Part IX | The Downfall

Before I left Vancouver to go back to New York I had a very serious talk with my mom about everything that had happened. She gave me one piece of advice: It’s all your choice. If you want to forgive and move on, you need to do both of those things. If you don’t feel like you can move past this, you need to let him go because this will eat away at you and your relationship. At the end of the day, it’s all your choice.

I decided to go with the former. I loved him, so much. I wasn’t ready to give up because of something that he promised didn’t happen. I wanted to trust him and so I chose to. We both decided to let it go and move on. We’d talk about my VISA situation and that I only had two years to be in New York. We both knew that meant he’d have to come with me to Vancouver for a while or that we’d have to get married in order for me to stay in the States. For “wedding” plans, it felt more like a chore to talk about then a blissful celebration of love.

I was “at home” with Mr. NYC, but I never felt completely comfortable after that point. He hid his journal, he’d change his phone password every couple of days and he became more closed off. I suppose this was a challenge for him as well. He lost the trust when I went through his phone, I lost it when I felt the need to.

Through the next months, I was very busy with work, we were on-boarding new clients, traveling for meetings to places like Paris and Kentucky and working 10-12 hour days. I enjoyed what I was doing, I loved who I worked with but my life in New York was far from perfect.

He was busy training for an Iron Man and for the Tour de France (he was biking a leg of the tour). We no longer had our mornings, as he would be up hours before me training. Things were still good, but they were very different. It was no longer a blissful, beautiful fairytale. Our relationship was sinking into reality.

•••

Every Summer since I was a baby, my family has gone to Gordon Bay on Lake Cowichan to celebrate another year that we’re all together. It’s a tradition. We camp for two weeks at a time and it is literally the best time. Ever.

It is by far my favorite place to be in the entire world and I look forward to it more than anything, this year even more so than I ever had. I hadn’t seen my family since Christmas and I missed them so much it hurt. It was July 28th and I was finally flying home. I couldn’t wait to squeeze my family. I couldn’t wait to be on the beach with a jug of sangria and music playing with my gang all around me. I was so excited.

Nina and Dan picked me up from the airport that morning and I drove with them to the Island. Everyone else had left the day before and were eagerly awaiting our arrival. We stopped at the Walmart in Duncan on our way to Cowichan. It was one of the last places with a strong phone connection before we’d head into the forest to escape for a week. Nina and Dan went into the store to grab a few last minute items and I stayed in the car with the dog.

I received a call from my colleague and best New York friend, Steph. I assumed she was calling to bid me farewell and wish me a great trip but as I soon as I heard her voice, I knew something was very wrong.

Steph: Lynds, hi, um… are you alone? Are your sisters there?

Me: No, well, yea just for a sec – but Nina and Dan will be back in a minute.
What’s up? Did I forget to do something for work?!

Steph: “No, no, nothing like that. I just… I have something I need to tell you, and I don’t want you to be alone. I was going to wait until you got back from your trip but I think it’s best you know now, you know? So you can talk to your family about it.”

…Okay. What the hell. 

Me: Okay. What’s up Steph… what’s going on?

Steph: I’m going to send you a photo. Look at it and then talk to me okay? I’m still here. I’m on the line. It’s going to be okay.

I looked down at my phone and my mouth dropped. It was Mr.NYC’s Tinder profile.  He had been active 20 minutes prior and was “looking for a quick fun time”. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. My heart dropped into the pit of my stomach I felt like my vision was blurring and steam was radiating from my face. I was livid.

Steph: Lynds? Lynds? LYNDS? Are you there? Are you okay? Lynds?!

Me: Hi, yes. Thank you. Um. I’m gonna. um.
I’ll talk to you soon okay?
Love you Steph, I gotta go.

Steph: Okay, I love you too.  I’m here for you. You know that.

Lynds: Mhm. Love you.

I immediately grabbed the 2/6 of vodka from the back seat and started drinking. I put on Rhianna’s Bitch Better Have My Money and waited patiently for Nina and Dan to get back.

Nina came back first, she noticed upon approaching the car that something was up, (music blasting, vodka in hand, tears running down an angry face) this wasn’t a pretty scene.

I handed her my phone, she saw…Mr. NYfuckingC’s Tinder…before saying anything,  she took a swig of the vodka.  As much as her advice is so wise and valued, I didn’t request it this time. I took a screen shot of the photo, sent it to Mr.NYC and turned my phone off. He might have a lot of power over me, but not enough to ruin the trip I had been looking forward to for months.

When we arrived at Gordon Bay I immediately started crying when I saw the rest of the clan. I was so happy to be back with my family. I slowly told everyone separately what had happened and tried to get advice on what to do. I gave it three days and then had Kelsey drive me back into town to turn on my phone and see if Mr.NYC had responded.

I had 20 new messages. All pretty much the same.

“Babe?!”

“Babe, that was a joke. Nick and I were in Europe MONTHS ago and we just wanted to see if it was a thing there. It is, if your curious”

“Babe? Hello?”

“It much have been a glitch in their system, I promise I wasn’t on there”

“I would never cheat on you. Babe.. just talk to me?”

… it went on for a few more, all pretty similar to those above until the final one, which made me chuckle.

“Babe, I’m so sorry. I miss you. I miss your voice. I miss having you and cuddling you in my bed.”

To which I replied:

“Don’t you have an app for that?”

And then turned my phone back off for the rest of the trip.

•••

The final day of Gordon Bay had arrived. I knew what I needed to do when I got back to New York, I just didn’t know how I was going to do it.

When I got home, Mr. NYC had taken the day of work so he could be home when I arrived. I told him I was tired and needed to sleep before I wanted to talk to him. I went into the bedroom, shut the door and quietly cried.

I didn’t want this to happen. I wanted him to be my person. I know I hadn’t been perfect, but I had always thought I was enough for him. Turns out I wasn’t. Not to say that I’m not enough as I am, I know I am. I just wasn’t for him, and that’s okay. But fuck, was it hard.

I told him that I thought it would be best for me to move back to Vancouver. He thought this was an insane idea. We had plans to go to Martha’s Vineyard for his friend’s wedding that weekend and he asked me to still come with him and see how it felt to have a weekend together, just him and I, no distractions. I hesitated, but agreed. Part of me still really wanted this to work.

•••

The wedding was a bust. It was beautiful, but it felt wrong to be in the same room as Mr.NYC. I was no longer able to look at him with adoration. It was now more of a cringe. That can’t be good.

•••

I knew what I needed to do. I knew for sure this time. I told the girls what my plan was. Mary (one of my clients) and Steph wanted to take me for a final hurrah, drinks, dinner, the works, to chat it out and go over everything that had happened.

Mary had some extra news for me, just in case I was at all hesitant. She told me that she wasn’t going to say anything when Mr.NYC and I had first gotten together, because she wanted to see how everything panned out, but now that I had made the decision to leave she wanted to let me in on a little secret. Mr.NYC was dating Mary’s friend’s best friend while he and I first became “official”.

I was, so to speak, “the other woman” at one point. I held a rooftop clambake for Mary’s wine company and had invited Mr.NYC. Mary had, of course, invited her friends and as you may know, NYC is much smaller than it seems. Mary’s friend saw Mr.NYC and I holding hands at one point during the night. She knew who he was because she had met him the weekend prior when her friend finally introduced her “boyfriend” to the gals.

She went up to Mr.NYC and told him to choose or else she would.

“Lucky” me. He chose me.

•••

I went home that night exhausted from being so disappointed, once again.

I had three weeks left before I’d be back home. Three weeks felt like an eternity.

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