Up til now we have talked about my dating life in pretty loose terms. Other than Number two we haven’t gotten too specific on the who, when’s, and where’s. But, I had this moment a couple weeks ago that I must share. My life is super ironic. (Alanis Morsette begins to play, I’m actually listening to it as I type this) This blog post is a going to be about the ultimate ghoster: Number 22. Now relax, I’ll explain before you just assume that I’ve fucked 22 people. RELAX, it’s not that many.

Let me explain the name first. I was drowning in adorable texts from this dude I “met” on Tinder in Colorado. There was two weeks of constant texting but, we didn’t have a chance to meet in person yet. Did you know that research has revealed that it can take couples an average of only 163 text messages, 70 Facebook messages, 37 emails, and 30 phone calls to fall head over heels for each other? Isn’t that weird? I hate that it’s a thing but, it is. Number 22 was no exception. Well, he felt like an exception to how my life was going. I know you’re all still asking, “Why do you call him 22?”. I was listening to Elvis Duran one morning and they were talking about how many first kisses it takes on average for you to find your soulmate—or the person you end up with. I was well below 22 when I got married, which explains it all. Lo and behold I’m talking to this really awesome man, we are texting constantly, and I realize: If I can just not kiss someone in the next week he will be #22.

WHY DO WE ALL PUT THIS PRESSURE ON OURSELVES.  Okay, no, it’s not that difficult to not kiss a bunch of people in a week. But, why do we take all of that shit so seriously? I of course took it as a sign from her holiness above. #22 HE SHALL BE CALLED. You know I boldly brought it up to him in our next conversation. I have no fear, I have no filter, why live my life behind a wall? He told me I would be #21 for him though, so it might not be fate. I told him he better kiss someone STAT. None the less I was convinced it was a sign, he told me he was convinced too.

Let me tell you a little bit about him, or how he was presented to me, and you tell me you’re not in love by the third descriptor sentence.  First of all, straight up cowboy. Owned a bunch of horses (had pictures to back it up) and told me he trained them. He told me about his dream to own hunting land—he bought a bunch of pheasants to start breeding them on the land—and ranches where young kids that struggled with behavioral issues could interact with livestock and the land. I totally believed him, because no one has ever lied to me before—god dammit. He told me he had traveled a great deal, loved to cook, showed me his gorgeous apartment. He had two dogs, one was a gorgeous golden retriever named Duke. He had a great job for a management company and made plenty of money. Keep in mind the three weeks we were in touch we were talking on the phone, texting, and even facetiming. I was pretty convinced he was who he said he was. I hate to give you a spoiler alert, but he wasn’t who he said he was. Aren’t you disappointed? I could feel you falling for him just then.

April 20th, my roommate and I had planned our trip to Colorado. Accident that it was on 4/20 I promise. Well, #22 knew that and asked if he could come to Minneapolis the Wednesday before, and fly back with us on Friday. I obviously said HELL YES—but stay in a hotel we’ve never met I’m not about to have you sleep in my bed. He sent me a flight itinerary and I thought, damn this lifetime movie is going to be so good. The day comes, he tells me he is headed to the airport and that he will see me at 4:30. I of course go to the airport to pick him up, and he’s a no show. My poor little gullible self said “maybe something happened to him, maybe he is hurt, maybe he’s nervous”. No, the asshole blocked my phone number and pulled off the ultimate ghosting. I thought it would be a fitting October share. BOO mother fuckers, #22 doesn’t exist. Well he does but he is a big fat liar too.

Here’s the problem I always have when I take another look at this story. I don’t want to be a skeptic of anyone’s love story, even my own. I want to be open to the weird ways romantic love can make a comeback in my life. I don’t want to believe that people lie about who they are and get off to the idea of lying to someone just to ghost them. I don’t want to believe that people will lie. But time and time again they do. Time and time again, people like me, and you, get hurt because they just want to let loose of expectations and open themselves up to the adventure that is life. I called #1 that night and he said “forget about him”. And I cried. Why is everything so simple for #1?!

After he failed to show up at the airport I reached out to one of his friends on Facebook telling her he didn’t show at the airport. She said “What airport” I explained, and she said he would call me that night. Obviously, he didn’t. I found out he blocked my number because my roommate gave him a call and it rang on through. I don’t know what he was lying about. He might have been married, he might have just gotten nervous, he might have fallen and gotten amnesia, or had an evil twin that locked him up and he’s still locked up. I hope that’s the case. My roommate and I go to Denver that weekend and she leaves him a series of savage voicemails. There’s one for your viewing pleasure, but she left five.

Union Station for your Viewing Pleasure

Union Station for your Viewing Pleasure

Fast forward to a couple weeks ago, I’m in Denver with my two sisters in laws driving to Union Station. It’s a place that reminds me of him, he was always there when we facetimed, I know he liked to sit there and people watch. I joked that he was probably homeless. We walk in and I immediately see him sitting in a booth in the center of the building. We walked right past him in his John Deere hat. My heart obviously sank. I had that all too familiar “I’m going to hurl chunks” feeling. If this were five years ago, I would have just let it go and sat with that feeling all day. But why?! I didn’t do anything, I never asked for this guy to be fake nice to me. My sister stalked by him a couple times getting pictures of him, so I could triple check it was him. When I decided hands down it was, I said fuck it, I am bold, I am beautiful, and ghosts need to know people exist.

I sat down in the booth across from him and said: “Hi is your name Kyle?” (That’s his actual name y’all, I don’t give a fuck this time)

He looks up at me, take a pause and says”……………….No…It’s…Michael?” VERY CONVINCING.

And I said: “Really? My name is Aime and you ghosted me 4 months ago.” 

Him: “I don’t think I did.” Looks down at his cell phone hoping this moment can end.

Me: “It’s okay dude you can admit it. I’m sitting right in front of your face and I know it’s you.”

Him: “Don’t think it was”

Me: “Okay, well great to meet you Kyle.”

And you know what? I probably didn’t change anything about his day or make it so he doesn’t do that to someone else. I proved to myself that I can face my fear and show people my confidence and strength. No one can dim my light. Even if he did momentarily make me believe I would never find a man who wants to be honest with me. I already was newly divorced dealing with knowing my husband was never faithful to me. Who needed some guy pretending to be kind and lying to me about whatever he lied about just to get his rocks off. I don’t need to hide behind a cell phone or act like something didn’t happen. It’s all part of the story now. #22 is part of that story whether he likes it or not and whether I like it or not. That day the ghost disappeared my bright ass light was shining, and ghosts aren’t too into that.