Two's Company & Three's a Crowd

Shayla Crawford

Posted on February 02 2018

When he told me the news I began to think back on the past 9 months. I thought back on all of the lies he had told me throughout her pregnancy. I tried to grasp the fact that when he was in a business meeting he was really at a doctors appointment. I realized the nights he was working late meant he was actually with her. 9 long months had past that I was kept in the dark. Almost a year had passed that I was considered the mistress in this messed up scenario. All the times I thought there was another woman, I discovered that I was that other woman. 

At the beginning of 2017 I came into a very successful business. I was always highly against MLM. I hated being one of those moms that forced products down your throat. However, this was different. Most of the time I didn’t even have to try. The products sold themselves and my team grew rapidly. Before I knew it I was making a greater income than I even knew what to do with. I began to remodel my house, I took vacations, and I was living my life. I had no one to answer too, so I thought. As I came into more and more wealth, his hold became stronger. He always told me he was older and wiser and didn’t want me to make the same mistakes he had made. I listened to him. He had me convinced that his answers were the right ones.

In April of that year I made a decision to close my boutique. It was a hard decision but I knew my life was on a different path. This network marketing adventure I found my way into had changed my life. I qualified for my first success trip, Iceland. I was so excited to visit this new country and I begged him to go with me. It was excuse after excuse. He told me he was too busy to leave, he told he would think about it, and he even said “if this job doesn’t go through then I will go!” I was so hopeful. I dreamed of this adventure with him. As the month rolled by I closed the storefront. He came down and bought “gifts” for his family to help me out during my closing sale. He named off the specific names of people so I wouldn’t be suspicious of where the items were going. As I think back on it, I wonder how many of those items were for her? Did she not wonder what “The Shadee Palm Boutique” was? Did she ever look it up on Facebook or my website out of curiosity? 

As I tried to do quick math in my head I wondered if May was the month they conceived? I tried to reminisce on how we spent that month. I came up with a blank on if there was any important times we spent together or if there was any particular moments I questioned. I knew there was times we went to the movies and I know I spent the night with him. I was at his house at least once or twice a week. The only thing I noticed was he started being busy on Wednesdays. Wednesday was always the day we spent together. I would get so mad at him because he would be busy but it didn’t matter. I went to his house whenever he asked me too. It didn’t matter what time of the day or night. I was there almost immediately. We’d go to the movies, we’d hook up, and I’d come home the next morning. It was the way we had always done things.

The summer started and I had vacation after vacation planned. I was off to spend 2 weeks in the Cayman Islands. Before I left I spent several days at his house. Soaking up every minute of our time together before it was time for me to leave. During that time I was gone we talked every day. There wasn’t a moment that went on that we didn’t share our day with each other. Even our usual FaceTime every night. Was he spending those moments I was gone with her? Where was she when he called me? Since I was going to be gone so long I sent my online orders to his house. My name was on every package. Did he hide those so she wouldn’t see them? Once I found out about her all I could think about was the tiny details of our lives together that I had questioned previously. All I ever wondered about was if those were always her, or if there were others.

At the end of July we had a massive argument. From what I remember it was something pertaining to him not hanging out with me on the weekends, which was normal, but for some reason it hit harder. I was more sad about it. I was down and depressed. I was still craving his attention just like I had before. He told me “You’re young and impressionable. You will realize how much of a favor i’m doing you one day!” Looking back, had they found out about the baby at this point? He told me “I care about you but I do not want to lead you on. Just because we’re not getting married doesn’t mean I don’t value you as a friend.” This wasn’t the first time we had conversations like that and we would continue to have them. It was hard for me to grasp the concept of being friends. He did everything for me. If he was just my friend then why didn’t he just act like my friend? He was affectionate with me and he was loving. I was so attracted to him that I couldn’t allow myself to break free.

The next few months rolled on and I began to talk to other people. I went on dates and I had my fun but at the end of the day he was always the number that I called. One time I even walked out of a date to answer his phone call. I had convinced myself that he would be mad at me if he knew where I was so I tried to be secretive and I lied to him. It was now August and September, this was a point when things started to change between us. We disconnected. We didn’t spend as much time together but we still talked constantly. A day didn’t go by without receiving a phone call from him at some point during the day. They were finding out the sex of their child and I was a stray dog begging to come inside. I still tried everything I could to make him love me. My depression was getting worse and I could feel it.

My birthday he took me out to one of my favorite restaurants for my favorite meal. The entire time he was on his phone and didn’t pay much attention to me. He was either texting or on a phone call. I tried everything I could not to cry right in the middle of Cattleman’s. I sucked it up and enjoyed my meal. I tried to make the best of it and was thankful he did bring me to dinner. Once we got back to his house I was excited to go to the movies or go have a drink. It was my 25th birthday and I was ecstatic to spend it with him! Just like any other time, it was a Wednesday night and he made me leave almost as soon as we got home. I screamed at him. I couldn’t take it much longer. I cried and I cried and I cried. The tears flowed just like they always had. I begged him to let me go with him. I begged him to stay but with a kiss on the forehead he closed the door as I walked out. As I left he sent me a text that I still have favorited on my phone. It’s something I can’t convince myself to delete. The text reads:

“Thanks for being my friend. I hope 25 is a great year for you. You're bright and beautiful. No need to be upset. You have the world by the tail.”

The day after my birthday my family took me to dinner. I wanted him to go with us so badly but I knew it wasn’t for the best. So he didn’t come. That night when I arrived home I got Cayman ready for bed and laid with her while she went to sleep. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary until I began to get ready for bed. I sat at my makeup table and knew something was wrong. I looked up and my display of designer purses wasn’t there. It took me a second to comprehend. I knew I was crazy and must have moved them. Then I began to look around my house. My Louis Vuitton duffle bag I had taken to his house the night before wasn’t there. My Louis Vuitton makeup bag was also missing off my vanity. I began to run through my house and find out what all was missing. I yanked open the door to my closet and all of my luggage was gone. I continued throughout the living room, kitchen, and den. To my horror I found my Louis Vuitton trunk was gone, my computer was taken off my desk, and even my Mackenzie Childs kitchen items were gone has well. I had been robbed and I knew only one person to call. I was shaking as I called him. He answered immediately and as soon as he picked up the phone I screamed “EVERYTHING IS GONE.” He replied to me and said “What do you mean everything is gone?” I cried as I said “Someone broke into my house!” I knew he cared about me because he said “I’ll be there in 30 mins.” It was almost the middle of the night now. I paced my house. I screamed in disbelief that I had been so violated. I walked through my house and shivered thinking about what they had touched or hadn’t touched. Finally he showed up, when he walked through the front door the wrapped his arms around me while I cried on his chest. He held me while we laid on the couch. He took care of me like he always had before. He kept me comfortable and made sure we were safe throughout the night. He helped me get Cayman ready for school and bought me breakfast. He stayed with me until my mom showed up. This is the person I fell in love with, but at that time I had no idea his child was starting to kick in another woman’s uterus. 

The next month he became so involved in my child and I. Several days he would take us shopping and bought us everything we wanted. One day we walked out of the mall with so many sacks we couldn’t carry them all. We bought shoes, outfits, accessories, and anything else we could think of. Was he feeling guilt? Why would he do this for us? He had a baby on the way but he was buying my daughter every color of Hunter rain boots. That month was a friends wedding so most of it was spent with her. After my adventures in the NW part of the state I came home filled with guilt. However I was trying to convince myself that him and I were just friends so I told him about what I had done. Even though I “cheated” the words he said still shake me to think about it. He looked at me, laughed, and said “You don’t want to know what I’ve been doing.” Was that his way of trying to tell me he was expecting a child? Maybe this was his indication that he had a girlfriend. Just like I had always done before I laughed it off. 

I was at his house to see him before I left to go to Disney World. This was the moment I learned about her. This was the moment I discovered the note. It was slowly starting to set in for me that what we had was no more. He had someone else in his life and I needed to accept that, but I had a hard time doing so. While we were at Disney I got the courage to block him. I knew that was the best time because we would be busy and I wouldn’t want to talk to him. Everything that Cayman did, I wanted to send him a picture of. I wanted him to experience her joy just like I did. I finally caved and texted him. Once again the vicious cycle started over. After that I began to keep my distance from him. I was so hurt. That’s when the Facebook stalking started. Thats when my obsession with the thought of them filled my mind daily. 

They were preparing a nursery and I was preparing my house for the Tour of Homes that December. I was busy with remodels and they were busy with baby beds. We were living two completely different lives and I had no clue about it. We still spent several days a week together, we still hooked up, and he still bought what ever I wanted and footed the bill on whatever I needed. During my remodel my debit card was compromised and I needed to buy a few finishing Christmas decorations. His mom and I went shopping, he gave me his card to buy whatever. I remember while I was with his mom she looked at so many baby things. She told me she needed a baby shower gift. Was that baby shower gift for her newest grandchild? 

The last month of my winning year finally came around. On the outside I had lived the best year of my life. I was successful and lived a life most people dream of. I lived this insane life on social media, but inside I was breaking apart. My heart was shriveling up to nothing. Every time I spoke to him it sent shots of jealously pulsating throughout me, but I still showed up and put out. I had myself convinced that sex would make him love me. A few days before Christmas his dad came down and played Santa for my daughter, nieces, and friends. If we were just friends why would he go through that trouble? The joy in his eyes when he saw Cayman see Santa was something unmatched. He loved Cayman, but he didn’t love her enough to have respect for me. Later that month Christmas came and went. I didn’t receive anything for Christmas, which wasn’t out of the norm. All of the things he bought me that month were always considered my Christmas present. Whatever I bought with his card was considered what he got me. The end of the month was my breaking point. The day before New Years Eve is when I found out about his baby. 8 months had went by that I was falling more and more in love. 8 months had went by that I didn't have a clue he was even seeing anyone else. I had my inclinations, but his lies always soothed it over. 

The New Year began and I told myself I would be friendly with him, but that was it. I would throw my emotions out the door. I tried and I tried for days. He kept me close. We even talked about his son. We talked about my involvement in his sons life. I asked if I would be around like he had been in my daughters life. He would always say, “Well of course, why wouldn’t you be?” This made it hard for me. This made me wonder if they weren’t together. This made me wonder if they would just be co-parenting. I kept my thoughts to myself but I never questioned it. During January we spent a lot of time together. Every moment that I wasn’t laying in my bed was spent at his house. My depression became worse and worse. I had no desire to even raise my head off of my pillow. I would cry for days and days at a time. On Cayman’s birthday he searched all over for her the perfect gift. He bought her a huge frozen wooden dollhouse and brought it down for her birthday. He sat and played with the kids. He played with the toys and talked with my father. It was one of those moments that had made me feel like I won. 

The week before I left on my trip I had been at his house. I had been at his house a lot that week. I was in a deep depression and begged for his comfort. He held me as I cried about my decision to sell my business. I would sit in his lap and he would hold his arms around me. I was safe with him and there was anywhere else I wanted to be. January 23rd would be one of the last times I would have that “moment” with him. The moment I craved daily. We laughed and we had our fun, but then I saw a picture of them on his phone. I cried in the movies. I couldn’t even stomach sitting beside him. When we got back to his house he made me fall for him just like he always had. His smooth talking got me into bed just like it had plenty of times before. Afterwards we laid in bed and watched one of our favorite movies. We ate a pizza at 2am. The next morning I left early. We joked about the song Tell It Like It Is by Percy Sledge. I sent him the beginning “If you want something to play with, then go on and find yourself a toy. My time is too expensive.” I sent him the next part. “If you are serious, then don’t play with my heart, it makes me furious. But if you want me to love you, then baby I will.” He laughed and said I’ve gotten girls in bed singing that before. Then he talked about the times he had sang to me. I remembered every single one of them. I can still feel his hands on my lower back as I write this. 

That Thursday we talked just as we always had. He called me for our nightly phone call. After 9 months thats when I would find out about his baby. Through all of the moments we spent together he was making the same memories with the mother of his child. That was the moment I decided to leave. After he said those words “He will be here any day now.” I knew I was meant to leave. I booked my flight and packed my bags. The next morning he wanted to see me before I left. I had time to kill so just as always I went to his house. I hugged him and he wrapped me in his arms just like nothing had ever changed. That was the last moment I would see him. As I walked out of his house I knew I couldn’t continue to put myself through the pain anymore. I had been hurt for the past 4 years. I had been the other woman for most of that time. I was an object. I made the decision that I was no longer an object of his desire. I was strong and I was independent. As I boarded that first leg of the trip, I knew I was ready to move on.

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