*Editor’s note: This is not a cautionary tale. Just a reminder that you can do everything right, follow all the rules and still get played. It happens.
“FLAMES” by Carrie Thompson
Flames. Must it always end in flames.
Smoldering are my remains and from cinders I must rebuild.
Our last moments together were doused in my salty tears and his arms wrapped around me, “Carrie don’t cry this is not the end, it’s only the beginning.” We cuddled until my Lyft arrived to whisk me off to work.
Let’s rewind the story:
At this point I was on-guard due to meeting him the night I left the ‘emotional warriors’ house in Santa Monica. I was at the 3rd street Farmers market in Hollywood looking for the elevator that swept us up to Planet Dailies. Me and two associates asked around which direction we were going and he replied in his masculine and gentle voice: “I think we’re both lost.” We found each other again making eye contract across the vibrant bar, partygoers galore. We were drawn to, giggles and googly eyes all night, ending with kisses in a photo booth.
The very next day ten seconds before I began my judicious workout in a Hollywood gym he rings my phone and asks me out. That night he takes me to a wine bar and bistro in Santa Monica where he did most of the talking, which he later copped to nervous chatter and trying to impress me with his travels and know-how.
From that night on he called me everyday, asking to take me out and I declined, entertaining his conversation, but never meeting him in private. I was just burned and the majority (of people who don’t know me) still claim it’s my fault.
A night in March I had a falling out with a pseudo-friend that left me running to his arms. I showed up at his house late and in tears. We talked until almost 3 hours before he was due to work and I gave it to him. I’ve never felt so beautiful and deserving of love. I knew this was the start of something unlike I had ever experienced and boy was I correct to the tenth power.
Every single day we spent together. Two days a week was as long as we could stand to be apart. We did everything from pay bills to wash laundry and dishes. It was the mundane and pedestrian moments that I laughed my ass off or found a new quality in him that made me cherish his presence, AND the phenomenal sex.
I found myself being rather submissive to him sexually, which is a known habit of a dominant public persona. Sexually and personally he was a giver. I wanted for nothing and never had to ask. His favorite sayings were, “sounds good,” and “whatever my beautiful Carrie fancies doing.” We were not reclusive at all, we went to every side of town treading the streets for trouble until…
A near tragedy struck, I was hospitalized and was treated like the uninsured (albeit fully covered) by a known Los Angeles Hospital and by the mercy and grace of God I survived. He paid a significant amount of my hospital bills, soothed and nursed me with his unconditional love and time spent.
From this point on I was leaning on him. He was my peace during turmoil. He guided me how to approach my employers about a raise and I couldn’t ask for anything more. I had never been so happy in my life, which didn’t stop me from picking up an initial bill here and there.
I was cautious of his kindness, which in turn, made me feel guilty for having a wall up. I no longer live my life loaded with questions or anticipating betrayal.
Once recovered, time was the enemy for a trip he had to take to tie up loose ends in his homeland of Scotland then in Istanbul. He needed to sell his vacation home and visit his parents before putting down roots in LA. He did not have an amazing relationship with his Mother, he mentioned her always saying negative things about him but praising other siblings. I am not one to judge but I did strike me as odd that a man has few good things to say about his Mother. I was not there and I have no idea what they both endured during their lives.
We were on our way to the Sunset Strip and our Lyft driver asks me who I just picked up. I reply, “This is my sort-of boyfriend.” And Scotty interjects, “Yes I am your boyfriend.” He stared me down like ‘of course I’m yours.’ I guess he knows what he wants.
I met his work friends as well as he met mine, few of my subordinates and my direct superior(s). All fell in love with his charm and couldn’t wait to hang with him again. They still ask me when he’s coming around (Quick side note: I induct all new hires to a 16 store corporation in SoCal, my intuition plays a large part in recommending certain employees for different positions and responsibilities and I have yet to be wrong about one in 3 years).
For the last two weeks of his tenure at the Bel Air Country Club we intensified our time together and the frequency of our sex per our mutual requests. I knew there would be a fair distance between his repatriating as he prepared me for. He continued to come over directly after work and shower me with time and emotional energy.
The night of the Mayweather v. Pacquiao fight we go to Tom’s Urban at LA live, which also happened to be the same night of a Los Angeles Clippers game. The stadium was packed and so was Tom’s. Huge cover charge and only had standing room. We met another BW/WM couple and even mutually got hit on by gay men and women.
At the end of a long and boring fight, two black men who were seated at the bar noticed our obligatory flirting and one of the young black males pushed me, Scotty caught my fall. He gets extremely loud and incredibly close to the poorly dressed black men (sharing drinks in Karl Kani velour outfits) who claimed I was a ‘waste.’ Scotty then screamed in his face that they needed to apologize. He went in, so much so, that I pulled him out of the club. That night we made the sweetest and roughest love and deservingly so.
On his last week in town I was butt-hurt that I hadn’t gotten my usual 4-5 days with him and asked he take a day off from the golf tournament. He usually worked 7 days a week and took one of them just for me!
We went down to the fashion district and I showed him an environment unlike anything Scotland could bring forth. We bought random junk and ate lobster burgers. I tried to get him to select a sex toy with me and he walked out of the store flushed to a cherry’s blush. He was not a loud and in-your-face sexual person like I was.
His last night in town he was asked by his colleague to go to a punk show, I love punk rock, but didn’t want to share him with the world that last night. Our favorite restaurant in LA is a Japanese BBQ restaurant called Gyu-Kaku in Beverly Hills. He could never pronounce the name.
We would always grub there for cheap and once satiated, grab a drink and spend the night in bed. The very last night after the modus operandi, we started talking about his American hiatus and I asked how he would keep in contact, he suggested Skype, I suggested FaceTime.
He asked me to set up a new email since he would be moving to a new country and wanted a clean slate. I totally understood since I moved to LA without ever visiting and did not want the same high school losers having my numbers either.
This was the only considerable red flag that sparked a fire of inquisitiveness: I set up the account with my Apple ID, but it required one that was not already in use. I close the app and open it and an email address by the name of ‘Peri ____’ pops up with a UK suffix to the address. I asked him if he had ever used the app before, and he says ‘no!’ I tested it and it begins calling the aforementioned email address and he LOSES IT! “Hang up now!” It was like someone turned the key in the ignition and accelerated the hearth of the fire. He was the most gentle man I had ever met and this one email address seemed to startle him like a crash of thunder.
A week prior we come home from Gyu-Kaku and we’re both a little tipsy, him more so (after only two beers), and I grab his iPad to log onto iTunes. I am not the hyper-paranoid girl waiting for a mistake but this was a breadcrumb: the same email he allegedly didn’t recognize was his password to his iPad: ‘Peri.’ He drunkenly mumbles that ‘Peri’ was his password to everything. The wheels are turning round and round.
But what did I do from here? Pick a fight? Ask his intention upon return? Demand we call the email address and see who answers? Ruin a perfectly good night when he was only one week from departure?
I refuse to even till this day. Worry is poison. I intended that his return to EurAsia be seamless and to call me once settled or send an email at the very least.
He departs. One week goes by… nothing. Two weeks; I’m sending out an email to all the contacts provided, oh, they’re the emails he asked me to create on his behalf to start anew. Fabulous.
Week three without contact: I’m extremely concerned and am shrouding my melancholy. Turkey is right near areas where people take the law into their own hands and give zero fucks. AND he is quite the cash carrier to make matters worse.
I send emails and messages to everyone I know and break down at work right before a huge presentation at our newest San Diego office. I am unafraid to be weak but tears are a workplace taboo and I lost it. Where was he? Did he even leave LA?
Was he dead?
Would I live the rest of my life without knowing what happened to my heart?
No I wouldn’t.
I vaguely remembered he once mentioned a Facebook page to keep in touch with caddies and clients from his PGA work. So I log-in to the devil herself:
Now this might seem like a simple fix to most but once again, he’s 19 years my senior and barely seemed to know how to use his iPad and refused to update the software. He mentioned in passing that he never logged on.
I would’ve been on high alert a guy around my age, but his age blinded me to the social media aspect. Most people in their forties, if they’re not promoting something, they are not very active on social media. Most.
I even contacted Interpol and CODIS to see if they had any information and did not. He told me his ex-wife was a stalker, which further corroborated his case for a new email address. I myself have always had a saying about men who call women crazy: ‘take no responsibility Doctor Frankenstein!’
One sentence in passing did not have me hook, line, and sinker, but the detail and waterworks that displayed his fragility did. And exactly why four weeks post-departure, his claims in reality did not either:
No reply. And there it was. I was the dreaded exotic vacation vagina that I immediately disqualified from a plausible motive.
But why wait months to touch me? Why do my laundry and visit me after the hospital scans? Why advise on how to approach corporate employees or how to purchase a car? Why not just pump and dump me rather than break up with me on Facebook like a 14-year-old?
Peri is his either flesh and blood daughter or by marriage. But for her courtesy as his mistress I will leave her out of this feud.
I was single (and celibate) for 2 years before I met him and made him wait 2 months and didn’t give him my full attention until he was so persistent.
Because I have a heart and will never be like him.
Because I will not let this experience embitter me. I will not refuse to trust because he’s an international scumbag who played the role like Hedwig on Broadway.
I will not let the ‘finger point for the agenda’ comments of sour people make me afraid to date in or out of my race or trust my gut.
But I will question myself, as we all do in a breakup. What I did do to or could I have done to dodge the bullet?
How well can you ever know someone?
Can I blame all white men for this?
I never will. Neither should you.
My preferences remain the same. But:
Sam*** M******l of Dundee, Scotland
I hope you fancy your photo on the Internet. I’m used to ignoring guys like you. Remember all the guys who’d compete for your clients…
Tell your wife to use protection or I will.
There’s plenty of mediums nowadays to cheat on your spouse, knowingly and otherwise. Don’t use the innocent.
Your meantime lover.