(In order to understand this post fully, you will need to read yesterday’s post. )
“A pattern?” I asked, surprised. ” What do you mean?”
“Well, he taught you how to play squash, didn’t he?”
“Yes.” I thought about that for a while. “After I beat him, he quit playing with me.”
“You actually beat him at squash? Wow! I’m impressed. I never even got close to doing that.” We sipped our tea. “He made you read D. H. Lawrence, too, didn’t he?”
“Yes, he did. He especially recommended Sons and Lovers,” I added.
“Well, of course he did.” She laughed. “It is a pretty good book. He never actually spent any money on you, did he?”
After a little reflection, I realized this was true.
“It seems like he spends about two months with a girl, teaches her to play squash, gets her to read D. H. Lawrence, and then as soon as he starts feeling comfortable with her and the next logical step is to get serious, he dumps her like she is radioactive material.” We sat and thought about that for a while. “How much do you know about his family?” M finally asked me.
“I know his mother was divorced,” I replied.
“That’s it? That is all he told you?”
I had to admit that we really hadn’t talked about our childhoods or families all that much. So, she enlightened me as to his past.
It seems that when he was around 3 or 4, GL’s mother and father got divorced. There were angry feuding fights, lots of drugs and alcohol, and a prolonged, bitter battle over custody. His mother prevailed, and was awarded full custody of her child. Not long after her divorce was final, she met another guy and married him. Eventually the new man adopted her son, which involved another bitter battle to get the birth father’s parental rights terminated. It wasn’t too long before history repeated itself, and another divorce ensued.
This time, the adoptive father was awarded custody, largely because the mother had succumbed to alcohol as well as drugs. After the second divorce, the young GL2 was now living with his adoptive father. This man got married, divorced, and married again. The second marriage was not a happy one (surprised?), and around the time GL2 went off to get his college education that one was in the process of heading to court as well.
It was really no wonder after a childhood like that GL2 was fully convinced that marriage was not good, and that no relationship had any chance of lasting. He was determined not to ever get caught in that trap, and the best way to do it was to cut off any relationship that threatened to evolve past casual sex. Run screaming from the room, (figuratively speaking), was his policy.
M and I discussed the situation for quite a while, wondering what to do. Apparently, she and the young woman who had been his girlfriend between her and me had sort of been betting about how long I would last, and were both amazed that I had made it through more than three months.
“Maybe he liked the fresh bread,” I suggested.
Well, to make a long story short, during the ensuing months we three observed as he allowed another rather beautiful young lady to attach herself to him. She was so devastated when he dumped her that she attempted suicide, could not bear to stay in school, and went home to recover.
The semester ended, summer came, and I went on a long bike trip around Alaska. I had some pretty amazing adventures, saw a lot of the state of Alaska, and returned to school refreshed and (mostly) healed from the rawness of that particular romantic disaster.
During the summer break, another heart had been damaged by this callous cad, and M and I finally got tired of it. Psychological damage or not, we didn’t feel like he had the right to run roughshod over every female that had the misfortune to be attracted to him. We called a lunch meeting at the student union, the scene of so many of his exits. There were four of us in attendance, and what we should do about the situation was the only item on the agenda. After a certain amount of discussion, we saw fit to form the “GL2 Ex-girlfriends Club.”
There were no By-laws, no Constitution, no officers. All there was was a mission. That fall, every time we saw a young lady go to the movies with GL2, we made it our business to join her for lunch in the Commons the next day. The four of us would inform the newest sucker of GL2′s past, his pattern, and inform her of the prospects for her future with him.
Universally, they decided to cut their losses and stop seeing him.
One day, as I was having tea at the student center, one of the math majors dropped by my table. “Gee, I haven’t seen you in a really long time,” he said. “The 5-Letter Word Game just isn’t the same without you around.”
“Yeah. Well, I really found it difficult to spend time in your company after GL2 hurt me so bad. Sorry about that.”
“Oh, well, we understood. But maybe we’ll be able to see more of you next semester, then.”
“Why would I put myself through that?”
“Oh, GL2 is transferring to another school at the end of this semester. I guess he finally got tired of not having a girlfriend. He couldn’t get to square one with any girls this year at all.”
“Really? Fancy that.” I have to admit I probably smirked. “Where is he going to transfer to? Down to Anchorage?” I couldn’t resist asking.
“No, no. Farther than that. He got accepted by the University of Florida, in Miami I think. Even got a job as a TeachingAssistant.”
“Goody for him.” I told my math friend.
The “GL2 Ex Girlfriends Club” met and decided there was no way to warn the girls of Florida, had a final convivial cup of tea, and disbanded.