It would seem Dan didn't actually need a shovel. His choice for excavation in terms of undermining a relationship is EXPLOSIVES! And when I saw the results of his words on Neko's face, I sincerely hoped that the little pus-ball would shrivel up and croak.
I reported on Sunday that Neko told Dan about her and I, and Dan lost it. On Monday, he was trying to play the romancer, trying to convince her that he should be given a chance. Tuesday rolled around and he was now ready to play the lighthearted fool, making cute little jokes here and there. By Tuesday night, he was trying to wheedle some kind of "encounter" with Neko when she was in Puerto Rico, to which she did everything she could to dissuade him.
And that's when he completely lost his $#*%. Neko actually played me the voice mail he left for her...a terrifyingly cold message that he was tired of her leading him on, and that he didn't want to play this game anymore. I was absolutely floored. "Lead him on?" She NEVER did any such thing! She's been telling him for weeks that she was looking forward to spending time with a valued friend, and that was it. And immediately following the scary message was a tearful one in which he tried to apologize, saying that he's just upset.
Now, Neko and I had a bit of strangeness in terms of conversation. I took on the role of an unnamed third party, and started offering my honest critique of her situation. It started with her making a common joke about liking this really great guy, and...Well, it kinda went something like this:
Neko: I'm falling for this really great guy.
Me: Really. And just what makes him so great?
Neko: Well, he makes me laugh, makes me feel better when things are rough, and treats me like a person.
Me: Treats you like a person, eh? Y'know, the way you say that, you'd think you didn't believe that you deserved being treated that way.
Neko: Well, with my past relationships...I really know how to pick 'em.
Me: Oh, trust me. I've been through the romance grinder a few times. Since I'm single, I can't say I'd know how to get it right.
Neko: Rob - that's the new guy - seems to know what he's doing.
Me: I doubt that. We're all amateurs when it comes to romance. Those who get it right are just lucky.
Neko: Then I'm very lucky.
Me: You thinks so, huh? Well, tell me more about this Rob character, and I'll tell you what I think.
Mind you, this wasn't the exact conversation, but it was like that for at least a half hour. (I was playing Solitaire and replying rather absentmindedly.) And I think I ripped on everyone, including myself. Like when she marveled at how "Rob" was open and honest, I said, "Oh, G-d...Here it comes. Y'know, every time I hear how someone is supposed to be open and honest, I cringe. It usually means they're just very good liars or something." When she was done sharing some of the more personal things I'd spoken of in the past, I said in amazement, "Holy crap! This guy may actually BE open and honest! First time for everything."
During this chat, I gave a stern warning about Dan, who is now known more commonly as "Monkey Boy." (I made an off-hand remark one day, called him that, and it stuck.) When I was done with him, I then gave a warning about "that Rob guy." Oh, but there seemed to be some major differences between the two. Yes, Rob was pushing for her to come visit him instead of making the trip to Puerto Rico, but apparently he'd stressed that she give his number to a few trusted people so they'd have multiple ways of reaching her, and even volunteered himself for a criminal background check. (Wow...Talk about a guy feeling confident in his "goodness!")
Okay...The bizarre "third person" chat ended, to which Neko said she felt oddly comfortable being able to point out certain aspects of our relationship. I believe the word used was "therapeutic."
Now comes the part where she started talking to Dan. He was definitely testing the waters, trying to see what he might be able to get away with while she was down there. "Do you really think you can be here ten days and not kiss me?" he asked. He also came up with an amazingly similar story as to what was happening with this faux love triangle, but when the woman made the trip to visit guy number one, nothing else mattered in the world, and they fell in love.
All together now: Awwwww!
That wasn't happening here. Neko tried to make it as clear as possible that her ONLY intent was to visit a friend. That was it. The romance in her life was with me. While I was technically late to the party, Dan had established house rules that got him kicked out of the race for her heart.
And he wasn't getting it.
All of this was happening on MSN, and Neko had had enough. He had returned to throwing a fit, and she wanted no part of it. I eventually got the details, but the first thing she did was eliminate him as a contact in many ways. Blocked on MSN. Deleted from Face Book. Anywhere he could have contact, he was removed...
...except from her phone. He started calling, and the fact that she didn't want to answer didn't agree with him. Thus, he left his cold message, stating that he was tired of her leading him on, etc. Neko played this message so that I could hear it through Skype...and then she started shaking. "That's quiet anger," she said, "and it scares me." In an instant, she was unsure how safe she was from him, and I was a ball of frustration, as there was little I could do from 1,000 miles away. So I did my best to use that calming voice she likes so much, reminding her that he had no way to get to her, and that she should tell as many people tomorrow what happened. And make it clear to everyone that the trip was officially canceled.
That's when Monkey Boy called and left another message. This time he left a tearful apology, saying that he was just upset. Well, THAT was obvious. So I explained to Neko that he was going to go through the grieving process. It's what happens when a romance dies.
The thing is that there hadn't been a romance. There was always the potential for one between them, but he opted to leave her a free agent. Enter your friendly neighborhood Rob, who went from dirty old man to caring nice guy in a matter of minutes. All of Neko's romantic nightmares seem to be coming to an end as she started becoming interested in an older guy. If Dan was truly interested, he'd never said so. He may have hinted, but hints are not declarations, and I was making the latter.
Shock of shocks, Neko turned to the camera and said, "Go ask the guys how they'd feel about me coming by to hang out for a few days."
She didn't need to say it twice. If I could run, I would have. As it is, I hobbled as swiftly to Cody's room as I could and asked. He was good with it. And since Ray was out, I eventually got him on the phone and got his blessings. And so Neko and I made the tentative plan for me to take a train to her, and then she and I would drive back together. We would spend a glorious ten days together, and then she would head home. And I was like a kid on Christmas morning...
...her phone, which was on vibrate, started going off again, and there was the realization that he wasn't going to let this go until she'd spoken to him. So she answered, and I heard her tell him that she was now AFRAID to visit him; that she was unsure how safe she'd be around him. There were also claims that the two of them didn't know one another at all...and then Neko took the headphones off, and I was left to wonder what was being said.
The final report? Well, if Dan would like to try the friendship thing with her, she'd be willing. But the trip to see him...? That was over and done with. It became transparent that he was trying to find just the right words to lure her to Puerto Rico, and then make his move. Then, by leaving a message that terrified her, he had ensured she wouldn't be seeing him. She and I will be talking tomorrow. (What else is new?) And the first thing we'll be discussing is the details of our meeting NEXT WEEK!
Oh my G-d! NEXT WEEK?!? I gotta get cleaning!
Sillines aside, I want to talk to her and be sure she's not making a panicked leap to me. I know she's been falling for me, but the last few nights have been rough. A guy that she's known for 11 years went and did a one-eighty on her, revealing himself as something other than what was advertised. I want her to decide to see me with a smile on her face, not tears of distress running down her cheeks.
And that's all I have for the moment, all. Be well! =)