I broke up with my girlfriend, Allison, about 6 months ago. I really cared about her, but I found out she was cheating on me with some guy. Not gonna lie, it hurt pretty bad at first. But that was quickly replaced by rage. That kind of rage that ceases to be an emotion, but rather becomes a living, breathing entity. It didn’t help that she immediately broke down and tried to play the victim. Especially when I found out the dude had been hooking her up with drugs.
It was beyond insulting. She had zero right to play the whole injured party card. Sorry sweetie, not gonna work. When she realized that, she tried to get angry and yelling and calling me every name in the book.
“Who are you to judge me?” she kept screaming, over and over.
At this point, I think her attitude was more appalling than the actual cheating. It was like seeing a child throwing a tantrum in the middle of the mall. Allison even managed to do the same stomping up and down. I had to admit, I found it funny. I just turned around walked out of her apartment and didn’t look black. As I was driving away I saw her run out of the apartment and try to race down my car.
I kept driving, not sparing her a glance.
Right on cue, the nonstop calls and texts came started coming later that night. You all know the ones I mean.
First, there are the ones frantically apologizing and begging for your forgiveness. Sometimes there are ones that try to act all nonchalant and ask about your day and life, as if nothing had ever happened.
Then comes the anger laced ones that try to act all tough and insult everything about you. If you are a guy, there is almost guaranteed to be a shot at your masculinity. For the ladies, a shot at your appearance with a passing reference to some other girl they’ve had their eye on will be the weapon of choice. A bit of gaslighting usually comes about here. The offending phrase is usually something like “Why are you being so mean to me?” or “You are being very immature.”
Any sort of message rant like this usually ends with something like “Fine! If you are gonna be like that I don’t need you anyways. (Insert rebound’s name here) is so much hotter anyways.”
But my personal favorite is when they send you a late night text, usually between one and three am that goes along the lines of “I really miss you.” The kind that is designed to tug at your heart just enough to get your attention and lure you into talking, but nothing that requires an actual apology. I can’t even tell you how many times she messaged or called me before I blocked her.
It was almost like seeing a mental patient off their meds. Of all the girlfriends I have broken up with, Allison put in more effort than all the others combined. It was kind of stunning. She was a huge fan of alternating between I miss you and I will burn your house down depending on the moment.
Needless to say, I didn’t answer or respond to anything Allison said. I didn’t block her immediately because I gotta admit, it was hilarious watching her go to pieces after SHE cheated on me. But like most sane people, I got tired of it and blocked her number, email, all that good stuff.
I went on with my life and everything was good.
In January, I started getting these weird emails. At first they were just like simple stuff. The email address was one I didn’t recognize.
“How are you?”
Then came the weirdest of all. “Do you have a girlfriend?” I thought it was just spam so I marked it and didn’t give it a second thought. Then, the text messages came.
“Good morning Vince,”
“How is work going?”
“What did you have for lunch?”
I was confused to who this, not to mention a bit suspicious out, so I didn’t answer. But my phone dinged to indicate the same number messaged me again.
“Did you miss her?” There was a picture attached, along with a smiling emoticon. Just guess who it was?
Allison. Same long blond hair, green eyes, and wide smile. What a shocker. She made that email account to message me and got a new phone. I had put all of this behind me and here she was back? Unbelievable. Girl had major issues. At that moment, the rage returned and I messaged back.
“You cheated on me and now can’t leave me alone? Bye. Don’t you dare try to contact me again or you will be sorry.”
I blocked the number and thought that would be the end of it.
Coming home from work about a week later, I was walking back home when I got a phone call. It was my neighbor, Mrs. Arlington. Sweet lady. We lived in a new duplex and I really felt comfortable there. She treated me like a son and I won’t lie, she was like another mom to me. I would help her with anything she needed around the house and occasionally she would cook for me. Best apple pie you’ve ever had. Not to mention she was very supportive when I broke up with Allison.
“Hey Mrs. Arlington, what’s up?”
“Vince, are you at home?” She sounded concerned.
“No, why do you ask?”
“Because I keep hearing noises from your place. Sounds like someone is inside. I swear I can hear laughter. A woman’s laughter.”
My entire body went numb at this. “I’m calling the police. Don’t worry about doing anything unless someone tries to break into your place.”
“Ok my boy,” she sounded simultaneously relieved and tense.
As soon as hung up with Mrs. Arlington, I called the cops and told them someone broke into my place and my neighbor heard it. I gave them the address and they said they would be there immediately. Then, I called Mrs. Arlington back I told her the cops were coming and to watch the door to my place. Very slowly, I continued walking to my duplex. I stayed on the phone with her until the police arrived, which didn’t take too long.
The officers kept watch until I arrived. Mrs. Arlington was there, all concerned. I have never been more grateful to have her as a neighbor. Neither she, nor the cops saw anyone try to leave. They searched the place, but found nothing had been broken or anything. Now it was my turn to look, I didn’t see anything had been stolen.
That bothered me more than anything. To know someone had been there for seemingly no purpose. No valuables taken, nothing trashed, just….a silent presence. A laughing presence apparently. Usually being home made me feel content. Peaceful. Now it just made me feel tense. I made sure to thank Mrs. Arlington for keeping an eye out and everything. Just as the cops were about to leave, one of them spoke up.
“Is that yours?” Officer Mansfield asked, his face contorted into an expression I couldn’t quite read.
“Is what mine?” I had no idea what he was talking about.
“That,” he said, pointing outside the back door onto the back porch.
There, positioned right outside the porch, was some sort of rag doll. I wasn’t sure what it was at first, but then I saw it looked a bit like me. It had the same blond hair and brown eyes. The clothes looked like something I’ve worn many before, khakis pants and a polo shirt. The doll looked like it had seen better days. Then I realized it looked like it had been repeatedly stabbed or cut, because the stuffing was coming out of the body at parts. My legs felt like jelly at that moment, but that wasn’t the worst part.
The doll was hanging from the tree right next to our building; and it was hanging by what looked like the end of a noose. A very well made and realistic one. We all went outside and sure enough, the doll of me was hanging from a noose.
It slowly swung back and forth in the wind, like some sort of disturbing wind chime or something.
“I…..don’t really know if it’s mine,” was all I could get out. “I guess it is now.” Mrs. Arlington patted me on the arm.
“You can stay with me tonight Vince,” I immediately accepted.
“That’s very kind of you ma’am, there isn’t much we can do about this, but keep an eye on things and we will do the same. If you need us we’ll be here ASAP.” Officer Mansfield said.
“Thank you, I will.”
With that, they left. I gave Mrs. Arlington a big hug and got my clothes and stuff. As I packed my bag, I couldn’t help but feel like they were somehow tainted. I couldn’t get out of there quick enough.
So, here I am right now on Mrs. Arlington’s couch. She’s offered me her guest room for the night, or any other night I need it. I might just take her up on that as well. At this point, I have no idea what to expect.