Most of you who know me know that earlier this year (2007), I extracted myself from a very unhealthy romantic relationship. It took a lot for me to get out of it, but by January, I had gotten rid of all 212 lbs of his dead weight and was prepared to move on with my life. The first week in January, I made the conscious decision to mentally and physically (see my blog on the Master Cleanser) purge the toxins that had plagued me for so long. And, by February I was feeling great! Things were looking up for me.
You see, in August of 2005, I met a guy that I thought was “the One”. This was not unusual. So far in my dating life, I had thought I found ‘the One” two times prior to meeting this particular dude. We fell for each other fast and furiously and were dating exclusively within three weeks of knowing one another. My friends didn’t like him, my parents HATED him, but I was totally, madly, outrageously in love. By November 2005, we were living together and I was happier than I had ever been. But that happiness was short-lived.
Turns out that he wasn’t Prince Charming at all, in fact, he was more like Prince Crazy-as-Hell! He would do mean things just for the heck of it. Like once, we bought a fish for a pet. It wasn’t anything special, just a $3.00 fish we picked up on a shopping excursion to the outlets in Leesburg, VA. The fish was red and we were in love, so we decided to call him Valentine.
One day, The Ex got mad at me about something minor (at this point, getting upset over petty things was pretty much a daily occurrence) and when I came home from work, Valentine wasn’t in his tank. This didn’t really surprise me because I just assumed that The Ex had cleaned the tank and put Valentine in the small container that we used when his tank was being washed. I went to the bathroom and saw that the container was on the counter. It was empty. My heart sank.
I walked into the bedroom where The Ex was watching television to inquire about Valentine’s whereabouts.
“Where’s Valentine?” I asked The Ex.
“You made me mad, so I flushed him down the toilet,” he responded coolly, never taking his eyes off the television.
The f*ck are you talking about, I thought. Out loud I said, “You did what?”
“I flushed him down the toilet. I killed him,” he said, again not looking at me.
Wow. This fool is really crazy, I thought. I vaguely recalled my parents saying that killing animals was a symptom of a sociopath. I wondered silently whether a fish counted as an animal for the purposes of diagnosing The Ex.
I walked into the living room and plopped down on the couch. What are my options here, I am thinking. Is there some place I can report this behavior? I could call PETA, but I doubt that they’d be up-in-arms over a measly fish. Thing was, I didn’t even really like the fish, but I was freaked out by The Ex's behavior.
Just then, The Ex walked into the living room and said “So, are you going to apologize?” Today, as I am writing this, I can’t even remember what I had done to upset him in the first place, but I am certain that – whatever it was – it was petty and definitely not worthy of a fish "murder".
I was kind of dazed. But, because this was the first true sign that dude was far from stable, I decided to just go ahead and concede.
“Sure, yeah. I apologize. But why did you have to kill the fish? You’re f*cking crazy,” I said.
He smiled, picked up the empty fish tank and walked into the bathroom. I didn’t move. From my place on the couch, I heard cabinets opening and closing, water running, and eventually I heard him walking back into the living room. I looked up and was shocked.
Valentine was swimming happily in his tank, safe and sound.
This fish was alive.
“Valentine, you’re alive!” I yelled. I jumped up and grabbed the tank out of The Ex’s hands.
“Why would you tell me that you had killed the fish and you really didn’t?” I asked incredulously.
“Because I wanted you to know that I was really mad.”
“You could’ve just said that you were really mad! You didn’t have to make up something like that. That’s absolutely ridiculous. You’re crazy.”
“I didn’t actually kill the fish,” he said, laughing, walking back into the bedroom to finish watching television.
“I don’t know what’s more disturbing, you actually killing the fish or you hiding him and pretending you did,” I said to nobody in particular.
I am in deep doo-doo. I am living with a psycho. Maybe...
Strike one! Two more and this dude is O-U-T.