So, Horsefly was out of my apartment. His toothbrush was disposed of in accordance with federal rules governing the handling of biohazard materials. I mailed his other random forgotten bits en masse to his mother’s house, to counteract any excuse of his to stop by to retrieve it.
A couple of days later, an email: “Hey, I bought a plane ticket to San Francisco, will you meet me at the airport to say goodbye?” I replied “No… enjoy your trip.”
A couple of days after that, he called me. “Um, I didn’t actually fly to San Francisco. I’ve been living in my car since I left. Can I come over and use your shower?”
(Wow. How else can a guy follow up the arousing maneuver of pretending to lease an apartment? By pretending to leave on an airplane, of course. I wonder, if I had met him at the airport, how far he would have taken the ruse? We will never know.)
“But I really need a shower.”
“Then get a hotel room!” I hung up.
A week later, he called to tell me he really did lease an apartment, and he was so glad he did. “Great,” I responded.
“So, do you want to go Goodwill shopping with me to get house stuff?”
“No,” I said flatly.
The next few weeks, he either called or emailed every day to invite me out to this or that. I said no every time. Finally, I emailed him that I wanted no more contact with him, and I would not respond to his calls or emails again.
For TEN WEEKS after that, he continued to call or email almost every day, and often several times a day in rapid succession. I never answered the phone, but always read the emails to track his trajectory of crazy. He claimed to have had a nervous breakdown with “stevear depression,” and was currently being medicated after a brief hospitalization. (I have no idea is this is true. It might also be another lie carefully crafted to increase his desirability, like the fake plane ride and fake lease.) Once he informed me one of my favorite movies was being played one night only in town, then emailed me later that he went there to look for me. Twice he told me he would wait for me at a local cafe at a certain time in case I wanted to meet him there. I made sure to avoid the entire neighborhood that entire day.
His crazygrams changed to romantic movie synopses, religious meanderings, and plans to beach himself at my front doorstep until I gave up and took him back. Then one rainy afternoon, I happened to look out the window for lightning, to see him lumbering umbrella-less and soggy toward my apartment. I raced to the door to make damn sure it was locked and chained. Then I called the police as he knocked. It sounded like he stayed at my door, sighing and waiting, for about ten minutes before he gave up and drove away. (I felt foolish calling the police, and called them back to withdraw the request for assistance. I should have just cussed him out through the door.)
It probably wouldn’t have mattered what I did, because later that day, he emailed me, “I know you were home. The fact that you didn’t answer the door proves you still have feelings for me.”
So I requested a restraining order, and catalogued all the times he tried to contact me after I quit talking to him completely. Thankfully, once the Order request was forwarded to him, HE QUIT. (as far as I know… I also deleted my email address that night.)
Fast forward to the court date. He sat by himself in the courtroom, reading a book. Our case was last. We were the only two people in the room besides the judge.
“Ma’am, how many times did he try to contact you after you requested no contact?”
“More than sixty.”
“Sixteen, did you say?”
“No, your Honor. 6-0.” I handed him a stack of call histories and creepy emails.
He looked impressed. Then he peered sternly down at Horsefly. Horsefly looked back, sheepish.
“Son, do you understand that you need to leave her alone, and your relationship is over?”
“Yes, your honor.”
“Do you understand that if I grant this restraining order, your employer will be notified, and it will go on your criminal record?”
“Yes, your honor.”
Since Horsefly hadn’t tried to call me since the Order was filed, the judge denied the request, to spare Horsefly possible termination of employment. He warned Horsefly that all I had to do was call his office and he would immediately sign the restraining order. He asked me if that was acceptable.
“Yes, your Honor… may I please be given a head start to my car before he leaves the courtroom?”
“Yes, you may. I want to have a little chat with him anyway. You are excused.”
I rushed out of there with a sense of relief and twinge of the heeby-jeebies. I’m happy to report that since that day, I have neither heard nor seen Horsefly.
Except a few months ago, he looked me up on LinkedIn.
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