Stickman Readers' Submissions May 12th, 2008

“Experiences from The Flow (23): The Ex Returns! Part 1”

“Experiences from The Flow (23): The Ex Returns! Part 1”

“After taking months to recover from a brutal heartbreak, out of nowhere, the Ex returns. She hands me a belated Christmas gift (a small stuffed toy), wraps her arms around me, buries her head into my shoulder and says, ‘I love you.’

He Clinic Bangkok

Uncomfortably, I accepted her gift and returned her embrace – ALL THE WHILE THINKING OF THE OTHER WOMAN HIDING IN MY BEDROOM!”

“Prosperity: The eternal flow of all that’s good in life…”

By Carl “J.C.” Pantejo, Copyright April 2008

CBD bangkok

(Author “My Friend Yu – The Prosperity Mentor,” Copyright August 2007. Pantejo – Y.N. Vurce Publishing.)

*Below is the twenty-third installment in a series of real life events experienced by the author. The only deviations from the truth may be the names of people and places. These stories are also incorporated in “My Friend Yu – the Prosperity Mentor: Book II,” Pantejo – Y.N. Vurce Publishing. Release Date: 2008.

– Happy New Year? –

It was December 28, 2007, just three days before New Year’s Eve. I was in my bedroom with Nueng, my live-in lover and the only Thai woman proven trustworthy during my two year stay in Thailand.

wonderland clinic

Recently, my life had made a positive 360 degree turn. After a string of unsuccessful and costly relationships, I was now in a loving and mutually beneficial one. My days were filled with love, friendship, smiles, fun, excitement, and intimacy – in short, life “sans paranoia, deceit, and disappointment”.

Feeling content, all I could think of was that the New Year would be nothing like the last one. 2008 was going to be “My Year” – the year that I would advance professionally and grow closer to Nueng. Yes, I was really stoked about the life I envisioned living in the coming year.

(But all things must come to an end.)

I forgot about the spare house key I kept amongst the shoes in a shoe rack outside the front door. The ex didn’t. She used it to quietly enter my townhouse to “surprise” me with her return.

“Happy Freakin’ New Year,” I thought to myself.

– Prelude –

So much had happened in the last five months. My Lao girlfriend, the woman I had fallen so much in love, with broke my heart.

She went on a visa run and eventually never came back.

After weeks of excuses (“mother sick, weather too bad to travel, thief stole my money, house roof damaged from rain, etc.”), I found out the truth: she was at a beach resort with another man.

How did I find out the truth?

Her cell phone.

You see, immediately prior to making her monthly visa run, her cell phone was malfunctioning (it could receive messages and phone calls, but couldn’t send them).

It was a new and rather expensive model. Since it was still under warranty, I suggested maintenance instead of a costly replacement. Besides, she was fond of it because she had finally mastered the art of accessing and using most of its features.

In order to keep connected during this visa run, I told her to put her SIM card into my phone and take it with her.

I put my SIM card into an old phone that I kept for just these kinds of situations (theft, accident, or damage to our better phones, etc.).

Two days after she left, I picked up her phone from the repair shop. I put my SIM card into her phone, changed the language to English, and tested the repair job with an outgoing SMS. She replied with the usual “I miss you. Be home soon.” Trying to call her failed, but that was normal for calls to Laos from Thailand. Local calls to my friends were fine, so I was satisfied with the repairs.

Feeling good about the girlfriend’s repaired phone, I charged it, and carried it around as though it was mine (temporarily).

Her phone was a different brand than my phone and had different menus and shortcuts to the usual, daily tasks. So, for the next few days I began to learn how to quickly access and use most of her phone’s many features.

Playing with her phone, I soon realized that she had saved almost everything on her phone instead of onto her SIM card.

Then I got curious…

– Jackpot or Worst Fears? –

There I was, able to peek into her private life. It was like having the key to her diary. Maybe now I could finally gain some insight into our confusing relationship.

Since we didn’t speak each other’s language very well, we lived in a chronic state of miscommunication. This was my chance to glean some inside information that could benefit our lives as a couple – kind of like the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow; or maybe a winning combination on a Vegas slot machine.

On the other hand, I could be opening Pandora’s Box. And unlike the classic story, if my worst fears were confirmed, hope wouldn’t be left in the box.

Results? Verdict? Thumbs down.

Instead of a jackpot, I found a well of ugliness.

I couldn’t read most of the text messages because they were written in Thai. (She must have deleted all incriminating English messages.)

But a lot of the phone numbers were names in English – male names. In fact, the bulk of them were men from Singapore, Malaysia, Britain, America, and Australia.

Uh-oh. Here we go again. The more I investigated, the more I was getting the whole ugly story.

I got some Thai friends to translate some of the incoming and outgoing messages. Yup, the Ex was stringing me and many other men along.

Judging from the messages, some of the guys had it much worse than me. Some promised marriage. One man (a Thai) threatened suicide if she broke up with him.

Many of them were still sending her money.

Imagine that. I was giving this girl a very high standard of living and she was still milking other men for more. Talk about a greedy bitch!

Oddly enough, I was only angry for a couple of minutes. I guess being a veteran of this kind of setup made recovery time shorter and shorter until finally, it’s almost instantaneous.

Sadly, the majority of relationships I’d had in Thailand ended up like this. It was inevitable. I let myself get caught up with women who were much too immature to take any man/woman relationship seriously. <You got involved with the wrong women, those women who are just too easy to meetStick>

I’d been stubborn, refusing to accept the following axiom:

Contrary to popular belief, Thailand is only a temporary cure. Whether it be insecurity, loneliness, frustration, or mid-to-late-life crisis, “Thailand as a Permanent Panacea” is an illusion.

(Carl “J.C.” Pantejo, November, 2007)

Oh well, what to do, what to do?

I know. I’ll warn the other men. Yeah, that’s the ticket. I’ll either call or text them and tell them what’s really going on.

– Killing the Messenger –

The overwhelming majority of the men I contacted were tourists, only visiting Thailand for a few days to a couple weeks at a time.

After hearing the truth, many went into immediate denial. They couldn’t believe that their sweet, little tee-rak was a liar and a cheat. Man, they were really under her magic spell. A few of them actually yelled obscenities at me, saying that I was the “f*ck!n home-wrecker”!

Home-wrecker? What a crock.

THEY were the ones in the dark about the real deal, blissfully dreaming about the soon-to-be ex’s love from the armchairs of their foreign homes.

I was the one in Thailand currently living with “their” woman.

I was the one who was trying to free them from this conniving witch (albeit, an-oh-so-cute-and-sexy sorceress)!

The more seasoned Thai tourists simply shrugged it off and said that they weren’t surprised and thanked me for the information.

One of them, an American like myself, said, “Appreciate the low down, buddy. I guess it’s drop-kick time. I’ll shop for another one on my next trip. Oh yeah, I owe you a beer.”

These veterans of vacations in Thailand were extremely nonchalant about the whole affair. It was like I’d just told them that their favorite toothpaste was out of stock (no big deal, just a minor inconvenience).

I wondered how long it would be until I was that jaded?

One of them even suggested a nice payback. He was to make a surprise visit at my place when she returned, but I declined. I’d be rid of her long before this British guy could make it over to Thailand.

Since becoming a civilian, I shed my hardcore revenge persona. My personal philosophy now is that Life will compensate her for her actions more than I ever could. I just wanted to prevent her from inflicting more damage on other people.

I simply told the other men the truth. It was up to them to continue their relationship or not. For me, I was bailing out – and fast.

– Tying up Loose Ends –

After contacting the foreigners, I packed up the girlfriend’s belongings and moved them into a spare bedroom. I removed all reminders of her existence from plain view. I announced to the landlord and neighbors that she was not my girlfriend anymore. Luckily, they all liked me and said they would keep an eye out.

Then I set out to make sure that “she knew that I knew.”

Until now, I was too busy to contact the guy she was having a holiday with at a beach resort half-way between Rangsit and Laos.

He was the Thai guy who threatened suicide (mentioned above).

Apparently, he was in his early twenties and working as a stock boy at an electrical hardware store in the Future Park Mall (translated: poor). He had saved up nearly a year’s worth of pay to take the girlfriend to the beach resort and propose marriage.

I scanned her phone, selected all the messages he’d sent her (and her messages to him) AND SENT THE WHOLE LOT OF THEM TO HER.

Then I sent the same messages, her messages to me, and my replies to her TO HIM.

They immediately panicked. First they turned off their phones for two days. Then they came up with a myriad of stories (lies) to try and cover up or justify their time together. None of the stories were remotely plausible. All were blatantly untrue.

My Thai friend got a hold of the man on his cell and proceeded to give him the riot act. My friend said (in Thai), “Are you proud of yourself now? You are with someone else’s wife. Can you trust her now? Do you really think she’ll change JUST FOR YOU? I have proof of many other men. Do you want their phone numbers?”

By now, the Thai man was beginning to wise up. He profusely apologized to me through my Thai friend. I said, “Mai bpen rai.” And I made it clear that I didn’t want her back.

He could have her (and her lying and cheating). Good riddance.

I wished both of them a nice life and hung up.

That night, she began calling me and saying that she was sorry and didn’t love him. She was just worried that he might really kill himself (yeah, right). She bombarded my phone with SMS, missed calls, and MMS (multi-media files) professing her undying love for me.

How hypocritical can you get? She was sending these love messages to me while remaining at the beach resort with another man!

I’d had enough. I told her to send her friend to pick up her belongings and that I hope she knows what she is throwing away (a solid future).

(Say good-bye to your gravy train, honey.)

She sent me a last image. It was of her with her eyes closed. The beach breeze was blowing through her hair. Swaying Palm trees, sparkling blue water, and soft-looking sand filled the background. The message at the bottom of the photo was “Rak khun kon-deow (I love you, only you).”

I deleted the image.

– Time-released Heartache –

As expected, over the next few days I kept getting flash back memories of intimate and happy moments with the ex. It was kind of a delayed reaction.

All my life, especially in the military, once I made a decision, I acted swiftly and surgically; not allowing myself to feel things until much later. The motto always was: “Do it now. Complete the mission. Then cry (or laugh) about it later.”

It was insidious. Eventually, I accepted it. I was actually heartbroken.

And I cried for weeks.

– Merry Freakin’ Christmas –

After taking months to recover from the brutal heartbreak, out of nowhere, the Ex returns. She hands me a belated Christmas gift (a small stuffed toy), wraps her arms around me, buries her head into my shoulder and says, “I love you.”

Uncomfortably, I accepted her gift and returned her embrace – ALL THE WHILE THINKING OF THE OTHER WOMAN HIDING IN MY BEDROOM!

(Continued in “Experiences from The Flow [24]: The Ex Returns! Part 2.”)

Your Friend in this Intrepid Journey called Life,

Carl “J.C.” Pantejo

Stickman's thoughts:

My advice that one shouldn't get involved with Thai women who are particularly easy to meet and "get to know quickly" remains.

There is no doubt that if you really want to know what your teeruk is up to her mobile will provide the key to many chambers of the secrets cabinet. Crack the email too and then you'll know 90% of what is going on. It really is sad that guys feel the need to do this. Being in a relationship when one is constantly worrying about what is going in is no fun at all.

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