Journey from Breakup (Part 36)

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Perhaps I deserved to have beer poured into my lap. I didn’t stop tickling Aaron when he asked me to. It seemed as though we were having a good time, laughing and joking around. I can think of numerous times where I have been in the same position as Aaron, laughing saying “stop, stop” while being tickled. Though if someone does ask you to stop, you should—out of respect for that individual—if this has been a sexual situation and Aaron had asked me to stop and I didn’t it would be considered rape.

These are the thoughts going through my head as I drive home from Aaron’s. I can’t help but feel guilty and to blame for the situation. Though part of my mind focuses on guilt, another part of me still fumes at the fact that someone poured beer on me and nothing I did deserved that. Aaron did a good job of squelching that little voice still nagging in the back of my mind though, and mostly I just feel guilt and regret.

I am also able to recognize that the people we love are not perfect. We all do things that we regret at some point or another. Aaron did have so many other qualities that I truly admired and loved. Already I saw that he was the type of person who would do anything for the people in his life he cared about. Very few people were allowed that close to Aaron, but he would pull out all the stops for the people that did manage to get near him.

Aaron was fun to be around; he was loud and charismatic, educated and opinionated. Going out with him was always an adventure. He’d be the first one to jump on a karaoke stage and he had no qualms with putting on a show. He’d start up conversations with strangers sitting near us. Though, more and more often I was recognizing that much of his outgoing behavior was egged on by the mass consumption of beer. While most of the time we had a great time together going out, meeting new people, laughing. I was never sure what I would get when Aaron would drink, the charismatic charmer—or the pompous, argumentative, confrontational asshole.

He’d started fights at bars, me trailing behind him as the bartender or bouncer kicked him out of whatever establishment we were in … always yelling, “I’m a veteran! I was in the army for ten years; you should respect me!” Twice he’d refused to get into the car with me because I wouldn’t let him drive, walking home instead, all the while leaving messages on my phone and his roommate’s phone about how much he hated us. Being that I never knew what Aaron I would get when we went out together, I was weary of inviting my friends, or going out with my friends. What if they didn’t see what I saw? That he was this amazing man, just flawed? As we all are.

However there comes a point in all relationships were we have to decide if the good qualities outweigh the bad ones. For me this decision was made when I logged onto my email after Aaron had used my computer. As I perused my unread mail I noticed that I had received an abundant amount of junk mail from match.com … but wait, it wasn’t junk mail. Aaron had left himself logged onto his email on my computer and it wasn’t my account, it was his and he had unread mail on match.com.

Would it be snoopy of me to read it? I already felt terribly being in his email. I’ve never been someone to resort to looking through email inboxes. However, now that I was here I’d found something that I just couldn’t leave alone. I clicked on the newest message and once it was opened I clicked on the next link to go to the dating website and Aaron’s personal profile appeared on my screen.

My heart thudding in my chest I saw Aaron’s description of himself as a single man, a picture of Aaron’s striking profile and new messages. Before I could talk myself out of it, I began clicking. Once I did I was shocked to see that Aaron had been carrying on email conversations through the dating website with multiple women … telling them that there were cute, sexy, and beautiful and detailing his life to them … with no mention of a girlfriend. The newest message that he had written was dated on January 1st early in the morning, just shortly after I had dropped him off at home after we had celebrated the New Year together.

Angry, I picked up the phone and dialed Aaron’s number.

“Hey, babe,” Aaron said.

My voice shaking, I said, “What is wrong with you? Why would you do it?”

“What are you talking about, Mindy?”

I didn’t want to just admit that I’d been snooping through Aaron’s email, and I wanted to see if he’d be honest with me so instead of yelling and screaming at him I simply asked him a question, “Do you have anything to tell me Aaron?”

“About … ?”

“I’m giving you a chance to be honest with me.”

“Honestly, Mindy, I have no idea what you are talking about.”

Very slowing I enunciated the words, anger dripping off of each one, “MATCH DOT COM ring a bell, Aaron?”

There was a pause and I heard Aaron talk a breath and let it out audibly into the phone.

“You’re talking to girls, Aaron, and portraying yourself as single. Am I not good enough for you? Are you keeping me around until you find something better? Is that why you’re actively checking out single girls?”

“Mindy, that’s not what it is … I signed up for the account before I met you one night when I was drunk; I have not even been on it since then.”

YOU’RE LYING TO ME!” I screamed into the phone. I felt myself coming unhinged. Sounds coming from far away, the only thing clear was the pounding of my heart in my ears.

“Settle down, Mindy, it was a joke. I didn’t mean anything by it. I logged in and some girls had written me, I didn’t pursue anyone.”

I looked at the email still on my monitor, “Hey Jenny, I just came across your profile. I don’t normally take the time to write but you were just too cute to pass up. My name is Aaron, and I’d love to hear more about you. Thanks for making this easy for me, Aaron, we’re done.”

And then I hung up.

My gosh, dating post-divorce is hard.

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