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The Set Up

I had gone over every detail with B****.  I told him that I wasn’t sure that J*** would go for it but B**** said that he thought he absolutely would.
He asked me how I felt about it.  I told him that I felt like I was going to be doing what Mammy told Scarlett O’Hara she was going to be doing if she went to Atlanta……”sittin’ there just like a spider.”
Then B**** asked me how I thought I would feel about it in five years.  I told him that in five years, J*** was going to be just what he was now…..nothing more than an insignificant flea.
I had memorized my script and was ready to “pull the trigger” (as J*** used to say.)  I took a deep breath and called.  After we talked a few minutes, I suggested to him that we put aside all the past anger and be friends.  He was completely agreeable.
Then I asked him how he felt about being “friends with benefits.”  He didn’t have a problem with that and thought it would be a “great idea.”
After he said that, I said “well, then you should come see me.”  He said he would check his calendar, come up with an excuse (to tell her) and book a flight.
I felt like I had hit one of those little red “easy” buttons you see in Staples.
B**** had been right.  He went for it.  I don’t know why I was unsure.  I must have either had a sudden loss of consciousness or suffered from temporary amnesia and forgotten who he was.  This was going to be such a HUGE ego boost for him……two women “wanting him.”
My plan had worked and I knew that it was going to require some Oscar-winning performances.  I had been quite the little actress in school and was able to fool people into thinking I was a happy little clown but this was different.
I was going to have to pretend to enjoy the “benefits” of friendship with the person I had grown to despise with a passion…..the person I could not stand the thought of touching……the person I could not stand to touch me……the person who had just two weeks earlier, talked to me like I was less than a pile of garbage…….the person who was one of the most duplicitous, selfish, conceited, self-important, self-serving, self-centered, vapid narcissists who had ever breathed air…..the person who had such little respect for me that he wasn’t going to hesitate to turn me into a common, back-door tramp who had to be lied about and hidden……but I knew I would find the strength…….because sometimes rage is stronger than repulsion.
I played the game and I played it well.  He would call and I would gleefully answer the telephone as if I had just won the Good Housekeeping Sweepstakes.
If I was working in the yard and he texted, I would take the time to text him back at length and he would always sign off “be careful, sweetheart.”  He was literally calling or texting me every single day.
In February, our daughter, K**** tore her ACL.  Her surgery had been scheduled and I called J*** to ask him if he could come see her afterward.  I told him that I thought it would be special to her.  He said “Babe, I’m absolutely covered up at work.  There’s just no way.”  I was furious but maintained my cool.  I told him that I would call him and tell him how it went.  He said “please do.”
Her surgery went well and I called to tell him but he didn’t answer his phone.  I called a few more times and he still didn’t answer so I called him at work, which I didn’t like to do.  I was outraged when I found out that he had been on vacation the whole week.
He texted me the next day and I acted like I didn’t know anything.  It was the weekend and he told me that he had come up to “the property” to camp out.  He didn’t admit that he was with his attachment and he didn’t know that I knew they had been up there all week.  THAT’S why he couldn’t come to see K****.  Camping out with his attachment was much more important than his daughter.
He texted me quite often while they were up there together…..mostly about his upcoming trip to see me.  I’m sure he was lying to her and telling her that he was communicating with work……that’s what he always used to tell me.
I told him to make sure he didn’t freeze up there and then told him that I hoped he had a good time.  He said he was “really looking forward to seeing me.”  Then what did he do….crawl into a sleeping bag with her?  What a slime.
When he got back to work, he said he had booked his flight and gave me the date he would be coming down.  He said “it’ll only be three days this time.  I’ll be longer the next time.”
It was getting harder and harder for me to proverbially “bite my tongue” but I managed.
I was keeping my grandson, I**** for the weekend and he wanted to talk to “P**.”  That’s what he calls J***.  I texted J*** and told him that I**** wanted to talk to him.  He said to tell him that he would talk to him later.
I asked him if he had company and he said “yes.”
His attachment was spending the night and he couldn’t take five minutes away from her to talk to his grandson.  Again, SHE was more important.
The next day he called, wanting to talk to I****.  I wanted to tell him to talk to his attachment because she was obviously far more important than his grandson…….but I had to play the game.
It was Valentines’ Day and he called.  I told him that I had seen a FedEx truck on the street and wondered if he had sent me flowers.  He said in a remorseful voice, “Oh, babe.  I didn’t do anything this year…..on either end….it was just too weird.  I think I’m just going to go home and drink my dinner.”
It was almost time for his visit and I hadn’t heard from him the whole weekend.  He finally called me and said that he had texted me several times and hadn’t gotten a response.  I knew he was lying through his teeth.  I knew where he had been.  The Press Association Awards were being held in C******* and of course, he had taken his attachment.  He couldn’t very well call me while she was there and they were socializing together.
He was becoming so detestable to me that I was afraid that by the time he came down, I wouldn’t be able to hide what was becoming an intense white-hot hatred toward him.
I would have moments when I actually felt guilty for setting him up but then I would snap back into reality and remember what he was ready to do to me….without conscience…..without regard for either me or his attachment and with absolutely no feeling of guilt or betrayal.  He wasn’t thinking about me.  He wasn’t thinking about his attachment.  All he was thinking about was himself.  It was all about him.  It had always had been all about him.  It would always be all about him.
As I have said before, J*** thinks that every woman he meets wants him and he thinks that all of his friends are true blue and loyal to him.  He would be wrong in both cases.
What he didn’t know was that one of his “friends” was not at all pleased with what he was doing up there and was sending me information and pictures.  They would prove to be quite interesting.
His arrival day had finally come and I headed off to the airport.  He texted me on the way and told me not to hurry because his plane had been delayed.  I was already almost there so I just hung around the airport.
His plane landed and I spotted him at the top of the stairs.  I thought to myself……”what the Hell?” He had the Albert Einstein hair look going on again, coupled with a Duck Dynasty style beard.  He looked awful.
He got to the bottom of the stairs, walked up and hugged me.  Then he said “you scared me to death when I first saw you.”  I said “why?  You knew I was going to pick you up.”  He said “you’re too thin, babe.”
We got in my car and headed to my house.

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