The first time that I truly saw Dex’s “Frankenstein” side was after a barbecue his boss threw for the entire staff. But let me backtrack…
When Dex came over to pick me up, he was quick to give me a disapproving once-over at what I was wearing.
“You’re not wearing that, are you? I don’t want you looking like some kind of nun the first time you meet my colleagues and my boss.”
Before I could even open my mouth, Dex was rifling through my closet, picking out another outfit for me – a more form-fitting sheer white blouse and capri pants. Then he shoved them at me.
“Babe, put this on. I want everyone to see just how hot my girlfriend is.”
I had already learned my lesson about getting him upset before going anywhere with him so I just put on the outfit and fumed on the inside. I was so upset at him that I kept quiet for the entire ride to his boss’ place. But you know what? Dex didn’t even acknowledge my silence and mood until we pulled up.
“Stop being a silly baby and drop the attitude. I don’t want you giving my work people the wrong idea,” is all he said as we got out of the car. Now that angered me even more but I wasn’t about to make a scene in public so I dutifully smiled and followed Dex around as he introduced me to his boss, colleagues and their significant others.
Coincidentally, Jake, an old high school classmate happened to be there and as we enjoyed reminiscing about old times, my mood lifted. Dex stiffly hovered around for a while as I chatted with Jake about who we were still in contact with from the old days. Then Dex disappeared. I lost all track of time laughing and catching up with Jake as I noticed Dex from a distance having a good old beer time with his buddies. We couldn’t have been there for more than a few hours when to my surprise, Dex reclaimed me and announced to everyone that we had to leave.
As we headed back to the car, Dex’s grip on my hand was so forceful that I demanded that he let go.
“What the hell is wrong with you? Why are we leaving?”
If Dex’s look could kill… “You are reason we’re leaving! How dare you fuckin’ embarrass me like that in front of everyone?”
It was only after he revved the engine and sped off at a high speed that I remembered that I’d seen him drinking more than a few beers.
“How many beers did you have? You shouldn’t be driving if you are drunk Dex!”
Dex gave the car more gas and sped up to merge onto the highway. “The only one around here acting like a drunk is you! Flirting and throwing yourself at that guy like that with me standing right there like an ass!”
“I wasn’t throwing myself at him! I haven’t seen him since high school and…”
“Instead of staying with me, you spent the entire time flirting with that jerk-off! You’re lucky that I didn’t make a scene. Did the two of you ever have sex?”
“What???!” The rate at which Dex was driving forced me to hang onto the passenger door handle. “The only one making a scene is you Dex! And whether or not we have ever slept together is none of your business! Calm down! Slow down!”
Dex simply floored the gas pedal this time, narrowly passing two cars on the highway as I screamed.
“It’s your fuckin’ fault that I’m this fuckin’ pissed! Do you really want me to slow this car down? Okay, I will! I’ll just ram it right into the median and slow us both down for good! How about that?”
I screamed as he wrenched the steering wheel to the left and veered the car directly towards the median…
Continuation: G is for “Gaslight”
All Rights Reserved ©2018 Marquessa Matthews. Graphic above created with Canva.
It didn’t take long for Dex to start showing a few of his true colors…
As the months passed, he started dragging his feet whenever we had to attend functions thrown by my family. His excuse was always that he preferred to stay in, spend time alone with me and just chill. When I would explain that if I went without him, he was putting me in an awkward position to explain his absence, he didn’t seem to care. The times that he would flat-out refuse to go, he would accuse me of not loving him and I found myself making up excuses that he was sick or that I had a migraine and couldn’t attend.
And at other times that he would grudgingly go with me, he would sulk and ensure that we arrived very, very late. Then, like a flip of a switch, Dex would turn into the charming gregarious man everyone knew him to be and enjoyed.
I should have known that it wasn’t normal how the moment everyone’s backs were turned, he would act like an obnoxious baby to me, making me regret having insisted that he attend in the first place.
Then, when it came to going out with my friends, Dex always refused, especially if Samantha was involved. Scared that she would dislike him even more and not trusting how he would behave towards her, I started distancing myself from her at work and outside the office. No more lunches together, no more drinks after work on Thursdays evenings… Somewhere along the way, Sam found a new boyfriend at one of those nights out and I wasn’t even a part of it.
Our friendship took on a chill that it had never had before and I missed her.
Sam simply stopped inviting me out, gravitated towards others at work and carried on without me. If I did go out with others friends without him, he would sulk for days and drop comments about how selfish I was, making me feel guilty as hell that I wasn’t satisfied spending all my time with him. Then Dex would either give me the silent treatment or refuse to touch me for days, making me feel unworthy and unloveable.
“Agua que no has de beber, déjala correr“.
I didn’t want to upset the apple cart so I forced myself to go with the flow. I quickly learned to walk on eggshells around him, knowing what to say and definitely what not to say. I mean, I had finally found a good man who loved me and was it such a big deal that he had a few flaws?
Continuation: F is for “Frankenstein”
All Rights Reserved ©2018 Marquessa Matthews. Graphic above created with Canva.
It wasn’t the first time that Samantha had voiced her concerns about Dex.
Dex always called during our lunch break and monopolized my time. But that one day, Sam wanted me to explain why he needed to know exactly where I was, who I was with and even what I was eating if I went out of the office for lunch.
When I told her that he was just always attentive and interested, she gave me a frown followed by a “WTF” look.
“Don’t you feel…smothered Cara? It’s like he’s always around… even when he’s not!”
Sam’s words made my stomach ache but I pushed aside the feeling of uneasiness. Instead, I got defensive and a little angry.
“No! He just likes to keep in touch and nothing is wrong with that! Sam, you’re always complaining that men don’t communicate and now that Dex is doing just that, you have an issue with it. That’s just the way he is!”
Sam shrugged her shoulders. “If you say so. But I still think that it’s a way overboard.”
Her words festered and gnawed at me for days until Dex asked what was bothering me. Looking back, telling him what Sam had said was the beginning of a long line of stupid mistakes I made. Visibly pissed, Dex quickly brushed Sam’s attitude off as jealousy because she was still single. He strongly suggested that if she kept trying to bring him and our relationship down, I should spend less time with her.
The more Dex talked, the more he managed to convince me that maybe Sam was really jealous. Maybe she didn’t like seeing me in a position where I was finally happy and coupled up when she was usually in that position.
“El que con lobos anda, a aullar se enseña“….
Yes, maybe I had learned a thing or two from Sam about being “boyfriend-worthy” and now she was jealous.
But it wasn’t true.
It was the farthest thing from the truth but I realized it way too late into the game. I should have listened to that ache in the pit of my stomach…
Continuation: E is for “Eggshells”
All Rights Reserved ©2018 Marquessa Matthews. Graphic above created with Canva
Congratulations to all those who completed the A to Z Challenge!
It was my fourth kick at this challenge and though I changed course part way, I sort of finished.
Sort of finished…
I fell to my “back-up” plan and posted old songs I haven’t heard in years according to the alphabet.
But I’m still going to give my four reflections on my A to Z Challenge experience today like other participants.
Reflection #1: NO more continuous fiction stories. The ones I wrote before worked out since I only had one character. I can’t post any old words just to keep up with a challenge – quality over quantity. But I will be continuing the story off-blog for my email subscribers during summer time;
Reflection #2: “One” word or shorter titles like What Sandra Thinks and The Dream Girl Writes are the way to go for these challenges. I truly enjoyed the lightness, flexibility and variety of their posts;
Reflection #3: If my posts are not prescheduled ahead of time, I’m not participating. I have yet to spend April reading other’s posts and not writing against the calendar;
Reflection #4: April is NOT a good writing month for me. Work deadlines, tax filing month and putting sweat into A to Z posts that are unrelated to my (many) unfinished projects is not a good leverage of my writing time.
Conclusion: I think it’s safe to say that 2019 might have been my last participation A to Z Challenge. But if you’ve never done it, I would strongly encourage you to.
If you didn’t participate but are curious to read the wonderful blogs of those who did, click here.
I’ll be using this as part of my summer reading list!