I remember the first time I saw you. You walked down my drive with your little monkey scampering beside you. Head up, hands thrust in dirty grey tracksuit bottoms, swagger on. Of course you could take the job, no problem, just need to finish off elsewhere.
“Give me your number, I’ll text you!”
He never liked you. But he couldn’t get anyone to work here. I managed it. You made it clear from the get go. Milk and two. Keep them coming, I did. I was sure no one could drink that much tea… you always had an empty mug.
You did a great job. He says otherwise and you knew it. The little monkey would tell me you weren’t happy with his attitude towards you but that you would never say anything.
I worried, became more helpful and complimentary of your work.
December 2016. The friend request supprised me. Ask me to tag you into the pictures.
You get married. Take less than a week off. You like cake you say, it’s your third. In less than a week you’re back at work. Honeymoon period over, you miss me you say haha and the tea, wallpapering and carpeting even though it’s not your job. Helping me build the kids beds. So helpful and kind. He doesn’t want to help… he just tells me off and complains about you.
You text at night, innuendo after innuendo. Flatter and compliment me. Discuss the issues that mean so much to me. Syria, Brexit, being a humanist. You tell me about the abuse when you were small, we’re mates, my heart breaks for you. It only feels like mates, like we’ve know each other forever. You want more. Nothing physical. You sense I am not a cheat but you’ve seen me go off to the gym. Why not share a little more….. I rebuff you gently and sweetly you go silent. Texts ignored, jobs unfinished. He complains more. I defend further. You tell me of all your conquests, how great you are, how all your daughters uni friends call you a DILF. It’s unreal really. I find it sweet but actually your level of deluded is off the charts. He’s moaning at me. You are standing bedind me and gently touch my shoulder. So softly it may not have happened. It’s our only ever contact.
It continues. It becomes all you. I become someone else, more narcissistic. You threaten the silent treatment, tell me to drink the wine you saw and take a photo, beg me. I do it.
She finds your phone goes through the texts. Somehow you keep it to yourselves. I am blissfully ignorant for 8 weeks. Nothing changes. Your texts stopped being cheeky, you turn up a few days here and there. But that was okay. No more xx at the end. Except on that email… the last one, the one you sent with love. xx
I didn’t see the change.
You text to tell me and you won’t be coming tomorrow, she found the texts, 8 weeks ago, you should have mentioned it. It’s cold. I’m horrified. Ask you to apologise to her from me. It was all unforgivable.
I tell him all and warn you. I tell him I think I lead it. Pushed for your attention I can’t tell him why, I don’t know. No I don’t have the texts you told me to delete them. He confronts you. You and her tell him it was all me. You say you never text me and she backs you up. You tell him I wanted an affair and you said no, you’ve had it done to you and it’s horrendous.
They say I have had a breakdown but she has heard things about me. People aren’t surprised. I have to stay away, quit my gym. Stay out of her village.
He leaves and I don’t beg him to stay. My head hurts, anxiety kicks me in the stomach.
You don’t defriend me. Some people do but not you. I do it. Then come off Facebook. Within a few hours I have people knocking at my door. They know something is wrong. I tell my story. I am broken, ashamed and horrified at what I was doing, of who I have hurt.
Abuse. Grooming. Brainwashing.
All words used by the people that love me.
He texts me after a few days. All this wasn’t me. He knows me. Out of character is an understatement. He wants to investigate further.
I find HG.
He knows you! Yet you have never met him. He has a label to slap on you. Mid ranger.
I’m labelled to, but it’s one I can live with.
He visits you again. I can hear what you say this time. You shared our conversations and photos with the little monkey and other work mates. It was just a bit of fun. He makes you make him coffee. You grin behind your mug at him. Eyes dead, unworried, you want him to hit you. You’re older but sturdy, you’ve been hit before. He’s been prepped by me not to you’d let him. Then use it.
He tells you I went to the police. Your eyebrows hit the ceiling just for a second. She wanted to blackmail me. You tell him it’s all deleted now, you say it was her idea. I actually don’t care either way… but I’m inclined now to think you’re lying.
You have people keeping an eye on me. I know. Six months on and I know you’ve started to hoover, I don’t look but I do see. I am working on shifting the substantial blame I carry. Working on holding my head up again. He is home. A home that’s doubled in value btw.
Was it ever about me? You wanted what he had the moment you stepped over the threshold. You stole. You saw the chink in our relationship and that’s what you worked on immediately. You switched something off in my head, the bit that cares about people, that’s worries for people. You made me codependent. I got you so much work. It’s clever I’ll give you that. But I will never be yours, nor will my beautiful house or healthy bank balance and my athletic body so admired by you will never be in your arms. You complained about your wife, how she is lazy, hysterical and ignorant. She protected you though. From the backlash you frightened her with, told her I could destroy your reputation no doubt. You know I’m neither a fighter nor drama queen, and it’s not in my nature to be nasty or revengeful (unfortuatley) , all I would ever have been capable of is an apology to her.
Enjoy your drive by’s, I see you. It doesn’t bother me. You’re wasting your fuel and won’t get anymore from me.
You should know though, I only called you hero because I couldn’t remember your name!