To see what I was doing to two innocent men wrapped up in the deceitful love triangle I had formed right before their eyes brought me back to a time when I was the victim of infidelity. I felt bad, but I had to keep my guard up. I had to save myself from the recurrence of my past experience. I had been through an internal struggle for two years due to guilt and didn’t know how I was so brilliantly juggling this double life that only a select few were aware of.

Whoever said that ‘birds of a feather flock together” was an honest man, because my friends were right there by my side, supporting my infidelity and sometimes facilitating the very cheating ways I would label guys douche bags for.

I hadn’t been this way throughout all of my youthful years of dating until I too was treated the way I was now treating these two unaware guys. My relationship mechanism at the time had been to have my main guy and then my mister on the side for rainy days. Things were never this way until the guy who I thought was my knight showed cracks in his armor. My everything quickly became my nothing, and my bad boy turned good turned back to a life of delinquency and readopted his ‘I don’t give a damn” state of mind. It wasn’t until then that I realized I too had to implement the same attitude.

My experience with him turned me into this vengeful monster against all men that I’d never imagined myself becoming. Because of him, all guys after him would have to pay. Vengeance was done in his name. Perpetrator was my new found role in every relationship, and I was set on making every guy a victim.

Two years prior, on a cool April night, bullets of sweat soaked my pores for what seemed to be forever. I unclenched my clammy hands and picked up my childhood friend’s phone call confirming a fear I would never have dreamed of. She confirmed what no one expected but that I’d always suspected. The man I so innocently thought would be the one for me forever was seeing someone else. Looking for any way to convert the situation from negative to positive was me telling myself that at least I didn’t know whoever he was cheating on me with; or so I thought. To my dismay, the person who he was secretly seeing was my best friend. My whole world came tumbling down. The two people who meant so much to me seemed ultimately to have turned my love for them into malice.

It was at this point in my life that I snapped and knew that revenge would be the only way I could mend my shattered heart. Although I was never one to avenge anyone, I took on this new layer of ‘I don’t give a damn” skin. I’ve always heard how sweet revenge was, and it was finally my time to get a taste. So the next day when she came to my door steps begging and pleading, I acted nothing less than diplomatic. I allowed her to apologize, cry and plead for my forgiveness and nonchalantly dismissed her blood shot puppy dog eyes and her bended knees below me. I knew I had to play with her mind, so when she sobbed ‘I’m sorry,” I chuckled, ‘Yeah, OK.”

She wept, ‘Please, can you please just forgive me?”

I laughed, ‘Yeah, alright.”

I knew that getting upset would just allow her to win this game that I was determined not to lose, so I sat and listened, and ‘yeah OK’d” the entire way through her pitiful sobs. I then gave her a polite goodbye and have a good life and allowed her to weep at the mercy of the dial tone. As the weeks progressed, I continued to ignore the 31 calls and 17 missed voicemails per day from my then boyfriend.

To this day, he still calls me once in a blue moon to record a message along the lines of ‘I’m nothing without you and I still want to work things out.”Revenge was subtle but so sweet. I didn’t need to be that hostile girl they may have imagined I would become that night, because a quiet revenge always eats a perpetrator alive and leaves the guilt to feast on their conscious; and for several months, feast it did.

Revenge was so sweet in its outcomes but so bitter in its actions. I could almost taste it.

Cooper is a member of the class of 2011.

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