Posted by: bourbonmama | 24/02/2010

WBW #22: The Big Ex, The Whole Story

Remember way back when I told you the story of me and my ex?  Well, here’s the thing.  I wasn’t completely honest.  I didn’t like the way the real story ended, so I made up my own.  I think it was obvious, too.  I’ve gotten a lot of traffic to that story and may or may not have gained some readers because of it.  So, I figured I’d go ahead and set the record straight.  Here it is, the real ending to that story.  Up until the phone call is true.  So, that’s where I’m going to start. 


 I came home from work one evening to find a Johnson City number on my caller ID. I couldn’t figure out who it was, though. I assumed it must be one of the boys (my little brothers) calling from a friend’s house. Yeah, that’s why the name is so familiar, no wait. James McRandomguy? That’s not one of their friends, who is that? The phone rings, I look at the caller ID: James McRandomguy 423-123-4567. My hand is shaking.


“Hi.” There it was, that voice that I’d heard only in dreams for over half a year.

My heart pounded in my ears, my vision got all cloudy, my knees started to wobble. I put my hand on the kitchen counter to steady myself. “Why are you doing this to me?”

“I just wanted to hear your voice. I’m not trying to do anything to you.”

“How did you get my number?”

“I made my granny give it to me. I just really need to hear your voice right now.” (Yes, I had kept in contact with his family. We’ll save that for another day.) “I miss you. I wish I could see you.”

“What the fuck is wrong with you? Are you trying to make me go crazy?” I started shaking all over. My heart ached like it hadn’t in months. Tears began streaming down my cheeks. “What more do you want from me?”

“I want to tell you I’m sorry. I didn’t realize how good I had it.”

I sat down on my bed and lit a cigarette. I inhaled deeply. I was in control again. “Well, go ahead.” And he did. He told me how miserable he’d been. His family was mad at him, he was losing friends and had already lost his job. And then he told me why he’d really called. Karma had made him do it. He didn’t say those words, but I knew it was just the Good Lady Karma at work after I heard this story. She just wanted me to know she was alive and well.

Travis and Slutty McSkanypants (I know, I am sooo mature) had apparently moved pretty quickly, they were living together by Halloween. It didn’t take long for things to go south (imagine that). She wanted out, or rather, wanted him out. Of her house. But she wasn’t going to give him the courtesy of actually speaking to him about it. Oh, no, my girl, McSkankypants, she did much worse than a measly little note. Travis came home from work one night to find all of his stuff on their porch and his key missing from its spot on his chain. She had taken it off the night before and then skipped class to pack up all of his stuff while he was at work.

I listened to him.  I sympathized with him.  I felt vindicated when he told me how he’d been dumped.  He called every day for two weeks.  I thought he’d changed.  He wanted to see me.  Could he come up and visit me, to prove how he’d changed?  I told him I’d have to think about it.  I was in the driver’s seat again.  And, it felt good.  I called him the next day and told him yes, that I wanted to see him, too.  But, there was no way Jason was going to let him stay at our apartment, so he’d have to get a room.  And, so it was planned.  I didn’t tell anyone that I’d been talking to him, I knew what they’d say.  It’s the same thing I would have told myself.  I wanted to believe so badly that he had changed, that he was a good person, I couldn’t even listen to my own intuition. 

He was supposed to get into town on a Friday afternoon.  I talked to him Thursday night and nothing seemed awry.  He said he’d call me the next afternoon when he left TN.  He never called, big surprise.  I waited by the phone all night.  I started worrying around 10pm.  I called him over and over.  No answer.  Around 1am, I began picturing terrible scenarios where he’d gotten into a horrible wreck on the freeway.  I went to bed with the phone next to my pillow.  By the time I woke up the next morning, I was sure he was dead.  I did the only thing I could think of, I called his mother.  I told her everything.  About the phone calls, the apologies, the promises to make everything right, the planned visit.  She sighed, “He’s here, Mary.  He never left.  I’m so sorry he did that to you.”  He’d spent the night before, the night he was supposed to be coming to see me, playing poker with her and her boyfriend.


And, that is the rest of the story.*  It ended like most of them do, with me having mud on my face.  Not as powerful and wonderful as I’d like to admit.  Definitely not the picture of a strong southern woman I’d like to portray, but it’s the truth.

*Extra Credit for those of you who get that reference!


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