I had a thoughtful friend who always knew the correct answers to everything about academics. He knew what he wanted to do in life and how to get there. The only time he didn’t know how to do things right was when it came to love and feelings. We were friends for a while and eventually stumbled upon the topic of relationships and love. I had just gotten out of a toxic relationship, and I was not interested in getting into a relationship anytime soon. On the other hand, he showed interest in me and asked if we could get to know each other beyond just classmates and friends.

We eventually entered the “talking stage.” It was exciting and kind of new to me. The guy was nice and considerate in comparison to what I had experienced in the past. I thought of how for a change, I was talking to a good guy. It was nice to hang out and try to get to know each other better. On one particular hang out, we went to a park close by, and he brought up the name of one of our mutual friends. He proceeded to tell me that he had a crush on her and thought he felt that he didn’t have a chance with her because she was way out of his league. All I could think about was, “Damn, am I just a placeholder or a practice run before he asks her out?” Granted, I was not interested in a relationship, and that was clear from the beginning. I didn’t like the idea of being seen as an option. I was an option to this man, but I still thought he was a good guy because of his manners and how he treated me.

At the time, I worked in a clothing store at the Concord Mills Mall. I had become relatively close to my coworkers, particularly one guy that worked there. We would sometimes go to the Buffalo Wild Wings that was a short drive away from the mall. It would be a group of us going, but that one coworker was the one to text me after the hangout still. We had become pretty good friends after working several shifts together. One time he sent me a message while I was in class sitting next to the good guy. And the good guy’s demeanor changed in the blink of an eye.

That same day the good guy decided to confront me about the message and that another guy was sending me messages throughout the day. The message itself was not inappropriate or, in any way, something to be misinterpreted. It was about work, with the conversation about confronting my interactions with my male peers. I was taken aback because he never came off as possessive or jealous from prior conversations, especially considering we weren’t in a relationship.

The good guy decided to create a list of things that I did and said that annoyed him. The list had about twenty points on them, and I didn’t even bother reading through them all. I wrote a quick and short response to his list to cut off the chance of a relationship and friendship essentially. Before he could respond, I blocked him. The “good guy” was nothing more than a “pick me, boy.”

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