The string of half-drunkenly texts came in a little past 4am, after a brief and awkward encounter at the club. I was out with my girl friend and he was out with a new mystery girl, or course. I was happy for him and not the least bit surprised. You think men move on fast, try a big city one, where ass is bountiful and just a click or a let me buy you a drink away. In reality I didn’t care. This guy was someone I named Mr. Hot/Cold* when we dated a few months ago. I nicknamed him such (to his face) because there were occasions when he fucking loved me and could easily prove himself to be a good potential boyfriend but then others when he was mean and negligent and worst of all, unapologetic.
I guess this is the part of his message that surprised me the most. Mr. Hot/Cold* led a somewhat lavish lifestyle and liked to show it off. (In 3–4 short text paragraphs, he invited me to brunch the next day at an upscale NYC spot, via zipcar mind you, and asked me to come to Atlantic City with him that same weekend) But he also included that he’d finished counseling and had learned some things about himself he wanted my feedback on and then the magic words, that he owed me an apology.
Just in case you were w ondering, this cuento is not about regression. If you’ve read my other stories, you know I don’t do that. There are no do-overs in Annabel World, no second chances. Gacha, maybe. But I was blessed with coming of age around emotional abuse and disfunction and I know I don’t ever want that for myself. Plus, there’s nothing this guy can offer me in the present that I want. Because he didn’t lead with kindness when we first dated, trips, brunches and the privilege of being a front seat passenger in car I would have had full control of the radio in would simply not suffice.
It was late, I needed to get to bed and over my own inebriation before I wrote or said anything that was out of character. So I wrote back, let’s talk tomorrow?
But we won’t. I’ll take his words I owe you an apology as the apology itself I’ll conclude that he is actively trying to become a better person, just like all of us are. I’ll even make a hopeful but probably far-fetched prediction that he’ll treat the next girl (obviously not the one he was out with) better than he did me. Not only do I have an opportunity at a new beginning tomorrow (oh the promise of a first date!), but like I conveyed earlier, emotional abuse doesn’t turn me on.
*Might also be attributed to the fact that he’s a Gemini, those pinche cabron twins are polar opposites working together to make your life miserable. One minute they love you one minute they fucking hate you. I realize I didn’t give examples of how he was gacho to me. Just for you, one time we were sitting at dinner and he said this to me (verbatim): Don’t be so primitive. This was after I told him I was going to write a check to a complete stranger in exchange for art. Dude threw some Neanderthal shit at me. I don’t think I need to say any more, this was short-lived for a reason. A reason you feel in your gut and have to be brave enough to stand-up for.