Dear Dating Diary,
I’m pulling this one from my own personal soap opera. It’s by far one of the shadiest things that has ever happened to me, and a pretty long story, but here it goes…
I met this cute guy in the beginning of college, and we kind of already knew each other through mutual friends. OK, that’s a lie. Basically we were MySpace friends but never met in real life, until I saw him on campus. He was even cuter in person and he smelled really nice, so I was hooked. We started dating for a bit, but it was clear that he was in a phase that wasn’t going to be beneficial for me.
While I was going back and forth with the idea of whether or not I should continue pursuing what we had, I met someone else (my future ex-boyfriend). So I was very straightforward and told him that I met another guy and wanted to see where it went. He was very understanding, probably because he knew the shit he was doing was not OK anyway, and that was that. We still remained friends.
For a couple of years, I was in a relationship with the guy that I met, and he was dating around and doing his own thing too. At one point, doing his own thing resulted in having a baby. He was a dad now, with a very unstable relationship with the baby’s mother.
My relationship came to an end, and I remember meeting him up for breakfast one day, just to catch up (aka me listening to all of his baby mama drama). It wasn’t weird at all. We knew everything that was going on in our lives because we had social media, so it was just like two friends seeing each other after being away for a while. What I didn’t expect was that the attraction was still there and he had grown up, so the problems from before weren’t there anymore.
So, slowly but surely, we were back on again. The baby thing was definitely in the back of my mind, but I figured I’d cross that bridge when I needed to. For months, we would see each other constantly, I’d see his parents (who I’d met years prior and who always wanted me to be with their son), we’d go out during the day and spend the nights together. It was the closest thing to a relationship since I had gotten out of one–without the title.
We didn’t publicize what we had or give it a name, which normally would bother the shit out of me (remember I’m very black or white) but for some reason, I didn’t care. Plus, he kept telling me that if the baby’s mother found out he was in a relationship, she would do anything to sabotage what we had. Well, I didn’t want that. So I kept it fairly quiet.
For about six months, things continued to progress. We always hung out. No drama. I had never met his baby, but that was OK with me. I didn’t want to rush him into anything he wasn’t ready for. And then the time came when he was going on a guys trip to Las Vegas for his birthday.
I tried to remain super cool and nonchalant about it all because I didn’t wanna seem crazy, but I had the worst feeling in the pit of my stomach that something bad was gonna happen.
Then he tells me that his baby’s mother would also be in Vegas the same weekend, but she didn’t know that he was gonna be there, too. Deep inhale, it’s OK Bruna. He wouldn’t have told you that if something shady was going on.
The day came when he left for Sin City. He text me throughout the drive there, which I appreciated. I sent him cute clues about what I bought him for his birthday, which he would get when he came back. Then once he was there, I mentally prepared myself that I wouldn’t hear from him for the rest of the weekend. I didn’t wanna suffocate him when he was having fun with his buddies. And for the first time in a really long time–maybe even ever–I completely trusted him. Even though I knew he had–for a lack of a better word–baggage, I didn’t care. Because we had five years of friendship behind us, and because I knew he respected me as a person and had never, ever done anything to intentionally hurt me and would never do something like that, I trusted him, without a shadow of a doubt.
Surprisingly, he called me around 2 or 3 a.m. drunk. I was with my girlfriend at my apartment hanging out, and told him I was surprised to hear from him. His response? “Well of course. I said, if I could talk to one person right now, who would it be? And it’s you.” (Cue me and my friend giving each other an aw face.)
I went to bed feeling good that night, thinking that all of my fears and worries about what could happen were ridiculous.
And then the morning came…
Around 11 a.m., my phone’s ringing and I see his name on the screen. I smile. I answer. I hear a girl’s voice on the other end. I get up instantly.
Girl: “Who is this?!”
Me: “You called me, you know who this is. Who is this?”
Girl: “[name]’s girlfriend.”
Me: “Mm, nope. He doesn’t have a girlfriend.”
Girl: “Yes he does, we have a child together! What’s going on between you two?! Why were you guys on the phone at 2 in the morning!”
Me: “Why don’t you ask him that?”
Girl: “He won’t tell me anything.”
Me: “Oh, that’s too bad.” CLICK.
WTF just happened?! Surprisingly, I remained calm. Even after she text me from her phone cursing me out and calling me a home wrecker. I needed to get a hold of him so he could explain everything, but clearly I couldn’t call his phone. So all I could do is wait. And wait. And wait. And you know what comes with waiting? Thinking.
I started to analyze everything. But even then, I truly believed that there was a logical explanation for his baby mama calling me from his phone in the morning while in Las Vegas. Sigh.
Six hours later–yes, six hours later–I get a phone call from him.
Me: “Oh, so you got your phone back?”
Him: [chuckles] “yeah, I have to tell you something.”
Me: “What is it?”
Him: “We can’t talk anymore.”
Me: [pause] “I’ll need some more explaining than that.”
Him: “I can’t.” (side note: it was clear she was right there next to him.)
Me: “Are you kidding? I deserve more than that.”
Him: “Bye.” CLICK.
I didn’t cry (yet). I showed no emotion. I was numb. I didn’t know what just happened. I couldn’t process it all. I continued to call back to try and get some answers, but he wouldn’t pick up. Then, his baby mama messaged me to let me know that the reason he’s not answering is because she’s there and she won’t let him. Oh OK, cool, thanks. I messaged him, “You know everything that I’ve been through with guys, and you by far are my biggest disappointment.”
I tried to leave it at that. But the next morning I called again. No answer. So I left a voicemail, calling him a “coward” and a “pussy” and saying “I don’t even know who you are anymore.”
Meanwhile, the baby mama continued to contact me, trying to get the full story. She apologized for coming at me the way she did, and suddenly it made sense. She wasn’t crazy. She was the mother of his child, a young woman trying to save her family and believing every word that he was saying to her because she didn’t want to believe anything else. So I told her everything. She didn’t like what she heard, but hey, she asked. Then I just reassured her that she didn’t have to worry about me trying to “win” him back. What he did was unforgivable. And that was that.
She and I never spoke again. He never reached out to me to give me the answers I thought I needed, and I had to learn, the hard way, to accept the apology I never got.
I’m not gonna lie, it really fucked me up. The first person I trusted with everything I had, betrayed me in the worst way possible. How would I trust again? How would I believe that someone wouldn’t hurt me like this again?
Over time, I ran into him at a couple of functions. It was the weirdest thing–five years of friendship, late nights talking about our innermost dreams and desires, being intimate together…and we looked passed each other like we were strangers. Never made eye contact. Never said a word.
A year and a half went by before he said anything to me. I got a random Facebook friend request from him one day, and I messaged him asking if this was his shitty way of saying sorry, because it’s too late. He went on to try and explain that he tried to reach out but couldn’t or whatthefuckever. I didn’t care anymore. Was it nice to know I crossed his mind? Of course. But there was nothing he could say to take back what he did. He wanted to meet up and explain his side of the story and tell me what went down. I’ll admit, I considered it. But for what? Would I even believe anything he had to say?
I told him our friendship ended the day he betrayed me. And I meant it. I was the one left with all the broken pieces, forcing myself to move on without any closure. And I did it. I didn’t have time to backtrack now.
All I could do was take what happened, learn from it and keep going forward.