(cont’d from 6/1/2022)
I thought I learned my lesson about rape, but there was one thing I didn’t learn in time to save another life:
Sleeping with a woman without telling her that I was in an open relationship is RAPE. I raped Crystal. She forgave me, ultimately, but drew a hard boundary to keep me at a distance because I was an unthinking self-gratifying asshole.
It’s my fault. I completely omitted the fact that I was in a relationship before I seduced her, kissing her on the couch while she was drunk and we were playing SingStar together. I didn’t know she was a completely monogamous creature. I didn’t know how much hurt I was going to put her through with my stupidity. I didn’t know how much hurt I was going to go through myself because of one stupid action: picking up the phone and going offline on my buddy that I’d been gaming with. I gave her my undivided attention when I had hers and I know that’s flirting. I did it on purpose.
She was a goddess. Who didn’t want to be with her? From where I sat, it was clear to me she could have anyone. She could choose anyone. But she chose me and I still don’t know why. I don’t think I ever will, because she will no longer speak to me. She ghosted me a year ago after proposing an art studio to me in her Victorian mansion.
I deserve that. When I realized that she was in love with me and I was in love with her, I withdrew. I’d lied to her. I didn’t tell her I was already with another woman. Kelly. I didn’t tell her we’d committed to each other long before I treated her like the only woman in my world. I lied. I fucked it all up. I’d given up on monogamy. Kelly and I had agreed it wasn’t working for us, so we decided to be roommates with benefits.
I could have left Kelly, of course, but it was easy. Crystal is not easy. Or… I thought she wouldn’t be. Then I found out she was easy to get along with, despite being a veritable god online where we’d met to begin with. A MUD that should have been forgotten with the sands of time. She was the only one who did a fucking thing there. Smart, lewd, open-minded, non-judgmental, therapist to many, mother to some, friend to others, and companion to a few more.
The way she presented herself in that role made her seem like she was in an open relationship herself. In fact, I thought it was with her roommates. I thought she was in the same situation I was in, but I never asked her. I learned that later, though, when I talked to her roommates separately. I felt like a giant asshole. It was unspoken, I’d thought. It was mutual, I’d thought.
I was wrong. I hurt this angel. I hurt this perfect woman, the woman I’d fallen in love with. Her one and only insecurity was her weight. I imagine that’s pretty common in the obese crowd, but it never bothered me. I actually enjoyed it. “More cushion for the pushing” as they say. It’s really true. You should give it a shot if you’ve never tried it, guys, but beware… each of these ladies has a hurting heart. Don’t you dare hurt them further with your bullshit. Expect to fall in love and stay that way. I’ve begun to discover they’re all lovely.
Instead of relying on their physical body to entice, they develop their personalities. If you want one hell of a woman, look for a curvaceous girl that looks down at the ground all the time. She’ll knock you right out of the ballpark.
Crystal knocked me out of the park. And every large lady I’ve dated afterward has done the same. I’ve learned my lesson and I’m being straightforward about my relationship status, but it’s the same reason Crystal is never going to speak to me again. I should have told her. I should have told her I was exposing her to risky sex before I’d instigated it.
She had no intention of touching me whatsoever. She just picked me up for a Garbage concert. I lived quite far away, so it made no sense, but she wanted to go with me. The ultra-vixen of EOM wanted to go on a date with me. I thought it was a date, I honestly did. Just a date, nothing more. Something casual.
It would have been, if I never made the moves on her. I didn’t know it, but Crystal had never been kissed the way I kissed her before I met her… I just beckoned her over to me and suddenly our lips were touching and it was endless and she was fierce, too. I remember feeling like I was hit by a ton of bricks with that kiss. It was just like her online personality, smacking me square in the face.
I shouldn’t have played with her heart. I perpetuated the falsehood of being her fiance for ten months before I realized I’d really gotten myself into a world of trouble. I didn’t know what to do. I was paralyzed. If I told her I lied to her, she’d hate me forever. I was sure of that much. I didn’t want an angel like her to hate me. Little did I know, if I’d confessed it and owned my shit show, she would have given me an ultimatum: “me or her.”
I don’t know what I would have chosen in that moment. I know what I’d choose now, but I can’t admit it to anyone or one lady will end up hurting because the ultimatum is either/or. I wasn’t ready to grow up until the moment Crystal said one thing to me, which was the furthest thing from my expectation when I did tell her I was in an open relationship.
She said, “I think people who are in open relationships are the ones who give up. There’s no other reason to have one.”
She didn’t yell at me. She didn’t cry at me. I didn’t make it extremely clear that I’d been in that relationship when I seduced her, but I knew she was sharp enough to put the puzzle together with the breadcrumbs I left her. She is a detective at heart, always trying to solve a case. I admire her for that, I really do. She is dedicated to observing reality as it is, not a fantasy on top of what is.
I didn’t expect to find someone so realistic, especially not on a fantasy game. She crafted worlds with words. Her imagination is so amazing! That’s partly why I thought she was in an open relationship, you see… the game we met on was all about extramarital affairs thanks to the owner being an open swinger. Especially while his wife was dying of cancer. I didn’t think anyone on EOM was monogamous. I didn’t think anyone monogamous could stand the mountains of bullshit on that server, actually.
Boy, was I wrong. It turned out that Crystal rarely broke a vow of celibacy on that game and I was the exception. I cried when I realized that. How could I do something so insensitive to a woman so amazing? How could I make an error so egregious as not communicating my baseline to her? I’m certain she would not have taken me to that concert if I’d told her the truth.
And that’s the problem. I wanted my crack at the angel of love. And then she loved me. And I faltered, even though I loved her back, and I broke her heart. I ghosted her for an entire year, hoping that feeling would disappear. She wrote me a letter, a complete booklet of some sixty pages, memo-sized. I read that stupid thing daily, trying to figure out what she was trying to tell me, convinced it was code. Nothing in it addressed the fact that I’d become absent.
Hell, the woman sent me my favorite candy with it: gummy worms.
I’m stupid, in a word. I know that. I’m sorry, Kelly. I cheated on you with this angel. You thought she was a guy because she was called Spike. I lied to you both. You thought she was a man and Crystal thought I was single. I did it on purpose and I deserve the doghouse for life because of it.
I’m sorry. I’m a major dickhead. In fact, it’s the reason I ran away into transitioning.
Keira Melanie Wood