Boldly Going Nowhere

Sometimes life just seems to stand still, nothing changes, nothing gets any worse or better, you live out each day the same as the one before, consistently. Boldly going nowhere. After my one night affair with Rachel that’s exactly how I started to live my life. One day to the next, just keep on keeping on.

There were highlights, we went to London for Peter’s 21st birthday, we stayed at a hotel in King’s Cross. It was only a small group of us on this occasion Ryan, Katy, Peter and I. Ryan arranged it all and when we got to King’s Cross I remember being evacuated from the underground station, it wasn’t even a year on from the 07/07 bombings and the evacuation announcement was anything but calm. Even when we got above ground and saw all the fire trucks outside we were still none the wiser to what the problem had been.

We soon forgot about it once we got to the hotel and started getting ready for our night out. We were going to G-A-Y and the Sugarbabes would be performing. It was a good night out, I wasn’t wearing very comfortable footwear and at the end of the night we decided to walk back to the hotel since a cab would have been extortionate. Although I think by the time we’d nearly reached the hotel everyone was fed up with my complaining and we hopped into a cab to go the last few hundred meters.

It was March 2006, when I look back at the photos Katy and I look happy, I can’t honestly remember if we had gotten back together at that point or not. In fact I don’t remember any drama at all during our trip, it was one of those times where we were all getting along just fine. Katy and I did get back together though, I think we were drawn towards each other out of familiarity and because we’d managed to cohabit for a few weeks without our tempers flaring up, we were still sharing a room and the feelings just wouldn’t go away in that situation.

I remember that we didn’t tell anyone that we were giving things another go this time. Neither of us wanted to hear what they would all inevitably say, which was that we were no good for each other. The truth is, I never knew how to break up with Katy and make it stick, at some point she’d always win me back. This time around we enjoyed a very brief and private honeymoon period where everything was all ok.

Ryan had been getting restless with his career and had planned a round the world trip. Soon he’d be taking three months away from work to travel. We were all going to miss him lots. We started going out regularly before he’d be leaving, we were back out in Bath frequently, enjoying many karaoke and cabaret nights at Mandalyn’s.

Those were good times, I remember singing ‘From Paris to Berlin’ for him since it had become one of his favourite songs when we had his impromptu leaving party. The four of us drove Ryan to the airport in my car to say goodbye at the airport. He’d send us post cards while he was away on his travels and email when he could. I loved hearing what he was getting up to and keeping him up to date with our goings-on.

While Ryan was off travelling I thought things were going well with me and Katy. My work asked if I would like to go up to Scotland for a week to support a new division of our broadband support team. I was keen to get ahead with work so after thinking it over for a day or two I agreed to go. While I was away I would speak with Katy on the phone every night, tell her I missed her and that I couldn’t wait to be home. I had no idea that anything was wrong.

Shortly after my return from Scotland I received Katy’s phone bill (since I was paying for her mobile contract as her Christmas present) and it was hundreds of pounds. I was fuming, there’s no way she should have gone so massively over her usage allowances. For the first time ever I checked the itemised bill. When Katy got home from work I questioned her about the charges and asked about a specific number on the bill that had been used every 30 seconds of the day the whole time I was away.

Katy claimed that it was a colleague and she was texting them so often since they shared a lift to work. I wasn’t born yesterday, most of the charges were made while she was at work. I decided to call the number to get to the bottom of the matter. When the call connected I calmly explained that I had found the number on my partners itemised phone bill and wondered who they were, the young girl on the other end of the phone told me her name was Hayley, when I asked if she knew Katy she said yes, when I further asked if she knew Katy’s girlfriend she said ‘Katy told me she was single’ to which I said, well now you know her girlfriend, I’m Elena, sorry about this but I needed to get to the bottom of her lies and hung up.

I could have waited until Katy finished work and ambushed her as soon as she walked through the door with everything I found out. Instead I interrupted her at work, informed her that I knew who Hayley was and what she had done. I thought if anyone was owed an apology now it would be me, but no, Katy’s first priority was to call Hayley and apologise for lying to her and that I had called her. That tipped me over the edge.

Rage might be the appropriate word to use here. I flew into a blind fit of rage at the sight of Katy when she got in from work. I lost it in all the worst ways, I remember smashing my phone to pieces as I hurled it across the room in frustration, I remember shouting until my throat felt raw, feeling my heart beat in my chest as if I were about to have a heart attack. I had never felt anger like it, it’s scary to see someone lose it like that. The smartest thing to do would have been for Katy to walk away.

Katy had more fight in her than that, and she was fighting for us, somehow she still wanted us to be together and wouldn’t let me rant and rave and leave her like I wanted to in that moment. Sure I was destructive, throwing my toys out of the pram quite literally. Katy tried to stop me, maybe even calm me down, restrain me, she didn’t have a chance. My fight or flight had kicked in and flight couldn’t be achieved when someone a lot stronger than you is constantly blocking your path or attempting to restrain you, so I fought.

I lashed out and hit her over and over again. Slapping her around the head and shoulders as she threw her hands up in front of her face in defence. I was angry for so many reasons, the betrayal and for the way I was behaving, again. Every time I would lose my temper like this I would promise myself it would never happen again, it always did. Our relationship was just too destructive. We were standing on the landing of our house when we had this argument and I was attempting to get past her, down the stairs and through the front door.

I shoved her away from me when I couldn’t stand to hit and slap her anymore, she stumbled backwards down the two or three steps at the top of the staircase and fell into the wall at the top of the landing, blocking the stairs. I locked myself in the bathroom, it was the only place I could escape without having to fight my way past her.

After the one time Katy had slapped me before she never fought back ever again, that doesn’t mean she didn’t throw her weight around. She would see me lose it and push my buttons by getting in my face, screaming at me to hit her, pushing and shoving me. It’s no excuse for the way I acted but it is a fact, violence is truly never the answer and I wish I’d never resorted to such lows. Not just for the hurt I caused Katy but to break the destructive cycle, and because I should have respected myself enough not to rise to her jibes.

I’d like to say this was a one off, but it wasn’t. In the short time we had left together in the house I discovered even more of Katy’s lies. Every time it hurt a little more, I’d blindly choose to trust her again just for it to be wasted and feel humiliated all over again. One evening she was using my laptop and had left herself logged into her hotmail account when I picked up the computer to use it myself. She noticed what I was doing and snatched my laptop out of my hands.

I relentlessly asked her what she was hiding, she knew that I wouldn’t give up until I found the truth. I knew my way around a computer by this point and if I wanted to find out what she was getting up to I would. So Katy confessed, she’d been keeping in touch with Beth and didn’t want me to know. My proverbial ‘red rag to a bull’ was lying. If ever I found out that Katy was lying to me it would set me off. Katy thought my temper would have been there regardless whether she told the truth or not, what she never realised is that she never volunteered the truth. Not once. If she had, things might have been different, but we’ll never know, I was always lied to.

This time it was took nearly all my self control not to throw my laptop across the room. In my frustration I kicked the door under the stairs and put my foot through it. I’d have to repair that to get our deposit back. I went to leave and Katy attempted to stop me, we had both been out that night and been drinking so I shouldn’t have been heading for my car, but I wanted to get away. She blocked the drivers side of my car, in my drunken stupor I tried to punch her, I missed and hit the car instead. My hand was bruised for days after.

This was a real low point for us both. I had become some kind of monster that couldn’t control my temper, Katy had become a serial liar and cheat. Yet neither of us seemed capable of just walking in opposite directions. Somehow through all this we stayed together. Our friends thought we were insane and relentlessly told us to end things and that we weren’t good for each other, I don’t know why we never listened to them.

Shortly after this incident I moved back home to my parents place and Katy moved back to hers. I felt defeated, nothing had gone the way it should have done when a young couple in love move in together. From day one there was drama, the pattern of our days together left me feeling ashamed for so many things. The sham of an open relationship, Katy’s cheating and lies, my violence and destructive temper. It was a relief to be back home in the end.

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