Daily Prompt: Tainted Love

Oh my! When I read this particular daily prompt I was smiling from ear to ear! I don’t think anyone can laugh like I have about my ultimate breakup, and believe me at the time it was far from funny…

Now this is a long one, you have been warned, there is quite a bit of back story.
I was 14. I’d had a hard time of it at home and at school and my grades were suffering along with my mental health and I was being bullied by a girl that was at one point in my muddled life, my best friend. Ironically she is now a very close friend of mine. Anyhow, I lived with my mum and stayed with my dad some weekends.
My dad was remarried, she had a son from a previous marriage and they had a son together. He took his wife and the two boys on holiday to Lanzerote.
I had been fortunate enough not to have gone with them. I can see this now, but at the time I was bitter. They were both alcoholics. When he drank he slept. When she drank she didn’t stop til she was unconscious. She usually became violent and a danger to everyone.

After yet another row at home due to yet another exclusion from school I was sent to my dads for 2 weeks over half term. It was then he told me that him, the wife and two boys were giving up jobs and schools and selling up to buy a café 150 miles away from where I lived.

While I was staying with them it was brilliant weather, I believe 2006 was one of the best ‘textbook’ summers I’ve witnessed. They had just got back from Lanzerote when I was staying with them. They had already sold their house and stored everything at my Grandma’s. Well, she is such a kind lady, I wouldn’t expect anything less.
When I arrived at my dads his wife took me upstairs to tell me that while they were away at their all inclusive 5* hotel, she was sexually assulted, in the worse way. I cried, we hugged. It was never mentioned again.

A few days later we were travelling the 150 odd miles to see where they were all moving to. It was when we got there that I decided I wanted to move too. The school was amazing. The café looked great and the house we’d viewed was lush.
So that was that. I had decided and my dad, for once, was pleased with me.
The half term ended and I went home to my mum.

I continued to get into fights and other trouble at school, my grades continued to sink.
I had become a very rebellious-nasty-nobody.
I told anyone who would listen that I was leaving and moving to Liverpool (as that is close to where they were going). I was laughed at and picked on more and more. Then one day, I got a few people to sign my shirt and never went back to that school. I left with my head held high, and a big weight lifted off my shoulders.
I still hadn’t told my mum. She had gone away on holiday for a week and I was in mixed minds.
I am a creature of comfort. I do not like change. But I was living a sorry life.
While she was away I was staying with my dad again. This time instead of going 150 miles up north we drove the 45 minutes to my mums, with a trailer, while their boys were at school, and packed all my stuff out of my room.
At the time, I felt nothing. I didn’t care about my mums feelings or what I was doing. I was misguided by my damaged mental health and my deluded dad.
A few days passed and I got a desperate phonecall from mum asking where was I etc. She had been in my room and it was empty. She was scared for me. She was very upset.
I told her happily I had moved. I still felt nothing!
A week later we (my dad, the wife, the boys and I) moved 150 miles North to the new house, on the Friday.
We unpacked and got moved in over the weekend then on the Monday enrolled the boys in school. The following few days my dad and the wife went to what was now their café to sign papers and be shown how to use equipment and all the other stuff to do with the business.
By Friday they owned the business. I hadn’t been able to start school.til after the 6 week summer holiday as there were only two weeks of term left and I was due to sit exams in the next school year.
So I worked in the café. My dad cooked, she prepped, packed and served. I managed the front of the shop on my own as a manager would have. A barista, a waitress, a cleaner.. you name it I was doing it.
I earnt £500 over 8 weeks. Then the week before I was due to start school I bought myself a Dell Inspiron 1300 laptop!
That was to be the cause of a lot of my problems to come.
I had a few days off due to paperwork issues between my old and new schools. So I used my laptop and created a complete obsession with the internet. I was already obsessed with MSN messenger. But I was also obsessed with talking to complete strangers.
That is how I met Craig. In a chat room, I think it may have even have been chat-avenue. He was 17. He lived in the town that was ten minutes train journey from where I lived.
After a few days of talking we decided to meet up. How foolish was I?
We met at the train station and he immediately recognized me from my photo.
We went back to mine and because I was nervous I stalled him a bit and started to show him some photos on my laptop. He stopped me and we kissed. I was shaking. He hugged me and stroked my neck until I relaxed. At that point we connected. I’d never met someone off of the internet. I didn’t know really what I was doing.
We had sex. Protected no less. On my bedroom floor.
He left. I showered. Dad, the wife and the boys came home.
I started school on the Monday and immediately got my head down, made some amazing friends and created a lot of attention from some lads as they had never heard someone from the south speak. It was great. I was happy, clever and popular! My grades hit a record high [for me].

Craig messaged me and text me all the time and we were set to meet again this time I was meeting him at his end of the train line. Wow. I felt like I was living a film. A Hollywood love affair.
We met a few times before the wife started to ask questions. So I had to tell my dad, I had a boyfriend.
Which was fine. He was ok with it. He didn’t shout. I was surprised.
I juggled school, GCSEs, work and Craig.
I spent many romantic trips, nights and days with Craig amongst the usual bitterness of alcoholism at my dads house.
It was the perfect relationship. About 4 months in, I stumbled across a few messages betwen Craig and a girl called Becky. Nothing that Craig couldn’t worm his way out of. And I naively shrugged it off. I was kind and forgiving. and stupid
Months passed. Birthdays, Valentine’s, football, shopping. Romantic nights, hotel rooms, steamy showers. I was spoilt. Then one weekend he said he was going to his mums, out with the lads and wouldn’t be available on his phone. So Friday, Saturday and Sunday daytime passed. I phoned about 10pm plenty of time for him.to be home and showered. A girl answered. As soon as I said hello, whos that? She hung up.
Once again Craig wormed his way out of it. He told me that her name was Becky his dad used to date her mum. They were old friends and she thought the number calling his phone was her sister as she was due to be picking Becky up to take her home. Why, I don’t know but I believed it.
Months passed, perfect relationship and romance continued. Then a few weeks before I was due to fly off to Venice with my school, Craig left his phone on the window sill and went to make breakfast. Usually the only people to contact him via his phone were, what I knew to be his mum, dad, brother, sister and me. So as his dad was in the house. His sister was at his mums, and he had just spoken to his mum and his brother was travelling the world and obviously I was in his bed.. I was curious. I fought with my subconscious self, look – don’t look – look – don’t look – I looked. My head spun instantly , my blood boiled, literally. My knees were weak. My life had crumbled. The room around me had turned grey the world had stopped being colourful and bright. It was Becky. “Cant wait to see you again, xxx”

So I did what any girl would do. I saved her number on my phone. Text her off of his phone. And went to find him, in the kitchen, all guns blazing. I was seething. He hadn’t seen this side to me. He had always seen the nice, sweet innocent me.

His dad by this time had a cup of tea and was perched in his chair infont of the tv. He interfered immediately shouting how I was bang out of order and Craig should bin me off.

Craig admitted to me he had be seeing her. She was 19. A virgin. But someone he could take out to the places I couldn’t go due to not having any identification.
I cried. I ran upstairs. Packed up my things and began to walk to the bus stop.
In the meantime I had rang my dad. He drove the 40mins to pick me up. I could see his car. Parked by the local Aldi store. Craig had caught up with me by this time and was pleading with me for my acceptance of his apologies. I was numb. He kissed my cheek and made sure I got into my dads car.
I got in the car. Dad asked if I was ok. I nodded and fiddled with the radio. The charts were on BBC Radio 1. It was Sunday.
The Fray – How to save a life was announced as number one as we drove off. I immediately linked those vile emotions to that song.
We didn’t speak. By the time we got back to our town I had arranged with Becky to meet me, somewhere neutral. B&Q, half way between hers and mine. My dad dropped me to her.
She had just passed her test and had her sister with her. We dropped her sister off and as she got out the car she looked at me winked and said “Go get him!” meaning get justice. I’m not sure why but it was encouraging anyway.

Becky drove us to Craig’s.
I rang him and told him to open the door.
His dad was angry. I’d bought trouble to their door…
His son the cheating scum bag. He now had to face me and the person he had been cheating with, united on his doorstep!

Becky had told me that Craig told her I was a mithering ex that kept pestering him. She believed him. She confirmed there was no.sexual relationship but still I was hurting. That means he was just using me for sex.
His dad offered Becky in and I stood blubbering to Craig on the doorstep. His dad heard me call him abusive names and came to me while Craig went to get me a tissue. His dad got up in my face a cocked his fist back Craig saw it and pushed his dad back, was he ever actually gonna hit me? This time, luckily I will never know. It was definitely time to leave. Becky dropped me back on the estate I lived in, I saw a lad I knew he was in a relationship with my friend from school, he saw I was upset and walked me home.
My dad asked if I was ok, what was I meant to say, yes? I just got a bottle of cider and headed for the park to see my mates.
While I was away that weekend my dad the wife and boys had moved from the house to the flat above the shop. I had a matress and a few clothes, me and my dad were staying at the house because I needed space, and to be honest I don’t think he wanted to be with the wife anymore.

I flew out to Venice and Craig contacted my mobile. I was gutted. He rang to tell me to stop ringing him AND Becky! I was abroad, calls weren’t cheap. He genuinely thought it was me. It wasn’t, I was really enjoying the most amazing trip ever. There was a heat wave and I was sun-drunk! I had never been abroad without my mum and it was the best break-up-blues cure ever!

I met Craig regularly as we genuinely got on well, how foolish of me. In the end I met someone new. He flew off to Australia with his brother. I’ve Facebook searched before now just to see how he is doing, never messaged him but I found him. He lives in Australia now. Best place for him, the other side of the world.

Everything happens for a reason, and I’m glad I never settled for him. I am now with the most amazing, handsome funny man, he is father to our two children. We have a perfect life – to an outsider – a pretty home, a car, business, children, pets…

We are engaged to be married. I couldn’t be happier. To anyone recently gone through a break up, that gutless feeling of complete self pitty, the thoughts of ‘i will never be happy again’, pull yourself together! Your already closer to happiness than you can possibly imagine.

Go get em!

Kelly, Cabbage Girl.

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