Have you ever gotten news about someone you used to know that just kind of sits in the back of your head and low grade bothers you for days? That’s where I’m at right now. In order to explain why it bothers me, I need to talk about one of the most horrible things I’ve ever done. My ex boyfriend and former best friend, Jack, was married. He was also my boss. I know that no one has any sympathy for the mistress. I was stupid, selfish, and young. He was selfish and manipulative. It’s weird the way I can still remember the first time I heard his voice and the first time I saw him. I was sitting in my car at panera bread when I first heard his voice on my voicemail, and I remember thinking he sounded hot, and wondering if he would be. When I met him at my interview, I most definitely decided he was not hot at all. His ears were so big! It took me such a long time to really see him, but once I did, he was the only person who could catch my eye. It started slowly, with a look when we were passing in the hall. I was in so much pain from this horrible on and off relationship I was in, and on that particular day, I was really feeling it. He looked at me with so much empathy in his eyes, like he wanted to take my pain from me and bear it himself. It wasn’t like I developed a crush on him then, but I decided that I liked him as a person. He wasn’t just my annoying boss anymore. Then a few months later we started emailing back and forth at work. It was summer 2012. A few days before the 4th of July, my car started overheating and broke down in the mall parking lot on my lunch break. I had to call AAA and have it towed to a repair shop. I called jack to let him know I’d be late coming back to the office from lunch, and he offered to come pick me up. He also drove me back after work. That was when I started to think that maybe I had a crush on him. It was one of those crushes where I just liked to think about him, but I wasn’t sure if I would ever really want anything to happen. We started emailing more and more after that. His wife and kids were staying at their lake house up north for the summer, so jack had plenty of time to email me. One night when I stayed late at the office, he came back to see me. We sat there talking until 11:00 at night. When I left, my whole body felt like it was buzzing with electricity. I was so infatuated with him. I’ve never felt so dizzyingly drunk on another person in my entire life. I was sure that nothing would ever come of it though. He was married! I was so sure his wife was a cold hearted bitch. He told me all about how awful she was and how trapped he was because she would take his kids and all his money. He told me about how badly she treated him and about how boring and uptight she was and how she was mean to his oldest son. I was so stupid. I still didn’t quite believe that he liked me as anything more than a friend when he emailed me after work on August 7th 2012 and asked me to meet him at b-dubs for dinner. That night changed everything. We got drunk. We ended up at this little dive bar in a nearby town, drinking and playing songs on the jukebox. When we left, I told him that he needed to hear the cover of The Boys of Summer by the Ataris, because we both had this thing for Don Henley and the eagles. We got in my car and drove down the backstreets of the town, and then parked in front of some houses. I don’t remember exactly what was said or how it went, but I remember him brushing some hair out of my face and saying, “this could get very complicated,” and then I didn’t let him finish. I kissed him. We kept it together for almost two years before things started to go sour. We were so in love. I can’t drive through certain areas without flashbacks of him playing through my head like a movie highlight reel. I remember the sound of rain on my window AC unit in my Royal Oak apartment while we were lying in bed together in the dark the first time he ever came over. I remember our secret meeting spot in the basement stairwell of the office building. I remember the day we had a snowstorm so bad that he closed the office early. I can still feel the snow hitting my face as I ran blindly through the freezing white air to his car, and the way for a few seconds when I closed the door, everything was so silent and it was just him and me, hidden from the world in the middle of the snow. I remember our trips. I remember running through the pouring rain in Chicago to get into the aquarium. I remember our breakfast place in California and walking on the beach. I remember all the nights we spent sitting in the dark in his car just talking. I remember how high I felt every time I saw him. I remember the way his eyes turned green when he was sad and all his irritating nervous habits. I remember when things started to get bad. I remember how crazy he got over other guys. He used to drive past my ex boyfriend’s house several times per week. I remember the morning he filed for divorce in October 2014. I had finally decided that I’d had enough and refused to talk to him for days. He filed that morning, and I knew when I saw him standing there in the parking lot looking terrified. I remember the next three months. His wife insisted that he wait to actually serve her the papers for some reason. She used the children against him and told their oldest son that it was his fault that his dad was leaving the family. I remember how I suddenly became very afraid of how real things were getting. I was afraid that his kids would hate me and that it would be years before he would ever marry me. I was afraid that he’d decide he wanted to date around. I was drowning in fear and doubt. And then I remember when the three month mark came where he had to either serve her or the divorce would be canceled. I remember texting him on the last day and asking if he was going to stay in his marriage. He said, “for now.” I went home and laid on my couch in the dark crying and repeating his name over and over into the dark. Things got so ugly after that. 2015 was when I started tearing myself apart. After Jack let his divorce get canceled, I started openly dating other men. He was still my boss, and we were still best friends and still engaging in the affair, but I was no longer all in. He started getting really crazy. He would show up at my apartment every morning and almost every night. He started making my life a living hell at work. He started giving me assignments that he knew I couldn’t possibly do. Like he told me he wanted me to basically redesign the company’s website. I had no experience in web design and didn’t know html. I told him this. He just smirked and said, “teach yourself.” Then I got raped. I don’t even know how it happened really. I had been talking to this guy for about two months, and I invited him over to watch a movie and drink wine. It was my mom’s birthday, and I’d had a glass of wine with her several hours earlier. When he came over, halfway through my second glass of wine with him and my third glass that day, I suddenly became very, very drunk. The last thing I remember is falling and spilling my wine and him catching me. The next thing I knew I was waking up the next morning and he was lying behind me with my pants partially pulled down and his dick was inside me. I immediately freaked out and made him leave. How did that happen? How did I get blackout wasted on only three glasses of wine? Was it my fault? I made a bad choice, inviting him over and getting drunk. But why did he have sex with me while I was sleeping? Was it my fault? I don’t think that question will ever stop haunting me. I just started drinking after that. I drank and drank until that question stopped ringing through my head. I drank until I forgot that there must be something wrong with me. I drank until I stopped thinking that guys don’t rape girls who are truly beautiful and worthy because they respect them and see them as marriage material. I drank until I stopped thinking about how I’d probably be alone forever.
And Jack, well he fucking watched me tear myself to pieces. He watched the light drain out of my eyes. He watched me become this cold, angry person who hated men and trusted no one. He watched me die a little more inside each and every day, but he was so selfish that he didn’t care. He never cared what he was doing to me or to his wife. We were collateral damage. The only people that mattered were him and his children. In September 2015, I decided that I was done choosing men based on love and attraction. I decided that I was going to choose a man based on logic. I was going to be sensible, and I was never going to let myself be with anyone who could hurt me ever again. So I chose Vince. Vince was a guy who had been chasing me for years. He was responsible, successful, tall, handsome, and boring in my eyes. Vince was the all American jock type of guy. He jumped through hoops to be with me, so I decided to give him a chance. This made Jack really lose his shit. He started basically stalking Vince, and he would do things like text me photos of Vince’s license plate from the parking lot of my apartment while he was over. One day he called me freaking out and crying saying that he was sitting in his basement with his gun in his mouth about to shoot himself. He walked into my apartment one day and smashed the TV that vince gave me. He’d storm in and destroy any gift that vince gave me. I was still falling apart. Between jack going absolutely insane on me and still trying to drink away my PTSD from the rape, I landed myself in rehab two days after thanksgiving. I shouldn’t have gone to rehab, because alcohol wasn’t the real problem. I didn’t know how else to get a break from the chaos of my life though. I didn’t know how else to ask for help. Rehab gave me a temporary reprieve from jack’s madness. I remember how fucking amazing it felt to be able to hang up on him and him not be able to call me back. It was so satisfying to slam down the phone and to not be bombarded by calls, texts, and emails. He slowed down on the crazy for about two months after that. Things started to get serious with Vince. I really started to fall for him. He was just such a good person, and he was so different from Jack. Naturally, developing real feelings for vince scared the crap out of me. We had a pregnancy scare, and the way he reacted terrified me. Instead of reassuring me, he asked me if I wanted him to leave so I could be alone. He was always so terrified of scaring me away and of being too clingy. For days things were weird between us. I felt that for sure he was going to leave me and that I’d end up a single mom if I were pregnant. He finally came around and said that he had just been trying to give me what I needed. He said that he truly loved me and that it would actually make him really happy if I were pregnant and that he couldn’t imagine anything better than having me and having a baby. The damage was done though. I was scared to death, and I decided to “run” in my own fucked up way. This is how I met my husband. I met him on tinder. I was on a chuck palahniuk kick after meeting someone in rehab who had the same favorite book as me, Invisible Monsters. Matt’s opening line was, “This is the best relationship of your life, and it’s ending one minute at a time. That’s a play on a line from Fight Club, for those who don’t know, if anyone has actually read this far. I almost didn’t go out with him. I was lying on my couch ready to cancel, and I decided to leave it up to Jack. He was desperate to get rid of vince, so he said, “if it were me, I’d go.” So I went. And I fucking knew the second I saw him across the room. The side of his face was so fucking beautiful. I was hooked instantly. This is when shit really got crazy. I was going back and forth between Matt and Vince. Jack was losing his mind trying to hold onto me. There was a lot of back and forth, and then finally I chose vince. I was going to stick to my plan of choosing logically. Matt was a gamble. I was so sure he’d hurt me. So I quit my job at Jack’s company and moved in with Vince, but I couldn’t hold it together. I couldn’t stop talking to Matt. I couldn’t stay away from him. So one night when I was passed out drunk, Vince went through my phone and saw that I was still talking to Matt. The next morning he said he was done. He was sick of me cheating on him and putting him through hell. I called Matt, and he was there within thirty minutes to get me. Less than three weeks later, we got married. It’s crazy to me how it all happened.
I know I sound like a horrible person, and I guess I am, or at least I was. My intentions weren’t evil, but I did terrible things to other people. Vince, Jack’s wife, Matt, my parents. My fear doesn’t excuse my actions. I wish I could change it. I wish I could tell vince how sorry I am. I wish I could go back and never get involved with him in the first place. I wish I could go back and say no to meeting jack at b-dubs. I wish I could take back the pain I caused others. I can’t go back though. All I can do is learn from it and never ever lose myself that way again.
I miss Jack as a friend. I am happy that I ended up with Matt. I could never feel anything but a platonic love for Jack ever again, and I ended up with a better man, but I still miss my best friend. Thinking now about the thing that was bothering me when I first started writing this entry, it doesn’t really matter. I guess there was no point to writing all of this except to get it all out there. I know that if anyone actually reads this, they probably hate me by now..