Five years ago I was working at a prison. Actually, 5 years ago I was driving halfway across the state to stay in a hotel room for 3 days a week, and work 3 nights a week at a maximum security prison. It may have been on of the most interesting jobs I’ll ever have.
Where else can a nurse tell the patient to “Shut up, or I’ll have you put in Seg?” I mean generally, as a nurse it’s all “yes sir, no sir, I understand sir, No you’re right sir.” But at a prison, sigh, you can actually tell people to take a hike.
Granted you kind of have to do that nicely, or else they like to use words like Legal Aid, and Sue. You get a tough skin pretty quick working in the big house. You also tend to get smart, to the ways of an inmate.
That doesn’t always transfer well to the real world however. I was either to hardnosed for most men, or I’d end up completely going against instinct in others. This is one of the latter times.
I’d been off and on the dating sites for a while at this point. I’d started on Weight Watchers and had lost about 30lbs already. I was looking much better than I had in a while, and my self-confidence was at an all-time high.
It was around this time that something was bound to happen to take me down a few pegs. I received a message from the first guy I ever dated. Actually no, but he was the first guy that I had approval to date, I’d been 16, we’d went riding around for a few hours, and then I went back home, It was a pretty lame first date.
I’m sure I’ll talk about that adventure more at another date, but this post is strictly about what happened 5 years ago, The time I lost most of my ability to trust.
His message was short, sweet, and to the point. “Hi, I was thinking of you the other day, and then you showed up on my potential matches, I’d like to get together and hang out again.”
A million and eighty-two reasons popped into my head at the same time, some good, some bad, and some ludicrous. I debated for about a week before replying and then it was one word, and only two letters.
It took approximately 2 seconds for EX-Prime to respond. I received a phone number, and I called it. We talked for about two hours, catching up. I’m not sure how it took two hours, when we dated three times, ten years prior, but somehow it did. We made plans to hang out on a Wednesday, the middle of my four day weekend, and I called it a night.
Wednesday came and I drove down to the hometown, to meet him at the burger joint we’d both worked at as teens. He made a pass at apologizing for being an idiot back then, and we rode around for a while just enjoying each other. I think there was a walk in the park, and he talked of his ex-wife, and his child and how he doesn’t get to see his daughter much.
He bought dinner, and filled my tank, and we still weren’t done talking so for some reason he rode back to my current city with me. I didn’t realize then that the date would last until my next trip out to work.
But nothing happened.
That should have been my first clue. But I was clueless.
I dropped him off on my way to work, and headed out. I was stressed, I had five hours until work, had to get to the hotel and check in, then shower, change, and head to work, add in I’d went through the hometown again, it added another hour on my trek.
This was going to be tricky.
Somehow, I managed to make it in time. I must have flown on the wings of the batplane, but I did it.
Before I knew it, or at least before YOU know it, it was Monday. I was home, my bubblebath drawn up with the bubbles about nose level. I’d been in the lovely wet heat for about 10 minutes when my phone rang.
No one called me during the day, (that holds true now for the most part as I work nights again). Well, at least on Monday, no one called during the day. They figured I’d be sleeping, but generally they were wrong.
There was one time where I was so tired, it was so cold outside, and my air conditioner must have gotten bumped by the suitcase on the way out, because when I got home it was 258 billion degrees. The sun was cooler than my apartment. I turned on the fan on the little window unit, and lay down on the couch to watch “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas,” and woke up with frost bite.
But I digress, my phone was ringing, I was dripping with water as I thrashed around in the bath trying to jump up to retrieve it. Of course, you’ve likely guessed, there was no emergency; my grandmother hadn’t broken her hip; my best friend hadn’t been hit by a passing torpedo; and the sun was still securely In the sky. It was of course, Ex-Prime.
Ex-Prime: “Hey! What are you doing this week?” I’m sure I must have bit or chewed my tongue for a few seconds, because the first thought that came to mind probably sounded more like a zombie on The Walking Dead.
Me: “Nothing that I know of, why? Anything good on your end?” There I’d managed to sound less like an angry horde of zombies and more like a normal woman on a day off.
Ex-Prime: “Well I was thinking if you weren’t busy later in the week we could hang out again.” Lord help me, him and his ‘hanging out.’ But let’s be honest, I had no other offers at that time, so I sure (Ok say it with me)
Me: “Sure Why not”
Wednesday came again, and he knocked at my door. It was a welcome surprise, as I assumed I’d have to go pick him up again. We watched silly movies, and played Xbox until late afternoon on Thursday.
That’s when the unthinkable happened. He yawned. No that wasn’t it, but when he yawned, he opened his mouth wide enough that his jaw unhinged. He managed to dislocate his damn jaw, and it would not go back into place.
Two hospitals later, two sets of films saying that it was back into place, 350 miles placed on my car, and a passed out Ex-prime in my seat I got lost. Horribly, turned around, and ended up adding another 200 miles to the round trip total. I finally made it home, and debated on having him sleep in the car, but I’m not heartless.
The next day was an “oh shit, it’s work. I have to do WORK” day. I grabbed my dog, I woke Ex-prime up, and gave him the ultimatum. He could walk home, or go to work with me. I didn’t have time for both. I dropped the dog off at the sitters, and we were off like a rocket.
He would stay In the hotel, do whatever he wanted as long as my bed was clean to sleep in when I got off in the morning. He could play on my laptop, I didn’t care, just let me sleep.
Things were fine the first two days. I’d get back ‘home’ to the hotel, we’d eat breakfast, he’d play online all day, then I’d go to work and he’d likely get shitfaced at the bar, and crawl back to my room. I didn’t ask, and I didn’t care.
By day three I didn’t much care if he fell off the face of the earth, and I wasn’t sure if it was because I was exhausted or if it was because I just couldn’t stand the guy. I noticed my gas light came on as I pulled into the hotel parking lot, I went to the room, and Ex-Prime was gone.
I couldn’t find my debit card.
The first thing I did, before completely losing my shit, was to log onto the internet with shaking hands, to check my balance at the bank. Yep. I was right. The asshole had stolen my card, and hit two separate ATMS back home, while I was at work 3 hours away.
I had 5 dollars to my name, half a pack of cancer-sticks, I was pissed, and wanted more than anything to take about twelve anxiety pills and just make my heart stop racing so fast. What I did was walk into the lobby, right passed a good friend who worked the desk, into the restaurant, and went and spoke with the cook and server. We settled on a price for food, and I ate slowly, deliberately, while fighting back tears.
SuperDeskWoman saunters over and being her usual jovial self smiled at me and asked how I was doing. Everything burst out like the chest scene in Alien. For the next fifteen minutes until I could call the bank she did what any good friend would do, she hugged me and we started plotting ways to make this guy’s life a living hell.
We made a plan.
- Call the bank
- Call the cops
- Make him go to jail for being an absolute douche.
I seriously, almost remember a list. She was no normal plain Jane however, she was SuperDeskWoman, and had already called her SuperCop husband, to take the report. The bank was unbelievably helpful, cancelling the card right there, and promising if I pressed charges (IF?! Are you crazy? Of course I’m pressing charges) Ex-Prime would be liable for any and all overdraft charges on my account. (He’d already thrown me more than 300 in the hole).
I filed the first of two criminal cases with SuperCop, who super awesomely handed me 20 dollars from his wife, so I could go home. Then I gathered my things, and though I needed sleep more than anything drove home on the simple high that I was going to make that asshole pay for everything he did.
The second charge was filed at home where the bank was located. Within a week I received an email from the bank and the police asking to identify the man in the ATM picture that used my card. By that time it was out of my hands, the bank would prosecute, and I could go back to my normal life, I hope that he was slammed with at least a misdemeanor, though by the time it was over the overdrafts totaled well over a thousand dollars.
I can’t say that I didn’t hope he’d end up in the prison in which I worked, but I’d have done the right thing and explained I couldn’t give care to that inmate, because I couldn’t care less for him.
I don’t trust near as easily now days, it takes a lot to earn my trust, and very little to lose it. It’s probably also why I online date, because I get some control In it. I pick the when, the where, the how long. They might be horrible dates, but at least I don’t generally get robbed blind.