Forever and Always
Another night ended with the sound of slammed doors.
The sound making me nauseated. Once again I would be sleeping at a friends house.
No longer feeling welcomed by him. No longer feeling wanted.
Four months ago, I lost my job. I was heart broken. Not only did I love that job with all of my heart, but without it I could not stay in Korea.
I didn’t know what to do. I made just enough to live and sustain myself. If I was able to work there just three more months, I would have a received a raise. But the world was obviously not working in my favor.
My boyfriend was the wonderful and amazingly talented rapper and producer: Zico. We had been dating for two years and our relationship was perfect. He was my other half and I was his.
We were having a movie night at his place the night I told him everything. He sat with his back resting against the arm of the sofa, legs splayed out along the couch with me in his lap, legs resting the same way, my upper body resting along his. He had both arms wrapped around my waist. I could feel him breathing on my neck as I told him the situation.
I explained to him that with the money I had saved, I could only afford to stay in Korea for two more months, so I would be moving back home to the states soon.
It was quiet for a while after I finished. Every tick that the clock made making me even more anxious for his response.
After a few minutes he finally spoke.
“Why don’t you move in here?” I could feel him looking at me without even turning around. His pupils burning holes into my skull. We had talked about moving in together before, but I always rejected the offer, not wanting to move in with someone I wasn’t married to. This just was not a step I was ready for.
“What about my dog?” I felt him shrug. “I don’t care, bring him too” “But you don’t even like him” “You love him so I love him” He was acting as if this was a no brainer. I couldn’t afford to live on my own so I should live with him. Simple. But it was not that simple to me. Moving in with him scared me to death. Were we ready?
Zico could feel my insecurities raging within me. “Look, I know you have your worries, but this could work. We’ve been together for two years now. Most couples move in with each other way sooner than that”
“Yeah and they end up breaking up too”
“But not us, we’re different than them”
“How so, babe?”
“Because not only is our love strong and unbreakable but we already have our life planned. Look, we said married by 28 and kids by 30. Would it be so bad to just move in with each other now. We already know we will always be together, forever and always.” The room was filled with silence. I didn’t know how to reply. After waiting a few more moments, he spoke again.
“Babe, I know you’re scared. But you shouldn’t be. You know I want you here anyway. I love it when you stay over and I’m always wishing it was permanent. My apartment is a great for the two of us anyway and with your dog being here that makes it a little more homey don’t you think?”
His voice was filled with hope and it was breaking my heart. I did want this. I imagined what life would be like living with him all the time. But I always imagined we were married.
After a couple days of going back and forth on the topic, we decided I would move in. I said only for six months, but he said for a year. We agreed to re-visit the topic after six months though. This would give me time to find a new job, save money and move into a new place of my own.
The first two months of living with Zico was better than what I ever imagined. We were more in love than ever and I started to think that moving in with him was a great decision and I probably should have done it sooner. Zico would always say “our home” instead “my home” and it always gave me a bubbly feeling inside. It took me a while to get used to, and if I ever called it “his home” he would immediately correct me to “our home” adding a sweet peck to my cheek.
It wasn’t until month three rolled around that things started going down hill. Everything he did bothered me. He was annoying me and I was noticing habits that would make me cringe. He would complain that I nagged and then nag me about nagging. He was dirty and had a horrible diet. His farts smelled so bad and he always left the toilet seat up. He came home late all the time and when he got undressed he would leave a trail of his dirty clothes along the floor. We would argue over stupid shit. But every time we argued, they got worse and worse.
The first few arguments ended with “I’m sorry” and “I love you” and “I never want to fight like this again” followed by hot and sweaty passionate sex.
As the arguing continued, they started to end with a mutual understanding that we forgave each other. Just moving on and forgetting it happened.
With each increasing fight, I was feeling more and more like a burden in his home. I felt like a roach that he couldn’t get rid of, or was too nice to kick out.
It wasn’t until our first blow out fight that I decided not to sleep there. The fight was so stupid I can’t even remember what it was about. It kept escalating and escalating, neither us wanting to back down. It wasn’t until he threw a picture across the room, it shattering against the wall, that we both settled down and came to out senses. I looked at him with shock and utter disbelief. I have never in the two years that we had dated seen him this angry. He looked back at me with sorrow in his eyes, but he didn’t say anything. He just raked his hands through his hair with a sigh and walked to the bedroom, quietly shutting the door.
Once my shock wore off, I grabbed the broom and the dust pan and decided to clean up the mess. When I made my way to the area, I noticed that the picture he threw was a picture of us. It was from the first day I moved in. Boxes were everywhere and we were sweaty. We had just gotten the last box in his apartment. Zico was so excited after he finally shut the door.
“Family photo!” He said. He quickly picked up my dog, threw one arm around me and counted to three. When he finally said three, he kissed my cheek causing me to laugh and snapped the photo.
I felt tears well up seeing the memory shattered on the floor and decided that I shouldn’t stay there that night.
After I cleaned up the mess, I put on my shoes and left. Not even packing a bag. I’ll just come back tomorrow when he’s not home.
As soon as I got to the elevator, I called my best friend Stephanie.
“Hey y/n! what’s up?”
“Is it ok if I stay with you tonight?” I heard her sigh, her and Zico weren’t the best of friends
“What did that bastard do now?” I returned the sigh, even though I was mad at him, I hated when she talked about him like this.
“We just had a fight, not a big deal. We just need some space”
“Well of course you can stay. You can always stay here y/n”
I didn’t know this would be the start of my spending my time there every night. Desperately trying to avoid Zico. Not wanting another fight.
It wasn’t until the third week later that I really saw him. I was at his place gathering more clothes. Stephanie decided that we should go out tonight.
“All you do is mope around, work, and search for apartments. Lets take a break from that today” I protested but of course she could not let it go. I had to return to Zico’s to get clothes to go out in and gather more make-up. I decided to just get ready there and meet Stephanie are the bar. I was in the bathroom connected to Zico’s bedroom. Leaning over the sink trying to make myself look presentable for a night at the bar.
“Oh, you decided to come home today” It wasn’t a question, just a snarky remark. A remark which scared the shit out of me because I didn’t even know he was home. Did he just get here or has he been here? I thought to myself.
“Yeah, I’m about to leave actually” I said while applying my lipstick.
“Where are you going?” His voice was laced with attitude, but I could tell he was trying to hold back.
“To a bar, performer, club place”
“Just you two?” All these questions were starting to annoy me, but I kept calm. I’m not here to argue.
“Really? Y'all aren’t meeting anyone else?”
I raised my eyebrow, “Nope” I finally dared to steal a glance at him and almost choked. He was leaning against the dresser by the door, arms crossed, cat eyes staring straight through me. Never wavering. He was watching my every move. He looked so sexy right now too, if we weren’t fighting I’d probably pounce on him. He was dressed in all black with a snapback on. He must have just came from some event.
“Are you coming home after this?” He asked, voice still laced with attitude.
“Actually, I might stay with Stephanie again” I started fixing my hair. Desperately trying to hurry and leave. You could cut the tension in the air with a knife. I heard him let a deep sigh. One of those over exaggerated sighs.
“So when are you moving out” This also wasn’t a question but another snarky remark. Although I knew he’d ask soon, I was still shocked. I slowly turned to look at him, setting down the oil I was about to place on my curls. He was in the same position, still staring at me. Eyes dark and challenging me.
“Well when do you want me out by Zico?” Another exaggerated sigh left his lips. I watched him roll his eyes and drop his arms by his waist. He shifted his weight and looked at me again.
“I’m asking because you obviously don’t want to be here, so just let me know y/n” My eyes widened. I never said I didn’t want to be here, it just felt like he didn’t want me here.
“That’s not true Zico”
“Then why aren’t you ever home?”
“Because we argue all the time and-“
“So what! Couples argue y/n” With every word his voice rose. No longer being able to contain his anger. He was right, couples did argue, but do they argue like this. All the time?
“Cancel your plans with Stephanie” it was more of a demand than anything.
“What? No, we already made these plans” I saw his face soften for a second, but only a second.
He folded his arms over his chest again.
“You said you want to be here, then stay. Cancel your plans and show me you want to be here”
“So we can what, argue? Because couples argue” I clearly hurt him. I could see it in his demeanor, but he’d never say it. Always trying to play it off. He knew I was mocking him. Why am I such a horrible girlfriend?
“So I’m just supposed to spend another night here alone? Sitting on the couch every night looking stupid, waiting up for you to never show up. Me and that damn dog just staring at each other, telling him ‘yeah I miss her too buddy but she needs space’. I’m talking to a damn dog y/n. A fucking dog, because you don’t ever want to come home and why! Because we fucking argue and that gives you every right to just quit on us. To walk out and not even try to make it work! You’re so fucking stubborn and selfish, you hate when things get hard don’t you and I do too. But do you see me walking out every fucking chance we disagree? Fuck no, because I love you and I’ll fight to make things work y/n!”
I could feel tears starting to form. My voice was getting caught in my throat. He wasn’t just angry this time, but incredibly hurt and it was all my fault.
“It’s not that I don’t want it to work, just this is your place and whenever we fight-“
“Bullshit! I made it clear before you ever set a bag in here that once you were here this was your place too! Never once did I say it wasn’t, even when I was mad at and you got on my nerves, this place is still yours too! Everything here is yours. I don’t care about who paid for what and all that shit, what’s mine is yours and you know that so don’t try to feed me that bullshit y/n it’s not going to work!” He hadn’t moved from his spot by the dresser and I hadn’t moved from my spot either.
I couldn’t say anything without crying so I just stayed silent. Looking at the floor, my body filled with shame. How come I didn’t know he was hurting like this?
He sighed and started aggressively rubbing his temples. He was no longer looking at me, but staring at the floor.
“God y/n” he finally spoke “If you are cheating on me, just let me know now please” My eyes almost shot out my head. CHEATING. I know we’ve been on the rough end of the relationship but I would never cheat!“What the hell, Zico. I would never cheat on you!” Being accused of such a thing crushed me. I know we fight but I still love him.
I head sniffle, he was still looking at the floor. Was he crying?
“You’re never home, do you even love me anymore?” His voice had dropped to a whisper. Breathy and barely audible. At that moment my heart completely shattered. I hated myself for causing him to feel this way because of my own issues. I felt like I was burdening him and in return made him feel unloved.
I made my way over to him, tears spilling over my cheeks. I grabbed both of his cheeks to get him to look up at me. His eyes were puffy and red and tears kept falling.“I still love you Zico, I will always love you. I guess I just let my own insecurities take over. I didn’t want to hurt you, I just didn’t want to fight. With every fight I felt more and more un-welcomed here and it’s not because of you, but my own issues. I promise I’ll work on them. I swear I will. I want us to work Zico I love you so much” My confession was real and genuine and he felt it. He leaned down and kissed my lips sweetly. A feeling that I hadn’t felt in over a month.
I pulled away and quickly walked back to the counter to grab my phone.
“What are you doing?” He asked, voice laced with hurt, scared of my answer.
“Texting Stephanie and telling her that I can’t make it tonight” I saw him smile for the first time in a month. His dorky smile that always lit up the room. I smiled back, completely happy that I could see our relationship turning for the better.
“You want another movie night?” he asked, eyes lit up with happiness. I quickly nodded my head. Movie nights with him were the best. “I’ll go pick the movie, hurry and text Stephanie”
I hurried and sent the message and ran to meet Zico on the couch. We sat in our normal position and right before he pressed play, he turned my head towards him and kissed me deeply. “I love you, forever and always” he said while resting his forehead against mine.
“I love you too, forever and always”