February 17, 2014

Hey now!

Good Monday, everyone.

I probably shouldn’t write this, but I’m going to anyway because well, that’s just what I do. I fail to grasp the concept of “over-share” sometimes.

Yesterday, someone from my past dug himself up and presented himself to me again by way of a very random and unwelcome message. I do believe the words out of my mouth when I saw I received a message from Vaguebook was “oh, what the fuck?”

I haven’t heard nor seen this person in nearly four years. Seeing his name made my skin crawl. All of my bad memories of him came slamming back and my stomach churned. His first message was two words: “I’m sorry.”

I read them over and over. For what? You have a lot to be sorry for, pal. 

I probably shouldn’t have replied, but I did because I was curious about why he decided to contact me after so long.

“Care to elaborate on that?” I asked. “And you win the award for most random message ever.”

He sent the message in the morning and my reply was shortly after, but he didn’t reply to me until late afternoon. Needless to say, he ruined my day, but that was my fault for replying, so I’m equally to blame for my attitude during the day.

“You were the most kind, caring, honest human beings that walked the face of this earth. Probably still are. I didn’t see it at the time,” was his reply to me.

I was with my mom and her husband walking around a store when that message came. I stopped in my tracks. I was livid, but tried to stay calm both in composure and my reply to him.

You stupid piece of shit, I thought to myself. Of course I’m all of those things, and yes, I still am and always was. 

I walked, trying to find an appropriate reply to him.

“Yep. Thanks for that, I guess. You weren’t in a good head space four years ago. I only hope you’ve found some peace since then. I have.”

“I’m glad you have.”

“Well, getting there, at least.”

“If you’d rather not talk, don’t feel obligated.”

“Just taken aback as to your sudden correspondence is all. You’re the absolute last person on earth I ever expected to hear from again. Not really sure how to process this at the moment.”

“I’m a bit surprised you’re willing to talk to me.”

“My curiosity was piqued. Don’t get used to it, though.”

By then, I could tell he was trying to get me back into his old game of saying nice things about me. That’s how it all started with us. I was in the last few months of my failing marriage and he was a friend of a friend and we had started hanging out more often. He’d tell me what a bad husband mine was being, that he was “doing it wrong,” and what a good woman I was and how stupid my husband was for ignoring me. His words got to me. I fell for them. Thus began our inappropriate relationship that lasted for about 8 months.

At the time, I thought he was amazing. Wickedly smart, sharp sense of humor, and he encouraged me to write more. We also drank together. A lot. I was with him when I got my DUI. I couldn’t drive for a month as punishment for this, so I stayed at his apartment during that time. He’d take me to work in the morning and pick me up at the end of the day, stopping for a 24 pack of Busch Light on the way, and together, we’d drink it all during the night. In case you missed it, that’s 12 beers a piece. I was so oblivious to what was happening. I was glad to be away from the tension in my house, away from my husband and all of our crap…

I nearly lost my job during our time together. I was making incredibly foolish decisions. I’m embarrassed for myself and what I did during those months. I was with another man while I was still married. To my “credit,” we never slept together. It was an emotional affair. Sometimes, those are far worse than sexual ones.

During our time, he was dealing with his own problems. He was in an on again/off again relationship with his girlfriend. They were off when we started hanging out. He used me as much as I used him. I recall it was my 29th birthday and I was with him. We got extremely drunk. He got incredibly depressed. There was a confrontation between us when he reached the point where he wanted to kill himself with his father’s shotgun. He went to the gun cabinet and took it out–it wasn’t loaded, thank fuck. I remember wrestling the gun out of his hands. He was a scrawny, weak man, so it wasn’t that difficult, but that scared the shit out of me, and honestly, it still does. Things could have gone so much differently than it had. After that night, I tried staying away from him, but he lured me back in. Because I’m mentally retarded, I went back.

But then, thanks to an amazing friend who slowly got me to realize this was a horrible situation, I started easing back on our contact. And besides, he moved on to another woman by then. At first, the three of us would hang out, but then I quickly realized their relationship was more than “just friends.” I started backing away more from them both.

Then, one night, they had gone out drinking and called to ask me if I could drive them home. Given my situation a few months earlier, I didn’t want them driving, so I went to pick them up. I was taking them to some random person’s apartment and trying to get directions from the girl he was seeing where I was going, but she was drunk and incoherent and having trouble telling me where to go. I was driving down a street and suddenly, saw a pair of headlights from a car coming up behind me at a very alarming speed. This car slammed into the back of my tiny car and sent us spinning in circles into the intersection. The car sped away and mine was slammed up against a light pole at the corner of the intersection. The impact happened behind me, and he was sitting behind me, but the force of the crash forced the back seat into the front, and he was jammed between my seat and his. She was in the passenger side, screaming. What the fuck just happened?

We were all okay for the most part, aside from the usual bruises and whiplash, but those two ended up going to the ER in an ambulance while I stayed by my destroyed vehicle. I had hit a sprinkler head going up over the curb and water was spraying all over me.

The only contact I had from him after that was the next day when both were home from the hospital. She had lost her cell phone in the collision and wanted to see if I could go look for it. My car had been towed to the city lot and I had to go there anyway to get important things out of my car since it had been totaled and a complete loss. I took a friend with me and we got what I needed and looked for her stupid phone, but it wasn’t there. We went to her house to tell her and she became frantic, accusing me of not looking hard enough.

That was the last time I ever saw them again…until he contacted me yesterday.

I had heard from our mutual friend he had gotten married. I laughed and shook my head in disbelief. I would think about him every now again over the next year or so, mainly to berate myself for getting involved with him, for further damaging my relationship with my now ex-husband, for being so goddamned stupid. His memory faded further over the years, but feelings of contempt would creep up when I heard a song from the band, Tool. He loved that band and we listened to a particular album over and over, so when I hear a song from that album, my muscles tense up and I get instantly furious all over again.

To hear from him yesterday was truly awful. All of my memories of him flashed before my eyes like I was dying. This is it. I’m dying and I’m forced to recall this motherfucker in my last seconds? Fuck that.

“I won’t bother recontacting you after this conversation,” he wrote.

“Thank you. I’ve put you in my past and was hoping you’d stay there,” I wrote back.

“Vanished.”

I hope for his sake and mine he’s true to his words this time.

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