In Do You Want My Wacky Love, I introduced you to Stephen. Today’s WordPress topic ‘Describe the one who got away‘ is about him.
Stephen and I met for the first time in a bar, back in 1984, where this tall lean man introduced me to salsa and merengue. No, that’s not something to eat, it is dancing! We had big fun and talked and laughed ’till deep in the night. The next day, Stephen called my number. He came to our student house and again he made me laugh. Things got deeper and there I was, in a relationship with an exotic, black man.
The first year was magical. Crazy rap performances in discotheques – I still can match Sugar Hill Gang’s Rapper’s Delight word for word, barbecues by the lakeside, midnight swims, visits to friends that ended in one big musical feast. Life was a party. Those are the things I remember fondly.
The downside of this relationship were unemployment and other women. At least that’s what I suspected, but his buddies were always backing him up. More often he wouldn’t come home at night and I was sick with worry and unpleasant feelings of doubt. Where the HELL was he. Of course he had been with Eric, ‘Just call him, you’ll see.’ And I believed him, time and time again. Needed to believe him. He got away.
Jobs were also hard for him to hold on to. There was always something wrong with them. The boss didn’t like him. It was the wrong kind of work. He got fired for no reason at all. It was all a big discrimination conspiracy. Yeah RIGHT! The only one who was wrong, was Stephen himself. Too lazy, no perseverance. Meanwhile we had moved into an apartment, since I had a steady full time job. There were still plenty of ups, but more and more downs.
After another fight over his regular absence during the night – including weird female phone calls – I ended the relationship. Only to be swept away by his marriage proposal. The nights he was away, he had been working hard to create a little palace for the both of us, a new home. It was supposed to be a big surprise! How could I doubt him when he was slaving long long hours… Again plenty of buddy-backup. O, I was so VERY blonde back then! *growls* We got engaged. We wanted kids as soon as possible. We were going to travel to Curacao to meet his parents. And again he got away, he convinced me once again of his love.
That bubble burst when a woman called, telling me she was pregnant with Stephen and where he was? PARDON ME?!? Yes, since I was his EX girlfriend, perhaps I knew where he could be? Can you imagine my total bewilderment? My panic? The ‘little palace’ where he spent so many time, was HER house. All came crashing down around my ears. My sweet pure intuition had been right all along. If only I had listened to that little voice.
When confronted with my questions, he told me she was a crazy woman. That nothing was true. How I DARED to doubt him. But the day before I had found the notes of the work agency where he was supposed to be during the day. He had worked ONE morning that week. That dreadful Friday morning is forever imprinted on my retina. Totally upset and mad as hell, I threw the lunch I was preparing for him (to take to work) at his head – he was still lying in bed. That was when he attacked me, grabbed my throat and pushed me against the wall.
As scary as it was, this action actually saved me. It gave me the strength to end it all. Permanently. The one thing he had never done – the one thing he knew I would never accept – was to lay his hands on me. So I kicked him out of the apartment and to my surprise he went. Again he got away, taking my hopes and dreams with him.
What followed next was a living nightmare. After a month, just when I was crawling back up, he called me and wanted to meet me. He had to tell me something very important! I said no. He insisted. The craziest scenarios swept like a tidal wave through my mind, so I agreed to meet him. Stephen arrived that evening, acting very hyper. He wanted to make a deal. Actually he demanded to use my storage room downstairs as a repository for ‘his new business’. I refused. He totally freaked out, became hostile and aggressive, was tearing down my apartment in search of the keys. He started pushing me around, threatening me, throwing the table over and attacking. Never in my life have I been that scared and helpless.
I grabbed the phone and called a friend who owned a car. Peter answered the phone and immediately told me that help was on the way. Stephen meanwhile took the phone from my hands and started calling friends ‘to start a party’. My God, I was terrified. He was like a stranger with a demon inside. After what seemed like an hour, but couldn’t have been more than ten minutes, my door bell rang. I grabbed my coat -with my keys in it – my handbag and ran outside. I escaped in one piece.
Outside Jacqueline was waiting for me, Peter’s wife. She is a funny tall woman with a sense for adventure. And this had sounded like one to her. She took one look at my tearful face and drove to the police station. All tension came out and I broke down. The police were very helpful and immediately two police officers drove back with me to my apartment, Jacqueline close on our heels. When we neared the front door, we were gently pushed aside and with their guns drawn, they entered. A shadow moved and they took aim… but it was only my brave cat Spike. Stephen had disappeared.
I stayed with Peter and Jacqueline that weekend, not daring to go back home. That Monday the police called me at work. There was a gentleman sitting there, claiming I had changed the locks of our home while he had been away on vacation. I could only stare at the phone, totally bewildered. What the HELL? On shaky legs I walked across the street to the police station. Guess who was sitting there. Right, Stephen and his friend Eric. I could only see the devil in his eyes. He was accusing me of the most dreadful things, and again I broke down. I was a nervous wreck and weighed only 90 pounds.
Fortunately there was this detective, who listened to my side of the story, who nodded after only one minute and then took me upstairs with him. He gave me a cup of tea and asked me to tell him everything. Which I did. He made one phone call and Stephen and Eric had to leave the building. If Stephen was the devil, then this guy was an angel. My guardian angel. He made sure I got a lawyer, patrolled near my apartment during my lunch breaks when he knew I went home to take care of my cats. Insisted that I’d take a secret phone number.
A couple of weeks later I had to meet Stephen in court. He still demanded the use of my storage room. After only fifteen minutes the judge had heard enough and wrote his own address on a paper and gave it to Stephen. He told him to stop harassing me and that he could use the judge’s storage room! You see, I was the only one with a job, I payed for the apartment, everything was on my name. So I won this case with flying colors. So long, farewell. Go home to Curacao in a leaky rowboat please!
Several friends took me in and gave me shelter for as long as I needed it. They saved my sanity and my trust in people. I swore I would never EVER feel as helpless as the night Stephen hijacked my home. And I made sure I haven’t since.
Thank you SO much for reading my long story. In the end it was me who got away.