Do you ever find yourself imagining how you would react in certain situations? Like a zombie apocalypse? Or catching your partner cheating? Or being in a hostage situation? I’m fairly sure we all do, as it was only this weekend, while in conversation about something irrelevant that someone said to me “imagine if there was a zombie apocalypse and you’re alone in that office?” so I know it’s not just me being mental. Anyways, I always imagine that I would handle it like a boss and that I’d be strong, manage to escape death or walk away with my head held high; make up flawless and everyone around in awe of my bad ass-ery. However it is more likely that it would never play out that way. Sorry… Let me rephrase that, it DID NOT play out that way, not even close.
I was dating this guy (we’ll call him Mason) who was a few years younger than me (there’s my first mistake). Obviously because of the age difference I convinced myself that I was the one in control, I could run rings around him, I had the upper hand blah blah blah (my second mistake). We’d been together a few months, although we did see a lot of each other and he had taken me out a few times it was strictly casual. I discovered this when he outright asked me to be quiet before answering a call from his Mum one Saturday night – I guess we’re not officially dating then? Secretly I think I was always hoping for abit more, only God knows why as he was a socially awkward nightmare, devoid of emotion and adverse to any affection …..Oh and as a side note this was like almost 3 years ago and would you believe this guy slid into my DM’s only several days ago….
We would spend most Friday or Saturday nights at his house. It was always on his terms though and I got fed up of being invited over when it suited him (for those who don’t recognise it, this is commonly known as the booty call, ladies and gentlemen). So one weekend when I received the regular – Hey, I think you should come over tonight – text. I refused point blank to go over. He did not expect this reaction and displayed an odd behaviour I had never experienced before – he CALLED me! I answered with nonchalance and explained that I just simply couldn’t be bothered to drive all the way to his. He pleaded with me as I rebuffed him over and over, mentally hi fiving myself! Eventually he gave up his pleas and hung up. OBVIOUSLY at this point with me being a ginormous idiot and having zero self-esteem, I wanted to go see him.
So I got ready, gathered my overnight bag and drove over to his without calling or texting to tell him I would be arriving. All the way there I reasoned with myself – the guy was pleading with me to go over, he so obviously wants me there – so on and so forth. As I pulled into his street, there was a car driving slowly in front of me. I could see the driver was female and she was unsure where to go. I got a niggling feeling but chose to ignore it and pulled around her onto Masons drive blocking his car in.
He answered the door with his usual greeting of a playful insult which looking back was pretty much just an insult “Thought you couldn’t be bothered to come”. I kicked off my shoes and followed him into the lounge where he flopped down on to the sofa to resume eating his dinner. I took a seat beside him, put my feet up and so began our Saturday evening.
I’d been there about 5 minutes or so when the doorbell rang. I looked at him and the colour had drained from his face, he was almost choking on the steak he was eating. “SHIT!” he hissed. Immediately the female in the car in front of me came to mind. “My ex-girlfriend has been trying to call me and she threatened to come round but I didn’t think she actually would”. Riiiight. That’s what this is. I looked at him dubiously and he shrugged, his plan was to ignore the doorbell until she went away.
She did not go away. She rang the doorbell over and over, she tried his phone several times and when she didn’t get an answer she held her finger down on the doorbell. I turned to him “be a man and answer the fucking door”. Throwing his head back and letting out a noise of frustration, he reluctantly rose from the sofa. He slunk out of the room, pulling the lounge door shut behind him and sighing to himself before making his way down the hallway. I scooted the end of the sofa to eavesdrop, of course!
He opened the door in mock surprise. “What are you doing here?” I heard him say. She was furious “I’ve been ringing the doorbell for 5 minutes and I’ve called you, why haven’t you answered?” she demanded. “The TV is up loud and my phone is on silent” he muttered. “So let me get this straight you invite me to come over and then you ignore me when I get here? You said you wanted to talk and sort things out. I’m here so let’s talk” she said. My heart sunk, clearly he’d been trying his luck and dangling the bait to see which fishy would bite and it was little fishy, oh and that one at the door who had at this point started to cry.
“Mason let me in, I want to sort this out”. I listened to him make excuse after pathetic excuse. It ranged from “I didn’t text you to come over” to “I have friends coming over, from Washington and I can’t cancel on them now”. At least that part was true, I am from Washington. She was having none of it. He was like a worm on hook, wriggling to get off. “Look, you can come in and we can go upstairs to talk if you’d like but not for long as they’ll be here soon.” She shouted “no I don’t want to go upstairs, why won’t you just let me in?” And then it dawned on me, she knew I was in here; she had seen me come in when I weaved passed her and parked. And my shoes were probably in plain sight in the hall! Was she going to come in? I listened to her voice, she sounded young – maybes I could take her! I looked for an escape route. I wasn’t going to get very far with the 10ft fence surrounding the back garden, without my shoes and without my car. I wondered whether to walk out there and face the music as I was also a victim in this debacle!
Luckily it did not come to any of that, she’d had enough “you let me in or else you will never see me again Mason”. He apologised profusely and tried again with his excuses. She screamed at him and walked away. Closing the door, I heard him sigh and mutter “Fuck” before walking back in to join me taking the smallest steps possible down the hall to delay the next hideous scene in this pitiful story.
I would pay good money to have seen the look I had on my face when he walked back into that room – I bet it wasn’t pretty. I sat there unsure of whether to leap up and slap him, storm out of there, scream at him or to do all three. I chose to sit there and glare until it hurt my eyes. He threw himself down on to sofa and scrunched up his face trying to squeeze out some tears as I looked on horrified and fascinated at the same time.
After a while of him wiping his pretend tears away and not saying anything, I spoke. “So do you care to explain yourself?” “She’s lying, I never asked her to come over” he blurted out. “Oh I don’t think she is Mason, what’s surprising to me is how calm you stayed when I showed up all the while knowing she was on her way”. More excuses and more lies poured out of his mouth. Now I’m not exactly sure why I continued to sit there and let him bullshit me (actually yes I do, I was always letting people treat me this way back then) maybes it was the satisfaction of seeing him on a loose footing for once since he was always so cocksure of himself.
Stupidly I stayed and let him talk me round with empty promises, hair stroking and copious amounts of wine. I kept silent for most the night, enjoying the hold I had over him and the attention he was paying me. As we lay in bed, he took my hand and pressed a kiss into to my palm. I will never forget the words he whispered to me in the darkness “I’m glad you stayed” and in the next breath “because she’s piled the beef on”. I think it took me 20 seconds to get out of his house, 0.5 seconds spent getting dressed and the other 19.5 cursing the day he was born.