Once. Only one time in my life have I been so incredibly drunk that I got sick everywhere and embarrassed the shit out of myself. I would like to take this time to publicly apologize to the girl whose birthday party that was, and don't worry - I completely understand why you haven't invited me to another one since then. Apparently, seven glasses of champagne before 3 pm on a Sunday plus no breakfast makes Kim the least pleasant drunk girl in the whole world.
As such, I vowed never to get disgustingly drunk ever again. Darren made no such promise and it's been three days since I heard from him.
Three. Whole. Days.
He got drunk, said I Love You, threw up everywhere, stormed off in the middle of the night, and hasn't been heard from since. I know that he's alive because his truck moved from the train station to the fire house to his home (not like I'm stalking him or anything...I was just worried! It's not stalking when you care!)
Point of the story is that Darren is alive and well somewhere, but he hasn't called me since the Love / Vomit incident. I am freaking out.
I finally cave and text him "Are you alive?" to which he simply responds "Yes." Well great, thanks for the confirmation. I give up. We've been dating long enough that I deserve something more than the post-intoxicated brush off. I deserve a phone call, a face to face meeting, an apology of some sort. What the fuck is going on here? Where is he??????
Later that night, after I've all but given up on my (as yet unnamed) boyfriend, he texts me "Can we meet? I feel awful." I don't know if he means that he feels physically awful but the alcohol really should've worn off by now. I can only assume he means emotionally awful, which makes me feel a little better, quite honestly. He SHOULD feel terrible for the way he treated me, for the way he acted. I've been crushed for 72 hours, not knowing which way was up. He owes me an explanation.
We meet at a restaurant I've never been to before, but Darren is already sitting at a table towards the back. There's nobody around and he clearly comes here often as the waitress knows what he's gonna order before he orders it. I chose an outfit and make up that made me look sadly beautiful, but not like I made too much of an effort. Not like I want him seeing how much I care.
He stands up to hug me as soon as I walk in. His arms around me feel awkward. The hug is forced, not our usual easy way together. I don't know what's different, but something in him has changed, and I have the sneaking suspicion that it's not for the better.
"What's up?" he asks me, like we were just here to talk about our days or catch up as old friends. "Nothing," I sit back and cross my arms, hoping he can read my defensive body language. "What's up with you?"
"So I guess that you're pretty pissed at me, huh?"
"Gee, what would make you think that?" I ask sarcastically.
"You haven't called in three days," he replies looking a little hurt.
"Me??? I haven't called in three days??? I'm not the one who got shit faced, threw up everywhere, yelled and stormed off into the night. I'm not the one who needs to call and apologize for my inappropriate and offensive behavior."
He takes this all in, processing just how much of a jack ass he must've come off as that night. "I'm sorry," he begins, clearly unaware of just what happened. I wonder if he blacked out completely then, or his brain had just drowned in enough whiskey that he'd forgotten it all.
"I don't remember being that much of a dickhead, but if you say I was, then I was. I'm sorry. I'm sorry, Kim, I really am. I hope you can forgive me for all that. Did I say or do anything particularly stupid or was I just kind of a general pain in the ass?"
"You really don't remember, do you?" I feel my face flush red, not at the memory of how poorly he'd treated me on the way home, but at the idea that he may not recall having said I Love You to me. Suddenly distraught at the notion that it was purely the Jameson talking, and not him. Terrified of reminding him, in case it turns out that Darren doesn't love me after all.
"What? Did I say I loved you or something stupid?" he leans back, laughing, then quickly sits up straight as an arrow when he sees my face change.
Stupid?!?! Loving me is stupid?!?! I feel all the blood drain from my head to my feet, making me feel both light headed and yet insanely heavy. I cannot move. I am stuck to the floor, desperate to run away screaming and not let him see the tears as they start to stream down my face. But I can't. I just sit there with two ginger ales in between us, failing to wipe my salty, wet cheeks. Unable to go yet begging to be somewhere, anywhere else.
"Oh God, I did. I said I love you, didn't I? Kim, I'm sorry, I didn't mean it. I never meant to say I love you. Not because I don't love you. I do. Kind of. Love you. In my own completely fucked up way. I just can't love you. I shouldn't. I don't deserve you. I don't even know why you're with me. This doesn't work. You. Me. Us. It doesn't work. It's stupid and we never should've started and I'm sorry. I don't want to hurt you. I never meant to hurt you. You're the best girl in the whole world and I'm just too messed up to be with you. Trust me when I tell you that you're so much better off without me."
Finally, something I agree with.
I let him ramble on along these lines while I sat at the lonely table in the back of the restaurant, knowing it was coming this whole time but not wanting to admit it. Nobody asks for a date at lunchtime on a weekday, at a table in a section that's not even open yet, unless they're having an affair or breaking up. I was devastated. Nothing could have cheered me up in that moment. Nothing.
"You deserve an explanation. Do you want to hear the truth? Fair warning: it might hurt."
I'm not sure how anything could hurt more than hearing that loving me was stupid, but sure, go ahead and try.
"There's this girl. Megan."
Oh sweet heavens. Please. Please don't tell me there's someone else. Is this why we're not sleeping together? Is this why he refuses to call himself my boyfriend? Is this why loving me is stupid?
"It's not what you think. Megan is not my girlfriend. She's not even really a friend. But she's someone I've been involved with...for quite some time."
What the fuck is he talking about?
"Megan is a dominatrix..." he trailed off, unable to look at me anymore. "She's a professional dominatrix and she's been MY dominatrix for the last several years. We have a very...ummm...intimate relationship."
He's kidding. He's got to be kidding. Right? Am I being punked right now? Ashton Kutcher better jump out from behind the bar any minute because if not, I am going to SCREAM!
"She found out that I was dating you from one of her other partners, and we have a very open relationship, but she was angry with me that I didn't come to her first, so she withheld contact from me this whole time. It's part of the power, the control - her part in the relationship is complete control. We work because we trust each other, I trust her absolutely, she would never do anything to hurt me or push me beyond where I want to go, and she trusts that I will do exactly what she tells me to do. All the time. No questions asked. At first, she didn't tell me not to date you, she just didn't say anything about it, but then as time went on, she told me what to do and what not to do and I know that you were worried about why we---you and I---weren't being physical together. Megan didn't want me being with you in that way. I knew she had her reasons, and I can't question them."
Wait a minute. A professional dominatrix was controlling my relationship from behind the scenes the whole time? The whole fucking time??? What am I, some puppet in their little game?
"Essentially, yes," Darren replied without the slightest hint of irony. "She controls me, my life, my sex life, everything. I want her to. I like it that way."
Oh. My. God. This is 50 Shades of Unreal.
"Anyway, when I started introducing you to my friends and family and saw how much they loved you, I knew I couldn't just walk away from Megan and start a life with you. She means too much to me. Everything we do means so much to me. She gets me, she understands me, she pushes me to do all sorts of crazy, weird, uncomfortable things that nobody else would approve of, nobody else could comprehend. Megan has made me do things to her I wouldn't even speak of in front of you. She does things to me. She has other people do things to me. Women, men, groups of people, all for her pleasure. I am at her whim. I can't help it. I do love you, but a life with you is not possible without Megan in the picture. And you don't want that. You want me all to yourself and so does she. I can't choose between you. She'll make me choose her. I will always have to choose her."
There are some moments in life for which there are no words. This was one of them.
"Megan called me over last night and demanded that I fuck her. A lot."
My mouth dropped open in shock and horror. He'd been with me for so long and we'd never even fooled around, let alone slept together! I was simultaneously offended and grateful for our lack of a physical relationship, thanking the powers that be for no need to get tested after this break up (although it didn't stop me from feeling icky and wanting to scrub my body with hot bleach and a dozen pumice stones!)
"I didn't do it," Darren said, finally looking at me. "I didn't do it, but I know I should have. I disobeyed her and it hurt both of us. It may have ended our relationship by not fucking her last night. But when I was over there, looking at her, all I could picture was your sweet face - looking much like you do right now - how hurt you'd be if you ever found out. So I can't do this anymore. I just can't be with you. You're too good for me and I don't deserve you. You need someone else. Anyone else. I'm sorry, Kim. I do love you but..."
In that instant, that "but," my heart connected with my brain and kicked my feet into high gear. I stood up from the table and walked away as fast as I could, not even looking back. Darren called after me, but I couldn't be anywhere near him, couldn't even bring myself to say goodbye. He'd said enough for both of us. There was nothing left to say.
And that is the story of how a psychic told me I'd meet my soul mate in a bar, he turned out to be my junior high crush, we fell crazy head over heels for each other, I got thrown up on, and was dumped for a professional dominatrix who forced my boyfriend to fuck other men.
I guess there are words after all.