Anna had been fighting with Kris for awhile. For as much as she loved him, it always felt like a square peg in a round hole. Whenever she had tried to tell him how much she loved him; he would tell her to repress it and stuff it down. As time went on, she began to realize that he knew so much more about her than he ever let on. He repeatedly told her that she kept going off the reservation, and she would get upset and take offense. All she truly wanted from him was the one thing he seemingly did not want or have to give – love. The truth drove her crazy, because in his presence and his actions, she felt love. She had finally started learning that abusers actions do not align with their words. For the life of her, she could not make sense of a man who seemed to understand every fiber of her being. His words were “I do not love you” yet his actions showed he cared deeply. Was that abuse? The opposite of abuse? Why couldn’t she understand him the way she understood everyone else? He would play songs that immediately comforted her or triggered her mind in surprising ways. Even now, months since she has seen him, “Time after time” by Cyndi Lauper echoes in her ears. Frustratingly, her heart still pumps a hope that he cut the song off when he did as an indicator that even when it all seems lost, he will come back to her. At the same time, even having these thoughts or emotions makes her question her sanity anew. This has been her “life” since they last spoke.
Kris and Anna had an argument. He was insisting that she start texting like a normal person and stop texting massive novels about deep matters. She was convinced he loved her. The last night he had slept next to her, she swore he said “I love you, but you have to talk to me, I can’t read your mind.” It made sense to her, since she had always allowed the truth of her feelings and reality to swirl endlessly in her mind while her mouth would chatter away at nothing. She had become so confused, however, with him that no matter what she said, it never made sense.
On some level, she actually believed he could read her mind. It seemed as though he knew her so well, he could make her soar or destroy her with no effort. One day, she was desperately trying to understand how everything she had ever wanted in a man and a relationship had suddenly turned to misery. She knew part of the problem was that she was unloading her seemingly endless barrage of baggage on him, and she had allowed insecurity and cowardice to make her seem dumb, unattractive, and clingy. Her fear had turned her into a babbling whining child of a woman. His responses seemingly confirmed this. At the time, she was attempting to work through her history to understand her cycles; he had been the first to call her out on it. Once, he even called her a lunatic, and she never believed he was being derogatory. She really did seem to have phases of sanity.
Once, she contacted him out of the blue again, and he rushed over. They ended up getting physical, and as he zipped his pants, he said with a sly, almost angry grin, “well at least I know I can still get my dick sucked this cycle”. She was confused and scared. One day, she told him she desperately needed him to be gentle with her. He had pointed out that the worse she let him treat her, the worse he would. The same night she swore they talked in their sleep, he had said “You created this monster, so you deal with it” as she massaged his back and covered him in kisses, grateful just to have him near her again.
It was not long after this, odd things began happening. She started receiving message overages on her phone. It made no sense, as she had an unlimited text plan. Every day, she’d get a message about charges for message overages. She tried to ignore it, but her anxious nature made her ruminate on it as well as everything in her life. Next, she received a Linked In message from a man named “Eric Berkmoes” who owned a car dealership in Detroit, MI. The message had told her that he stumbled upon her picture, and she appeared so beautiful and gentle, he had to reach out. He asked a few questions and said he hoped he would hear back. The writing style, seeming fake-ness of the profile, and the specific use of the word gentle after she had just begged of it from Kris, made her convinced that it was him. At this time, his only plea of her was to just rest. That if she would just sleep, it would all make sense.
Oddly, that did make perfect sense because it seemed every time he played music for her or texted her, she would become exhausted and fall asleep. She responded to “Eric” indicating she had slept well, and answered his questions. Kris sent her a text later, not long after she had posted about allowing apathy to consume her, that she was “doing so well and he was very proud of her”. For some reason, this made her swell with happiness. “Eric” responded to her again, and at that time she told him that she was in love with someone else. “Eric” responded again saying that he had been hoping that she would be the type that would take things slowly and be friends and see what would develop. Anna responded again that it did not really matter how she felt, she was just happy to rub the man’s back.
The next day, “Eric” sent her a new message, indicating his account had been hacked by a Trojan virus, removing many precious files. His grammar, spelling, etc. were all off, as if it was someone else completely writing it. His paragraph ended with “Am I in the right spot?” Anna became panicked and unsure what to do. She responded asking what was wrong with him, to which he responded, “Ah yes, here I am!” Her phone then started acting bizarrely almost immediately. She worried frantically that somehow her phone had been hacked. She was assured by others this was impossible, her phone carrier had said the messaging charges from before were a glitch.
At the same time, her phone would somehow call people or she was being pranked, because she would get calls from random numbers answering the phone as if she called them. Apps and windows on her phone would open at random. Songs would start playing. Every time she had thought she resolved the issue, it would re-emerge to remind her that her phone was not quite right.
The last night she saw Kris, she asked him if he did something to her phone. He responded that, when he’s not texting her, he’s not thinking about her. Those words stung and she choked back her tears. He didn’t look right. His house was filthy, and he looked like he was deeply depressed. He had told her to keep her hands to herself, and she complied. Yet, he seemed upset that she wouldn’t touch him. All the songs that he played in the car that night were love songs. He played a Chainsmokers song and said before hand, “Fine, fine, you got me doing this now!” but she didn’t respond, because she was too afraid now to love him. She rubbed his back and he noted as she hugged him that she didn’t kiss his neck like she always did. She choked back the tears of knowing that was all she had wanted to do.
She hasn’t seen him in over 6 months. Her phone still isn’t right, and somehow she holds on to it hoping that all of this did not happen inside her mind. At this point, she’s lost herself so drastically since he left her life that she has practically given up hope for finding sanity. She sent him thousands of unanswered messages, begging him to come back to her. She managed, for a while, to keep him out of her mind. Yet, one night, while meditating, she heard his voice clear as day. He said, “I love you. I’m coming back to you soon. Be patient.”
The next day, her phone began receiving calls from “Unknown” constantly, calls from people confirming her identity, address, phone number, and all she could do was think of him. She was convinced he was coming over. She turned to a site for emotional support. Somehow, in her addled state, she ended up on Skype with some man who convinced her that if she obeyed him, she would see him again. She did as she was told. Every song that played was a song about him; she became paranoid and confused. She tried messaging him again, and he blocked her. It took that to push her over the edge. It’s been months, and she still hasn’t come back. It’s been months, and the odd calls still happen. It’s been months, and she swears, someone is controlling her phone.
It’s been months, and she swears she doesn’t know who she is anymore. All she really wonders anymore is, “Why can’t I stop thinking about this man?”