People often ask, “Would you rather cry in a Range Rover or laugh on a bicycle?” It sounds like a hypothetical question to many people until it becomes your reality in ways you didn’t imagine it happening. Phoebe was no different.
Phoebe met Dan, and sparks flew instantly. He was charismatic with a huge personality. When Dan gave you attention, nothing else mattered at that moment. He had a way of making someone feel special, seen and wanted. Dan made Phoebe start envisioning the big house, marriage, kids running around – the whole shebang. Suddenly, she started seeing wedding gowns and baby names. He felt at home. She didn’t know she could love someone as deeply as she loved Dan.
He was good to her. Ever the listener, he made her feel heard and supported. His financial power also made it easy for him to give her nice things and take her to lovely places. He was the kind of guy you begged your ancestors’ intervention for, and Phoebe felt so lucky that she missed the first red flag.
They had been dating for five months without any significant quarrels. Dan had already made plans with his friends when they had their first major fight. One of his friends had invited them to his place for a cookout, so although they weren’t on good terms, Dan insisted that they honour their commitment. They went to the friend’s place. Dan bonded with the boys while Phoebe found company in the girlfriends of the boys. Interacting with others helped them avoid each other and hide their tension for a while. However, they could only avoid each other for so long.
Later that night, everybody came together, and guys started coupling up. Dan had to stay with Phoebe. They were playing charades and happened to be on the same team. Dan was very competitive, and when Phoebe gave a vague illustration resulting in them losing that round of the game, he made a mean comment. Phoebe got angry and stormed out of the room.
Everyone looked at Dan expecting him to go after her and apologize, but instead, he said, “Let her go; she’ll come back.” They continued playing the game. Phoebe stayed outside for about thirty minutes before one of Dan’s friends checked on her. Dan was busy playing games inside. It was cold outside, and Phoebe was thankful to Dan’s friend for the gesture, so she returned inside.
Dan didn’t acknowledge her presence until it was time to leave.
The journey home was quiet, and when they got to Dan’s house, Phoebe went straight to bed. When Dan tried to start a conversation, she pretended to be asleep. She was still angry in the morning and expressed her feelings to him. Dan gave her a half-assed apology to squash the fight and offered to upgrade her phone. Phoebe was happy with the outcome; little did she know that this was the start of a pattern.
A few weeks later, they had another fight. Dan was particular about cleaning his bedding after intercourse, including the duvet. Phoebe didn’t have a problem with doing the cleaning because she would load the clothes in the washing machine. However, there were no lights on this day, and she needed to go to work. Dan was on leave, so she assumed that Dan would do it once the power supply was back.
Instead, Dan threw a fit about her leaving without cleaning up and insinuating she had a more significant responsibility in making the mess. A confused Phoebe asked him, “What do you mean I have a larger responsibility? Did I have the pleasure alone?” Dan accused her of being rude while she argued that he was being unreasonable. The fight ended with Dan accusing her of being a woman who didn’t care about hygiene. She was so hurt that she didn’t speak to him for the next two days.
This time Dan showed up at Phoebe’s place with plane tickets to Lamu and a reservation to a villa for a weekend. He even joked that at least there, they didn’t have to fight over who was supposed to do the cleaning. With the luxury apology, peace prevailed in their relationship again.
A few weeks later, Dan invited Phoebe to spend quality time. He had been busy with work, so they hadn’t spent enough time together in a while. He even suggested that he would cook his speciality for her. Phoebe went to his place excitedly. As they were chilling, waiting for the evening to prepare the dish together, Dan’s friend called, saying he was in the neighbourhood at a mutual friend’s place. Dan excused himself to see him quickly and then come back.
He left at around four in the evening. At six o’clock, Phoebe texted him, but she got grey ticks for a response. Another hour went by, then another and another one until it was some minutes to midnight. That was when Dan came back.
“How far are you with the cooking?” He asked Phoebe.
“Nowhere, you were the one to do it,” Phoebe answered him.
“How old are you? So you’ve been seated waiting for me to come cook?” Dan asked angrily.
Dan got angry and drove off to get food. He came back with three chicken pieces. It was clear that he brought enough food for himself. Phoebe got angry and decided to request an Uber ride home, but Dan forbade her from leaving the house at that hour of the night. She decided to sleep on the couch, to which Dan said, “Since you’re being stubborn, enjoy your night with the mosquitoes, I’m going to bed.” She left at 7 in the morning.
What was supposed to be a fantastic weekend together had turned into a night of anger, hunger and uncomfortable sleep since she fought mosquitoes all night. She didn’t speak to him for a whole week. That was the longest she had ever gone without speaking to him. He got alarmed and apologized to her with dinner at an expensive restaurant and a large sum of money.
Over time, things got worse between them. There was a particular female friend who hung out with Dan and his friends that Phoebe didn’t quite like. She suspected that something was going on between Dan and her. After arguing with Dan about her, they met his friends, and Dan invited the girl. The girl came later than everyone else and insisted on sitting beside Dan. Phoebe got angry and left the table to take a walk outside.
Once again, Dan said there was no need to go after her because he knew how to handle her, and she would be back. Phoebe returned inside minutes later, only to find them whispering and giggling. This time she took her belongings and left. As expected, Dan let her go. He didn’t call or text her until the following day. He accused her of being dramatic. Phoebe got angry and hung up on him, then blocked him.
This time he brought her designer clothes and perfumes three weeks later. That was after he had sent her money, and she had refunded it. He pleaded with her for forgiveness, but she was finally done with the humiliation.
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