August 1, 2013 in Uncategorized
Quite some time passed before I let my vulnerable little heart out…only for it to be shattered…by a pathological liar…again. But before I get to that, I must tell you that I fell in love Jay’s cousin, who was, and still is, someone I would have married in a heartbeat, had he not been gay. We were inseparable for months, and to those who didn’t have a finely trained “gaydar”, we were the perfect couple. He treated me well, made me laugh, and lifted my spirits simply by saying “hello”. We’re still friends, but he lives far away, out of the closet.
Right, down to the next disastrous love in my life. Elisha nicknamed him “The Popsicle”, but I’ll get to that in a bit. His name was Shaun Ashley Halstead, a scrawny bloke, with flaming red hair (and a temper to match) and, as was the case with Peter, buckets full of charm.
We met at his place of work, an establishment, that I too this day still frequent (Shaun is no longer there). He would often pop around to come and say hello if he saw me and would spend a great deal of time just chatting about all sorts of topics, including his girlfriend, Charmaine. He was very open about the fact that he was attached, that they worked together, and that he wasn’t particularly happy in the relationship, but she served a purpose.
So we got to know each other and soon we were seeing each other. Morally I knew it was wrong, but it felt so incredibly good to be wanted again. Charmaine found out and needless to say, they had a huge row and he moved out…into my downstairs portion of the house I was living in at my parents. The understanding was that he’d move in there, and that I’d move in upstairs with my parents. For a while things went well. The nature of his job involved working shifts, so there were times when we wouldn’t see each other at all for a few days on end.
Suddenly I began to notice a change in him. The same signs I’d noticed, but had chosen to ignore with Peter. Shaun was becoming distant and testy, wanting to spend more time with his friends than with me, and while I’m all for a night out with the boys, it got too much.
One morning I was woken up by his car starting, and, knowing he didn’t have to work, I wondered where he was off to, so I walked to the window and saw him, and a passenger who was hunched in the car. Not sure if my eyes had deceived me, I never said anything. Turns out later that there was nothing wrong with my 20/20 vision.
Things became problematic when he didn’t come home from work one night. Not only was I frantic with worry, my parents were too. We called his phone numerous times only to be greeted by his voicemail. I went to work that day, totally unable to focus when my mom phoned and said she wanted directions to the house he and Charmaine had shared, the house which she still resided in. Thinking that it was going to be a useless expedition I gave my mother the directions and she found his car parked outside. She phoned and told me and in a rage I stormed up there, with no regard for my job at that moment. If I had had a gun, I would have shot them both. I beat on the door until she opened it and when I asked where he was, she said he’d lent her the car, and that he wasn’t there, but she wasn’t willing to corroborate her lie by letting me in.
That evening he came home quite nonchalant about the whole episode and my parents sat him down stating that he was at least to consider us as a family, if not as his landlords and that such behaviour wouldn’t be tolerated again. Things got better after that, for a while…
I remember a call at work, “Babes, I’m going fishing with Parker out at the dam. See you later. Love you.” Turns out that night he never came home either. Again, with no word, because, “my battery ran flat, and Parker’s phone didn’t have service. It was awful, we nearly froze to death. We weren’t expecting the boat’s engine to give out…”(now you understand the nickname).
Now, I’m a strange person, stupidly naïve maybe, but I will not call you on a suspected lie, until I have enough solid proof to bury you. I’m also someone that people often underestimate.
Shaun went home to his folks in Johannesburg for three weeks and I happened to bump into Parker one Saturday at the mall. He told me that I really should let Shaun “off his leash more, because we haven’t been out since you two became an item…” I mentioned the fishing trip and he looked at me dumbstruck, telling me he had no idea what I was talking about. My first bit of ammunition…
Shaun returned home and immediately put in for some day shifts, because “we need to spend some time together Babes. My mom says I’ve been neglecting you.” He even swapped shifts so that we could go to a rugby test match in Cape Town that weekend. I’d been given the tickets by a client. Looked like the break was just what we’d needed. Absence is supposed to make the heart grow fonder, and it was appearing that this indeed was the case.
The night before we were to leave for Cape Town, friends of his called inviting us over for a barbeque. We went and he got utterly and completely blind-drunk. I wanted to go home and couldn’t find him. His friend, Roger, found him. Passed out. Next to the side of the house. Roger wanted to drive us both home, his fiancé, Rachel would pick him up, but I was too scared there’d be too much racket, and that we wake my folks. So I drove us home. I tried to get Shaun out of the car on my own, but he was dead weight, and to add insult to injury, he threw up all over me.
It cost me having to shower, get dressed and creep upstairs. I left Shaun in the driveway. That morning, miraculously, when I woke up, he wasn’t still in the driveway, but in the bath (where he stayed for hours). I was eventually banging on the door because it was getting late and we had to leave. Cape Town is not around the corner. It is a four hour drive, at best. Eventually after throwing a tantrum, my dad had had enough. He stormed downstairs and threatened to haul Shaun’s scrawny hungover ass out of the bath. He came out, eyes beyond bloodshot and still reeking of stale Johnnie Walker. We drove to Cape Town in silence, watched the rugby and spent the night at friends of mine, who, despite not knowing him, but having been filled in of the situation, went out of their way to make him feel welcome.
The Sunday we returned home, when his phone rang. It was Charmaine, wanting to know why he hadn’t been to fetch her for work. Another thing he’d failed to tell me about. Strike two…
The final nail in the coffin was knocked in not long after that. It was a Sunday morning. Elisha had spent the night because Shaun had worked the previous evening. He came upstairs just after eight telling me that he quickly had to go into work to do some admin and that he wouldn’t be too long. I went downstairs to open his drapes and make his bed when I saw a document lying on the floor. Thinking it was something he needed for work, I opened it. My stomach fell to the floor as I read Charmaine’s letter…how she was putting it in writing that he’d promised to marry her in a year’s time, after he’d saved enough money because he was paying minimal rent, how she’d much rather be making love to him in their bed and not mine, how she was grateful he’d put her back on his medical insurance so that she could get some problems sorted out so they could try for a baby…That.Was.The.LAST.Straw. I stormed upstairs, calm as calm could be, dialled his number and told him, “You have twenty minutes to get back here and get your shit out of my house, or it will be in the street. I found the letter…”
“What letter?! The fucking letter Charmaine gave you, which says you plan to marry her next year because you’re saving on the rent. You’ve taken me for a fool, more than once with your lies, so…twenty minutes!”
“Babes, seriously, I don’t know what you’re talking about! What letter?”
“Twenty minutes Shaun.”
He arrived and stormed straight to the bedroom and began packing his clothes. I threw the letter in his face and we argued. I told him that I knew he’d lied about going fishing with Parker. He looked shocked. Shocked that I’d actually had had the balls to speak to Parker… Then my mom stepped in (my dad was away at work overseas). She is a small woman, only five foot two and she grabbed him around the throat and held hip against the wall. Her eyes were pitch black with rage. Elisha and I had to pry her off of him, because she surely would have killed him. I’ve heard about a mother’s love for her child. I think this is what I witnessed.
He left soon after that. Back into Charmaine’s arms…
It’s been seven years since then, and, guess what?
He and Charmaine are not married. He left her about a year after they got back together, for another girl, and then, fool that I am, I took him back for six months, and then he left me to go to his parents, because he drank himself out of not only one, but two jobs. I’ve heard from friends that he’s engaged to a woman about 15 years older than he is, who has three kids.