I can get into a good mystery. I make a really good sleuth; a crime is committed, various parties come and go into the situation, and someone has to come into the crime scene and sort out all the clues and piece together the truth, and what happened. It’s like putting together a plane crash after all the dust has settled and the black box is recovered.
Mysteries are good fun, simple ones at least. Sadly nothing is ever very simple; even more frustrating is when the mystery is your life and through all the sleuthing and deducting you come to the conclusion that the crime cannot be solved. The last year has been a crime scene where I have picked every nit and examined every piece of burning wreckage that was my relationship with Erin.
I came to the conclusion last year that I will never get closure from that relationship, and that only one person who could tell me the truth is the one person whom I had written off and someone whom I could not trust. Even now, I debate with myself if I asked her to tell me the truth, would I be able to trust its validity.
This didn’t sit well with me, nor will it ever. I needed to know what happened. I was consumed by the absence of that knowledge. Honestly I have been obsessing over that for longer than I want to admit to myself, some of it while the relationship was still intact.
Putting on my detective’s hat for a second, here is what I have pieced together what happened with little clues I have to work with. Erin cheated on me about halfway through our relationship, and covered it up and lied to my face that she loved me and needed to slow down the relationship. We got back together, got engaged, but she was still seeing her suitor on the side. The situation eventually exploded and the other man presented himself and I chose to believe her over his word. Things oscillated between better and worse while our sex life was on life support.
The straw that broke the camel’s back was one of her high school students. I have a picture from her journal where she curses me for wanting to improve our sex life, and on the same page claim that she had fallen for one of her students. Couple this with an uncommon amount of time she spent with him, hundreds of texts between them, and that she flat out did not come home one night from a student study session. I started to think that I picked the wrong horse when her previous fuck buddy came out of the closet.
But what to do? I was at an impasse with myself; the worst rock and hard place that I have ever had to be between in my whole life. I think Captain Ahab and I would be fast friends and have a good time over beers.
I didn’t know it at the time, but I was not only breaking up with a girl, but I was also breaking up with an idea. My view of the world has changed since then, not by choice but by necessity. I’ve realized that my view of the world pre Erin was extremely idolized. I pretended to live in a world where nobody cheated on their partners, where honesty is the best policy, and where people treated each other with respect. If you don’t believe me, go read the news. It’s okay, I’ll wait.
The end of my relationship with Erin was also the end of my innocence.
That sounds really dramatic and hyperbolic, but it’s the way I feel. I don’t look at people the same way as I used to. Everyone I meet is a just another liar, cheater, or just in general bad until I get to know them. The world has shown its true face, and that presentation process has been painful, but educational.
In and ironic twist, I empathize and feel a strong connection with her mother, whom she has been a shoulder to lean on through the hard times during the relationship, and after I discovered that she was married and pregnant a little over a year after we broke up. Gretchen and I are somewhat casualties of infidelity. I’m also curious how much or how little her mother knows about what really happened.
She emailed me last year, and I have considered responding. It was short, sorry, and probably made her feel really good about herself for sending it. It ended with the mother of all cop outs:
“I honestly am sorry about how things ended with us, and I sincerely hope that you find the happiness you deserve.”
Sorry doesn’t even begin to make up for what she did. No admission of wrongdoing, and just a hollow apology in a pithy little statement. Finding happiness that I deserve? I was extremely happy with our relationship until she shit all over it and stopped being honest with me and honest with herself. I want to be happy, but that is all in the past now, a past where nobody cheats, and where truth is the currency. If anything that’s the happiness I deserve and I know I will never have it. It might very well be dangled in front of my face for the rest of my life taunting me, and haunting me. I don’t think I live in that world anymore.
I’m happy with my life though, and I don’t want to make it sound like I am going to go cut myself after posting this. Like I said, my life view has changed out of necessity, not by choice. I will find a way increase my happiness over time.