So I'm sitting there Friday night at my aunt's house waiting for my laundry to finish the spin cycle when I get a text message. I got excited because the lady I am visiting next week had not talked to me in a couple of days while preparing for a weekend retreat, and I assumed she was giving me a quick hello, which I would have done to her earlier but I didn't want to disrupt her. Instead, it was "Shelley" telling me that her school asked if she wanted to renew the loan that I co-signed for her at the end of last year. You know, the loan that she received and then dumped me right after getting the first check. Due to old habits of doing anything a woman asks me to do and the fact that I did tell Shelley that I would help her any way I could (before I read her e-mail and found out that she had multiple sex partners while telling me that she wasn't seeing anyone else), my first reaction was to text her back, "Tell me what I have to do." She tried to call again and talk, but I have been ignoring her messages and e-mails since she dumped me, and I didn't answer this call because I really had no desire to talk to her. So why did I arrange through text message to meet her Monday after I got off work to do the paperwork for the loan renewal? I'm sure there are deeper psychological reasons that I haven't explored, but the basic reality seems to be that I am so lonely and horny and desperate to be loved that my initial reaction to a woman walking all over me is to lay down and allow it. Even after all the reflecting and vowing to never let someone screw me like that again right after it happened, I had agreed to incredibly LET IT HAPPEN AGAIN.
But common sense kicked in, and I spent the next three days deciding how I was going to tell Shelley that I was not going to renew the loan after all. I knew that it would be hard, I knew that Shelley would give me all kinds of hell and guilt trips and sobbing, but I didn't call or text and cancel the meeting because the one-on-one face-to-face meeting had to happen sometime, and I wanted to be as soon as possible so that I could make it clear once and for all that I was through with her. Some people can be adults and do the grown-up thing no problem. I don't know how to be an adult. I have to basically guess at what an adult would do in certain situations and then attempt to copy that method. And I came to the conclusion that the most adult thing to do here would be to meet Shelley face-to-face, tell her that I'm sorry that I led her on and made her think that I was going to renew the loan but that I can't do it because I don't trust her, let her get her feelings and frustrations out, hang in there, don't give in, repeat that I can't let myself get used again, and leave.
And that's exactly what I did. Oh, she gave me the works too as far as trying every trick to persuade me and lead me to think that not only would she be willing to try again to have a relationship with me if I renewed, but that she would have to drop out of school and default on the loan if I didn't renew, putting me in the exact situation that I fear, having to pay the loan off myself since she doesn't work. So what she was saying is, either co-sign for ANOTHER $13,000 loan and take confidence that she will use that money to finish her studies, get a great job, and pay off the loan no problem, or don't co-sign for another loan and watch her have to default and stick me with the original $13,000. She completely ignored the possibility that she would default on BOTH loans and stick me with $26,000. She acted as if there was absolutely no chance that would happen. She said that somehow co-signing these loans work out great for me because they go as positives on my credit report. She didn't mention the negatives of the default that is sure to come. She claimed that the reason she was so bitchy to me all the time and the reason that she needed space when she dumped me is that she was dealing with the trauma of a miscarriage. This is the absolute first time she has ever mentioned a fucking miscarriage. One of her roommates was at the restaurant where we met, and she vouched for everything Shelley said, which made me wonder if she was just going along with Shelley's improvisations on the spot or whether they actually sat there and hatched this bullshit together in advance. It took all my strength not to laugh right in her face when she threw that at me. I give her credit, she gave a hell of show trying to convince me that she liked me all along and that she was feeling better about things and was ready to try again with me...if only I'll co-sign another loan for her. She grabbed my hands, she cried a river, she made her bottom lip shake when she described the horror of not knowing she was even pregnant until she lost the fetus while on the toilet, she begged and pleaded with me a million times to just trust her and that I was her last hope. But she did some things--besides dumping me when she got the money and giving me her e-mail password and letting me see what kind of a slut she was, of course--that betrayed her sob story. When I arrived at the restaurant, the first thing she did was hug me, but the second thing she did was whip out the paperwork for me to sign, even before I sat down. She was always about the money, from the moment she sensed that she could use me and that I would allow it. She claimed that she was just about to buy tickets for us to see the musical "Rent"--but if she has no money and needs this loan, where was she going to get the cash to do that? She once again never mentioned the possibility of finding a new apartment as a way of lessening her financial burden; I guess a crib overlooking the lake on South Michigan Avenue is too juicy to give up. And, most importantly, she never mentioned any other method of supporting herself. I must have asked her a hundred times what she would be doing now if I hadn't signed the first loan and what she's going to do now that I won't sign another, and she was so bent on making me feel guilty that she presented absolutely no contingency plan. "Guess I'll move back to St. Louis and be homeless," she had the nerve to say once. But I didn't budge. I suppose at some point I could have put the shit from her e-mails that I read on the proverbial table, but in a way that wasn't the point. Whether she's a cumsponge or not, I had to stand up and tell her in no uncertain terms that I was not going to do this "favor" for her because it jeopardizes my future and I have to think about myself for once instead of giving everything of myself to someone else and getting nothing back.
She said "I knew you weren't going to do this. Thanks a lot" as I got up and left. After all I had done for her, she still was spinning it in her mind as if I was doing her some great injustice. Unbelievable. But it's over. I looked a woman--a white woman no less, swearing her purity and innocence and trustworthiness as if it were the gospel--in the eye and I said no. And I'm not looking back.