldn’t possibly have meet such a great girl, and had her be so willing to let him see her naked like she has at certain times, and even better let him be her friend for so long. Or like Ellie. How lucky am I to have found her. The one girl who I fell in love with, not just lust with, on the first time I saw her, and she is the first girl ever to feel that way about me too. That’s not luck. That’s fate, that’s divine intervention, that’s someone planning out in advance. I mean Ellie isn’t perfect; there is that whole Brad thing of course. I can’t believe there are actually two Ellie and Brad’s in this area out there, that’s an enormous coincidence. It is different though. Ellie’s Brad is a real asshole, she is always telling me, where as that other Ellie, the one with Brad in that shop, well that Brad didn’t seem like an asshole, a bit fat maybe, a bit girly maybe, not like physically, but like the way he cried in front of us. But then again if it was me, I wouldn’t have the guts to talk to strangers. I’d crawl into a hole and scrunch up into a ball, and cry my eyes out alone. Maybe it is manlier to have the guts to tell someone you’re sad, and scared, and lonely, than to just hide it all away. Real coincidence though, those names being the same, as you know my Ellie and her boyfriend. That Brad couldn’t possibly be her Brad, could he? Surely not. But what are the odds of there being two. I hope that’s not him, I don’t want to be doing this to him. I don’t want to not be seeing Ellie either though. Why does everything bad happen to me? Why do I have all the bad luck? What’s the deal with bad luck anyway? Are some people just born with it?” I thought to myself as we walked out
“I know what you’re thinking” Hannah said to me as we approached the train station
“Yeah” I replied
“And you’re going to do something about it aren’t you?”
“Ellie Belly?” I said to Ellie the next time she came around, two nights later
“What Hooray for JayJay” She replied (she had started calling me ‘Hooray for JayJay’ recently, in retaliation for the whole Ellie Belly thing, we both complained, but I think we both secretly loved it)
“Remember earlier tonight…when you walked in the room and dropped straight to your knees, and then undid my belt and then pulled down my jeans, and then pulled down my underpants, and then did that lovely, well you know?”
“Yeah of course I remember…do you want me to do it again?”
“Well no….well yeah, but that’s not why I brought it up”
“Well you know when you pulled down my jeans? (She nodded), and remember when you were giving me my loving? (she nodded again), well remember the bit in between, you know, did you notice anything different?”
“Oh yeah…your new boxer briefs….they are so sexy…I was going to say something before….but seeing you in them just made me want to get to what was under them as quick as possible”
I smiled “Thanks…yeah I went underwear shopping… I got a whole pile”
“That’s great! I mean I wasn’t going to say anything, but your old ones were seriously gross” she confessed
“I know…that’s what Hannah told me”
“And when was Hannah in your pants” She said with a glare
“No no no no…she just saw them on the ground” I said suddenly scared
“Ha ha ha ha…I know JayJay…besides you can sleep with whoever you want to”
“Ok (‘what the fuck?’) Well anyway….the reason I brought it up……the thing is right”
“Well the thing is I went shopping for underwear two days ago…..and …well … um….well we…me and Hannah that is…..we went to ‘Big Brothers Smalls’ to by them”
The look on Ellie’s face right now, like a star trek nerd seeing a real live alien ship and discovering right away that they were not in fact searching for new frontiers, but were looking for anus’s to examine, just complete shock, confirmed for me what I was really trying to find out, but I continued still “and we met this sales assistant there, a male one”
“Oh my god…what did you tell him?”
“Nothing….I promise nothing….only thing is, he told us some stuff”
This was to be the start of what soon turned out to be lots of major arguments between me and Ellie. I had made a decision now, I loved Ellie, I wanted her in my life, I wanted all of her though, I couldn’t let it continue as an affair. I wanted us to be in a real relationship. Ellie had different ideas though. She said she loved me too, she agreed that a relationship between us would be great. She just couldn’t bring herself to go through the pain of breaking up with Brad.
We began to argue about this issue every time we saw each other. It was awful. I hated arguing with her. I never wanted to make her feel bad. I wanted to make her feel like a princess on her sweet sixteenth birthday. I wanted her happiest moment of the day to be the first moment of the day she saw me. I just didn’t want to be so cruel, like a kid with a magnifying glass on a sunny day at an ant hill, to a guy like Brad, for me to have her in my life. I would have hated to be in his shoes. I could think of nothing worse in the entire world.
Yet it was this massive catch 22, which is a stupid name for something to be. What the hell does catch 22 mean? Why 22? Why not catch 3245? And while I think about it, how on earth can something be a rule of thumb? What the hell has thumbs got to do with rules, it’s just stupid? Why not rule of index finger? Why not rule of pinky toe? Why does it have to be a body part at all? And what’s the deal with ‘Curiosity killed the cat?’ Why do so many clichés have to involve the vicious killings of cute helpless pets? Sorry, just these sayings are so stupid most of the time.
Anyway, the big catch 54786 was that I didn’t want to have Ellie if it meant cheating on anyone, but I loved Ellie and couldn’t bring myself to end it. Where as Ellie loved me and wanted me in her life, but just as long as that didn’t mean she had to break the heart of her former lover, whom she still loved, just as a friend. Maybe that’s what irony is? Or is it all that bad luck stuff from that Alanis Morrisette song, you know ‘Ironic’, she said all that stuff was ironic, ‘like having lots of knives when you just need a fork’ or something, I don’t know just too confusing.
So this was a massive problem for us. We fought about it lots. We started to end our evenings together, not having desperate problems ending an embrace, not trying to sneak in just one more kiss before she ‘really, really, really have to go’, but sometimes just regretting that we saw each other at all. When we first started seeing each other she wouldn’t be over more than two minutes before we would be in the act of spreading some love around. Now she would come and stay for three hours and we might not even get into sex or even cuddling, we would just argue.
Then I would start to resent Brad again, for putting this rift between us. And I’d let up on her for a while and things would be good again. Which would make me feel guilt towards Brad again, and we would fight again. It was a vicious cycle. Thing is I know I was being hard on Ellie. I couldn’t fathom being in her situation, it would be six years away before it was even possible for me to feel the same. Ellie was easily my longest relationship, and we weren’t even officially in a relationship, I was just her affair from her long time love. Thing is, I know she felt the guilt too. I know she still loved Brad in her way, I know she loved me too; she was consumed by her guilt. She didn’t need me reminding her all the time.
But then I would get the guilt trips from Hannah too. She now knew them both, she knew how Ellie felt about me, but she cared for Brads feelings, and she would pressure me to make Ellie end it officially. It put strains on my friendship with Hannah aswell. Soon enough none of the people in my life were really ever happy about me, even though they clearly still cared for me deeply.
After a while the solution to all the argument and all the strain ended up being that Ellie and I gradually started seeing less and less of each other. From four nights a week, to two nights a weeks, to once a fortnight, to once every three weeks. I hung on, because I loved her, but I could feel that we were dying. I didn’t want us to die, but there was nothing else I could do.
Then Ellie did something which changed my life forever.