I met him at a college fundraising event. The kind of events most college girls go to in hopes of meeting people. Especially guys. Single ones. The weird thing was I wasn’t single. I was actually in a relationship. Albeit it was crumbling but nonetheless, I was not single and I made it clear.
He didn’t care though, he texted me, made attempts to be at the same events I was at, thanks to Facebook event pages and obvious social media stalking. He even started to hang out with the same group of friends I always hung out with and even went places where me and my beau were going to be. At first it was harmless and I thought he was funny and sweet. He was a year younger so I didn’t realize, at first, that he was interested in me. He seemed so well put together. He dressed well, was well groomed and always seemed to be pious. 21-year-old me thought he was adorable.
It made sense that when I stupidly vented to him about the guy I was seeing he would tell me how much better I deserved. Little did I know, he thought better was him. And the more I vented the more he took mental notes to paint a picture of himself that was everything I was saying I wanted. When things ended badly with my then boyfriend he quickly heard through the grapevine and I started seeing him around more and more. Showing up at places my friends and I were at, asking me out to dinner and despite my polite declines he still persisted. I gave it quickly.
I was just getting out of a short fling and it was the summer after my senior year of college. I had the whole summer to live my life, explore and be as flirtatious as I wanted to be with whoever I wanted. He had a different plan in mind though. What I thought was harmless hangouts was a relationship in his mind.
He was always down to hang out, go out to dinner and hang with friends, even though they were my friends. He always made me laugh and would laugh at my jokes, too. He gave me compliments and did all the things a gentleman should do, like open doors and pay for dinner.
He “opened” up to me about his family and the career he was building. He told me about this college he was attending across the world and how he couldn’t wait to finish so he could continue his career in America. He would even video chat with me at his “job” and tell me how he worked with stocks and how he knew where to invest money and make more. He told me about the business his family owned and the dreams he had to build it up. I began to adore him and the more I thought I knew him the more I felt as though something wasn’t right. His stories never added up. I began to grow more and more suspicious about who he really was, I was never able to put my finger on it but I always had an inkling that he was lying to me.
The summer was coming to an end and I was preparing to start my first full-time job. We decided one afternoon to meet up for lunch and a movie. After the movie we both went to use the bathroom, he handed me his phone to put in my purse because his pockets were full. While I was in the bathroom I felt a vibration in my bag. As I reached in to check my phone I realized it was his phone vibrating and not mine. And then I discovered more things about him than he had let on.
The first thing to draw an alarm was that he had multiple messages from a girl name “Jess” which he had told me dozens of times about. She was his ex, or so he claimed. Because I was a self-respecting young woman I did what anyone else in my position would do, and since I had watched his fingers swipe across his android phone to unlock it so many times I memorized it and was able to unlock it myself.
I opened Jess’ messages and I felt my heart drop into the toilet. There are only so many four letter words I can use to summarize my anger in that moment. To put it simply he was a fucking liar. It was clear Jess wasn’t a prior lover, but instead a girl he was trying to swoon. They had allegedly met up just one day prior and he kept telling her how much he missed her already. And how there was this older girl who wouldn’t leave him alone (me) and that he wanted to be with her (Jess) instead.
I was pissed.
But there was more. I found messages with another girl who was actually a mutual friend. He had met up with her too, on my birthday! He was claiming the same thing to her about me and asking her to hang out again. It baffled my mind that someone who has tried so hard to get my attention and finally had it was saying these things about me. My heart was pounding, my blood was boiling and my hands were shaking.
The business his family owned? Yeah, they didn’t actually own it, his dad just worked there. The stock market job he had? Yeah, that was bullshit too. The college across the world he was attending? Nope, he applied but never got in. He was doing online school at the University of Phoenix and was barely one semester in at the age of 21. He kept getting rejected to state colleges he applied to because his grades were awful. He wasn’t actual as pious as he let on, either. Actually, he was kind of a male slut.
Literally, everything was a giant lie. I eventually got him to spill all this information to me more easily than I thought. He claimed that he lied to me because he was so intimidated by my success and intelligence. I agreed to meet him simply because I wanted him to tell me all these things to my face, I felt the sincere ingenuity of his apologies seeping from him. When the check came and he put his card down the waitress quickly came back telling us his card was declined. Instead of being honest he made up another story.
Oh, I definitely have money in the bank. Actually, I know the people at the bank and sometimes I just bring them my paycheck and tell them not to deposit it until I tell them to.
What the actual fuck?
At this point I was done. Not only did he lie to me for two months, but when I tried to get an explanation for his lies he attempted to insult my intelligence with some stupid made up story. It is actually really scary to be around someone like that. They get so caught up in lies and fabricated stories they themselves forget what’s true and what’s not. I honestly believe the only way for him to dig himself out of his lies would probably be therapy and repentance.
I am actually not sure what ended up happening to him because I blocked and lost his number and removed him from all forms of social media. I outed his lies to mutual friends and they all stopped speaking to him as well. But when I saw him for the first time years later with his fresh off the boat, mail-order-bride, I smiled at him and gave him the finger, like any other self-respecting woman would do.
I always laugh when I look back and remember this guy. While I only knew him for a few months I feel like I learned so many life lessons from him. The first and most important being to always trust your gut. Never let your guard down, and always memorize his phone’s unlock code, you never know when it will come in handy. (I’m half kidding about this.)