Stickman Readers' Submissions May 29th, 2008

Experiences from The Flow (24): The Ex Returns! Part 2

– Dramas –

Upstairs, in my bedroom and half asleep, I hear someone slip a key into the front door. The door creaks open (I always seem to forget to oil the hinges of that thing). I assume the person I hear entering my townhouse is my sister coming home from the
open market where she sells clothes and second-hand items.

He Clinic Bangkok

But then the sound of a voice puts me on instant alert.

It’s the unmistakable, girlish voice of my Ex-girlfriend (Kai)!

“J.C.! J.C., tee rak (darling)! J.C? Tee rak, kid tueng yu khun maak maak (Darling, I missed you so much)!”

CBD bangkok

I close my eyes again and listen more intently, hoping that this was not happening, maybe just a bad dream.

But the footsteps on the stairs confirm the worst. They are definitely the awkward, “stutter-steps” of Kai. (She was never the most graceful of women).

To prevent constant stumbling, she basically stomped her way through life. It was always an amusing sight to see her walk in her favorite high-heeled shoes (kind of like watching a spinning top wobbling as it begins to slow down).

– Locked Doors, Open Doors –

wonderland clinic

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

By this time, Nueng was awake and knew what was going on. She put a finger to my lips and whispered “Shhhh…Reo, reo (fast, quickly)!”

Nueng wanted me to exit the bedroom before Kai reached the top of the stairs and “accidentally” lock the door behind me. Even under the most extreme circumstances, Nueng was always level-headed.

Damn! Why didn’t I move out of this townhouse when I decided to cut all ties with the Ex?

I had permanently written Kai out of my life over six months ago.

Nueng and I should’ve found another place, a secret place no one knew of (meaning her ex-husband and my ex-girlfriends), to genuinely start anew.

– Who Cares? –

Nueng, my sweet and strong Nueng.

She was the most honest and caring woman I’ve met in Thailand. I remember when the running water had stopped in our townhouse and we were tired and grimy from spending the day outside.

Without a fuss, Nueng grabbed some empty, six-liter drinking water containers, hopped on my motorcycle, and sped off to fill them up at the drinking water machine.

Upon returning, she then dumped the water into the large, black rubbish bin we used to store water.

When I offered to help, she just sniff-kissed my neck and told me to “Abp narm, tee-rak (bathe now, darling),” then sped off to get more water.

In short, she cares. She REALLY cares.

And I knew that it was my laziness (and stupidity) that has put us in this current situation.

– Same, Same? –

I kissed Nueng, whispered “Rak khun kon deos (I love you, only you), and quickly pulled on some shorts. Exiting the bedroom, I entered the upstairs hallway; locking the bedroom door behind me.

Double-timing it to the top of the stairs, I saw Kai.

I intercepted her on the small landing half-way up the stairs. As I looked at her, I didn’t really know how to feel.

Definitely, I was in shock.

It was as though all the feelings of rage, confusion, and despair I’d experienced during my discovery of her lies and infidelity were being painfully resurrected again.

The acidic emotions were beginning to reach my stomach (via my throat and heart).

It was like the reflexive shock, gasp, and searing pain you get when you accidentally gulp down some burning, hot coffee.

Apparently, Kai didn’t notice any hints of my inner turmoil. I guess she assumed that my expressionless, lukewarm demeanor was another one of those mysterious (translated: stupid) “Farang (foreigner) Things.”

She smiles her trademark, dazzling smile and hands me a belated Christmas gift (a small stuffed toy).

Wrapping her arms around me, she kisses me; then buries her head into my shoulder and says, “Me-lee Klees-mah (her attempt at saying Merry Christmas in English), tee rak. Chan rak khun (I love you).”

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

As I held Kai, my only thoughts were:

“Wow. I don’t remember Kai being this small before. She feels so fragile! Nueng is so different, better. No matter how hard I hug Nueng, she can always hug me back harder.”

Then situational awareness returned and I led Kai by the hand back down the stairs, saying that we need to talk outside.

My plan was to take her out on the front porch, sit down, and ask her why she returned.

Of course, I pretty much knew already. In my mind, the scenario had been firmly formed:

  1. Her “suicidal” boyfriend probably ran out of money.
  2. Profoundly wise to her “money management habits,” I knew that she most surely was broke too.
  3. Her more convenient cash cows were now unavailable or unwilling to be scammed again.
  4. She probably thought she could easily convince me to take her back (until she could find something/someone better – again).

It’s always the same with her. It’s always about the money!

– She Knows! –

We finally reached the first floor. But to my surprise, Kai ignored all my requests to go outside, picked up her suitcase and charged back up the stairs!

It was then that “I knew that she knew.”

I attempted to stop her at the landing, she shrugged me off. She was furious. Her eyes were on fire, shooting flaming daggers as she looked at me, the bedroom door, and the plastic bags packed with all her belongings through the open door of the spare

I had never, ever, ever seen her so fierce.

Additionally, I have never physically fought with a woman (civilian woman, that is) in my life and I was not about to start now.

Resigned to my fate, I slumped down and squatted on the landing and watched the scenes unfold.

The next thing I hear is Kai’s suitcase dropped on the hallway floor, then bedroom doorknob being jiggled several times, and finally the sound of Kai trying to open the door (unsuccessfully) with every key on the spare ring of keys.

(I knew that there was no spare bedroom key on that ring.)

Then the real show began.

Arrghh! Whack! Mah hee-ah (very bad Thai word)!! Thump! Krai (Who)! Whack-whack-whack!

Kai was screaming, kicking, and hitting the bedroom door. I thought she was going to break the door down!

– Poor, Little Girl? –

But then suddenly it was quiet, a deafening kind of silence.

I walked up the remaining stair to find Kai in a fetal position by my bedroom door, sobbing. Her whole world was shattering and she looked like such a poor, sad, little orphan girl. I felt like the world’s greatest heel.

Gently, I scooped her up in my arms and started down the stairs again.

Carrying her, I remembered the many times I’d found her asleep in front of the T.V. and carried her to bed. But now, she felt so light, so little, and so vulnerable.

What am I doing? What am I thinking? This woman in my arms used me. She used me like she used all the other men. She put me through hell! I need to maintain. Stay focused.

For all I know, this is just another one of her tricks.

Besides, I have not forgotten Nueng. Nueng has never lied to me. Nueng has never squeezed me for money. Nueng has never abandoned me. Nueng deserves a man that will do likewise. Nueng loves me and I love her.

Half way down the stairs, at the landing, Kai reached out for the wooden railing and held a firm grip on it. She wanted down and out of my arms. And she wanted down now!

I put her on her feet and tried to wipe the tears away from her eyes, but she turned away. It was obvious that she didn’t want me to touch her anymore.

I saw ultimate hate in her eyes as she took off the gold ring and silver school ring I’d given her last year and flung them onto the floor of the landing. They sounded like coins being dropped into a beggar’s cup.

Bless her heart. She didn’t pawn them. Later on, I found out why. She didn’t need to. She had pawned my expensive cell phone instead.

Then she reached into her purse, extracted her ATM cards – the ATM cards that used to have access to two of my bank accounts, but deactivated by now – and threw them down too.

Plunk, plunk. They landed like thick, kindergarten playing cards beside the rings.

Through all of this, I was actually starting to feel sorry for her. I tried to, but didn’t have the heart to look at her. I just kept my head and eyes down, staring at the rings and ATM cards.

They look so lonely down there.

To regain my composure (and resolve) I briefly shut my eyes and took in a deep breath.

– Round Two –

The next thing I felt is Kai’s face on my chest. She has me in a bear hug. She is weeping like an unloved, neglected baby. I feel her tears running down my stomach. With each crying convulsion she squeezes me tighter and tighter.

Jeez! This little girl’s stronger than she looks!

Releasing her hug on me, Kai reaches up and holds my face in her hands. I open my eyes to see Kai’s teary, red swollen eyes, runny nose, and trembling lips.

She was hysterical (shaking uncontrollably) and hyperventilating.

Struggling through quick, short inhales, she whimpered, “J.C. mai rak Kai (J.C. no love Kai)? [sob, sob] Tamai (Why)? [sob, sob] Tamai, tee rak (Why, darling)? Chan rak khun (I love you). [sob, sob] Kai love J.C! Chan rak khun. Chan rak khun! (I
love you. I love you!).”

Coughing and sniffling, she leans into my body and hugs me tight again…

(Continued in “Experiences from The Flow [25]: The Ex Returns! Part 3.”)

Your Friend in this Intrepid Journey called Life,

Carl “J.C.” Pantejo

Stickman's thoughts:

What a manipulative bitch.

I would have handled this very differently. I would have removed her from the condo ASAP and let her know in no uncertain terms that she was not welcome then, now would she ever been in the future. I can't imagine what Neung was thinking in the bedroom but I do believe you had a duty to her to see that this INTRUDER was removed promptly. That Kai has issues is not your problem. She had lied and cheated on you and besides, you split up 6 months earlier. Why did you allow her to remain inside. Boy oh boy, had it been me there would have been no misunderstanding whatsoever!

nana plaza