The Moment I Knew I Was Done with Him

Wednesday Journal Entry, Week 10

Karina Lafayette – June 29th 2022

Photo by Erica Magugliani on Unsplash

Every now and then he still tries to come back. I don’t answer him the way I used to. I wonder if an exorcism will do the job, maybe then he’ll leave me alone for good.

He comes around usually when I’m starting to feel great about myself. When I’m accomplished and more successful, only to try to suck me back in. A few times, he did manage to achieve his goal, but this time, he failed completely.

His most recent appearance was a few weeks ago, on the full moon no doubt. I wonder if he did that on purpose. For a second, he almost had me fooled. Same goals, same interests, good looks- the entire package. He even knows astrology- or at least, he’s convinced himself he does. If anything, initially I wasn’t going to answer, but his message was so charming, who would resist? He wanted to meet for coffee. After a few message exchanges, silence. In the past, I would’ve worried what I had done wrong, but this time like I said, I was a different. I went on with my day and assumed he was either busy or already had someone.

Like they say, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Well, one night I decided to put my detective skills at work, and as it turns out, not only is he already in a relationship, he’s getting married in a few months. At first, a tinge of anger crawled inside me. Not because he was taken- I couldn’t care less, but because it was clear what he had in mind for me. Same man, different body. What’s new?

The first time I met his kind, I was 19. I had never been kissed. I was sitting on the bus. Across from me was a guy- about twenty-something. Immediately I turned away because already he reminded me of someone I liked the year before. Once I got off at my stop, he followed to strike up a conversation. At first, everything was great, till it wasn’t. He became too pushy. He kept on calling me “beautiful” and asked for a kiss. It was like kissing a literal frog. Afterwards, we exchanged numbers and he wanted to know where I’d like to go on a date. I said, “A movie, play, or even a coffee shop- I’m not complicated.”

“Not ‘complicated’?” He repeated as if to imply otherwise.

My stomach in knots, it made me stressed that we were only a few blocks away from my apartment. It was clear he was bad news and I didn’t want him to know where I lived. Finally, he said “goodbye” and I knew then and there neither one of us was going to call, which suited me fine.

The second time I met him, I was 24. He messaged me on Facebook. We went to the same university but since I had dropped out, I’m not sure whether we had classes together. Initially, I ignored him, until a few months after. I asked him if he wanted to be interviewed for a documentary of mine. He had just moved back with his family in Ontario. Coincidentally, my plan was to move there in the summer, so we started chatting.

He made me feel in ways I never felt before. We would chat day and night. Those in-between moments of not speaking were ridden with anxiety. I thought I was in love. By the time I landed in Toronto, he came to pick me and my dog up at the airport. There was some conversation, but mostly awkward silences. Eventually he became distant. The more distant he was, the more I latched on. I wanted so badly for him to fit the idea inside my head. I couldn’t believe the person who said all those sweet things, turned out to be so uncaring.

Around October, he revealed that he was talking to his ex, and wanted to stay friends. I shrugged. I didn’t need his friendship.

In late November of the same year, I met him for the third time. Same man, different body. He was shy, from India, and claimed to love Charlie Chaplin. What a coincidence, Charlie Chaplin was my favorite director back in the day. He was so quick to tell me he loved me, spend time with me, and give everything I didn’t get the second time around. He also turned into a monster. He didn’t like my makeup, my friends, my ambitions, or anything about me, yet somehow we tolerated each other.

And oh yeah, he needed a visa sponsor.

After breaking up, he didn’t want me to leave at all, so much so that he would go on to use money and emotional blackmail to keep us together. I almost gave in, but somehow crawled out of the Underworld. No more hell for Persephone. The next few years were a struggle, but I would do it all over again as long as it meant having my freedom.

The fourth time I meet him, at that point I was staying in a shelter. He seemed kind and humble. I was 27. We tried our best to talk despite language barriers, and guess what? He was married. Luckily I was careful nothing happened, but had I not been, he would’ve been able to brand me with a scarlet letter.

The fifth time I met him, that would be the last time he had any special place in my life. I was 28. Now he was a co-worker, from out of province. Somehow he had become more cunning than the previous two. We had everything in common, even to the point of having a similar family history. We would talk endlessly during shifts. It was clear that I wasn’t wanted, but he still kept me just close enough at his convenience. He tried to stay friends. He really tried to make me the fool one more time. There were enough tears to acknowledge that this cycle was over. For good.

The sixth time I met him was this past June- the story mentioned earlier. Now I’m 30. And I wholeheartedly believe he won’t be coming back again. This man who tries to haunt me in different bodies, whether a stranger on the bus, or a guy online who just so happens to like film and astrology and all the things I like- he can shape-shift, he can use his swagger and looks over and over- I’m no longer impressed. The way he reminds me of the men in my family, in my history, it makes him unappealing.

I felt sorry for her- his partner, and yet also, relief. From the first message, I knew he would be just another- whatever you want to call this energy. I’ve met that man in so many bodies that he can’t hide anymore, even when he goes behind the guise of “we have so much in common”. Had I met this version ten years ago, maybe I would’ve been fooled, but this time is different, because I’m different.

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