My insides were tight as I walked down the hill towards my apartment complex’s gym. The Neighbor’s car has been outside of his building the last week and a half around 9 am; what if he saw me walk past as he left for work? What if his new later hours meant he was in the gym??
I decided to chance it because I so badly need to run and lose myself in sweat and burning muscles and possibly tears.
His car was there just as I’d dreaded.
I punched in the gate code to the pool and pulled it open. The reflections on the gym windows on the other side of the deck shimmered with leaves. As I approached I saw the handles on an elliptical moving swiftly. I froze.
I moved to my right, just so, to see the shape of the person on the machine and it appeared to be a closely cropped male head. He’s grown his hair back from bald, I knew that much.
I moved to my left to confirm and could still only barely make out a thick-ish shape, but it was enough. I couldn’t make my feet move one more inch forward. I turned on my heel and sped out. Fuck this shit.
I sat on the retaining wall by the mailboxes hoping he’d either be right behind me and headed up to his apartment or prove I was completely paranoid and drive by in his car. Neither happened.
I sat there, feet dangling, and fought tears. I just want him to go the fuck away already. It’s been 18 motherfucking months and I feel like a prisoner in my own home. Why is he still here?? He makes plenty of money — a move would be absolutely feasible. I can’t leave. I have a child whom calls this home and I don’t have the funds.
Why did he stalk me on AFF every week? Why did he use my 2-and-a-half-year old Venmo invitation to join when he refused for months when we were together (Venmo is a banking app where you can easily transfer money to your friends who use it, too, and leave funny memos, such as he did for a beautiful co-worker, “You know what this is for…”)?! Why did he take that woman to my gym class?? Why did he want to be my friend?? Why didn’t he let me dump him all those times I tried?? Why did he follow me here?? Why won’t he go away???
Why why why????
I’ve deleted his number out of my phone, I got off of Fetlife a year ago when I saw he was using photos I took of him as his new profile pic, blocked him on FB and AFF and even fucking Venmo so I don’t have to see why the hot girl and him are passing money back and forth. I hold my breath every time I come home and leave, check my mail, go to the pool, and now I’m afraid of my own gym.
I am so very fucking tired of this. So, so tired. I don’t know how much longer I can take this.
I feel like I’m drowning, though I am the strongest swimmer I know. How is this happening to me?? I’ve done everything right, taken all the right medicines. I’ve kept my head held high, left him alone, moved on, worked hard to feel better, find a new friend and lover, invested more in my writing and this life, focused harder on mothering.
I have done it all and yet because he’s immutable I am stuck being forced to go around the steaming pile of shit that is his existence at the very gate of my life. The very gate!
I’m glad to see that his life is so easy that the thought of moving hasn’t occurred to him. I know what he tells himself; he says, “I’m too lazy.” It’s what he told me when I raged at him for updating his age on AFF while we were together, but not adding the fact that he had a girlfriend like I’d nearly begged him to do months before. “I’m lazy, Hy!” he yelled back. Mmhm. “Lazy.”
He doesn’t see me, nor is he reminded in any way of my existence, and he told me many times over when he’d be critical of me noticing whether his car was home or not that he never thought of my proximity. Well, good for fucking you, you ignorant asshole. Unlike you, I’m aware of my surroundings.
I can feel the prick of tears, the weight in my chest.
I need to run. I’m going back down again. Maybe I’ll get further this time.
I wish a giant hole would open up under him and he’d disappear forever and get the fuck out of my life for good.