This story begins almost 20 years ago, when I was a young, very naive, girl who was in the midst of being swept off of her feet by a charming, handsome, exciting, passionate man. “Kevin” would, slightly more than a year later, become my husband, (and 10 years after that, become my ex-husband), but, at the time that this story takes place, we were newly dating, but already firmly infatuated with one another. I had met his family just a couple of days earlier, and I was leaving his house one night tingling with contentment after we’d just spent the evening watching movies, making out, and telling each other how much we loved one another.
As I started my car, another car pulled up alongside me with its passenger window rolled down, and a young man called out to me and asked if I was Kevin’s girlfriend. I was totally startled- had this man been waiting for me to come outside?- but blurted out that I was. He told me that I should follow him to his girlfriend’s house, because she had some information to share with me that I really ought to know. Sick to my stomach with dread, but helpless to subdue my curiosity, I followed him.
He led me to a house not far away from Kevin’s, where a girl, who I’ll call Godzilla (giving her a human name would be giving her too much credit) was insolently waiting out on the front lawn. When I look back on this scene now, I imagine Godzilla barefoot, wearing slutty cut-off jeans with the pockets hanging below the hem and a tight, white, midriff bustier which caused a roll of fat to peek out from between the shirt and the shorts, rudely smacking a piece of chewing gum, hand on hips, and looking at me with fiercely burning hatred and jealousy in her eyes. That’s the way I would cast the scene if I were making a movie, anyway… It may not be entirely accurate, because, I think this probably took place in early May and it would have been too cold to wear what I’ve described, but, I’m invoking artistic license here.
Her boyfriend, who I had followed to the house, was clearly upset and prompted Godzilla to tell me the “truth”, but she was obviously reluctant to talk to me, or, more specifically, to say anything bad about Kevin. Eventually she proceeded to, very disrespectfully; tell me about how she had been involved with Kevin off and on for years, and how Kevin had cheated on his previous girlfriend with her time and time again. Although I had never met her, it was apparent from her words that she knew all about me, and was none too happy to learn that I was dating Kevin. Finally, the boyfriend interjected and spoke directly to me, imploring me to run away as fast as I could from Kevin because Kevin was a cheater, pure and simple, and couldn’t keep his fly zipped when it came to Godzilla.
Of course, I became immediately defensive. Kevin had already confessed to me what a bad boyfriend he had been to his previous girlfriend, and he had admitted, shamefacedly, to cheating on her almost from the beginning of their relationship. I patiently explained to Godzilla’s boyfriend (I had already decided that Godzilla wasn’t worth the DNA that she was made from, so I chose to ignore her existence), that, perhaps Kevin and Godzilla had been together in the past, and I was deeply sorry for him that she was cheating with Kevin, but that, I could assure him, any involvement between the two of them was now over, because Kevin and I were deeply in love. He looked at me with incredulity laced with pity, and wished me well.
I drove off, and tearfully called Kevin when I got home, demanding an explanation, but, really, longing to be comforted after this altercation and reassured that the hateful, awful, Godzilla was no longer a part of his life. Kevin met both of those needs, and I actually apologized to him for doubting him…. Ugh… I wish I could go back and kick myself in the head.
Fast forward several years, twin babies, mountains of bills, and too many arguments to count later, and Kevin and Jillian’s marriage was on the rocks. Kevin had been caught with condoms in his car, girls’ phone numbers in his wallet, and suspicious charges for hotel rooms on the credit card statement. He always had an explanation, and, I wasn’t capable yet of taking care of myself and two children alone, and… I still loved Kevin. So, I stayed, but I was far from happy.
The Internet was a novelty, and AOL chat rooms and Myspace profiles were an unhappily married girl’s fantasy play- land. I was pouring my heart out to anonymous strangers, posting pictures on my page, and flirting with men on Craig’s List- my proudest years. I hadn’t yet become social media savvy and did not bother to implement privacy settings on Myspace, so I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised when I was confronted by Kevin about my on-line activities. What did surprise me though, was that in the ensuing brawl that erupted, it came to light that Kevin’s knowledge about my on-line life did not come from his first- hand snooping, but that, rather, he had been tipped off by… Godzilla.
Unbeknownst to me, Kevin had maintained contact with her throughout our entire relationship. They’d been carrying on a particularly juicy email correspondence for the last several months, and she had offered to spy on me for Kevin, so that he might use the information against me in our approaching divorce/ custody cases. Now, not only was Kevin confiding all of our marital woes to Godzilla, but, Godzilla was, of course spinning her own sob story to him- she also had young children and her husband was ill (cancer, I believe), and she was seeking solace in my husband. Nice girl, right?
Well, the divorce was final some time later, and I NEVER expected to hear Godzilla’s name again.
Which is why I almost passed out when, on a recent outing with the man I’ve been seeing (let’s call him Christian), and his ex-girlfriend, Nadia (that’s a whole other story), it came out that Christian and Nadia both know Godzilla. In fact, Christian is Godzilla’s ex-boyfriend. Do you see where this is going yet??
Christian, the man that I met right after I broke up with the married guy, and have been involved with for several months, turns out to have been the young man that pulled up beside me in the car all those years ago, trying to warn me away from Kevin.
I’m not sure if this is the red-flag of all red-flags, or if it’s a sign that our fates are intertwined and we’re destined to live happily ever after.