The next day, I explained my side of the situation.
“Yeah, we WERE supposed to have craft night,” he said. “But I got too drunk.”
He didn’t even bother picking up his daughter that day, and obviously didn’t bother telling me there was a change of plans. Instead, he decided to get hammered, and make me feel crazy for thinking we had plans.
It was a situation that, looking back, I wish I would have taken more seriously.
Later that week, D and I grabbed a quick-lunch together. He posted it on Facebook, saying it was the perfect time. As a joke, I commented, “Yeah, your gf is super hot!”
He later asked me if I did that because the caddy (from the tournament) had written on his wall.
I didn’t see a comment from her.
“There is no comment from her,” I said, wondering again if I was insane, blind, or if he had blocked posts from me.
“Yeah there was,” he said. “I asked her if she made it home okay after the tournament and she replied.”
“The bigger question is, why did you feel it necessary to add her on Facebook?” I asked. He didn’t have anything to say.
That Friday night, D told me he had to go out-of-town for work on Monday, and would be late picking up his daughter from the bus stop.
He asked if I’d be willing to pick her up and entertain her until about 6 p.m., when he got home. I said I would only do it if she wanted me to. So he said he’d call her on Saturday and find out what she wanted to do.
In the 24 hours that passed, I started thinking that if she wanted me to pick her up, we could finally complete the craft I’d gotten supplies for. When D got home, he could make us dinner, and it would be a fun evening. D agreed that it would give me and his daughter a chance to bond.
On Saturday night, D and I went out to meet a few of his friends and have a margarita. Mid-drink, I asked him if he talked to his daughter.
“Yeah…um…my mom is just going to pick her up,” he said. “She really wasn’t too keen on you picking her up.”
I hung my head. “Oh,” I said.
The tears started to well-up in the rims of my eyes. I was heartbroken.
“What’s wrong?” he asked.
“It makes me really sad,” I said. “I didn’t think she liked me, but this just drives it right home that she doesn’t. I was really hoping she’d want me to pick her up.”
“Baby, don’t be upset,” he said. “She just likes for me to pick her up. She really wasn’t excited about my mom picking her up either.”
I stirred my drink.
“This is completely new for her,” he said. “She likes you, she’s just not ready to be with you one-on-one.”
I tried to just put it all out of my head, drink my tequila, and move on, but I was really upset. I understood this was new for her, but it was new for me, too. I’d never dated anyone with a child, and I’d really never been around kids, so I didn’t know how to act, and it was frustrating.
Bottom line: The fact that she didn’t like me was a strike against me. No matter how great a girlfriend I could be for D, the love of his life didn’t like me. And I understood, if I were her, I wouldn’t like me either.
The Monday D was out of town, I was feeling torn. I really wanted his daughter to like me and I know in order for that to happen, I needed to see her more and make a real effort when I saw her. But I didn’t want to be around someone who didn’t like me, even if she was a 6-year-old.
D invited me to meet him and his daughter for dinner that night, so I got ready and jumped in the car, meeting them near his parents’ house for crawfish. His daughter and I were silent. I was nervous and still a little upset.
When we left the restaurant, D asked his daughter if she wanted to ride home with him or Miss Holly?
“Is Miss Holly coming to our house?” she asked him. He nodded.
“I’ll go with Miss Holly,” she said.
My heart swelled with joy. Even D was shocked. She jumped into the backseat, buckled up, and we were on our way. And to my surprise and delight, she was a little chatterbox!
I had to know the truth, did she like Justin Bieber?
She said yes, and we were insta-besties. I put on some Biebs, sneaked in a little Katy Perry and we were two peas in a pod. Just to add icing to the cake, I asked her if she wanted to stop and get some candy. She nodded.
We were on a top secret mission to grab the candy and stuff it in my purse on the ride home so daddy wouldn’t see. Girls just wanna have fun, right?
It was a new chapter and it felt great. D continued to tell me how important it was that her and I get along—despite him dating other women since his divorce, I was the first one who he introduced to his daughter.
I was flattered.
After I found out about Matt’s wedding, I once again took to writing poetry to sort out my feelings. This is what I came up with:
You should’ve said/ It was someone else/ That it wasn’t me you were looking for/ You should’ve said/ You loved her/ And not me/ You could’ve said/ You bought a ring/ Shared a hotel room/ Took a picture/ That would prove my point/ You could’ve said/ You’re getting married/ You’re letting her walk down the aisle/ Stepping over/ Years of lies you fed her/ Getting closer/ To the lifetime of nights/ You’ll have to/ Lay beside her/ The one you betrayed/ And live with the/ Moment you told her/ Father you’d take care of his girl/ In my dreams/ You would’ve said/ Her name/ That it wasn’t me/ You would’ve said/ You did me wrong/ You could’ve said/ I’m sorry
Naturally, I posted it on Facebook and that was that. Weeks later, D came over after work in a rather chipper mood. He’d been drinking, per usual, and was pulling bottles out of my fridge to make us a round of drinks.
“So, who was your poem about?” he asked me.
“Why, are we about to fight over it?” I asked.
“No, no,” he said. “I was just curious.” We took our drinks to the roof and grabbed a patio table.
“It was about my ex,” I said.
D’s demeanor snapped; not an unfamiliar occurrance when something like this came up in conversation. His eyes narrowed, his voice changed slightly to reveal his anger.
“Okay, so all of those times you told me you loved me you were fucking lying,” he said. “I get it.”
“That’s not it at all,” I said. “It’s about finding out that someone you loved and cared for was cheating. That the whole relationship was a lie. That hurts me.”
“That’s the past. If you didn’t care for him now then you wouldn’t give a shit,” he said.
“You’re saying that if all of the sudden you found out your ex wife was cheating on you when you were married that you wouldn’t care?” I asked, trying to get him to understand where I was coming from.
“Nope,” he said.
It was bullshit, but he’d made up his mind and I didn’t stand a chance. The tears welled up in my eyes and I tried to hide my face.
“I do love you,” I said. “I love you so much. Sometimes I get upset that my relationship with Matt even happened because I feel like the baggage I have from that comes into this one and I don’t want to lose you.”
It was an honest, ugly girl cry. I never wanted to hurt D. He came to my side and put his arms around me.
“It’s okay, it’s okay,” he said. “Please don’t cry. Everyone has a past and that’s just part of dating.”
That weekend, D informed me of some pretty cool news: Not only was his daughter’s graduation from kindergarten coming up, but D said her mom wanted me to be there.
I was flattered.
The kindergarten graduation ceremony was scheduled for 9:30 Friday morning, so I took the day off work. After the ceremony me, D, his daughter, and her mom had plans to go out to lunch to celebrate.
D said he was going to buy his daughter a bouquet of flowers for the occasion. Flowers? Psshh. I wanted to get her a gift.
I ventured to Target in search of the perfect gift; nothing too flashy, but something to show that I care, and that I’m cool, and that she should like me, dammit.
I really wanted to get a “Graduation Barbie”…which, turns out that even though Barbie is a mom and a doctor and a veterinarian and President, she didn’t graduate. So I was left wandering down the Barbie aisle.
Eventually, I came across the Barbie Pocket Learner. According to the packaging, this little gadget had 24 interactive activities including logic, vocabulary, numbers, and more! You could even send Barbie “emails.”
I was pretty stoked that I found a cool-looking toy that was somewhat educational for a low price. So, I grabbed some wrapping paper and headed home.
The day before the graduation, D had to close the restaurant (just as he did every thursday night) but he promised to go straight home and sleep—we needed to be at the school on time.
As the night wore on, it was obvious D was in the mood to celebrate like it was his graduation. He got drunk and invited me over. I went over to his house around 2 am to find him and his roommate drinking on their back patio.
I had already been sleeping for quite some time, I was still tired, and was in no mood to drink. So I sat on the patio, watching the two of them circle in conversation as they got drunk, and drunker.
Around 5 am, D decided to call it quits and go to bed.
“Will you wake me up in the morning before you leave?” he asked.
“Of course,” I said, setting my phone alarm so I could get home to shower and get ready before the graduation. I slept for about two hours before it sounded. I tried to wake D.
“Hey, babe, babe,” I said. “Wakey wakey.”
“WHAT?!?!” He screamed at me, “WHAT do you WANT?”
“I was just making sure you’re alarm was set,” I yelled back. “You don’t ALWAYS have to be such a shit head!”
“My phone is right there!” he said, pointing to an empty nightstand. I left for home, showered and went back to his house knowing he would still be sleeping.
TO BE CONTINUED…