I don't really know how many parts there will be to this story. But I wanted there to be at least two, just so I could put part deuce. Yeah, I'm weird.
Ahh, so where did we leave off? Oh yes. In love. Getting married. And then things started to change.
Ben's car had been stolen, or at least he told me so. We were sharing my car. He drove me to work one uneventful December morning while it was still dark outside. I looked over and his eyes were closing...nodding off. Maybe he's just tired, I do that sometimes. Right? It happened again. Only this time the car swerved into another lane. "Babe, you're driving weird. It's scaring me." Ben immediately retaliated, "No I'm not, I'm just a little tired, I'm fine. See? I'm fine." The car swerves again. "Seriously, babe, pull over. You must be really tired or something, and it's scaring me." The tension ensued until he dropped me off. He spent the rest of the day at work - or at least that's what he told me he was going to do.
Ben picked me up that night. I notice the tank is almost on empty when it was over 1/2 full this morning. He reminds me that it needs gas. "Seriously? I just filled it up. Did you drive around a lot?" And...cue the excuse. Ben: "No, that's crazy. I just drove it to work and back. I think it needs a tune up, it's eating up so much gas it's crazy."
This part of the story probably seems pointless to you. But to me, little things like this I ignored along the way kept adding up. And adding up. Until I broke down, thought I was the crazy one, and went to see a therapist. I'm depressed, I must be. There's a lot of change and I don't know how to deal with it. Ben says I'm acting weird and unappreciative lately, it has to be me. I'm a drama queen the day after getting my wisdom teeth out because I'm not up and about. Drama queen, and crazy. I'm selfish. That one stuck with me...selfish. I never listen to him because I suggested the Corner Cafe for breakfast instead of a "diner". I always get what I want.
I'd started to be more active in church then. I worked a 7pm night shift on a Saturday and Ben picked me up in the morning. I planned on sleeping a few hours then going to church for an hour at 1. Setting the alarm on my phone, I told Ben he could do whatever but I was going to go. I made it a point to fall asleep with my phone in my hand so the vibration woke me up.
As soon as he thought I was asleep, Ben came into my room, took the phone out of my hand, and put it back in the kitchen. I got up a few minutes later and asked him why he did that. "What?" and he looks at me funny. I stared at him for a minute. "Why did you move my phone?" Ben put his famous baffled face on and asked me, "What are you talking about?". "You came in and took it out of my hand so I wouldn't get up for church and you wouldn't feel bad about not going." There, I said it, I put it out there. Then he points his finger in my face and tells me I'm crazy. I'm the crazy one. I imagined all of it, and he can't do anything right lately. I'm demanding. I worry too much. I'm a stress case. I'm the crazy one.
And so I let it stew in my head, that I'm the crazy one. I suggested to Ben that we go see the therapist together. Maybe it would help us learn to deal with all the changes happening. It's a lot of change, and is obviously causing some stress between us.
So much stress that I began to imagine someone was using my credit card. Several days before Christmas I noticed it gone from my wallet. I lose things all the time. I can't even find my keys when they're in my own hand, so of course I'd lose my credit card. Had Ben seen it? No, he hadn't seen it or even touched that thing in weeks. He had no idea what I was talking about. Please, Ben, if you used it, it's okay. We'll work it out, I don't care if you did, I just need to know so I don't have to report it to the police.
The next day after I noticed a few hundred dollars spent at Walgreens and Denny's. I made a facebook post about how hillbilly it is to use someone's stolen card there, then reported it to the police and the bank. All this time, Ben sat on the couch next to me and not a word came from his mouth. I tried asking him a few more times, maybe he used it and forgot to tell me. He denied every time, then proceeded to tell me I'm crazy and I always think it's his fault.
By this point, I can't even tell you how crazy I felt. Like I was asking myself, "Are you out of your mind?" Totally convinced that everything was my fault, that I have trust issues with relationships. I don't tell you about these little stories for pity - I only tell them so you can see how people are manipulated. How a good liar can make everything seem like it's your fault. Things got even more fishy - his "boss" wanting to pick things up from him at midnight on a Saturday. Work plans came up suddenly when family functions came around. This was not the man I fell in love with. I trusted that man, and this one I did not.
I felt awful even wondering if Ben took my credit card, but I couldn't shake it. The places where it was used were all in proximity to my apartment and to his. I wanted to figure it out so I could rest my weary brain. I called Wells Fargo and wrote down the times of the transactions. Then I called Walgreens to see if they had video footage...and I waited.
Three days later I received a phone call. It was Ryan, the manager at Walgreens. He thinks he has a "winner". Ben sat next to me on the couch. I remember praying that the culprit was a woman. Please, just make it be a woman so I don't even have to wonder. Ryan describes the man as "Tall....bigger build....has on some sort of plaid shirt...". That could be anyone, right? Anyone. I'm talking myself through this, and then he said it. "He's got some sort of big tattoo on the inside of his left forearm....it almost looks like a star."
Aaaaaaand pause. My heart sank. Wasn't Ben's tattoo on his right? I look over. No. Left arm. Lots of people have big stars tattooed on their forearms, don't they?
If you've endured my lengthy story-telling so far, I applaud you. There's only two more parts to the story for blogging's sake. That night, and the aftermath. The part where I get to explain my thinking process behind the actions. Coming soon: where I get to sound like a cold, heartless woman that put her fiance in jail. Haha. Fashionable green/white stripe jailbird undies:
Cruel, cruel joke. It's either that or continue to be terribly nervous about this next post. So I will just laugh until I mean it....