Oh, what a tangled web we weave… The final chapter.
So Scott went back to his ship and was back on duty. So what was a girl to do but create more havoc? I had done my best to actually try and salvage my relationship with my boyfriend back home, but the distance and age difference was killing us. He was three years older than I was and had already graduated college and I was nowhere close to being done. The thing was, he grew up a strict Catholic and couldn’t/wouldn’t come live in San Diego without me converting to Catholicism and getting married because, “What would people say?” That was his mother’s favorite thing to say. “What would people say?” He said this so often to me that I heard it in my sleep. I wasn’t totally heartless; I really did care, it was just that we wanted very different things. He wanted 14 kids (I shit you not) and I wanted…a tan? During this time in my life I was probably the most shallow I had ever been. It’s not something I’m exactly proud of. I was riding the Me highway and had no intention of getting off anytime soon. One day I finally did the human thing and broke it off. He was a great guy and deserved better than I was willing to give.
Satan, myself, and our friend Chanda all moved in together the next year in an apartment building aptly nicknamed Dormchester. It was named this because everyone from the dorms moved in there, including Mr. X. Not only did Mr. X live there but he also lived directly across the pool from us. From his apartment on the second floor you could look right down into our living room. Given the proximity, it was pretty obvious that my relationship with Mr. X would continue down it entertaining path. When we were together I would leave our curtains open so I could wave and smile at him from our living room when he was out on his balcony. When we were broken up, I would leave them closed. The lighting in our apartment changed on a daily basis. Mr. X seemed to be the only man in my life that could not only handle me, but in some way seemed to enjoy the chaos.
So Mr. X and I did our usual routine of break up, get back together, make out with other people. Break up, get back together, make out with other people. Repeat. Scott had kept in touch with me by the occasional phone call and post card. We had never once spoken about our feelings for one another during the time we spent together in port, and through the post cards and phone calls we still never did. As far as I was concerned, he was just a happy memory.
A year after his deployment Scott’s ship came back into port and Scott came back into my life and I couldn’t have been happier. As soon as he got back into town he called me and we talked on the phone for at least two hours trying to catch up with what we had both been doing for the last year. It was as if he had never left. Then he and I went out a couple of times and eventually I went over to the apartment he was sharing with his friend Ray and Ray’s very sweet fiancé Sharon. I really enjoyed meeting them and Scott even asked me to be his date to their wedding. I was proud to be dating him, and just being around him made my toes curl. It must have been his pheromones or something because I was just drawn to him the way strippers are drawn to dollar bills and clear heels.
The night of the rehearsal dinner came and everything was so perfect it was like a dream. Before dinner was served all the guests were treated to a cruise around the San Diego harbor. This was the tipping point for me, so to speak. There was the sunset, the ocean and this beautiful man standing in front of me and that’s when I blurted out.
“I think I may be falling in love with you.” Oh shit, why did I just say that?
“Stacy, I feel the same way about you…”
Oh thank you God!
But? But? There are no buts. No, no, no, no, no, no. This isn’t happening.
“Look Stacy, I’m a player…but I don’t like getting played.” Ooooooohhhhh. Thatbut. Busted.
“I might be willing to make some changes if you were serious about this,” I told him, pulling back my hand a bit. My father is a professional poker player, and he’s a damned good one at that. I picked up a few tricks over the years. So my mindset was, I see your “but” and raise you a “willing to make some changes.” He stood back looking at me with his dreamy dark eyes and put his arms around me.
“Then I think we should try this out. For real.”
And Stacy wins the pot! I was ecstatic.
After the boat docked we went into the rehearsal dinner and now Scott didn’t just introduce me to people as his date, he introduced me as his girlfriend. Girlfriend. I like the sound of that. The restaurant was beautiful. It was overlooking the bay and everyone had a blast. I went home alone that night, looking forward to the wedding the next day and the fact that I would be staying with Scott at his apartment after the wedding. I was now convinced that it was time to rock that R-rating. I was no longer afraid of him and the fact that he possibly had a girl in every port. I realized that I can have an over active imagination at times and that it was time to just let go of the need to control things and enjoy the ride.
The next day was picture perfect. It was a gorgeous Southern California day for a wedding. The sun was shining, it was a cool 72 degrees, and the wedding was being held on a lawn overlooking the water. I just sat there snuggled up with my new boyfriend as we soaked up the love and watched Ray and Sharon exchange wedding vows. At one point I even entertained the thought that I too might be willing to get married one day. Who knows, Scott may be the one.
During the reception the party started jumping. Everyone was getting drunk, myself included, and we were all dancing our asses off. It was awesome! I couldn’t remember when I had had so much fun. There were disposable cameras on the tables and all the guests were encouraged to take pictures for the bride and groom. The pictures that we took are probably being used right now as blackmail material on some of the higher-ranking officers.
Everyone was pretty much getting wasted including the bride and groom, when Scott and I decided to call it a night.
“We love you two and will see you after the honeymoon,” Scott told Ray and Sharon as they left for their hotel suite. They were staying the night in San Diego at a really nice hotel and were flying off to some romantic destination the next day so this was our good bye until we saw them again.
“Scott, I don’t want you two fucking in our bed,” was Sharon’s response.
What the fuck?
There she was, sweet Sharon, dressed in all white dropping slurred F-bombs all over the wedding reception. I just stood at Scott’s side mortified. My mouth was hanging open and I was three shades of crimson.
“Calm down Sharon,” Scott told her.
“I’m not kidding Scott. NO FUCKING IN OUR BED!” she yelled. At this point so many of the guests had turned to look in our direction that I just wished I could disappear on the spot. Why is she doing this?
“Don’t worry about it!” I fired back, enraged and embarrassed in front of a crowd of gawking strangers.
Calm down Stacy. She is the bride. If you kick her ass you’ll look really, really bad. At this point I was done talking to the blushing, drinking, bitchy bride and told Scott I was ready to go. He must have seen it in my eyes that I only had two options at this point:
1) Stick around for more humiliation, which meant I would be embarrassed and pissed, and in no mood for love, or…
2) Clock the bride upside the head with my 3-inch stiletto. Bride or no, there’s only so much I can take. Everyone grab your disposables because you’re not going to want to miss this!
Scott chose option #3, which was “Get Stacy out of there.”
On our way back to Scott’s apartment I had some questions about the back and forth between him and the new cover model for Bridezilla magazine.
“Why would she think we would sleep in their bed? I thought you had your own room,” I said.
“I did before I was deployed, but when I was gone they rented it out to one of Sharon’s friends and I’ve been sleeping on the couch.” This is the point in the evening where my “Bullshit” Detector should have been going off like an air-raid siren. But I was young. I was dumb. And he was hot. So being the trusting “girlfriend” I thought: Okay. I love him and totally trust him. But the truth was I was a total idiot. So let’s all play along and follow me into one of the more interesting nights of my young life.
When we got back to Scott’s apartment, we started have a couple of drinks. Eventually, Scott’s new girl roommate Dana and about eight to ten other people from the wedding reception showed up. We all were talking and everything was fine. Everyone was nice and we all had a couple of laughs when Scott suggested we retire to the Ray and Sharon’s room for the night. Admittedly, I was already on edge because of the bride’s warning about having sex in her bed, but what the hell. How was she ever going to find out? Scott and I started making out a little and all I could think of was, “NO FUCKING IN OUR BED!” To be completely honest it was really ruining the mood for me. Just when I was about to slow things down, Dana started banging on the door of the bedroom and trying to get in.
“Please let me in!” she yelled.
“What does she want?” I asked him. Looking at him through the glow of the bathroom light.
“Shhhhh. Just don’t say anything and maybe she’ll think we’re asleep and go away,” he whispered. But that wasn’t the case.
“PLEASE STACY! I JUST NEED TO TALK TO YOU!!!!” she screamed and continued to bang on the door. She just kept banging and banging and now she was crying and pleading for me to come out.
“I’m going to go talk to her,” I told him as I got up and headed for the door.
But I had already opened the door to reveal a drunken, sobbing wreck in the hallway outside the bedroom door.
“You want to talk?” I asked.
She looked up at me with tears in her eyes and nodded slowly. I helped her off of the floor and we went into the kitchen to have a chat.
Once we sat down and cracked a couple of beers, Dana informed me that she was Scott’s little sex buddy and had been having sex with him with him the whole time I had been dating him.
Asshole! I…am such…an asshole! I can’t believe how stupid I am!!!
Dana went on to tell me that after she would have sex with Scott, he would leave her in the bedroom so that he could come out to the living room to call me.
“He always picks you over me,” she sobbed.
I didn’t know what to say. Yes, I was pissed at Scott for lying to me. Yes, I was hurt that he had deceived me. But I was absolutely fucking livid at how he had treated this girl. I was crushed that she had let this guy do this to her. I had thought of myself as a player, but Scott was the Grand Poobah of the players. He was the King. He not only deserved a crown but all sorts of sexually transmitted diseases to go with it. All of a sudden I thought about Mr. X and how good he had always been to me. No matter how much we had gone back and forth, he had never come close to being disrespectful or playing me the way Scott was playing Dana and me.
“Please don’t sleep with him,” she asked me through tear filled eyes.
“Look me in the eyes when I say this to you…” You poor sad woman. “…I will not be sleeping with Scott tonight or any other night. Now I have to go back in and talk to him.”
“Please Stacy…” she pleaded with me as I walked back towards the bedroom. I hated to leave her there but she was just so drunk and sad I couldn’t look at her anymore. This woman had a broken heart and I was part of that.
I went back in the bedroom and locked the door because I didn’t want a drunken Dana to make this anymore uncomfortable than it already was. I lay down in bed next to Scott and we both just lay on our backs staring up at the ceiling. Neither one of us had to say a thing. We both laid there for what seemed like forever as I saw the light of day seep through the drapes and into the bedroom. Then without a word I got up, grabbed my purse and left. On my way out I saw Dana on the couch. She was still awake.
“I didn’t sleep with him,” I told her and gave her what I could of a smile. I just wanted to hug her and tell her she was better than this, but that was going to have to be something she was going to have to figure out for herself.
As I drove home that morning my heart broke, but just a little. I didn’t see the point in letting myself feel pain for someone who didn’t deserve it. I was officially no longer in the Navy. And I was good with that. He may have had a cute smile, beautiful eyes and a great ass. But he had a cold heart. And as any good player knows…hearts trump asses any day.
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