It's perhaps not as bad as it sounds. We weren't in love or anything. But we saw eachother for a good few months. How could I have forgotten his name?
It plagued me all day at work. I couldn't stop thinking about it. What was happening to me? At 18, I berated a friend for not remembering the names of all the girls he'd kissed. "How could you not know a thing like that?" I asked. "How could you not remember?"
Anyway. According to my notes, the guy's name is Waugh. Waugh, like Evelyn Waugh. That's what I used to say to myself at the time. To remember. Even then, I had trouble. He was... spoiled. He once took me on a date to the Golf and Country Club (on his parents' dime). More importantly, he was (and I assume is) an incredible juicebag. Which is something I didn't realize at the time.
Waugh was the sort of person who thought it was funny to hang up on me in the middle of a phone conversation. When I'd respond to his emails with any immediacy, he'd tell me I was being "clingy." Though he was pushing 30, he'd never had a girlfriend he'd introduced to his parents or even his sister. (He once hustled me out of his apartment in a clear panic when he realized his sis was on her way over and that we might accidentally cross paths.) He had a expensive electric guitar that he didn't like me to breathe on, let alone touch.
Nonetheless, I was kind to him. I took care of him when he was sick. I helped him do his Christmas shopping. I even wrapped the gifts for him while he napped on my sofa. He responded by dumping me out of nowhere on New Year's Eve. (We had plans to go out of town.) I think his friends had been razzing him for getting too serious. It's hard to say.
We reconciled after the holiday, which I spent alone in the emergency room, (which is another story entirely).
It turned out that during our relationship, Waugh was not only actively pursuing other women online (by writing them emails filled with the same anecdotes and jokes he used on me when we first met... copy and paste style), but also meeting those girls for dates. During his work day. Lunch hours. That sort of thing. He may have been sleeping with them. That part I don't know.
Of course, I didn't know ANY of this until the end. I found out in February, when I was at his apartment helping him through a bout of the flu. I'd brought over a care package, but he'd barely spoken to me all evening. Mostly, he just lay on the floor, moaning. (What a baby. Eesh.) Finally, he asked me to look up "fever care" online, so off I went to the computer.
And there, on his compter screen, right out in the open, was an email to his most recent date. I think her name was Maria. That's how I found out.
Believe it or not, I didn't break up with him immediately. I just left, pretending nothing was wrong. It was days, maybe even a week later, when I finally ditched him. And even then, I didn't explain. I couldn't deal with a confrontation, and frankly, I was humiliated. Again. I remember thinking, 'There must be something about me that makes men do this.' That's what Darrell had said, after all. That the problem was me.
Even that isn't the worst of it. The real worst of it is that I knew, from the very moment I met this guy, that he was a bit of an asshole. On our first date, I texted a friend about it from the ladies room. I wrote that there was something off about him. THEN I went on to date the bastard for four months. FOUR MONTHS. How can I explain something like that?
Depression, I guess. Anxiety. Post traumatic stress. Horribly damaged self esteem.
At the time, none of this was clear. I suppose that's why his name faded. Nothing was particularly clear back then.