18 Oct Betrayal 1
“The saddest thing about betrayal is that it never comes from your enemies” – unknown
I spent weeks preparing for Lance to come home from deployment. Eating virtually nothing, spending hours in the gym, buying new clothes, underwear, make-up…I wanted to be perfect for him. I wanted to show him how much I missed him.
Not that he couldn’t tell by the way I professed my love for him on social media. Looking back, it was probably hard to tell whether it was my page or his, because I was always posting pictures of him with pseudo-philosophical quotes about love and how we were meant to be together. Meanwhile, it would take a CSI team to even find a trace of me on his page, and nobody important to him even knew I existed. But I was senselessly devoted to him in a way that completely blinded me, and in the back of my mind I always felt I could prove to him that I was worth it. So the day he returned I was ready to do just that…
I stood alone at the ceremony amongst all of the other families that were waiting to welcome their soldiers home. I was able to recognize his family on the opposite side of the room because they were holding signs with his face and name on them; but because they didn’t know who I was, I wasn’t comfortable enough to go and wait with them. His daughter’s mother, however, was sitting comfortably in the midst of everyone that was important to him, and I would be lying if I said that watching her bond with (who I thought were) my future in-laws didn’t make me jealous. But today was the day that everyone would learn how important I was to him and how much he loved me. In my head, when he walked off the plane I would run and jump into his arms and he would kiss me passionately and tell me how much he missed me (you know, typical lifetime movie stuff), but instead he made a b-line for his family, picked up his daughter, and I was still standing there…alone. Eventually I walked over to him, rationalizing that he probably didn’t see me. When he did, he greeted me with an unenthusiastic “Hey” and a side-ways church hug. All I could do was try to maintain a smile and posture that didn’t outwardly express the way I was inwardly feeling.
The hour that followed our greeting was awkward, to say the least. I felt like the new kid at school that didn’t really know where to stand or who to talk to. I kept trying to be around but not in the way, and I wanted desperately for someone to speak to me so that I could at least look like I belonged there. That time never really came, and after taking some forced, buddy-like pictures with Lance, he left and went home with his family. He lived about an hour away from where we were and I expected that once he made it home he would call me and I would meet him at his house (or somewhere) later that night. I was trying to respect the fact that he hadn’t seen his family, primarily his children, in nearly a year and understood they needed some quality time together. But I needed quality time too; I was just going to have to wait to get it…again.
12 hours later…I still hadn’t heard anything from Lance. Not a text, call, or Facebook message. Needless to say, I went to bed heartbroken. I never imagined I’d be sleeping alone that night; and none of my expectations for that day had been met. I had been waiting on this man for nearly 12 months, and when he got home I was still waiting.
The next morning started off very early for me with a noise I had grown quite accustomed to during Lance’s deployment. My phone chimed with the Facebook Messenger notification, which was the primary method of communication he and I used while he was away. Only partially awake, I reached for my phone ready to read whatever excuse Lance had come up with as to why he hadn’t contacted me the night before. But it wasn’t Lance on the other end of that message. It was a woman, my eyes skimmed over the message and my heart sank as I read:
“Bonita you are a very sweet person and you deserve the best. I can’t keep quiet anymore, Lance is playing you. I wanted to tell you a while ago, but he told me you wouldn’t believe me anyways…”
To make a long and very painful conversation short I’ll summarize: I asked how she knew he’d been unfaithful, and she said she was the one he was being unfaithful with. She told me about conversations they’d had about marriage, gifts he’d sent her while he was deployed, sexual plans they’d made for his return, and worst of all she was the reason I hadn’t heard from him the night before. I asked for screenshots of their conversations, she provided them (don’t you just love modern-day technology?) and then she offered me an apology that I really had no use for. Oddly enough, I felt as if she was sincere, but “I’m sorry” holds absolutely no weight with a woman who feels like she’s been kicked in the stomach.
So I did exactly what I’m sure you expected I’d do…I blew his phone up until he answered (had I known where he was I would’ve popped up). He answered disheveled by my 6 am phone call and somehow managed to understand what I was saying through my heavy sobs and yelling. As I told him the details of the conversation I had with her, he vehemently denied any of it was true and although he admitted to being with her the night before he said they were not intimate. He said that the conversations I’d read were taken out of context and assured me he had no feelings for her, especially not to the extent of marriage. Backed up against the wall, and wanting so badly to believe him, I demanded that if he was telling the truth give me the password to his Facebook account so I can read the messages for myself.
And guess what…he did! While he was on the phone I pulled up his account on my Ipad and began to scroll through his messages. I felt like a weight had been lifted off my chest because he gave me the information so easily, he didn’t even resist once, so surely he had nothing to hide…right?
Once again, my assumption is wrong. I started to notice that his inbox was full of women I’d never seen or heard of before. I started reading each thread individually and seriously thought I was going to throw up. There were about a dozen women that he was communicating with, and the content of each message seemed like he took excerpts straight from Zane books. I read what he wanted to do to each woman (and how he would do it to them) in utter disbelief. Partially because I had no clue he was that creative, and mainly because I didn’t understand how someone I’d been so devoted to could have such little regard for me.
What started off as one woman reaching out to me about my boyfriend’s infidelity, turned into this colossal nightmare that I wasn’t expecting. I wasn’t prepared to handle that. I was supposed to be celebrating the return of my boyfriend that just safely made it home from war; instead, a war of my own was just getting started.