About a week later, Jay and I had plans to attend a birthday outing on a party bus with a group of my friends. As I was getting ready, he sent me a text message saying I had actually already met this girl he’d “gone out with” as she was in my office one day.
Let me think. Not to be a total bitch, but yes, I saw someone in my office who said she knew me because she saw one of my blogging presentations. Cool, I told her. I had no clue what her name was, nor did I recall seeing her in the audience because there was 100 people there and it was a year beforehand, nor did she say, HEY, I’M FUCKING YOUR FRIEND JAY.
But, maybe I’m just an idiot and/or Jay’s girlfriend should get off my status.
Before he (secretly) started seeing someone, he was planning on staying at my apartment that night, instead of driving home, across town. But after I told him I was over the funny shit, he said he wasn’t going to drink much so that he could drive himself home.
We met up to get on the party bus, me wearing my awesome sequined shorts (get the scoop here), and we make it through one bar before Jay starts giving me the talk about how much he “loves” me and always wants me in his life in some form or fashion.
Then, he kissed me. And again. And a lot. This was on January 18, but whose keeping track, anyway? Girlfriend who? What? I don’t know.
We get to the 4th bar on the party bus, Lock and Key, where he was apparently with his secret girlfriend the night before. There, he tells me how great and awesome I am.
“You keep saying I’m awesome,” I said. “But not awesome enough for YOU.”
I got on the bus, and that was that. We ended up at my favorite guilty pleasure, The Cadillac, where I made a fool of myself attempting to do the Cupid Shuffle.
We stumbled off the bus near my apartment, and he came upstairs to sleep over.
When I awoke the next morning to go to brunch, there he was, under the covers, his shoulders bare. I was still completely dressed.
I woke him up, recapped the night, we laughed, he still failed to mention any girlfriend, and so I kissed him goodbye and headed to brunch.
Maybe he really wasn’t dating anyone, I thought.
I told a fellow blogger at brunch about the situation. She told me it was shady and that I needed to stand my ground. Hmm…
During the next few weeks, I started seeing photos of him and girlfriend (or at least I assumed) on Facebook, but whenever I would ask him what he was up to, he would cooly not mention girlfriend.
I decided to just lay low. Our friendship was doomed. But despite being upset, I had already agreed that I would be a guest on Jay’s video podcast to talk about Valentine’s Day survival tips for singletons.
So, I put on my happy face, chugged a glass of wine, and the show started recording. During the live show, Jay’s cohost mentioned Jay’s girlfriend and how much sex they were going to have on February 14.
Smile. Smile. Smile, I told myself. My teeth clenched. Before the show started, he had told me not to mention us hooking up.
I kept quiet and kept my cool, but girlfriend was angry—or that is what I gathered from the amount of text messages blowing up Jay’s phone. I could also see the texts popping up on the iPad screen from which we were recording.
After lots and lots of typing on Jay’s part, I saw it:
“Baby, you’re fine. I love you.”
They were already saying “I love you”? We had messed around just a few weeks prior. I am no mathematician, but that usually doesn’t happen in two weeks.
I hadn’t been placed in any type of friend zone. I had been played like a fucking fool. My mind took me back to that night downtown, when he cheated on his last girlfriend.
I finished my wine and said I needed to leave, dialing my friend’s number as soon as his front door shut.
I needed answers, so I went to a mutual friend and asked him for the scoop. We compared calendars, and his jaw dropped when I pointed to the dates we’d been together. He confirmed there was overlap. I knew I shouldn’t have been surprised, but I was.
This was someone I thought was my friend.
I waited weeks to say anything to Jay, because I knew what would happen when I did. He would try to save face, say that everything I was upset over was untrue, and that I was simply jealous of girlfriend.
That’s exactly what happened, only Jay added insult to injury when he said, “I’m sorry you disagree.”
Well, you know what? I’m sorry that I don’t accept backhanded apologies. I’m sorry that I deserve friends who don’t lie to me. I am sorry that you should have done the correct thing, and introduced me to your girlfriend, because that is what people do when they fall in love.
I’m sorry that you feel like you need two chicks at once. I’m sorry you took advantage of me. I’m sorry that I fell for you. And I’m sorry that I’m not sorry for not giving a bucket of fucks any longer.
My heart is on the mend, but I’m glad that this isn’t an issue I have to deal with any longer. Sometimes, things really are what they seem. The thing is, we often don’t want to admit what’s true, especially if that means a friend is actually okay with hurting your heart.
I admit we knew we’d get in trouble. That part’s true. We knew people would be worried, and we still ran away, anyway. But something also happened, which we didn’t do on purpose. When we first met each other, something happened to us.
—Sam, Moonrise Kingdom