Well, as the title suggests, events took an ugly turn this week. Since I had a couple of days free, I texted The Frenchman. We made plans for me to take the trip to Marseille, not far from where I am, and I’d get to see the sights I hadn’t seen yet, crash on his sofa and then head back the next morning.
I woke up at the crack of dawn and made my way there. We had a great day, too. After wandering around the port, we took a boat out to Le Pointe Rouge, a tiny beach, and had lunch before sunbathing and taking a dip in the sea. It was nice. Not at all awkward, just two mates hanging out. It was almost to easy, I thought. Since the boat back only ran once an hour, and was full, we decided to take the bus instead after stopping for some ice-cream. As we got near to his apartment, my phone rang, one of my French friends from London calling to see how I was.
As we approached the apartment building, some woman comes up to The Frenchman and starts going off on one. I turned by back for a minute and walked away, to tell my friend I’d call him back later. The next thing I knew, I got hit over the head, my head banged into the concrete wall and blood started pouring from my nose. It was the first time I’d ever been hit and I was so shocked, I didn’t know what to do. I don’t even know what happened, but all I could see was The Frenchman getting whacked over the head as he tried to restrain this crazy woman. One of his neighbours had come down and asked if I was ok, and then I just burst into tears. He hadn’t told me he had a new girlfriend, and I couldn’t understand why she was laying into me. What happened next was a good 10 minutes of her trying to get at me, telling me to ‘take my plane and leave’ while I’m trying to avoid her coming at me again. She’s been with him since last July, she said. I said I didn’t know anything about her, to which she replied she knew everything about me. She even started reciting some of the stuff me and The Frenchman had said via email. What the actual fuck?? She asked if I was there in November and February, and I said yes. And then she hit the Frenchman again. She shouted that I needed to leave because I was only there to have sex with him. Erm, no. When she asked why not, I said ‘I ended it, so why would I want to have sex with him now?’ She then went wild again, in French, and what I got from that was that he’d told her that he was the one to end it, not me, and this was supposed to have happened in January. Then she asked if I’d sent him an email confirming when we’d split up. I said no, and she hit him again – and said she knew the email she’d seen wasn’t from me. She eventually left and when The Frenchman came over to see if I was alright, I told him to leave me alone. Fair enough, he’d tried to restrain her and calm down, but the fact was that I’d just got attacked in the middle of the street with cars slowing down to take a look and people staring out of their windows and over their balconies. After staying downstairs for a while, crying my eyes out on the phone, I went up to his apartment (where my stuff was) and cleaned myself up before demanding he pour out some rum. I was shaking like a leaf with the adrenaline.
‘What the fuck was that?’ I asked, and demanded he be honest. So, he told me. She’s his new girlfriend and they’ve been together since April this year, but he’s been sleeping with her since last July. He doesn’t love her, he said, and so obviously this is more serious for her than it is for him. He’s been sleeping with her roughly every 2 weeks. His reason?
‘Because I’m an arsehole and a liar.’
‘Not acceptable,’ I said.
He said he found it difficult to be away from me, and needed someone near him for sex. He found the distance hard. I told him that was absolute bullshit, I’d have seen him as often as he wanted. The reason we saw each other so rarely was down to him – he knew how I felt about him and yet he still let it go on after we’d established we were in a relationship. He said he was afraid to tell me because he didn’t want to lose me and he thought for a long time we could have really been together. I just shook my head and reminded him that at the start, when I met Mr Grey, I was honest with him. There was no reason for him to keep it from me, and moreover, if he’d have been honest about sleeping with her from the start, I’d not have let myself get so attached to him, if I’d have met up with him at all. At least I’d have known it was only a casual thing. Apparently, she’d found our Whatsapp message trail in June and demanded he have no more contact with me, which he apparently agreed to. She hasn’t trusted him since then and because he didn’t answer the phone when she rang earlier in the day, she must have been suspicious enough to come round to his apartment.
I asked about the fake email and he told me he’d created a fake account, and emailed it, asking me to confirm when we’d split up. He apparently didn’t save the email so I couldn’t read it, but he ‘wasn’t proud’ of what he’d done. I told him that if he’d have just emailed me, asking me to confirm when we’d split up so he could reassure his new girlfriend, I’d have done it, because we were friends. He said he couldn’t ask me because he’d told her we’d split up in January (bearing in mind he came to London at the end of January) and he didn’t want me to get mixed up in their relationship. I just laughed. I was bloody well involved now. Things started to make sense in my head. He was never around at the weekend, for one, and that message on the fridge I’d blogged about for two. I asked if that message was for her (the one which said, ‘I’m at the post office, my beauty’) and he confirmed that it was.
I was so, so upset. Not because he’d cheated necessarily, because we haven’t been together for around 6-7 months now, but because he’d lied, over and over again. When he’d told me I was the only woman in his life, when he told me he’d always tried to be honest with me and not to give my trust to someone who doesn’t deserve it, it was all bullshit. I was broken at the fact that this man, who I held in the highest esteem and trusted implicitly turned out to be a complete and utter wanker. And I told him that. I told him he wasn’t the man I thought he was – that I thought he had integrity and he’d made me look a fool all those times people asked how I dealt with the trust issues that come with a long distance relationship because I’d always said I trusted him without a shadow of a doubt. After all, why shouldn’t I have?
I’d told him how difficult it was usually for me to open up about certain things, and he’d told me how honoured he was that I found it easy to do with him. It took a lot of effort on my end and all he did was abuse it. He didn’t even try not to sleep with someone else. I reminded him that he’d told me he didn’t want a relationship after we split up, and he said he still doesn’t, but she was there and it just ‘happened.’
He apologised (push the boat out why don’t you), saying that I didn’t deserve any of what had happened, it was all his fault and he hated himself for seeing me so upset. Bullshit. He hated the fact he got caught or he wouldn’t have done it, end of. The amount of money I’d spent going to see him etc, he took me for a total mug. I didn’t hide my feelings. Sure, I could have screamed and shouted, and smashed his apartment, but I didn’t. For one thing, thats’ just not me. And for two, I didn’t want to be calm and emotionless. I wanted him to see that he’d hurt me, and know he’d lost someone who would have been a friend for life.
He apologised again for making me ‘lose time’, to which I replied ‘he should be sorry about lying, cheating and hurting me, not losing time’. Sophie (his girlfriend) had won – she got what she wanted. He disagreed and I pointed out that she’d known about me since June. The only thing that had changed for her was finding out that I was the one to end our relationship, not him, and that we had still been in contact up to that point. For me, everything had changed. The memories I had of him and Marseille, the way I thought of him as a person and the friendship we had was now shattered.
I ended up staying in a hotel (he paid, I demanded he did) and the next morning, I woke up and thought I had black eyes from being hit, I’d been crying so much. Thankfully that wasn’t the case, it was nothing my sunglasses couldn’t hide, apart from the lump which is still there on the side of my head.
He was at the train station, and apologised again, saying I’m a good person and he’s so, so sorry for hurting me, because he knows this was the last time he’d ever see me and he’d lost me. And he’d never lied to me about how he felt about me. I just nodded, otherwise I’d have cried again, and stiffened when he tried to hug me goodbye. I walked away from him and I didn’t look back.
I needed a couple of days to pass before I wrote this (this happened on Tuesday) because I was just too upset. I hate feeling like I’ve been duped. I hate feeling like every time I dare to trust another human being, they turn out to be totally unworthy. I made things as stress-free as possible, it couldn’t have been any easier for him…and yet…
So, I’m back in Languedoc now, and my hosts know what happened. And they’ve been so lovely. We had a huge barbecue last night and blasted French men – apparently they have a saying that they have less value than a nail you’d hammer into wood because they cannot be trusted.
And now, I feel fine. I’ve blocked him on Facebook and deleted our messages. He can go be a cheating bastard somewhere else, I’m not going to let him ruin my holiday.