Chapter 24: The Rollercoaster

We got to Pete’s and I could tell that he and Jackie still weren’t my biggest fans, but at that point the only person I cared about was Tony. Eventually, he and I left to go get his mom’s dog from her house to bring over. To me, that’s a big deal. I really felt like him taking me to meet his mom was a peace offering of sorts. Moms always love me, and she was no exception. The dog loves me, too, and side note, I miss Boxer so much. I talked to her and her husband a bit, we brought Boxer over, hung out there for a bit, and then brought him back where Pete and Jackie were going to pick us up. 

While we waited for them, Tony told me the one thing that still flabbergasts me to this day. He said that he felt like I was using him for sex, which is so far from the truth that I didn’t even know how to react at first other than to cry. I apologized profusely, I have been used for sex and I would never want to do that to someone – I told him that. Besides, let’s be real, I’m at least a solid 8 – if I really wanted to just have sex, I could easily get that in Boston without having to fly multiple states away for it. It was different with him. Just because I want it more often than he does doesn’t mean I was using him. 

Plus, I told him that I have been with guys who used me for sex, or at least made me feel like I couldn’t say “no” when they wanted it or else I’d lose the only thing I had keeping them interested in me, or just that it was easier sometimes to give in than to say what I really wanted, so I have been working on not feeling like that’s a necessary component of every relationship I’m in, but I would never use someone for something purely physical. That’s not me at all. 

Pete and Jackie came and got us, and we went to brunch. While we were waiting I talked to Jackie a bit more which was a huge mistake because I’ll never forget the excitement in her voice when I slipped and said that Tony and I had had a fight the night before – and that was the moment that I knew I was right in thinking it was super weird that she “randomly” chose that weekend and that it really had been 3 against 1 since the night before. 

But then, on the way in he put his hand on the small of my waist and guided me to the table – not a big gesture, but it just made me feel protected, like he was showing people that I was with him, he was trying to make me feel safe and protected again, and I started to think maybe I was wrong, and he was on my side. 

I cried throughout the whole brunch, it was so bad I had to wear my sunglasses pretty much the whole time because I couldn’t stop. I was tired, emotional, overwhelmed, you name it, I felt it. I was tired of being left out of all of the dumb high school conversations, again, and I was so confused. I was getting so many mixed signals. But the thing was, Tony kept looking at me and the look he gave me, I know it was real. I’ve been hurt by guys who are just plain assholes before, they don’t have any emotion in their face when they hurt someone and make them cry. But he did. He looked sad, guilty, something. At one point he even asked me if I was okay, that he knew I’m an Empath and was probably hurting. I just nodded.

After brunch, where he paid for me (also confusing), we went back to his place, and it was on the way back that I told him that I felt like he’d turned into a totally different person since the day before and he seemed very surprised and even a bit concerned with that, especially when I said that I felt like his personality change in general but mainly towards me had a lot to do with the company we were in, and I really did not like it. I really do feel like something about the way Pete and Jackie talked to me, and him, made him think that I’m too good for him – I’m too smart, I dress too nicely, my apartment is too nice – and honestly, maybe all of that is true. But I really didn’t care or even think about it until he let them make him think it was true. 

At his place, I got my stuff together. While I was packing, he came in and looked me in the eyes, which guys never do to me on the off chance they apologize to me for being a jerk, and he said that he realized how messed up it was that he cared more about a stupid song and what his friends thought of him than he had cared about upsetting me, and that he was really sorry. 

I got my stuff, and then he drove me to an outdoor mall because he had to go to a last-minute work meeting that evening (so he says) and in case it went late, it wasn’t too far from the airport. Again, on the way there we agreed to blank slate, that the next day we’d start fresh, and he said that next time he’s in Boston, he’d buy me a drink. He kept trying to bring up things that to him proved that we weren’t compatible, except sexually (his words, not mine), but I, the world’s most argumentative Enneagram Type 8, was able to offer a solution for every single one of them, that’s how miniscule they were. By this point I was convinced that he was just very confused about his feelings and that’s why I was on this rollercoaster ride of whether he was being nice to me or not, and that really sealed the deal. We got to the mall and he said if he got out of his meeting early he’d let me know so he could drive me to the airport. He said again that we were okay, just like he had the night before when he said he loved me, he gave me a pretty lame hug, told me to be safe, and left.

I broke down crying, again, and went and sat on a bench and called my high school best friend, Amanda, because I didn’t know anyone in Arizona and had no idea what to do. I was sad, scared, lonely, and emotional, and I called her and just told her everything. Let’s just say she was NOT too pleased at the fact that he dumped me at a mall in a state where I don’t know anyone six hours before my flight, not that I was happy with that either. 

After talking to her, I calmed down just enough to walk around and find out that all of the stores were about to close. I texted Tony to ask if there was anywhere near I could go to, or if he could let me know if he got out early so I didn’t have to stay there too long after closing by myself. Nothing. 

food snack popcorn movie theater
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Fortunately, there was a movie theater across the street so I walked over there with my suitcase and figured I’d see the first movie that was playing. While talking to the guy at the ticket counter, I made a comment about being an AMC A-List member in Boston and we were talking about movies. After a few minutes, he looked at me and must have realized that, wow, this girl has had a DAY – my eyes were puffy, I was sniffling from crying, and just looked defeated. So he literally made up some stupid BS excuse to give me my ticket for free, just because he wanted to do something nice for me I think. This just made me cry harder because it was the first genuinely nice thing that had happened to me all day, so when I went to get my water and popcorn from the concessions stand, the guy working there gave me both of those for free, too. I remember going to pay and he literally just shook his head and went, “No, it’s on the house.” 

I saw “Onward,” but I pretty much just cried through the whole thing – and not just because the movie is sad. I felt dejected, rejected, confused, lonely, and hurt. I wanted my mom but I also didn’t want to tell anyone what had happened because I was so embarrassed and didn’t want to give anyone a chance to say, “I told you so.” Not that my mom would, but still. I just wanted to keep crying.

It was late on March 15th which meant it was one of my best friend, Jonah’s, birthday so I called him, and even he could tell something was wrong over the phone, so we spent his birthday call with me crying to him about how awful I felt and how much I just wanted a hug from someone who loved me. He sent me lots of virtual hugs. 

Then, I went to The Cheesecake Factory for dinner, where the bartender there could also tell that I wasn’t having a good day so I opened up to her and she gave me some advice and a pep talk and told me how pretty I am. So, to summarize, at this point, besides two of my best friends the only people who had expressed genuine care and concern for me at this point were three complete strangers. 

When I was done eating, I texted Tony again and asked if he was out of his meeting – it was well after 9pm at this point, and his meeting was at 5pm – and if so, could he take me to the airport. After about 30 minutes of waiting around and hearing nothing, I finally gave up and called an Uber. Surprise, surprise, the Uber driver was ALSO nicer to me and cared more about me than Tony or any of his friends had in the past 24 hours, so I started crying yet again. My flight was a red eye, thank God, so nobody really noticed how sad I was and I just slept.

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