It’s not a conscious thing. We don’t sit in front of our mirror and say, Yea, I need a rebound guy as we put our makeup on.
Rebound Guy will put back the pieces of our shattered heart. Pieces crushed into fine glass powder, scraped carefully into our shiny compact, our new lover’s lips bleeding as he kisses our cheek.
It’s not like I didn’t warn him.
I met him soon after breaking up with D. He owned his own home, had a college degree, made decent money. He was tall with strong arms. He made me laugh, not cry. He was there when he said he would be.
I let him in.
We quickly became lovers. We spent amazing time in bed together. Out of bed, he was sweet, loving, dependable. All things I hadn’t had.
Did I fall in love? Did he? I don’t know either of us could say we did. We loved each other, sure. (He could cook. I loved that.)
We didn’t talk of the future – I was about ten years younger and eager to leave my hometown; he’d been burned before (two broken engagements) and unwilling to go anywhere.
Neither of us wanted to go there.
One night, I came over and the house was dark, save a candle with a note and a blindfold. “Put this on. No questions.” This was new. His place was rockin’ to a house beat, slammin’ so loud I couldn’t think. Soon his hands were on me, stripping me slowly. My heart raced, every nerve on edge for the next moment.
I didn’t know what he had planned and if you’ve ever let yourself be blindfolded, that’s where the trust comes in. It’s a test. It was the first time I’d been blindfolded like that. It’s clear he had a whole 9&1/2 Weeks kind of thing planned for me, for us.
And I went along with it. I got into the zone.
And then I didn’t.
I can’t recall exactly the moment I freaked, but I did. The feeling of claustrophobia so intensely strong, I ripped off the blindfold, grabbed my clothes, ran to his bathroom.
Then he freaked, unable to comprehend why I couldn’t, wouldn’t, trust him.
You know I’d never hurt you.
I cried. I did trust him. He couldn’t have been more gently sensual with me, knowing it was my first time in this situation. Sure, he was enjoying himself; but he also wanted to share something hot between us. That was only, truly ours.
Did I trust him? Yes. So where did this feeling of claustrophobia come from?
I think our subconscious dictates to us in situations that which we have no conscious thought, comprehending for us. Suppression, repression. I didn’t immediately understand. In fact, it took me months to realize — it was my college date rape experience that made my fight-or-flight response kick in.
But as I cried in his bathroom, I couldn’t verbalize this. My problem-solving skills nil as I pulled on his t-shirt and crawled into his bed, covers up to my neck with confusion and guilt, while he massaged me and watched Conan.
I stayed with my rebound guy for another year give or take a bit, until one day I woke up, watching him sleeping peacefully next to me, and decided I didn’t see us together in sixty years.
That was it. I was done. Rebound Guy has done his job.
What!? he responded with incredulity. How can you possibly know that?
I allowed him to put me back together again in his own way.
I made him bleed.
The rules for Rebound Guy are simple: expect to receive what you’ve fixed.
A heart for a heart.
Everybody knows that.