-by Jennifer Wray
As a woman, you can feel in your gut when something’s off with your man. On one particular night, not only did I know something was off, but I also knew this was going to be a “007” kinda night. In case you’re unaware, a 007 night consists of intensive investigation, black sweatshirts, black sweatpants, and possibly an unmarked car. I know, I know, I know. My hand is on my forehead and I’m shaking my head even thinking about it.
It was New Year’s Eve, and my boyfriend (we’ll call him “Last Frog”) had already begun building the stage for us not to be together that night. He set the stage with “I think one of my boys is flying in and we’re just going to chill at my house with our sons… nothing major because I don’t really feel like doing anything.”
“Okay,” I said because who was I to come between him spending the holiday with his son and friend?
Tuh! Yeah right!
I already knew it was some shadiness in the air, and I immediately began to mentally prepare to catch this liar and cheater in the act.
After years of being together, off and on, I always believed Last Frog would finally get his act together, see my worth, and resist the temptation of temporary thrills. Although I knew he loved me, I also knew the “fun girls” and newness of other women were an addiction I often was victim to in our relationship.
What was different about this night was that I was tired — tired of the lies, tired of the women, and tired of all the years I wasted with this man. Our relationship wasn’t getting better and Last Frog taking my love for granted was getting worse.
I actually took a nap to make sure I was wide awake to catch him this particular night, I woke up from my nap around 10 pm. I rode by his house, and as I expected, there were at least five cars parked in front of his house. That’s not a huge deal but there was one car that stood out — a white four-door Mercedes Benz. I pretty much knew the cars his friends drove and this one wasn’t one of them.
Everything inside me knew it was a woman’s car and the woman in this car had something to do with Last Frog. Telling him “I saw a car at your house and it looked like it belonged to a woman” wouldn’t be enough. He could weasel his way out of that quickly – he was slimy, sleazy, and slick.
I started to think about my plans for the rest of the night. I needed to see with my own two eyes if he, in fact, was with another woman that night. And if so, I would finally be ready to exit stage left from this relationship.
As crazy as it sounds, I planned to find a spot to stake the place out. I was determined to catch him in the act or embarrass the hell out of myself trying….
I found somewhere to park for the next few hours and would wait there to see who would leave his house, because surely, he wouldn’t have this woman spend the night. Right?
Let me say this — when you combine a woman, love, and betrayal, there’s a chemical reaction that sets off in her brain that even she can’t understand. Certain skills and knowledge surface that even she is unaware of.
Hours after the stroke of midnight, the white car was still parked in his driveway. I ended up in the next logical place, the camping section of Walmart at 3am. I was looking for binoculars and considering buying camouflage camping gear to hide out in the bushes.
I bought the binoculars, headed to the park across the street from his gated community, and set up camp. I wasn’t sleepy, couldn’t sleep, and actually didn’t want to sleep. I wanted to start my year off right and fresh. Kicking him to the curb would be the start I needed.
Around 7 am, I saw two hooded people get in the white Mercedes and began moving kind of fast. I froze. I was nervous, hurt, and knew this was it. I’d spent hours waiting to catch him cheating and finally was faced with the moment of truth. The truth I knew existed but wanted to badly not to be true. I was embarrassed and humiliated for myself. I told myself, “If this is a woman or women, you have to be done with this man. You can’t spend another holiday like this. This is your sign, it’s time to move on.”
I decided I would follow the car once they passed me on the street. I needed to make sure I locked eyes with whoever this was leaving his house.
In a desperate attempt to make myself feel better, I started spiraling, thinking, “Well, he didn’t walk her to the car, and she’s leaving early, so she isn’t special. He’s not spending the day with her.”
I took three huge deep breaths and started mentally coaching myself: “What are you doing? You’re a beautiful lady! You’re intelligent with a couple of degrees. You’re caring, supportive, responsible, loyal, and very forgiving of this man. This is it! Enough is enough!” Hot tears streamed down my cheeks as I started up my car and prepared to get behind the white Mercedes Benz. Before I knew it, the car with the two hooded people sped off. I nearly burned rubber trying to pull off.
“Why the hell are they driving so fast? Damnit! Am I going to crash and risk my life trying to catch this fool doing something I clearly know he did and has done many times before?” I asked myself.
The car was going fast. I tried looking in the car but the passenger was ducked down in the seat and the driver was covering their faces from the sun with a pizza box, but what I could see was the driver’s bright, two-inch-long nails.
Although the nails were a dead giveaway, I still wanted to look her in the face. I risked it all and put my pedal to the metal. I had to be going nearly 90 miles per hour trying to pass their car to pull along the side of them. I finally succeeded, looked to my right, and there they were — two women who looked a whole lot like everything he swore he’d never date..
That’s who he’d spent his night with on New Year’s Eve. That’s who he left me home alone for, huh? This type of chic was worth it, huh? That was it.
I called him, and, of course, he didn’t answer. I sent him a text and told him I would be dropping off everything he owned from my house, and I did drop everything I had of Last Frog’s off to his house in the front yard. Within seconds, he texted back but I didn’t even look at the message. It didn’t matter.
I didn’t reply but that only made him become more creative in his nonsense of lies, games, and deception. He needed a reaction. This fool was really putting on a show and trying with all his might to get a reaction.
When I was finally able to deal, I text back: “Stop the lies! I saw someone from inside your house come outside and take everything in and I recorded it, so stop lying!”
(I was now lying but I had to pull my ace card, you know?)
That particular morning, on New Year’s Day, I came to grips with who I had become. Sure, my 007 mission was one helluva embarrassing moment, but bigger than that, I learned the power of mirrors — and you can’t dodge your reflection.
That tiny rear view mirror in my car stared me down.
I’d become the woman who settled for a piece of man. I’d become the woman who no longer loved herself enough to walk away from a toxic situation. I’d become the woman who allowed this man to treat me with little to no respect. I had given my pearls to a pig, and I had to make a choice. I could either acknowledge my faults, apologize to my damn self, walk away, and heal or stay with this man and buckle up for the worst ride of my life.
Not shying away from your reflection takes courage. I saw my truth in this 007 mission, and I didn’t like it. Somewhere along the way, I’d stopped loving me, and it was all over my face.
007 missions are hardly funny, let alone bragging rights. These missions are reflections and flashlights to bring attention to how far one has veered from their purpose. I realized how lost I was in a life which was never meant for me. From that day forward, I was done with him and my 007 missions.