After months together, he reluctantly introduced me to his friends, making excuses for what he saw as my shortcomings. Speaking to me as if I was incapable of understanding simple words, making fun of my family, my work, my clothes, the way I spoke. He made it clear to them that he felt I was beneath him and he was elevating me by allowing to be seen with him.
In private he reverted to his Dr. Jekyll persona – kind, sweet, attentive – with no explanation or mention of his earlier scorn. He wouldn’t discuss his behavior, would never even admit he had done anything hurtful.
I began to feel paranoid, wondering if I was projecting my own insecurities onto him, imagining slights where there were none. That was until by chance I overheard an exchange between two of his mates, discussing how he was slumming with me. Joking that I was his Eliza Doolittle project, hopeless, but assuredly I must be good in bed. A whore to be used up and discarded when his attention was focused elsewhere.
His misogyny knew no bounds. Our relationship became so toxic, that I could no longer make allowances for him and ended the affair with no preamble. During a night out, one that found us alone, away from his cadre of sycophants, I returned his key and asked for mine.
Tears were a nice touch, but were proven false when he denied his culpability, continuing to pretend he did nothing to intentionally demean me. Casting blame on his friends, claiming the insults were of their making, an effort to disparage him, to break us apart.
The weight of the world lifted from my shoulders as I walked away from him that night. I felt renewed. My mind a whirl of possibilities, my heart revived and free.
Consequences of my decision were instantaneous. Text messages declaring his undying devotion were sent hourly, a garden of roses bloomed in my living room, handwritten missives of love filled my mail box to overflowing.
It almost worked. That was until in what could have only been a tantrum worthy of a four-year-old I was included in a ‘reply all’ email to his friends, detailing my every perceived shortcoming, my physical deficiencies, and lack of bedroom skills. This faux pas was quickly followed by a voice message to my private number.
“Sweetheart? I miss you, I need you back.”
Why drink the water from my hand
Contagious as you think I am
“You are my everything, I’m nothing since you’ve been gone.”
Just tilt my sun towards your domain
Your cup runneth over again
“I can’t live without you.”
Why follow me to higher ground
Lost as you swear I am
“It’s just not the same when you’re not with me.”
Don’t throw away your basic needs
Ambiance and vanity
His fawning continued. I simply sat back and listened while he spewed out more lies, his voice cracking on cue. He didn’t stop his litany of clichés until he ran out of recording time, calling back immediately to begin anew.
Don’t scream about
Don’t think aloud
Don’t worry about
Don’t speak of doubt
Why torture me with these pledges of love when all he felt for me was contempt.
Turn your head now baby
Just spit me out
All his broken promises, all his lies and deceit, flooded back, making me more livid by the second.
December promise you gave unto me
December whispers of treachery
December clouds are now covering me
December songs no longer I sing
I couldn’t take another word from him. Punching the speaker button, I cut off any further groveling.
“This stops now. I don’t believe a single thing you say and want you to leave me alone. If you can’t do that, I will take the necessary steps to have a restraining order issued against you. It’s over! Don’t contact me again.”
Turn your head now baby
Just spit me out
*Collective Soul. “December.” Collective Soul. Atlantic Recording, 1995.
For the Indie Ink Writing Challenge this week, Caroline challenged me with “Your favorite song by any artist, if it was yours, what would be the personal story behind it?” and I challenged Diane with “By the time you read this, you’ll be older than you remember”.