When I arrive at midnight, I feel how I always feel: anxious, reluctant, guarded. Ew. His breath stinks. I don’t want to kiss him. How does a girlfriend not want to kiss her boyfriend after traveling 4.5 hours by bus just to see him? Maybe it’s that stupid show, “unReal,” I binge watched on the bus. I must have accidentally absorbed the main characters: bossy bitch director and her manipulative producer. No. I was already like them.  It’s him. His energy is weird. Why is he always so weird? So what if I’ve already ripped three farts on the way to the taxi stand? I can’t help that my stomach can’t digest a Guinness beer, a bag of chips and two Twix bars. His face is tense. He is calling a Lyft even though there are union-backed taxi cabs vying for our business. Ugh, why can’t he do anything right? Why am I even bothering with this guy? Each time we see each other it’s awkward :

In Miami, I told him not to expect any sex because I was in the middle of a “yoni” cleansing meditation to clear all previous men and their agendas out of my system. Cuz all those dicks, after a certain point, start mixing up into your blood and you have no idea if you still exist in your own body. So I told him: “If you want to meditate on my vagina, go right ahead. That’s all you’re getting.”

In Puerto Rico, I told him at the airport not to expect any kissing or hand holding because I wanted to focus on rebuilding the island of my family’s roots. What I was really doing was rebuilding my heart, which had been shattered by my sister.

In New York, I told him to stay in DC because I didn’t want him trying to control and manage my move out of my apartment. Cuz he’s not the boss of me. I can manage my own life. I know what I’m doing, doesn’t matter that I am unemployed and homeless and moving back in with my parents.

After all these rejections, there he is, still sitting next to me in a Lyft as I look out the window, not speaking to him, not holding his hand. Glutton for punishment? Or a man in blind love? So reliable. So loyal. Once, I tried to send him away. I hated him more for not being there. So I ordered him to come back. And then I hated him for doing exactly as I wanted.

There is always an excuse to tell him to stay away . My life is always a mess or en route to some other place. And yet we talk and text everyday like couples do. We go to the movies and drink wine like couples do. And occasionally, we make love like couples in love do.

In San Francisco, only a few months after our five-year friendship converted into romance, it was all love and dreams of the future on a king-sized bed in an Airbnb.

That’s how it usually goes with all of them in the first three months. An extended honeymoon of unfettered sex and dinners and romantic walks. As soon as anything real surfaces, I bounce. Girls aren’t supposed to be this way. We are supposed to want longevity and roots and safety. But I was programmed after Title IX. I could officially compete on par with James Bond. I am Pussy Galore. I have #committmentissues. That looks like I can’t commit to men tissues. He says it’s because I am allowing the “addicted lover” archetype to rule my decisions. I tell him to stop mansplaining my personality to me cuz he doesn’t know what it’s like to be a girl in the world. He nods in agreement. Ugh. So annoying when he validates me. The more time I spend with him, the more my left ring finger breaks into a rash.