"Sarah I have to tell you something." My friend Dani spoke quietly to me one hot Mississippi afternoon in August. We were laying in her bed watching episodes of Friends, I can remember this moment like it was yesterday. We were about to begin 2-a-days. For those that do not know what that is we were about to enter hell. For every college athlete 2-a-days is rigorous workouts and training in order to prepare for season. It had been a tough summer for me. The guy I had been with for the past year cut me off and I was just getting back to myself after spending days depressed instead of out at the pool with the rest of my friends enjoying the summer school college athlete life. I had met Denarius as a freshman through a mutual friend. He was supposed to be good. And he seemed really great. Coming to my volleyball games, showing me attention which as a freshman I couldn't believe I had THE basketball player on campus interested in me. I was so dumb. He said and did the right things, made me feel like I was the only one. This is before I learned that college basketball players were probably the worst when it comes to treating girls decently. They were sneaky. And they were quiet.
I turned to look at Dani wondering what it was. "I don't know how to tell you this, but Denarius is engaged." I felt like someone had knocked the air out my chest. I sat quietly for about 10 minutes in Dani's bed. I didn't cry I just sat there incapable of forming words. Numbness washed over me and I felt for the first time what your heart feels like to harden. A new girl, girlfriend, I figured that was coming. But engaged? I felt like my world was flipped upside down. Denarius and I hadn't spoken in a couple weeks maybe even a month. But was there any sign he was with someone serious enough to be engaged? No. I was blindsided. "Sarah? Are you okay?" Dani broke the silence between us. I just sat there still confused, shockwaves washing over me. Asking her how she knew, how this happened to me, and for this to be happening to me the day before 2-a-days starts? The time I'm supposed to be eating, sleeping, breathing volleyball. Not stressing over this guy. The friend that had introduced me to Denarius told Dani, and Dani was the one to deliver the blow. I appreciated her for giving it to me. Just her and me alone watching tv in her bed all day. She showed me the girls twitter account. There were tweets gushing with how Denarius proposed and they were moving across the country together while Denarius played ball overseas. It literally felt like I was in a twilight zone. Reading about this man I thought belonged to me in some way belonging to this woman. Had I thought I was a main and was actually a side hoe? All her friends wishing her and Denarius congrats and how happy they were for them. Denarius hadn't even told me he was ever with someone else. I used to think I was going to be the future wife of Denarius Bodes. I thought the reason we had broken off was so he could pursue basketball and he was leaving Mississippi State. I sat there in my disbelief almost laughing at myself. How dumb I looked all year going to his games thinking I was his girl cheering for him when this girl had probably been in the stands cheering for him as well. Thinking I was special and going to be an NBA wife. How dumb and naive it all was. I was 19 years old when I met Denarius, just turning 20 when I received the news of the engagement and my first college heartbreak.
I guess most women would've text or called Denarius right then and there. I didn't. Reading the tweets of their engagement and moving off to the other side of the world. I knew he was no longer mine. And he never actually was. So from that day forward I acted like Denarius died. It sounds extremely dramatic but I had no other idea on how to deal with the heartbreak. Inside my head I pretended he had died and that's why we had never spoken again and never would. He was dead to me; as a lover and a friend. The guy wasn't even man enough to tell me the truth. And now he belonged to someone else. I had been played. Not just played I mean it was like players advanced level for a girl who was so out of her league. This was the second guy I had ever talked to in college. And the first guy, well you heard about him in my last diary. I truly believed that Denarius and I would never speak again. Why would we?
Boy was I wrong. I received a text about 8 or 9 months after all of this. I was in Houston, Texas on a break from school visiting my family. A text along the lines of how we needed to talk eventually and would I be back in Starkville this summer? I remember my response being bitchy and short. That I would be in Starkville and I had no intentions of ever speaking or seeing Denarius again. He had gone off and gotten engaged and created a new life for himself and I had moved on. Someway I had. Maybe not fully healed but I wasn't checking or thinking about Denarius in the ways I had been. My pretending this fuckboy was dead was actually a great coping mechanism and I highly recommend it to any girl that gets her heart stomped on like this man did to mine.
So I went back to Starkville for summer school and workouts like most fellow teammates and athletes do. My first day back in town and I'm over at Danis apartment for tacos. And guess who is yelling my name from outside on the first floor? Mr. Denarius Bodes. This was the beginning of yet another dramatic summer in Starkville, Mississippi.