This is the rework of a self-published auto-biographical story (2008), rewritten for this blog. Names of characters have been changed.
Content warning: mental and physical abuse, misogyny.
Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in getting up every time we do.
Clubbing (part 2)
December 1993 to 25 February 1994
Continued from… Clubbing (part 1)
Two days before the day of the singles’ party, Annie received a letter from Fran. Her letter was friendly and inviting, with a definite erotic undertone.
Fran wrote that she was married, and that her husband had no objection to her bisexuality. He actually enjoyed to be in a trio with her and some of the club members. Both of them were looking forward to meeting Annie soon, Fran wrote. Fran’s husband, Fred, was 37 years old, which was ten years older than Annie. Fran was two years younger than her husband. The letter ended with the ambiguous remark: please phone me again soon so we can make an appointment for you to have the time of your life! And, in addition to that, in big fat letters: YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT!
Annie stared at the letter in her hand. Something felt off, but it might also only be her self-doubt kicking in. She decided to wait. First, the party, then she would decide whether she still wanted to contact Fran’s so-called bi-club.
* * * * *
Three days before her wedding, Vivian called Annie.
“Annie, my dear friend, listen to me. Joe had forbidden me to call you, but you need to know this.”
“Is it about Joe?” Annie asked, almost afraid of what Vivian had to tell her.
“I’m afraid it is. He visited us out of the blue last weekend, but he wasn’t alone. There was this woman with him. Sue. He introduced her as his girlfriend. I was shocked and I asked Joe if his relationship with you was over. He said that your relationship had lost all meaning to him quite some time ago.”
Annie kept quiet as Vivian continued.
“Annie, you should see this woman. Bleached blond hair, dark roots showing. She’s fat, dirty, she smokes and she’s nine years older than Joe. The total opposite of you. I really don’t know what he sees in her,” Vivian ended.
Annie was quiet for a while. Conflicting emotions raced through her. What did she feel? Relief? Anger? Humiliation? She really didn’t know.
“I’m speechless, Vivian. But that might be where the lice came from.”
“Lice? What lice?” Vivian asked. Annie told her about her last visit to Joe.
“Oh I think you’re right. He must have gotten it from her. Eeuww, to think she sat on my couch! She smelled of sweat, as if she hasn’t bathed for weeks. My friend, you should tell Joe to fuck off! Sue told me that they’ve been together since November.”
Only then Annie felt anger. Intense anger. Now she understood why he wanted to end their relationship back in November. The coward didn’t have the guts to do it! He chose the easy way out; chose to cheat on her and let their relationship fade away. He lied; avoided her, betrayed her. He was such a… such a…
“Vivian, I’ll call you later. I’m going to call the asshole!”
Annie quickly ended the conversation. She carefully placed the horn on the cradle, stood up, closed her office door and returned to her desk. Her calm actions did nothing to calm her rage. She dialed Joe’s number. They haven’t spoken in over a week.
An all too familiar voice answered her call. Sarcasm dripped from Annie’s voice, and the more she talked, the more she spoke in staccato syllables.
“So now you can answer the phone! You thought I wouldn’t call again? But, dear,” she spat, “don’t fear. This really is the last time that I will ever call you. I never, and I mean never, want to see you again. Ever! I know exactly what you did. Just! Stay! Away! From! Me!”
That evening Annie cried the last tears for Joe. Anger replaced her tears. Countless questions raced through her head. Why didn’t he just end it in November? Why did he lie to her? Why did he cheat on her? Why didn’t she, Annie, try to find the underlying cause for his unhappiness in the relationship? Why did she let it come to this? Something else also bothered her: why did he have so many questions about Zelda? Did he want her, Annie, to start a relationship with Sue? Did he think he might then have the best of both worlds? She was almost certain that his questions about Zelda were premeditated. How could he? Did he really think she was so desperate that she would share him with Sue? At that very moment, Annie decided that she would not explore the bisexual adventure she had in mind for herself. She never wanted to give anyone the opportunity to take advantage of her like that.
To be continued… The party (part 1)
© Rebel’s Notes