DOUBLE D PT3
- A lesson in never shitting where you eat, and never eating your own words. -
PT 3: Drop a heart, break a mug (click here to read PT1 and here to read PT2 first )
When Double D’s birthday came around, weeks after mine, he threw himself a pool party at our apartment complex to celebrate. Surprisingly, he invited me. I wasn’t sure what to make of it, so I figured I’d go and find out.
Double D was nowhere to be found, so I occupied myself by conversing with a few of his friends who had ultimately become our mutual ones. I was upbeat and chipper, most likely fueled by the belief his invite was, in fact, a way of inviting me back into his heart. It wasn’t. Nearly a half hour after I hit the deck, I saw him - and that’s when the shit hit the fan.
He was walking towards us with a girl wearing a string bikini and holding a red plastic solo cup in her hand. He herded her past the security gate with a hand gently resting on the small of her tan back, just below her lush black hairline. I clocked it all immediately, and once they got close enough for my near sided vision to focus, I recognized the face - resting above a different kind of double d - to be none other than Xena herself.
I caught his eyes just before turning away from him in a flurry of overwhelming emotion. It was clear they’d both come from his apartment, and one could only assume what they’d been doing there - coming together in a different capacity. Crawling its way up my throat, a bubble began to form and swell, making it harder and harder to swallow as it did. It hadn’t been long since the last time Double D and I met around this very pool. He, letting on as if I’d shattered his heart beyond repair, and I, beating myself up about it ever since. I sat there, too paralyzed by my pain to move, yet trying distract myself with meaningless conversation.
Soon thereafter, Double D escorted Xena over to a lounge chair directly across from me, where he shamelessly proceeded to make out with the warrior princess. I pretended not to see any of it - especially his blatant effort to hurt me so callously. I thought if I ignored the images, perhaps the facts themselves would change. None of it would be real: my validated suspicions, the slap in the face, his vindictiveness… I didn’t want to believe that alone was the reason he’d invited me, or that this kind of cruelty even existed - especially in someone I had loved so fully. Nevertheless, it was incomprehensible.
It felt like an act of involuntarily masochism; struggling to fight the tears while subjecting myself to the very thing that was causing them to form so quickly in the first place. I’m not sure which feeling reigned supreme enough to claim responsibility in, metaphorically, binding me to the chair I sat in. Obviously, I felt hurt, but also violated, humiliated, and foolish. I’d loved him with reckless abandon; I trusted him more than myself; I left the most impressionable parts of me open and exposed; I allowed him to take advantage of me by succumbing to his manipulations; and I compromised my security by allowing him to prey on whatever small insecurities I had. For so long, I consented to feeling crazy, to sabotaging our relationship, and in taking responsibility for its demise. These truths were a hard and bitter pill to swallow, and they left me incapacitated.
Immediately, I wanted to leave, but the idea of standing up in front of everyone and retreating to my apartment, wearing a bathing suit no less, was crippling. Leaving early would only draw more attention to my wounds as I exited the gates that caged me, as if casting my emotional scars into a spotlight. It was the worst kind of broken hearted hell.
A few hours later, after I’d managed to make my escape, the tears rushed over my cheeks like a tsunami for which I hadn’t prepared. They obstructed my vision, until a blind rage took their place instead. I was upset with him, naturally, but even more so with myself. Pacing back and forth in my apartment, my head flooded with questions I couldn’t begin to answer, like: “Why did he lie?”, “Why didn’t I listen to myself?”, “How could he do this?”, and “How could I let him do this to me?”
A knock on my door interrupted the red flush I was working myself up into, and I opened it to find the only person who might be able to provide some semblance of an answer - at least to a few of those questions, anyway.
“You left,” Double D said, as if he was Captain Obvious.
“Yeah,” I replied with that exact subtext. Still, despite all my infuriation, I couldn’t help but think, “He noticed.” I was caught somewhere between waves of love, sadness, anger, and remorse, sporadically crashing into each one of them while trying to stay afloat.
“What’s wrong?” he asked, exasperated, as if I was once again blowing things out of proportion. He walked into my living room, and I slammed the door behind him instead of in his face, which in retrospect, is probably what I should have done, but everything I’d suppressed for the last six months was aching to spew out of my gut like an active volcano on the verge of erupting.
“I thought you and Xena were just friends?” I said, eager to confront him.
“Well, after you broke up with me… she and I just got closer,” he explained. It was a convenient answer that only fueled my fire. Either he was lying and thought I was an idiot, or he was telling the truth and taking advantage of the opportunity to, once again, remind me why I had only myself to blame.
“Why did you even invite me?” I pressed, wanting him to just come out and say it. I had hoped he’d be honest with us both, citing he wanted to hurt me for hurting him, or that he was merely using Xena to make me jealous because he still had feelings for me. However, what I wasn’t expecting…was his answer.
“Because I didn’t want you to walk by the pool and see us all there without you.” I didn’t think he was capable of hurting me any more than he already had. Apparently, he was.
“So, it was a pity invite?” I said, thinking repeating his words out loud might make him privy to how awful they’d sounded. It didn’t.
“Yeah,” he said, unapologetically.
The thought of him seeing me as some fragile and pathetic girl beckoned another wave of anger to surge through me. With the fear of losing him lost in what had in fact come to fruition, I was finally free to speak my mind. So, I did.
“Trust me, I would have preferred to stay home rather than watch you make out with your new girlfriend! And, we both know that’s the real reason you invited me!”
“I didn’t think you’d come!”
“Of course you did! You know I still have feelings for you! You just wanted me to see that!”
“Rachel, you broke up with me.”
“I called you twenty minutes later and took it back!” I reminded him. The power I felt in holding him accountable at that moment was something I’d eventually become addicted to, and lead with, in the future. For now; however, it was too much to harness - let alone recognize - since it was seemingly dressed in anger’s clothing.
“Do you know I thought you invited me because you actually wanted me there? Because you might want to give us another chance?” I asked, hoping my perspective might shed some light on how his actions were equally to blame for the mess.
“No… and I’m sorry if inviting you gave you false hope, but I just don’t want to get back together. I told you after my last girlfriend, Rachel, I can’t be with someone who plays games again.”
Double D had often mentioned his ex in an effort to get me to sympathize with him. He portrayed himself as some sort of wounded puppy who had been abandoned and abused by the same kind of crazy, jealous, insecure woman he was in the midst of portraying me as. Suffice it to say, this wasn’t lost on me, and it definitely hit a nerve
“I’m playing games?!” I asked. “What do you call what you were doing out there with Xena?”
“What was I supposed to do? Not act how I want to with her just because you’re there?!”
“Yes! That’s exactly what you’re supposed to do,” I told him. “Otherwise, don’t invite me!”
“It’s not my fault you can’t get over it!” he screamed.
Actually, it was, and here’s why: Double D had strung me along and given me “false hope” (and would continue to do so long after this event) for months, even to the point of showing up on my doorstep that very afternoon to ask me why I’d left the party he supposedly didn’t want me at. Just another example of how his words and actions were constantly contradicting one another, and how often he passed blame on to someone else. Word to my male readers: just be straight with us. Yes, there are some genuine crazy girls out there, but most of us are simply made “crazy” by a lack of cohesion between your words and actions.
Anyhow, with that, another swell came from the deep, dark, and stormy sea of my heart.
“Oh, I’m over it!” I screamed charging towards my kitchen. I threw open a cupboard and started ransacking the shelves.
“What are you doing?” he said, throwing his head to the side as if bored, exhausted, remorseful, or all of the above.
After I’d found the mug he’d painted for me at a Color Me Mine type of place, I yanked it out of the cupboard and turned to face him, holding it high above the linoleum.
“This is how over it I am!” I said, releasing my grasp on the handle and sending it the floor. I wanted to prove we had been real, that I wasn’t the only one still holding on, and that he was capable of feeling… something. But, even more than that, I honestly just wanted to break something of his the way he had something of mine. At least his was something that could be put back together with glue.
The mug exploded, sending shards around my tiny kitchen and a few outside of it onto the carpet near the door. The romantic in me immediately regretted it, but the bitch being born within me was upstaging her. Double D looked down at the few pieces near his feet and pushed them out the way before seeing himself out.
He went on to tell people I threw the mug at him because he has a penchant for not only lying to justify his actions, but being dramatic. He walked away without any bumps, bruises, cuts, scrapes, or scars. I, however, wasn’t so lucky. After all, the first cut is the deepest.