There she was. In a teeny-tiny Viking costume. I shouldn’t have clicked on her name but I did. Now I had an almost-naked visual to go along with his handful of stories about her. It didn’t matter how many times he told me she didn’t support his career or believe in his talent or care about his happiness. All I could focus on was how she made a lot of money and how tan she was and how below that picture of her in her teeny-tiny Viking costume was a comment: “TC likes this.” My stomach rose up in protest.
“We don’t talk,” he had told me once. “She texted me a couple weeks ago to come get some of my stuff and I told her to throw it away. Trust me, I have no interest in keeping in touch with my ex’es.” I had heard this same speech before from E. and then found out a year later he was telling his own ex that he loved her the whole time. And now here was my first red flag from TC. I couldn’t let it go.
“Are you home?”
“No, what’s up?”
“Just wanted to ask you something.”
“It can wait, call me when you get home.”
“No, I hate that. What is it?”
I was trembling. I knew he would be so angry. Didn’t I trust him? Why would I snoop into his past? Why would I be digging on Facebook? How did I even know who she was anyway? But it didn’t matter. If I didn’t ask now it would bubble up inside of me, constantly marinating, churning, stewing until one night after a few drinks I’d scream out, “I know you’re still in touch with her! I saw her Facebook picture!”
I tried to explain as rationally as I could. “I clicked on your ex’s profile. I shouldn’t have, but I did and I saw this slutty picture of her that you liked. And it really bothered me.” He began his typically rational speech. They are not in touch. They had an amicable breakup a year and a half ago, and every once in awhile he gets a text from her saying hello. He saw the picture on Facebook of a cute girl in a tiny outfit and he clicked like. That was all. She texted him afterward to say she saw his comment and hoped everything was going well. “We had a good relationship. We broke up over my career, and we both knew it was the best idea. We’re different people now and I don’t really like the person she’s turned into. I don’t like how she treats me or who she’s become, and I’m not attracted her anymore; emotionally, physically, or sexually. At all. But I hope she’s happy.” I had nothing else to say.
When do I start to really believe in this? When do I start to feel secure in this, in us? When he says I’m different, how long until I actually hear it?
He called back half an hour later. I anticipated anger. You know, Lauren, this REALLY pisses me off! But instead I got a quiet voice.
“Are you okay?”
“I’m fine.” And I meant it.