There’s bound to be several opinions with the title of this article. How could you not know? When you found out why’d you push to continue? Once a cheater always a cheater… right? It’s probably the most controversial position you can have in a relationship; the “mistress,” the “other woman,” the “side chick.” I never categorized myself under any of those positions because I honestly had no clue for the majority of the relationship. Most that end up in the situation see signs, clues, or have a gut feeling, an intuition. I was naïve and apparently wearing a very high end pair of rose colored glasses because now looking back, there were signs, plenty of them but I missed them…by a long shot.
I was lying on the floor of a friend’s apartment, eyes closed, singing softly along to Love is a Losing Game by Amy Winehouse. How did I end up in this apartment, on the floor, singing a song that I felt was the narrative to my love life you ask? I was young and searching for something new. Left my hometown, drove four hours north to explore a new city, crashed with friends while I made the decision on whether I wanted to make the move to this “new place”. So here I am, about 3 days into my journey, at this friend’s house, on the floor when two guys my age walk in, I quickly learn that they’re best friends, they’re my age. One is my friend’s cousin; the other was in town for the week doing the same as me, exploring a new city in the hopes of moving away from our hometown, Miami.
I waved hello and continued on with my sing-a-long, now with my eyes open when moments pass and the best friend was singing along as well to a song by Amy Winehouse that was unreleased in the US at the time. I looked at him in shock, only because he wasn’t dressed the part of what I considered someone who listens to Amy Winehouse. He was wearing a Puma hat, an Aeropostale shirt, and ripped jeans. He was tall, dark, handsome, and (my weakness) Dominican. I was hooked from that moment on.
By the end of the night we exchanged numbers, we continued the party at another friend’s house with tons of drinking and jumping in the pool. Under the influence we exchanged kisses and had a wonderful night dancing to Spanish music, enjoying ourselves.
Later on that week after seeing each other a handful of times throughout the week, I asked him to take the ride back home to Miami with me. We used the four hour ride to our advantage and got to know all we could about one another. Once we were minutes from our houses, he had me stop at his “favorite spot” on the beach, we talked for a few more hours on the sand and then I dropped him off. We were home for a week, seven days that went with minimal texts, minimal calls, and no time spent together. When the end of the week came, I drove back up to Orlando as did he in his own car. That’s when the communication continued as it did the first week.
This went on for months; we would spend days, nights, and weekends together. Go on several dates but the weekends we made it down to Miami to visit “friends and family” went without communication. I never let it get the best of me. I just let the relationship flourish, or so I thought that’s what was happening. He was claiming me in front of all his friends, as was I. We were an item.
Fourth of July we decided to stay in Orlando, we all drove to New Smyrna Beach with all our friends in tow. We had a wonderful time. Made it home and I (mentally) prepared to spend the night with him as I usually did, when he suddenly said “No, I’m sorry, not tonight.” I was beyond confused but stayed quiet, said okay as he stayed home and I went out with what had become our mutual friends for dinner. The fact that he skipped out on a Buffalo Wild Wings dinner was a blow to the heart. I knew that there was something very wrong with the situation. After a few drinks his friends started to develop some tension towards me, after a few more drinks, I learned that his girlfriend of over a year was heading up to Orlando for the long holiday weekend.
During the ride back to his and his friend’s apartment I was very quiet, I agreed that all I wanted to do was get in my car and head to the opposite side of town to my own apartment. I made it upstairs to grab my keys and my belongings when I walked in to see him lying on the couch. I whispered “Just grabbing my keys” while holding back tears, he looked at me and said, “What’s wrong?” That’s when WWIII broke out. The yelling, the screaming, the tears, he was beyond angry with his friends, that’s when I learned that everyone knew….. but me. He yelled at them, exclaiming that they opened their mouths for nothing because his girlfriend had cancelled her trip up. After an hour of arguing I finally left towards home but left my stuff behind in haste. I returned the next morning to grab my things, but as any other girl with a broken heart, couldn’t keep my feelings to myself. This ended in him throwing our pictures at the wall and sending me on my way.
So there I was, after months of giving my heart, cooking dinners, being the best girlfriend I could be to only find out that I was the mistress. I was the other woman. I was the side chick. I had no idea. Then the unthinkable happened, he moved back to Miami, confessed to her and suddenly I had my AIM (AOL instant messenger) receiving the worst, most hurtful messages from his girlfriend. She knew everything and had access to everything, every conversation he and I shared via IM, text, and e-mail. She had every picture I had ever sent him at her disposal, the good, the bad, and the inappropriate.
This wasn’t a position I chose nor was it a position I was aware I was playing. I was naïve even though several signs were there. I should’ve know during every one of his 18 communication-less trips down to Miami, during the sessions that he kept his laptop hidden, or the late night “let me take this call” occurrences. This was a position that I never let go for five years. I still hold on to it and never forget the heartache it caused. I’ve let every man between then and now suffer the consequences for that pain I felt. So ladies, just a heads up, a lot of us (I’m sure I’m not the only one) have no idea that we are hurting someone; we would never (in our right minds) put ourselves in a position where we are bound to crumble.