The End of an Era

 My time with Jess Karev has ended- and honestly it was for the better. I'm writing this to explain some things, not to throw him under the bus, but for closure and explanations. 
 My time with Jess Karev was good when he wanted it to be. He was one of the sweetest guys I've ever met. He'd kiss my forehead just because. He introduced me to his mother who I absolutely adore. He got me to do adventurous things like jumping into ponds. We had piggy back races in the rain. He introduced me to all of his wonderful friends. Things were really great when they were good. 
 But then there was bad, a lot of bad. A lot of toxic, bad, abusive things. Like when he'd call me names, and old hookup's names when he was drunk, or how he'd curse at me, or had gotten physical with me. Or even one time just two weeks into our relationship he had attempted something that should've had me dump him right then and there. The constant lies. The manipulation. The isolation. How he would attack me for things I wasn't even doing. How he made me hate myself. How I'd end up crying most nights...
 I didn't realize till I was back home how toxic he was for me, how abusive things had been. When I had told our mutual friend some of the things he had done, he was shocked Jess Karev could be that type of guy. That he would do those type of things. Especially that thing so early on, he asked me why I didn't leave him then just two weeks in and I had no answer. He told me 'if any guy had tried that with me, I would've kicked him out so fast. And I never would've seen him again.'
 Jess Karev had this thing about me changing him. He was so dead set on the fact that I was some how changing him when really, I was never trying to. We got in so many fights over that, always with him screaming something about change but never telling me what it was I was doing. And I realized after we broke up what was really happening. 
 Jess Karev was a self labeled player before he met me. His friends called him it, they even warned me of it too. His one friend had made a joke about how I must be "some girl" if I had gotten him to settle down. And I realize now that Jess Karev had changed. He had changed from the guy who would play dirty bar tricks to get girls into his bed to the type of guy who was in a relationship. 
 But then I remembered his bar trick... he'd lean over to his friend, pretend to whisper in their ear, and hope the girl across the bar was intrigued. As I remembered this out loud our mutual friend gasped at me. 
 He was there the night Jess Karev and I met. And he had seen Jess Karev do that... and so had I... 
 I realized then that Jess Karev had played his dirty little bar trick on me. That to Jess Karev I was just like a girl at a bar, but at a different location. He had played his bar trick on me and now, in the end, he had won the game.
 I realize now Jess Karev never wanted to be in a relationship with me- but had found himself trapped in one by trying to win his game. I don't think he truly ever meant to be in one- though he chased after me and almost gave up a dear friendship just to have me. 
 He played his game well. He had told me sweet lies like "my feelings for you are stronger than for anyone else I have ever loved" and I fell for that lie. I kept that lie so close to my heart during our entire relationship and I believed it so dearly that I allowed myself to be blinded by it. I felt so special hearing that. And he made me feel wanted- something I have never truly felt by anyone I've ever known. He had chased after me one night when he thought I left- and when I found that out right then and there I fell further for this trick. And he told me many times he was so scared to lose me. He made me promises that he wouldn't be like Dean, he wouldn't do the things he did- but in turn he did worse. 
 All those things he told me were lies. They were manipulative lies to win his bar game and I am so angry at myself for falling for them. I am so mad that I fell for something I should've seen so easily.
 I told him something that has never passed my lips before, something that no one else will ever hear... and now he'll take his trophy and that tiny piece of me with him where ever he goes and he doesn't even care. I don't think he ever cared...

 But yes... my time with Jess Karev is over. But I haven't sulked at all. In fact, as soon as it was over I grabbed my keys and drove around blasting music and singing at the top of my lungs. I went out with friends across the river to Kentucky. I walked around campus and got closer with one friend. I saw an old friend I hadn't seen in a while and went to my favorite park. I felt free. I felt happy. I felt good about myself for the first time in over a month.

 Do I wish I had never met Jess Karev? Yes. 

 Am I glad I did? Yes. 

 Though Jess Karev has done terrible things to me, a lot truly unforgivable- I forgive him. Though I believe he used me for selfish things and to win his bar game since the bars during summer were empty and bare, I stupidly understand it. I don't excuse his actions by any means, but now I understand it. I think he found himself trapped in a relationship that he never set out to be in. Playing a dirty bar game like what he's used to doesn't normally- if ever- end up with the players in a committed relationship. So he acted out. He felt trapped, like a bear in a cage. He clawed his way out and that meant taking me down with him. He did everything he could to get me to leave him, he even said many times "I don't know why you haven't broken up with me yet". And it's because I was wrapped around his finger and cared too much for him. And now that the bars are full again, he's ready to play those dirty tricks yet again. 

Though I'm happier now out of the relationship, I will admit it's probably because I'm sort of numb. I haven't cried yet, and it's been a little while since we've ended things. I don't know if I'll cry. (Update: Praying came on and I had to pull over while driving home because the lines "'Cause you brought the flames and you put me through hell. I had to learn how to fight for myself. And we both know all the truth I could tell. I'll just say this is 'I wish you farewell'" came on and I started sobbing. Thanks Kesha...) During our last month of our relationship we spent over three weeks away from each other- two of them not even speaking- so I knew I could live without him. In fact, I think I had already moved on the day before we broke up. Because the day things did end, I was already swiping through dating apps two hours later. I felt stronger for getting out of an abusive relationship. I felt ready to find something that was good, with someone who actually cared about me rather than winning a game or keeping score. 

 I haven't heard from Jess Karev, or heard anything about him though I know our mutual friends have seen both of us since the break up. I wish him the best though. I hope he figures things out and realizes he's not ready for a relationship, he's definitely not relationship material right now. I especially hope he never destroys, hurts, and/or breaks another girl like he did to me. I hope he never has another girl hating herself like I did for those two weeks I was on the beach. I know we'll run into each other at some point- it's not like he lives an hour away. He lives a 20 minute walk across campus and we have friends who hang out with us both. I'll probably see him in passing at some point, or even end up in the same house party as him. It's inevitable when you live in a college town the size of Stars Hollow. I almost did the night of the breakup in fact, which I was actually okay with because honestly I don't care if I ever see him again. I moved on the second I saw him at my apartment door with a bag in his hand and knew that he was going to break up with me in 10 minutes or less then go have mimosas at brunch with his friends. I realized then that I felt nothing for him anymore, and he never really had any respect for me anyways. One of our mutual friends told me Jess Karev and I will have to be civil or friends at some point because we run in the same crowd, and I'm okay with that. Like I said, I understand why a bear would claw his way out of a cage when he feels trapped. I just hope that when I do, he has changed. I know he's so against it- but it's not a bad thing to change, it really never is. And I hope he realizes that. He's truly not a bad guy, like I said- when it was good, it was great. So I hope he changes his mindset on change itself. I hope he does well in school this year, I hope he has a big 21st birthday bash like he wanted, I hope people tip him more at his job, I hope his dog starts listening to him better, I hope he graduates and moves out of Ohio like he wants to, I hope he goes back to Ireland like he'd love to, I hope he plays guitar a lot more and actually sings a little, I hope he finds a girl who he can actually care for. I can only imagine the wonderful things he'd do for her, for a girl he actually cares for, compared to me- a girl he just wanted to win with. I truly hope the best for him, and if I ever see him around I know I won't be able to keep from smiling. Because I know a small part of me will still be trapped living and longing for those good days and wishing they would've last. I'm sentimental like that, a sentimental old fool with a naive heart that can't even hate those who she should... sue me. I'm too much like Rory for my own good. 

 So now I'm moving on, learning I can be stronger than I thought I was before. I always figured I would notice red flags and warning signs, I'd leave as soon as things get bad- but now I understand why people stay... now I know I deserve better, I know I shouldn't have to put up with false accusations and pointing fingers. I know that when I walk out that door crying and he doesn't chase after me or ask if I'm okay, only to pretend like nothing bad ever happened- he doesn't want me and I shouldn't pass through that doorway again.

 So here's to moving on, and finding that Yale boy who calls me Ace. the real Jess, the more real Jess Mariano.

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