Remember at the end of “The Opener” when I deleted the dating app? Yeah, well that only lasted a few weeks before boredom and forgetting set in and I reinstalled it. My next match, The Omen, showed up within my distance-based search radius because he was in town for the day for work. He lived 90 miles away but assured me that he was in town several times a month.
He was witty, and he pushed me to keep up with him. I liked the challenge, and despite the barrier of distance, we enjoyed several weeks of daily chatter, including some phone and video calls.
He told me he was going to be in town the next week — just before my birthday, and I offered to get a hotel room for us. We settled the details then counted down the days until we would meet. When the day finally arrived, I was rear-ended on the highway on my way to the hotel. The accident wasn’t serious, so after trading insurance information, I continued on my way. I briefly considered canceling my plans — perhaps it had been a sign? But I dismissed that thought as silly and carried on.
He arrived. I met him at his car, and as we were walking in, I fell, hard, ripping my jeans and scraping my knee. Even then, I continued on, despite the discomfort and a growing sense of foreboding.
I was awkward and shy (and still a bit shaky from my car accident), so he took the lead. The sex wasn’t what I had expected. It was rough and impersonal, and it left me feeling tired, hurt, and dissatisfied. During a break from our exertions, he excused himself to return an urgent phone call and never came back.
Before I even realized what had happened, he had blocked my number, unfriended me on Facebook, and unmatched me on the dating app. I was stunned. Is this what happened to people all the time? Surely not. But why was I having such a run of terrible luck? I wasn’t sure whether to stay there and sleep, or cry from humiliation, or leave.
Though The Omen didn’t realize it, he taught me a few things that night:
- My gut/the Universe/God does try to clue me in sometimes. I need to listen more carefully.
- When someone tells you that they’re trouble, believe them. He had said as much early on, and I had dismissed it as a joke or a challenge.
- My trust is both easily given and easily withdrawn. I gave The Omen my unwarranted trust and coolly retracted it upon his betrayal and rejection. It seems my marriage did teach me something after all.
You should keep in mind the traumatic and confusing events of the evening when you consider what I did next…