Friday, October 23, 2009

Next time I’ll let it go to voicemail (TapBack gone bad!)

What had happened was… I was distracted. I had the D'Angelo video (that Untitled tune with all the nekkidity, six packs and whatnot) playing on VH1 Soul plus I was tweeting on one computer while proofreading something else on my laptop… I just wasn't paying attention. So when my cell phone rang, I answered without checking the caller id. I know, I know… playette FAIL.


"Michele?" Male voice. Didn't recognize it.


"This is Bill." No help.

"Bill who?"


"I'm sorry, Bill who?"

"Bill Pollard." Oh snap. Blast from the past. (as always, name changed)


Over ten years ago I met Bill while walking through a mall. He managed a furniture store; I was a young Human Resources Assistant at a Fortune 500 company. Bill was 6'2", sexy and caramel colored, originally from Florida. He was a sweet guy, heart of gold, super affectionate, cooked for me (literally made and brought me homemade chicken soup when I was sick), and worried more about how I was feeling than how he was. In the beginning, I had very few complaints. He had a tendency to butcher the English language every once and a while, "I seent dat." What is seent? "You know I loveded that gurl," Loved-ed? Every time he dropped one of those, I would gently correct him and he would say, "Thank you baby, you speak so good." Winceworthy but not major. The first major issue came out of the blue.

We were sitting quietly one Sunday afternoon when he said, "I need more from you."

My eyebrow went up but ooo-kay. "What do you mean?"

"I need us to share our every intimate thought and need all the time. So like, tell me what you're thinking right now. Right this minute, how do you feel?"

I didn't hide the horror on my face well as I said, "Wait, I'm confused. You want us to share every single thought?"

"Yes, I want us to be so close that there's no difference between your thoughts and mine."

"Umm, I'm not sure I'm comfortable with that." Nor was I sure that was humanly possible.

"You're so closed off from me. I just want us to be close."

"I thought that builds over time, right?"

Holding my hand he looked deep into my eyes, "Take down your walls girl, I'm here for you. Don't be afraid of love."

Okay, I KNOW I was wrong to laugh. I KNOW THAT. I was young and he caught me off guard and in that moment it was the corniest thing I had ever heard. Much to my horror, he started to tear up. Actual tears. Ah jeez, I felt terrible (and more than a little dismayed). "I'm sorry; I'll really try if it's that important to you. What would you like to talk about?"

He sniffled and said, "I just want to know how you feel about me, is that too much to ask?"

So are you where I was? Starting to feel a distinct role reversal in this relationship? Whatever, I was supposed to be thrilled to find a sensitive man. I said, "Bill, I care for you very much."

"What does that mean?" His face scrunched up.

"It means I really, really like you." I gave him the 'what more can I say' look.

"And?" He prompted.

"And I'm glad you're in my life?"

He took a deep breath, squeezed my hand and said quite forcefully, "I need you to LOVE me!"

To my credit, I bit back my first response and answered, "Then I need you to give me some time."

After this conversation, our relationship shifted. I didn't know it then but looking back I realized that in that conversation he gave me all the power. You can't give that to a daddy's girl, young stupid bougie chick with a princess complex. She will run right over you… which is exactly what I did. With that conversation, he had laid down and stamped "doormat" on his forehead, and I wasted no time wiping my feet. I'm not proud of it, just being real. I nagged him to dress better, I urged him to speak better, I left brochures on Business Linguistics classes all over his apartment. I tried to mold him into what I thought he should be all the while dangling the carrot that if he did this thing, and then this thing and then this thing I would love him. He literally cracked one day. We had a particularly nasty fight where I verbally beat him about the head and neck (shamed to say words like 'punk-ass' and 'man the f! up' fell out of my mouth in his direction). [Blogger's note: Fellas, women will get away with as much as you let them get away with. I know you think that is your game exclusively, here's the wake up call. If you allow a woman to treat you any old kindaway, she just might. Ya'll ain't cornered the market]

Anyway, at three in the morning, I heard the shower running. I went in there and he was curled up on the floor of the bathtub sobbing like I shot his mama. "I'm never going to be good enough for you. I'm just not what you want. Why don't you just say it so I can walk away?" In that moment, I questioned everything I knew about myself (at that age, it wasn't much) and realized that I had taken a good guy who just wanted to adore me and broken him. He was a broken tore-up soul letting cold water run across his body. I turned off the water, wrapped him up and held him through the night. The next morning I told him, "You're right and it's really not you. I just don't know who I am and what I want." He looked at me and said sadly, "But you know it not's me." He took his keys and walked out. I never laid eyes on him again.

So back to present day. Now that you know the tale, you can imagine my discomfort at hearing from him again. I had actually tried to find him a few years back to "make amends" but old boy had fled back to Florida. Yep, I broke the boy to the point that he quit his job, left the state and went home to his mama. *hangs head in shame*

"Bill, wow – it's been a while. What's up?"

"I just want you know that I thank you."

"Oh, uh. Really?" Color OneChele confused.

"Yes. If you hadn't ripped my heart out years ago, I would never be who I am now."

Uncomfortable. He spent the next 15 minutes letting me know how angry and bitter he was after I "ruined" him. And how he entered into a series of relationships where he basically did to other women what I had done to him (ooo- the guilt burned! I'm sorry Florida sisters!) until finally getting married a few years ago. He now has two kids and a chain of some kinda store.

"I'm happy for you, Bill. I really am. I always wanted to apologize for how I treated you. I was really young and stupid. If it helps at all, I never treated anyone else that way again."

"Well, you can apologize in person."

"Beg pardon?"

"I'll be in Dallas in a few weeks and I think you owe me closure… in whatever form I choose to exact it."

Say what now? "I'm sure I don't understand."

"You owe me."

"I owed you an apology, I just gave you that."

"I want it in person. And I want the break-up sex."

I held the phone with my mouth hanging open. "Umm…"

"Yeah, I'm not that same punk b*tch in the shower boo-hooing cause you don't love me."

Wincing, wincing. "Umm…"

"Shall I call you when I land?"

Damn if he didn't sound like he'd taken that Business Linguistics class I had recommended. "Bill, I don't think that's a good idea."

"You married some doctor or lawyer, huh?"

Take the easy fork in the road girl, "You know me too well."

"Exactly, that's why I'll call when I get in. Knowing you, old boy is on a short leash and you're ready for some no strings entertainment."

Ouch. "You take care, Bill." CLICK. Straight to call history. SAVE NUMBER? Yes. NAME? "Do Not Answer Bill!"

Truly, I believe karma has come back around and kicked my ass plenty for my Bill foolishness. If there's a yin-yang in the universe, I've more than out-yinned the yang of it all. But feel free to let me have it, BougieLand. Did I just have this one coming? Is the over apology enough, knowing that what he really wants is revenge instead of closure? Do we even really owe anybody closure if we weren't "with" them for over a year or married? Isn't "goodbye and good luck" enough? Does hearing the other person apologize net you anything in the long run anyway? And what good did break-up sex ever do? Okay, comment as you will.


ASmith said...

What in sam hell....

Yo, this man grew some balls and then some.

I'm not mad at his gangsta, but err....

My real concern is that he hasn't... umm... what's the word... leveled off. I mean, he may have been a punk when you met him, turned playa when he left -- but I need him to find the middle ground and it doesn't sound like he has, at all.

Did you have it coming? Urr... yeah. I suppose, but DAMN!

As far as apologies go... ::deep breath::

I have this thing about "I'm sorry." I really think it's just two words and I'm looking at what you do to verify that you are sorry. Now, in a situation like this, you almost have to take the "I'm sorry" and keep pushing, because what exactly can you do? He's moved on, you've moved on and there's really nothing to do BUT get revenged and where's the positive ending in that?

I'll tell you what, Bill has balls, but he's also bitter. Bitter Balsy Bill.

Man's World said...

First off, old boy was a punk - you called it the first time. He's still a punk but trying to prove he's not but calling you out all yoked up after ten damn years. But er, uh - yeah - you had the back slap coming. You did your part though. Keep stepping.

DatGirl said...

Wow, you were MEAN! But it's been a while so he should've discovered his balls and moved on by now. Break-up sex is great for however long it lasts. That's it. Based on what I've read of your relationship misadventures - you have paid the world back in full for this one bitchass.

courtneyakaglamah said...

I am rolling on the floor laughing. I think you were to hard on yourself and unneccesarily guilty the first time. I got the cukoo vibe from the start of this story. And see....?He's back.....

Maybe Im just hanging around with to many reserved Northern Euros, so that type of laying it on the line/ intimate talk creeps me out.

derek love said...

Ah Chele - say it ain't so?! Ya beatin bruhs down like dat! Okay, over ten years ago. I see you though. He finally got his nuts up to track you down after all this damn time and call and all he had to say was "gimme some?" Co-signing with Man - he still kinda to the punk side. You don't owe him squat.

OneChele said...

I was like - really after all this time? I so badly wanted to say, "Ya still mad, huh?" To me, I'm sorry just falls out of folks mouths like I Love You. Don't believe it until you see it. But you make a great point. He went from Punk to Playa in a few steps, might wanna comeback to the middle.

Violet Rose said...

Okay, the image of Caramel Sexy boo-hooing in the tub, poignant and HILARIOUS. Dang son, grow some. Now he swaggers back with the grown up balls expecting a lil sumthin' sumthin'?

Girl cut yourself some slack and cut this brother off. You are too done.

OneChele said...

See, that's why we get along. My thought - isn't this too much sharing?

OneChele said...

Umm, thank you?

Carey Jackson said...

I resent the negative use of Caramel in this story - LOL! Your life is movie-worthy chile.

Carey Jackson said...

he did come back all ballsy didn't he? I thought -wow, where were those years back when they might've done you some good?

Reads4Pleasure said...

Don't ask me why, but I'm "friends" with a lot of my ex's on Facebook. One IMed me the other week to "check in". Mind you, we haven't really talked in 13 years, but when he friended me, I didn't see a reason not to accept it. After 2 hours of reading him talk about how unhappy he is (he blamed it on karma) and how foolish he was back in the day, it took everything I had not to do a "toldja so, toldja so" dance all up and through the place. He wasn't looking for closure, he was looking for an opening & was hoping that maybe I was still looking for closure...13 years later. I happily reminded him that I was the chick he didn't marry and that he might want to discuss his feelings with the one he did.

BendLikeBent said...

As I see it, he was a sensitive bloke who had to harden up after you dashed his dreams and now he is seeking a bit of his own back.

BendLikeBent said...

LOL! Good point.

OneChele said...

Hey there, back in England yet? That is certainly one way to look at it. But since what he's seeking is me on my back... I will have to pass.

TiffanyNIcole said...

Chances are you've paid the price for your past errors-Karma came through and let you have it...but Bill...ummm yeah...he just might be a stalker in the making. What scares me is that fact he:

a. created a plan--a detailed plan at that--break-up sex???
b. waited for the exact moment to enact his plan--in Dallas for business??
c. found you or saved your number over the years--wow
d. wants revenge. he wants you to suffer---wowzers

I think Bill might need some professional help. Granted you may have been the straw on the camel's back, but I think Bill might have had some issues before you met him. The whole "love me" conversation--ummm just doesn't sit well with me. It might hint at other issues.

Page Bartlett said...

Your exes belong in some sort of Hall of Lame. You can pick em.

OneChele said...

Yes, the whole "Love Me" thing was a huge red flag.

Rob said...

Hmm, so this is what happens when chickens come home to roost? I believe I'll duck calls from my exes. I've done far worse than you.

OneChele said...

Aw they weren't all bad. Just bad for me.

JaymeC said...

We liked "Gene" - he was good people... for the most part.

JaymeC said...

Chele, understandable slip with the naked D'Angelo playing. But you already know these answers.

There's no such thing as closure. You either decide you're over it and move on or you don't. Break-up sex is just like eating the last chip in the bag. You know it's over and know you have to contemplate whether you want to buy another bag or shouldn't have eaten all those chips in the first place. Goodbye and good luck is plenty. Apologies are like checks - only good if there's something in the bank to back them up.

sbchitownchick said...

I had one of these out of the blue not so long ago from someone I did wrong. Way more wrong than you did. You have done all that is needed. These types stick around by feeding into your guilt. Cut n Run.

Pure Choco said...

A few of them don't sad half bad. She can "pass the leftovers" this way anytime. Her cast-offs beat my best all day.

storm529 said...


Ok...this tale, like most of your tales, had me in stitches.

Thinking to self though: Is any one person's life this comical? Have you truly known so many ridiculous and/or sorry men? And had so many laughable experiences with them? Or have you added details to your adventures for entertainment purposes? Just thinking is all.

No are still one of the most intesting and funny writers I've encountered on the blogosphere.

BB Waite said...

As one who has known her For years, let me say... yes - she has known more than her share and if you can believe it - she has toned down the stories for the blogosphere. She hasn't even brought up the super crazy and super sorry. Sorry Chele, but I'm waiting for you to tell the Psycho Mike story so I'm putting you on blast a little bit. Readers - please demand the Psycho Mike story! HA!

patricia said...

Just by name alone I'm intrigued. Who or what is Psycho Mike?

OneChele said...

Mizz BB, between you and Jayme... killing me.

Sarah said...

Relationships are a two way street. Ok. So maybe back then, you didn't act your best, but he didn't have to stay. You live in Texas so I know you know about tornado sirens. Well, his telephone message to you was the personal hazard version of a tornado siren. I don't wish to be alarmist, but the man does not sound like a sensible well-balanced individual. He also sounds like he is living in fantasy land: call up an old lover, talk sh!t, and then think she is going to want to have sex with you? Ok. So you know this guy and I don't, but it seems sensible for you to have a plan in case he decides to take this to the next level and knocks on your door. Any of those former football players on your speed dial?

OneChele said...

Thankfully I have moved, live behind gates with an alarm but I could rustle up a 2009-version of Big Juicy if I need to. :-)

storm529 said...

She's toned donw the stories?! Well..alrighty then.

In that case, I can't wait to see the motion picture or tv show. The fact is, her dating misadventures are a lot more exciting (and interesting) than anything I've seen on the movie screen or tv in a long while.

storm529 said...

And I forgot....OneChele, please, please share the Pyscho Mike story.

daisy said...

wait a sec - Chele is holding back the extra extra?! Bring it on. And Psycho Mike too!

daisy said...

You always have the smart response. I love that check analogy!

EC Thompson, MD said...

He needs lots of psychiatric help. tons.

Penny said...

Wonder if he reached out to apologize to those women he treated so badly-since obviously he wanted you to do the same. What an idiot!

EC Thompson, MD said...

Still LMAO.

On the shower floor crying? What's up with that?

How do you feel about me? Seriously? Here's the answer - "You are an emotional train wreck. Get a grip."

24karats said...

Did you have it coming? Hmm. Well, have what coming? Have a man with serious emotional and/or mental health issues track you down after 10 years? No, probably not. Sure, you may have abused the power Bill gave you. But, you have tried to apologize in the years since.

My concern is the fact that he even still has your number 10 years later. This has all the elements of the first 10 minutes of a Dateline special.

In reading your transcript of this, it sounds like he is every bit as bitter as he was when you first broke up with him. Its one thing to say "you know you really changed my life and if I hadn't gone through that I wouldn't be the man I am today." It's another to say "ha ha I'm the shit so how are you going to make it up to me."

And the fact that he said you "owe" him indicates to me that you still have the power. This is a man who is still looking for you or women like you to validate him.

Furthermore he clearly isn't that stellar of a man if he's looking cheat on his wife. WTF?

I know you regret the punk-ass comment, but sometimes it is what it is.

OneChele said...

Girl, if I had ten dollars for every "why don't you tell this to the girl you married?" speech I've had to give - I'd be blogging from St. Croix with a cabana boy named Raoul bringing me umbrella drinks!


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