Every time I go on a date, I always find myself thinking about Jeanette and how she met her ex-husband, Patrick. During their early days of dating, I was in so much awe of their relationship. She loved telling the story of how they met and no matter how many times I had heard the story I never quite got over how romantic it was. However, the reason I keep thinking about her and Patrick is that after finding out the truth behind their encounter, happily ever after has always felt like a far-fetched concept.
Jeanette had the worst luck when it came to dating. Do you know those characters in movies who always go on dates but never seem to meet a good man? That was Jeanette. During our early twenties, we lived together to avoid extra costs because life was hard on both of us. Jeanette always went through the same system. She would doll herself up, order an Uber, and leave with so much hope. A few hours later, she would come back crying and start drinking before telling me what went wrong.
A day or two later she would go back to Tinder and attempt to find someone new to engage with. This went on for months until one day she came back from a date and went straight to her room. An hour later she came back to the living room in her silk pajamas and sat next to me smiling.
“I see Newton ended up being a good one,” I said.
“Nope he stood me up,” She replied.
“Then why are you smiling like you just won a jackpot?” I asked.
“I walked into the restaurant and decided to sit by the bar so Newton could easily spot me. We had agreed to meet up at 7:30 pm but by 8 pm he hadn’t showed so I decided to call him. He didn’t pick up all three times imagine?” She replied.
“Wait you called him three times consecutively?” I asked.
“Yes! You know how anxious I get when I’m in a public place by myself,” She replied.
“Okay go on,” I said.
“I waited for an hour then when I was just about to leave this guy approached me. He wasn’t my usual type, but we had such an amazing time. We had dinner as we talked then afterwards, he took me for drinks and Karaoke,” She said in a happy tone.
“Aww, how did he even know you liked Karaoke?” I asked.
“I don’t know but singing with him made me feel so happy to the point that I forgot about Newton,” She said.
“That’s amazing, so are you going to see him again?” I asked.
“Yes, I’m going out with him again next weekend. I feel like my luck is about to change for real,” She said.
“I’m so happy for you,” I replied.
True to her words, her luck did change. Patrick ended up being the boyfriend she had always dreamed of. Their relationship eventually led to marriage and Jeanette felt hopeful about their future together.
Unfortunately, their moment of bliss was short-lived. The longer they stayed together, the more problems they seemed to have. Whenever they were out and about mingling with people all seemed well. They would portray themselves as a happy couple but behind closed doors it was constant fighting and silent treatment.
Nevertheless, Jeanette remained hopeful that things would eventually work out. They kept up the facade until the day Patrick revealed information that changed her whole outlook on love. Jeanette worked from home and Patrick was almost always travelling because of work. One day, he came back home from a trip and as Jeanette was going down the stairs to greet him, she noticed that he was on a call.
Judging from the way he was talking she could tell that his best friend, Liam, was on the other end of the call. Liam was complaining about the lady he was dating and expressing how he didn’t feel a connection to her. The story seemed interesting at first but quickly went south. At some point, Patrick ended up telling Liam that he once forced a date with a lady, and she didn’t end up being as great as he thought she would be.
Jeanette knew that she had a habit of jumping to conclusions, so she decided to keep listening. Patrick explained everything about their first meetup in detail. However, in his point of view, it wasn’t the fairytale story she had told her friends and family. The moment he wrapped up his call she walked into the living room in rage.
“So, you made me believe that you were this amazing hero but all this time you played me?’ She asked.
“I never said I was the hero of the story. You added that part to the story,” He replied casually.
“That doesn’t answer my question, Patrick. You catfished me then showed up and made me believe that my date stood me up,” Jeanette said.
“There was no way you would have fallen for a guy like me, and you know it!” Patrick snapped.
“So, you thought it would be better to use someone else’s photo and details to get to know me then show up and talk to me like you were empathetic about my situation?” She asked.
“Honestly it was just a social experiment. I didn’t have any bad intentions,” He said.
“So, I was nothing but a lab rat to you? Did you ever plan to tell me about what happened on that day?” Jeanette asked.
“It was a simple lie and it got us this far, didn’t it?” He said.
“To a marriage that is full of fights, and you being stuck with a woman who didn’t turn out to be as great as you thought?” She asked.
Patrick approached her and attempted to hold her hand, but she pulled away.
“That’s not what I meant, listen it was just a small lie, and I honestly didn’t think you would go for a guy like me,” He said.
Jeanette’s eyes started to tear up and she didn’t know what to say. What made the situation even worse was realizing that Patrick didn’t even love her. He had created this perfect image of her in his mind and after all the arguments and fights she wasn’t worth it anymore. In as much as the lie hurt, the way he described her to Liam hurt more and he didn’t even seem apologetic.
She quietly went back upstairs, and they didn’t talk for the rest of the day. The silent treatment went on for a couple of days and eventually, Patrick travelled again. However, the next time he came home she was not there. They had argued so many times, but he never thought that she would leave, now that the house was silent, the realization of what he had done hit him. Unfortunately, it was too late. The constant fights, silent treatments, the truth about the past and his feelings about her had weighed Jeanette down and it was finally time to let go.
Jeanette was used to crying whenever she told me stories about men hurting her. This time it was different; she didn’t cry but there was something off. From the sound of her voice, I could tell that she was broken. The whole story with Patrick made it difficult for her to trust men for a long time after the divorce.
This story was inspired by a story shared on Twitter which you can find here
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