My Turn.

After Austin returned from his trip, I wanted to plan a date for us. I felt like he had been great at making plans and taking me to nice places, so I wanted to do the work for once.

I told him to show up at the sorority house, but the rest was a secret.

I packed a cooler, picked up takeout from P.F. Chang’s {so many of my dating experiences are laced with orange-peel shrimp}, and got some of my of-age friends to pickup a bottle of Austin’s favorite—Jack Daniel’s.

I was scurrying around to pick everything up, I was running a little late. I was so stressed out trying to get everything together, that when Austin arrived, he seemed annoyed with me already.

We got in my car, and I drove him to a spot near the lake. I had a blanket, which I laid out for us, and unpacked the goodies. He seemed surprised, and happy that I remembered to get his sauce on the side, but it wasn’t the reaction I’d hoped for.

This often happened to me in my dating experiences—once I tried to be nice, I expected a nice reaction in return. I didn’t realize how much it hurt me until years down the road.

The picnic was nice, however, it was one of the last pleasant moments we would share together.

Toward the end of April, things with Austin got rocky. He said things with his family were tough, school was stressful, and he needed to work. Being naive, I figured he just needed some cheering up.

So I surprised him at work with something in my pocket—a pair of tickets to see one of his favorite musicians, Marc Broussard. Once again, his reaction was sub-par.

But I left it at that.

In May, my mom came to Baton Rouge to help me buy a car, and move into a new apartment. Although Austin and I hadn’t been seeing each other very long, it wasn’t often that a family member of mine was in town. I wanted him to meet my mom.

He seemed okay with dinner.

I was working a shift with Austin, when my mom came in the store to visit. I didn’t think it was a big deal for Austin to meet her then—we were scheduled to have the dinner later that evening. So, I introduced them.

Everything was fine. Until my mom left the store. He told me he was unprepared and I shouldn’t have introduced them. Austin didn’t join us at dinner.

I was sad and embarrassed.

Austin dumped me the next day. I called him at work and he told me he just wanted to work more. I was devastated. I was being dumped for Abercrombie hours.

I will never forget laying in my bed at my new apartment—new bedding and all. I was completely under the covers, crying. My mom was telling me it was okay, not to worry, I could do better.

The next week at work, they announced the annual tubing trip. I wanted to go, but I was nervous about being around Austin. I had been able to avoid most shifts with him. One of my coworkers said not to worry, that he would hang out with me the whole time.

Early that Sunday morning, we met at the mall parking lot to figure out who was going to drive with whom. My friend got in my car, and Austin came up to my window and asked me what I’d been up to. I told him some bullshit about seeing a movie and wished he would get out of my face.

He joined our manager, and two skinny bitches, and they all rode to the river together. Once we got on the river, I didn’t see Austin much, and I ended up having a good time.

But when the trip was over and we were all back at our cars, Austin was trashed. I left, and didn’t think much of it.

The next day at work, one of the skinny bitches showed up, even though she wasn’t on the schedule.

“Is Austin here?” she asked me.

“No.”

“Aw man, we went to Hooters last night and I ended up leaving my cooler in his trunk. He is supposed to bring it to me,” she said.

I walked away. Watching Austin date other girls in front of me, or merely, “take them to Hooters” was really going to piss me off.

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