She had become almost timid over the past few years of ordeals with not-so-very-nice people. At times wondering who had taped the “KICK ME!” sign to her back and how in the hell to remove it! It all had actually gotten so ridiculous, it would make for funny stuff in a movie, although her character would have to be portrayed as that ditzy, silly blonde girl that grates on your nerves after awhile. She could never play it as that perpetual victim, she abhorred even the though of anyone seeing her as such, so the dumb blonde was all that would fit in with the story events.
One of her neighbors was a lady who lived across the street and had two daughters the same ages as her own. Her name was Connie and their children played well together. She’d only chatted with this her twice briefly when their children were making plans together. She seemed a nice enough person.
So on Friday she had been invited by this lady to go to the summer gathering in the park her town held every Friday during the season. She was surprised at the invitation, as she was becoming rather suspicious of people (particularly females) who would be suddenly kind and/or friendly to her. She declined the invitation with appreciation at the invite. Connie was downright insistent. This seemed odd, as she hardly knew the lady. Between Connie’s insistence and her own daughters’ pleadings, she eventually gave in. She thought she was being too jaded and suspicious. Here was a neighbor who was being friendly and inviting her to spend time getting to know each other better and all she could do was be afraid of the kindness. She realized how this could be why she maintained such suspicions of people. Somewhere along the line, she had stopped giving people chances to demonstrate that they were just being kind and friendly. She should be grateful to be invited and take this opportunity to get to know this lady better, not hide in her house, afraid. She let her guard down and accepted.
So they went. Connie’s cousin was coming as well. It seemed a nice little group and the kids were so excited she was coming that she let herself relax a little in the car chatting with her neighbor. The park was busy with all sorts of people, as it typically was. This was a popular summer event. The children scattered off as soon as they arrived. This left the three adults together. The ladies each ordered a beer and went to stand in the grass where many people stood around chatting with old friends they probably always ran in to at these events.
About 5 minutes into this, Connie says to her cousin, “So, do you think I should mention what we have in common?” The cousin, obviously knowing instantly of what Connie is referring, agrees with a fast up-and-down nod. What in the world? What could this be about? She just stood there in their little circle smiling and waiting to find out. Connie says, “The strangest thing happened awhile back….”
“Oh really? What’s that?”, her stomach feeling nervous as she asked…
Well, one night I got a text message in the middle of the night from some guy. I looked at the message and just ignored it because it was so late. Then, when I got up in the morning, I saw that guy’s truck parked at your house! So, do you know Dave (last name here)?
Her knees instantly felt as though they would give out from underneath her and she fought back the urge to vomit. “Yes, I do know him. W were engaged awhile back. Actually, he was just at my house last night. You must have seen his truck there just this morning?”
“No. I didn’t see it. This was awhile back.”
“Well, Dave and I go back years. I love him and he comes over rather frequently, actually whenever he wants. This is just what we do. We’ve always done this since we separated a few years ago.”
“Good. Dave needs that. He had a pretty bad childhood and needs somene to care for him like that.”
WHAT? No, he didn’t have a “bad childhood”. What are you talking aout? Did he tell you that?
Confusion and nausea combined forces to set thet world off in a fast spin. The ground felt unsteady as she desperately tried to stay calm and relaxed during this awkward conversation. All she knew to do for protection at this point was to keep smiling, smiling, smiling…. do not let on that the world is spinning and she couldn’t catch her breath….
She explains that Dave didn’t have a “bad childhood”, that he had wonderful parents who loved him very much. His mother had passed away tragically when he was in high school and that was horrible, but there hadn’t been any abuse. She explained that she couldn’t believe Dave would portray his childhood like that, considering his father was his very best friend and Dave was quite open about that fact to anone who knew him at all.
Connie says maybe she misunderstood him and then explains how a year ago they went to a movie together and had “hooked up four times”. She explained how Dave had volunteered to drive her home from the bar one evening a year earlier when she had been very drunk. She acted as though she knew his entire life story, even Tracy (a girl he had dated for a few weeks after the two broke up two years ago), even disliked Connie because she had gone out with Dave.
She says, “That’s odd. Tracy and Dave didn’t date very long and it was quite awhile back. Dave made her walk home one night because I was on a date, he saw me, and he got really jealous; they stopped dating right after that. It was never any big love affair, as Dave and I kept seeing each other the entire time.”
What in the f— was this all about? It was clear the sole purpose of inviting her had been because Connie had seen Dave’s truck at her house that very morning and had probably seen him when he returned mid-day(while she was at work) to look for his watch he had left there. Why would this lady bring her here to ask her this? Why? Could this not have been better addressed in the privacy of her living room? It was obvious Connie wanted information about Dave and his relationship with her, yet she simultaneously tried to act as though she knew his whole life story…
This was freaking bizarre! She had to get out of there NOW…. The world was a shaky, tilt-a-whirl ride and she had to get off RIGHT NOW. She had no one to call to pick her up and she could not let her children know of any of this. It would break their hearts to know. She walked away from the two ladies and phoned her dad, quickly explaining the awkward situation and the fact that she was desperately afraid she was going to break down and cry right there in front of the whole town if she didn’t get out of there fast. Her dad agreed to come immediately.
Connie acted so surprised, “Why are you leaving? You don’t need to leave.”
“Thank you Connie, but I feel incredibly uncomfortable with this whole situation. I’m rather confused and caught off guard right now. I really must go. It seems strange to hang out with a bar hook-up of the man I love, who has been at my house at least five times in the past week and whom I woke up with just this morning. I’m not mad at you, but I just feel very uncomfortable with this. I’ll definitely be asking Dave about all of this. It’ve vey awkward. If you’re dating him, I apologize. You can have him. He doesn’t need to be coming to my house anyway. I just care about him and have never stopped him because of that. I’m not trying to interfere in his dating life.”
“I don’t want him”, Connie says.
Yeah, right. Why all of this then? She didn’t buy that line for a second, but her head was just so damned confused, she couldn’t trust anything and it took every bit of focus and strength she had not to break down and cry right there.
“I’m going to talk to Dave about this, Connie. It’s all very upsetting and confusing for me.”
“No, please don’t. Let’s team up together against him.”
WHAT THE FUCK??????????? Her? Team up with this chick against Dave? What on earth was this lady’s deal?
“Connie, I’m sorry. I will not do that. I care deeply about Dave and he is where my loyalty lies. It will always lie first with him. I’ll have to discuss this entire conversation with him.”
She walked off to meet her dad driving by the corner of the park to pick her up. She went home and just sat there staring at the wall, trying to clear her mass confusion and waiting for the tilt-a-whirl to stop. Dagnabit! She didn’t understand what on earth had just happened and was too overwhelmed to sort through it. She hated that she was so easily confused by people like this. She never knew how to respond to this type of thing because she couldn’t take it all in. It was too much.
It wasn’t until late Saturday that the whole thing started clearing and reason started piecing things together. Wow!! How manipulative it had all been! That wasn’t a very nice thing to do.
And to think, she had forced herself to go, actually thinking this lady was trying to befriend her…