I’m not sure what I was thinking when I decided grad school was the best option for me. I think I was thinking “Hey! I love school! And I want to continue to learn!” What I didn’t think about was how much more work it would require than all my educational experiences.
Last week was hard on account of moving on from “K” (or so I thought). I had been talking to “Prince Player” a lot lately, and because of the break or whatever between me and “K”, I didn’t see a harm in talking with him romantically. We agreed to FaceTime.
So after night class, I got my iPad. I press call and I hear his voice.
“Hello?” I laugh.
I could hear “Prince Player” smiling. “Oh my god hi!!!!” It’s my first time seeing him in months.
We both laugh. We quickly update each other about our lives. I tell him about all my love mishaps in Boston.
I see his face tense.
“Look. You told me that I should see new people in Boston”.
He nods. “I did”.
I shrug. And then he begins telling me about his own love life.
“So you know. I’m about to say something, and it’s not good for you. Since you left, I have changed. I don’t flirt with many girls anymore. And I am interested in this girl…and you know, I would like to be with her. So you and I can’t talk the way we do anymore…”
I feel a gulp in my throat.
I smile. “Oh yea. Of course! That’s great” I choke out.
“What?” he asks picking up to whatever I’m feeling.
“Nothing. Yea it’s cool. I mean. We were meant to have this conversation one day. I met someone, and you did too. It’s cool”.
“Yea…I feel like you’re upset about something though” he says.
“I just thought…that girl…that you decided to be with…would be me. We have so much history. And I kept waiting for this day that you changed-” I say sadly.
He nods. “Yea. But you left.”
I smile to myself. Because I know the truth. And it hurts me. “Well the thing is. I know that even if I was there, you still wouldn’t be with me…” I shrug.
“I won’t deny that” he says.
I smile my fake-smile. It is what it is.
“But hey I’d still like to talk to you about sports and catch up time to time!” he says laughing.
I laugh my biggest fake laugh. “Yea, me too!”
He says he has to go, and I know I do too. We say our goodbyes. I close my iPad.
Oh no. How could I ever think. That. I. Would ever be. His.
My iPad starts ringing. It’s Mr. Photography dude and Sidekick.
“What the fuck! You told us you would call us after your FaceTime date with Prince Player!” Mr. Photography dude says.
“Sorry. That didn’t go the way I expected” I say.
“Did he meet someone?” he asks.
I sigh. “Not necessarily. But. something like that.”
“What the hell were you thinking Shaz? Did you think that hey, you would dump “K” and start talking to “Prince Player” again?” Mr. Photography dude asks.
Hm. Did I?
“OKAY NO! NO I DID NOT! And from what I understand. I don’t think “K” thinks we’re over” I say.
“Oh no. Don’t go back to him please” Sidekick says.
“There is no going back. We’re just taking a break” I say.
They roll their eyes. We talk about how school has been going for me, and how work has been going for them.
“Work is hard to. I don’t have time for anything else besides it” Mr. Photography dude says.
“Yea. But you get paid! I lose money!” I say laughing.
The next day I go to class and bump into my pediatrician friend, Yassin.
“You need to help me. I have cramps!” I tell him.
“Oh Shaz. Hello to you too. Is it the monthly thing or something else?” he asks looking at patient charts.
“The monthly thing” I whisper.
He laughs. “Get outta here Shaz. I’m a pediatrician. I do not work with that stuff”.
“Actually you do Dr. Yassin. Girls can see their pediatricians until they are 18 and most girls are supposed to get their periods by then. Which means, that yes! You do work with this stuff?”
He rolls his eyes. “Fine. Did you take ibuprofen?”
“Yes. I took 4 in the past 4 hours” I say.
“Okay don’t ever do that again” he says.
“But I have class and so many meetings today! And I’m in pain!” I say.
“Honestly. I think you’re just overwhelmed by the work and your boyfriend. Because if you were that sick, you would have stayed home. Perhaps after you get home from the meetings you’ll be less stressed and you’ll feel better”.
The meetings took all day. But once I got home, my cramps were gone. Holy moly.
“You were right. My cramps are gone!” I text Yassin.
“Thank god. I was worried about you” he says.
“I was just really stressed about the stuff going on. It’s been a long week” I say.
“It’s only Tuesday” he responds.
Yea no kidding.
On Friday, I finally heard back from “K”. It is one hell of an apology text. I sigh. I miss having someone to talk to.
He takes me to the Cheesecake Factory that night.
“So what’s new?” he asks.
“I hate everyone” I say.
“You’re saying that because you’re on your period” he says laughing.
I rest my head in my hands. “No. Grad school is tough. There’s so much group work, like I even devote my weekends to working on these things and mind you it’s 7 hours in the library on Saturdays AND Sundays. And the weekdays are spent with quizzes, tests, readings, and papers. And more group work. And these groups treat me like I’m incompetent because I’m so young. And like. That’s sad considering I was a pretty big thing in Chicago and now I am a nobody and a small fish in a big pond. Did I mention I never get time to myself?”
“K” comforts me. But even he gets annoyed when I had to work with my group on Saturday all day.
“Are you going to have another group project tomorrow?” he asks.
I sigh. “Yea” I say squeezing his hands.
“I understand. You guys are in grad school” he says.
I smile. At least things are slowly getting better for us.
“I can’t wait to take you out for your birthday next week!” he says.
I laugh. “You can’t. I have a final that day” I say.
That’s another thing. Birthdays become like any other day when you’re an adult.
“Oh yea. Okay then. The next day. Wow that’s like the day before you go back home. Whatever. We will use that night to celebrate” he says.
Oh how will I ever explain this to my mother.
I guess I have bigger priorities to worry about anyway. Trying to pass all my classes in my first semester of grad school! Reader, if you pray, I ask you to pray for me. It’s really important to me to do well and become the next big public health professional.
If I can’t speak to you before the holidays, I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas ❤