Experience from Feb 2010
The chapter of Alex, the worst of them all.
After days of convincing me, my ex-sister-in-law drags me to the pool at the gym so that the kids can go swimming. I don’t dare put my pale ass in a bathing suit but rather watch from the side. I had just finished working out and was sweaty and wearing no make-up so when a guy gave me a second and even third look I was a bit surprised. He was sitting near the pool and watching who I assumed to be his kids swim. There was a woman wearing a pink do rag who appeared to be their mother over on the opposite side of the pool on a lounge chair while the kids ran back and forth between them. I was sitting in a chair not far from him.
He started to talk to me, first about the fact that it was set to 96 degrees and then the conversation went to what I do on the weekends and so on. He wasn’t wearing a wedding band so I assume they are possibly not together. His kids come out of the pool and he asks me if I will be at the pool for a little bit longer. I tell him I will and he comes back about 10 minutes later. Says he got his son showered up while his ex got his 2 girls showered and then the kids went with their mother for the weekend. As we talk a little more and he tells me he is recently divorced within the past year and doesn’t really meet too many women and the ones he meets who don’t have kids don’t understand how kids come first. Asks me if he can give me his number and maybe we can go out sometime. He seems like a nice guy, responsible father and attractive, so I agree to take his number and text him my number. And then it begins…….
Alex takes full advantage of having my phone number. The texting and calling begin that day and into the night. He asks a lot of questions about what I am looking for and seems like he wants similar things as I do. He wants to know when I am free. I tell him that I am pretty booked up that weekend but may have an hour or two the following night before I meet my friends . He says that would be great and asks where I want to meet.
We decide on Dave’s Bar & Grill. When we meet he barely recognizes me all dressed up and with some make-up and keeps telling me how great I look. We stay there for about an hour and a half and I only have one drink that I sip very slowly. I am not really sure about him but am trying to give him time to see if there is any possibility there. He doesn’t seem very educated and he speaks really quickly. As we talk and he tells me how much of an involved father he is and how important his kids are to him. He seems to be a hard worker as well and those qualities are enough to at least keep the conversation going. But I’m still not sure….
I end the “date” and avoid any contact…no hug, no kiss, no way. He wants to see me the next day but I tell him I may be too busy and will let him know.
Alex calls me the next day and asks if I have any time. I tell him that maybe an hour to grab some coffee before I go out with my friends. He jumps at the chance… is it that he is really interested or is this a “red flag”? I meet him at Starbucks. I am getting a weird vibe from him and trying to figure him out. I am trying to be open-minded but as I listen to him speak; I can’t get past the lack of proper grammar and the way he is looking at me. I end this get together and go on my way. He wants to take me to lunch the next day and I am thinking that I don’t want to go….
I call him at noon to let him know that I am too busy for lunch. He says ok and asks if I have time later that night. I tell him I will let him know after work. I call him at 7:30 with the intention of telling him that I am tired and not interested in seeing him that night (and in my mind ever) and the phone doesn’t ring, instead I get this message “per the subscribers request, this phone is not accepting incoming calls”. I find that very odd but at the same time it makes blowing him off that much easier. I don’t give it another thought.
I head to bed at 10:30 and as I am about to close my eyes, my phone rings. It is from a private number and after I answer the person on the other line hangs up. A minute later, I receive a text message from a number I have not seen before that reads “who is this??”, before I can even think of a proper response, I get another text “hello???” so I respond with “who is this?”, the response back is “you have spent 85 minutes of talk time on my other phone line 301-xxxx so u tell me”. I immediately realize that it is Alex’s number being referenced. Before I can respond I get another text from the same number “Hopefully it’s someone to help my husband pay me child support”. I respond that I just met him this week and I had no idea he was still married. The phone rings and it is a private number again. I answer and it is a woman, clearly Alex’s wife. I feel sick to my stomach. She asks me where we met and I tell her at the gym but don’t mention that she was there because it just seems too hurtful. She tells me that she just threw him out last Saturday and that she is battling cancer. The thought of her across the room in her pink do-rag comes to me and I feel like I want to vomit. She was wearing that because she is bald from the chemo. She tells me that she has since taken out a restraining order against him and that not only does he have the 3 kids with her but also 2 others with someone else who also just took out a restraining order against him. She has turned his phone service off and wonders where he is staying. At this point, I wonder if I am having a nightmare… this can’t be real. I feel so badly for this woman on the other end and have no idea what to do or say. How can anyone be so cruel? I tell her I am sorry and she says “don’t be, it’s not your fault”. She wishes ME luck and actually sounds like she feels bad for me, which is amazing to me. I don’t care one bit for this man but it does once again ruin my faith in men. I mostly just feel terrible for her and can’t imagine being in her shoes. I wish her the best and we end the call.
Shock. That’s all I feel and I pop a sleeping pill and pray that I can forget what just happened for the next 6 hours so that I can sleep.
I get some sleep and wake up thinking about the conversation. I look at the texts from her and I know that it was real. I head to the gym and then to work still digesting the conversation in my mind.
Late morning, I receive a text from her and I realize I still don’t know her name. The text reads, “Did you happen to hear from psycho today? I’ve got three other women in the same situation as you”. Once again, I am shocked, I tell her no and that I hope to never hear from him again. I also tell her that I feel awful for her to be in this situation. Her response “Thanks! My children and me beating my stage 3 breast cancer are the most important. I’m just afraid for others. DCYF put a restraining order on him against my kids thank God! Have a good day” At this point, I just want to cry… I respond, “I wish you the best and I will keep you in my thoughts”
A selfless woman battling cancer and raising 3 young kids who has to deal with this poor excuse of a man. My hearts breaks for her.