When I was little I owned the movie soundtrack to Disney’s Aladdin. I bought it with my own money while in Disney World with my family. I loved it.
A friend at school asked to borrow the cassette so she could listen to it over a weekend.
Months later when she returned it, the tape inside the cassette was mangled, ruining certain tracks. The cover and lyric booklet were missing.
I was let down. It was one of the first lessons I learned about being careful when letting others borrow something that’s important to you.
I recently had another one of those times – but it was a bit more adult in circumstance.
Nearly four years ago now I was on the verge of breaking up with my then boyfriend, M. I became friends with a male coworker who lived half a block away from me. We starting doing things together M would not do with me — like running Cheesman Park, trying out new eats in the neighborhood and even occasionally making dinner together at his apartment. A few times, he brought me to his church. What I realize now is that it was inappropriate for me to be spending time like that with him while feeling so mixed up over M. I justified each time we spent together by the fact that I was fighting with M and that we were “on a break” and then on and then off and then he hated me and then he loved me and then I hated him and then I didn’t. It was very dramatic and exhausting and there was just very little right about our relationship.
I did end up officially breaking up with M, but not before I poured my heart out to my neighbor/coworker and loaned him a book that was very important to me. It was not necessarily worth any money, but because of the book’s story, and the particular copy’s meaning to me. He knew all this before I loaned it to him.
After a few weeks of spending time with him I realized I was wrong about his loyalty to me – as more and more women came out of the woodwork to warn me that he was a snake who disguised himself as a Jesus-loving, born-again-virgin Christian. I was SICK over the stories I was hearing and so upset with myself from falling right into his sweet demeanor and soft attitude. I used to give myself more credit for being cautious and thoughtful. He even told me on my sofa one evening that if we got engaged he hoped we’d get married very quickly. Less than a week later, he was not returning my calls.
Incredible guilt aside from my own faults those few months, the happiness I’ve found out of this bizarre and 90%-over relationship (I still work with him) is a good girlfriend, another victim (one…or maybe two girls in front of me?) in his very long and almost unbelievable line of untruths and string of vulnerable lady friends. He got married the weekend before me in May and it was all I had in me not to contact his poor bride and tell her his hurtful ways. She probably should know better, because her former roommate was one of the women he suctioned and then left hanging. Perhaps he’s changed, but there’s always a little truth that lingers. Perhaps he’s met his perfect match.
For years now, I have asked that he return the book I loaned him. YEARS. I have asked at least four times a year for three years now. After his wedding, he moved a few blocks to a new apartment and must have physically touched my book to load it into a box with him to his new digs. Still he did not return it.
Finally last Friday I wrote him an email and said I needed the book back. Period. I wanted it Monday. No excuses.
He did deliver it to me this morning at my desk.
The NYC Subway papertag transfer I’d used as a bookmark the two times I read it was missing and a page was dog-eared. (Who does that to someone else’s book?) The paperback was a little worse for wear, but I’ve had it for a long time…and the copy itself has now had its own Denver adventure, much like its characters between the covers.
I’m thrilled this chapter is closed.