I needed a bit of a mental break from talking about Sparkles for a bit and the point we are in my story just happens to provide the perfect opportunity to dive much further into my past. I feel it’s important to recognize how past experiences (good and bad), traumas and relationships develop a pattern over time.
Cleaning The Ex’s Townhome
Maybe I wasn’t clear before: I used to live in the apartment complex that I’ve been cleaning with The Ex Boyfriend. Remember he was the one with the crazy baby momma? To make it easier (since I have a lot of ex boyfriends), we will call him “The Hulk.” We lived in two different apartments in the same complex. The first was a two bedroom but I talked him into moving into a town home with our couple-friends. Not to go into too much detail, yet, he broke up with me, mid-move. Our things were half packed. Together. We were on a time limit and I had nowhere else to go. I had no choice but to keep packing. He was off fucking my “friend.” So, the four of us moved in together and I turned the office into his room, since that’s where he spent most of his time, anyway.
A few girlfriends after me, he knocked up his baby momma and she moved into the town home with the rest of them. Someone in another unit left the stove on and the entire building went up in flames. The building was reconstructed and that was when I was hired to do the after construction cleanup. I tell you all that to tell you this:
I walked into that same unit and it hit me. It was so surreal. So many painful memories came flooding back. I wondered where it all went wrong. I mean, I wasn’t wanting to be back with The Hulk, we were past that and he and I were friends (aside from all the baby momma drama).
I went up the stairs to the first landing and just sat and reflected on the relationship. It was a trip down memory lane.
The First Meet
I often thought about the way we met. I was 18, freshly graduated and living on my own. I had just broken up with my high school sweetheart a few days before and I went out to make myself feel better. So, I got my hair and nails done, a makeover and a new outfit. I was ready to go out so I went to my favorite pool hall. When I got there, the place was DEAD. I was disappointed and didn’t really know what else to do, so I was leaving. A tall guy (The Hulk) and his much shorter friend (Ass Hat) held the door for me and stood aside as I walked out. I thanked them and, as an afterthought, I turned around and asked, “Hey, what is there to do around here on a Monday night?” I noticed they were both watching me walk away. I smiled. They looked at each other, then looked back at me again and said, “You could come play pool with us?” I grinned even bigger and they continued to hold the door as we all headed inside. The three of us played pool and flirted and took pictures on a disposable camera (OMG, that makes me feel old). They were impressed that I actually had some skills. Later, we went to meet up with another one of their friends (Bird) where he worked and flirted some more. We all went to an all-night diner and met yet another one of their friends (I don’t have a name for him). We sat in the big booth, flirting, smoking and drinking coffee for hours. This was done often before and often since. It was fun times. We all shared poetry, art and ideas. I missed those times.
At the end of the night, the guys stood in line and waited for me to give each of them their number. Over the course of the next few weeks, I proceeded to go on dates with each of them. Strangely enough, it wasn’t strange and it didn’t seem to effect their friendships. I mean, I wasn’t sleeping with any of them but I would have coffee with one, lunch with one, dinner with another, dessert with another, a movie with another. Then, we would all meet up at the all night diner. I was also working two jobs and I wasn’t getting enough sleep.
My boss, Choir Boy, at my first job would ask how many guys I was dating and was amused I was able to juggle it all. He would let me take naps when business was slow. It was a restaurant at a country club and I normally worked the pool window. Choir Boy was married with a bunch of kids and his wife would constantly call and bitch at him. I was embarrassed FOR him. Not long after I started napping on the clock, I started noticing the flirting he was doing. I nervously laughed it off.
I turned my ankle and scraped it on the cement patio at my place. He let me break the rules and wear flip flops to work because covered shoes just weren’t possible. That night, the dumbwaiter broke and the restaurant upstairs was busy so we spent the evening racing food up and down the stairs. By end of the night, my ankle was swollen and tight. I was helping him close and waiting for him to finish the paperwork so I could get my cut of the tips before I went home. I watched as he marked a few extra drinks on some of the customer’s tabs. He justified it by shrugging and saying they had pissed him off. He then took cash out of the register and handed me some. He said, “My drawer is NEVER over.” My jaw dropped as I shockingly took the cash. I didn’t know quite how to handle that. I was only 18 and he was my BOSS. I was scared to say anything because I was afraid they would believe whatever he told the higher ups over me and I would lose my job or they would press charges against me. It would have been my word over his and I knew it. So, I shut my mouth and stuffed the cash in my pocket. I had been sitting for a bit at the bar and excused myself to go home. I couldn’t stand on my ankle without wincing. I hobbled to the top of the stairs and Choir Boy said, “Wait! Don’t go down the stairs. I’ll help you.” I insisted I was fine (and I REALLY wanted to get out of there), but he ran over, scooped me up and carried me down the stairs, ignoring my protests. He carried me all the way to my car, sitting me down by my driver’s side door.
At this point, I’d given up protesting because it really was painful.
I leaned up against the car. He stood in front of me as I told him how I had locked myself out of my car and when someone “helped” me jimmy the lock on the driver’s side door, the spring slipped and it wouldn’t no longer open from the outside. He grinned, “So… You can’t get away from me?” He put a hand on the car and leaned into me. I laughed nervously and my words caught in my throat. I turned my head away when I realized what was happening and started to blubber something, but he caught my face and kissed me. I was frozen. I had panicked and REALLY didn’t know how to handle the situation. How many times do I have to say, “He was my BOSS.”
He ran around to the other side of the car to open the door. Of course, it was locked. When he pulled the handle, it came off in his hand. His eyes widened and he showed me the handle. Mind you, this is BEFORE every car had a remote. Great. NOW, I can’t get in EITHER door and I just want to go HOME.
I called my mom to ask her how to get in the car, not caring that it was so late. I didn’t know what else to do. She said, “Figure it out.” I was pissed. She didn’t quite understand the situation I was in. I said, “Fine. I’ll just break the window.” “DON’T YOU DARE!!!” Damn. Now what!?!? I felt abandoned.
About that time, some high school kids came screeching through the parking lot and saw us. I was SO grateful not to be alone with him anymore. We explained my situation and one of the kids hopped out of the truck and grabbed a flathead screwdriver. He cracked the other part of the handle in half, stuck his finger in the hole and opened the door. I was SO thankful! I could FINALLY go home… and I did. My head was still spinning.
After a few days of fighting with broken handles, I called The Hulk and he took me to get the parts I needed and helped me fix the doors. I gave him an abridged version of what happened and he was a little upset that my boss took advantage of me.
Choir Boy invited me upstairs to the restaurant’s bar and gave me a shot of Tequila Rose. He took every opportunity he could to corner me and attack me with a kiss whenever he got the chance. I tried to avoid being in those situations, but they kept presenting themselves. I didn’t know what to do so I kissed back and ran away as soon as he released me. One day, he had me on the floor in the office and he was on top of me. I don’t really remember what I said or did to get him off of me but I still have the burning image of me scrambling away.
I put in my two week notice after that. He asked if he was the reason. I didn’t want any conflict and (as ridiculous as it was) I was afraid of hurting his feelings so, I said, “No.” I said the same thing to the Accountant when he asked me if it was because of Choir Boy. I just told everyone I took a job closer in town where I could be a waitress instead of working a pool window. The Accountant showed up and sat in my section weeks later and asked me, again, if I left because of Choir Boy. I refused to sway from my original answer, but I know he knew I was lying.