It was a quiet morning a few days after we broke up that he burst into my apartment insisting to talk with me. I did not want to. I had been sleeping, and I was naked. He came over to the side of my bed and crouched next to me.
Then, he saw the hickey on my neck.
His nice-guy demeanor changed quickly. He demanded to know where I had gotten it, trying to pull my comforter close to him. I’m a pretty small woman and that tug of war certainly wasn’t a fair fight. I couldn’t struggle against him back anymore. My voice lowered.
It was from our roommate.
Which, evidently, was not his business. None of it was. Not seeing me naked that morning and certainly not barging into the house that was now mine.
He screamed at me in a way I had heard before but wrote off each time. It was pure anger. He told me I was a whore. That our roommate was a pig. He threatened to beat him up until I started screaming for him to leave.
Go away. You aren’t welcome here.
Before that, I was truly excited to finally go pave my own path after being in a bad place for so long. I was happy for him, too. I hoped he could find peace somewhere else.
It wasn’t three days later that I had gotten news that he had spread stories to everyone we knew. I was now the town slut who couldn’t keep her legs closed for one day. The maneater, the friend-stealer.
I was abusive, toxic, and an irredeemable sinner for the rest of my life.
I wasn’t my own person suddenly, and the narrative wasn’t mine. What was I to do?
I had plenty of my own stories to slug back with. The truth was, I wasn’t a victim, but neither was he. We were far from victims because we both contributed to the hole we dug ourselves into unknowingly. It was sad and toxic. We both spiraled but clung to each other.
I was afraid of leaving because he was all I had ever known. We were always depressed, feeding off each others’ negative energy. I was a little shocked about how I was dragged through the mud.
If he had honestly been through what we had gone through, why had he painted me to be the villain?