The Stories That Must Not Die crew is once again honored to present a story from Rae of I Will Not Live in Vain. A follow-up piece involving the same people will be posted on Thursday. Please take a few minutes and read through her harrowing experiences, and then lend her some encouragement and support in the comments.
**Warning: This post uses explicit language**
Dane knew that something had happened between David and I, but he didn’t know the particulars. I also hadn’t told him that since that night I had received four or five calls from him, randomly in the past few weeks. Random in time and day, but consistent in the fact that he was drunk each time.
On those occasions David would lament about what happened and tell me “You’re married, Rae – we can’t be together… you’re married!”
The first time I agreed and told him I never expected or wanted any relationship with him. The second, third, and fourth time I reminded him that we had already had this conversation. “Oh, ok… good. Glad we are on the same page,” or something to that effect is what he’d say. Finally the last time I was getting frustrated telling him the same thing over and over – so that time I told him I didn’t want to be with him because he was a “Man-whore.”
During this process he finally decided to pursue another mutual friend of ours. Her name was also Rae, and she was an Army Officer that worked in the same unit as David. I told him that I thought they’d make a cute couple – but he might want to check on her relationship status before he got his heart set on her. I told him I thought she was with someone already. He dismissed me when I said that.
Fact was: she was engaged and was keeping it on the down low at work. He was pursuing her and she wasn’t quite sure how to handle it – wanting to preserve his feelings – so she asked my advice. I told her I wanted to stay out of it, but either she wanted to be with him or she didn’t and that she needed to handle it either way. She was out of town at that point and said she would have a sit down with him when she got back.
Well, David was persistent in calling her while she was away so she went ahead and did it earlier – over the phone. Once she had, she called me to chat and she let me know she had done it.
“Oh, really? How’d he take it?”
“He was surprisingly understanding… We had a really nice chat. I told him a bit about Lewis and he said that he sounded like a nice guy.”
“Oh good!” I smiled, I had been concerned for how David would handle the rejection. He wasn’t good with rejection.
I hung up with Rae and was going about making dinner when my phone rang again. I picked it up without looking at the caller ID.
“Hey, Rae!” A jovial David said through my ear piece.
“Oh, hey David…” I was surprised to be getting a call from him. I had been trying to avoid much contact with him.
“How ARE you?” He asked, in a mock cheery voice. It was over the top and I suddenly got nervous.
“Fine… I’m, uh, fine… How are you, David?” I asked cautiously.
“Guess who called me a little while ago.” He stated; the mock cheeriness was gone.
“Um… I dunno. Who?”
“Oh, just Rae… Do you know what she called to tell me?”
Shitshitshitshitshit I thought to myself.
He broke his composure and started yelling, graduating into screaming rather quickly.
“She told me she is with some other fucking guy! She told me that she’s engaged so she doesn’t want to be with me! For fuck’s sake… you told her to say that, didn’t you? DIDN’T YOU, BITCH?!”
I winced, “No… David…Re-remember… I told you I thought you two would make a cute couple…”
He cut me off, still screaming “You fucking told her about us too I bet! That’s why she doesn’t want to be with me, huh?! This is YOUR fault! You are standing in the way of my happiness! Is that what you want? You want me to be unhappy?!”
“No, David… of course not… I didn’t…”
“Do you know what happens to people that stand in my way, Rae? DO YOU?!” His voice suddenly became menacing, “You know I always get what I want, if you stand in my way I will fucking crush you. I will stomp you out, mark my words.”
“David, please – I swear I didn’t tell her to say anything. She really is with some-”
“You had better fix this. You had better hope you can change her mind.”
Then he hung up on me.
I stood there for a moment staring at my phone. My God, what just happened? I was shaking as I went downstairs to tell my husband what had just happened. Jason told me to call Rae back and tell her what happened as well as get specifics about David’s unit. I went off to call her privately.
“Rae, what the hell did you tell him?” That was the first thing I said when she picked up.
“Yes, David… Yes. Did you mention my name at all?”
“No, of course not – why would I?”
“Because he just called me and started threatening me. Rae, he’s seriously unhinged about it and he’s blaming it all on me.”
“But… that doesn’t even make sense. I swear I didn’t say anything about you… he seemed fine about it when I talked to him!”
She proceeded to answer the particulars my husband wanted to know. Once I got off the phone with her, I called Dane.
The first thing I said to him was “Dane, you had better deal with your boy!” My teeth were clenched in an effort not to sound too tearful.
“What? What the hell is going on Rae?”
“David just called me and was threatening me. He is unhinged, Dane!”
“Calm down, I’m on my way to see him now anyway. I’ll talk to him. What’s going on?”
“He is upset because Rae P. doesn’t want to date him, he is upset and he’s threatening me about it.”
“Oh God, not again. Ok. I’ll talk him down. Just calm down, Rae. Calm down.”
I went back downstairs to give the info to Husband that he requested. He then took my phone and dialed Dane back. Dane picked up and said “Hey, what’s up?” Assuming it was me, of course. As soon as he heard my husband answer he became all “Yes-sirs and No-sirs.” Jason asked him the same questions he had told me to ask Rae. When he hung up I asked him why he would do that.
“I want to make sure no one is lying to me.”
Then he tried to dial David’s number, but David didn’t pick up. So he dialed the number into his phone and tried again. This time David picked up. Jason told him to stay the hell away from his wife. David laughed and asked what he would do about it if he didn’t. Jason asked him what unit he was with. David lied. Jason told him he knew it was a lie and repeated the correct information back at him. Then he told him to stay away from me or he would call his superiors. David laughed at him. Jason said “Consider your commander contacted.”
Jason immediately called the chain of command for the unit that both Rae and Dane had confirmed. A few minutes later, an NCO called Jason. Apparently David had sobered up enough to realize he was about to actually get in trouble. He was trying to smooth things over, convince Jason not to call the chain of command. Jason told him it was inappropriate and that it had already been done.
This whole time I could do nothing but sit on the couch and watch it unfold. I had no right to have a say in any of this anymore.
Jason said he didn’t want me hanging out with this group of people anymore, because he heard others laughing in the background when he was talking to David. He said he was fine with me still hanging out with Dane – because Dane had acted according to his rank. He was respectful and acted as “an Officer and a Gentleman,” unlike how David was acting.
Dane had other ideas apparently. Well, David had his ear that night. Dane texted me something accusatory about that night that David and I made our mistake. He alluded to his belief that I took advantage of David while he was drunk. Was he even serious right now?? That was not what happened. I answered back to that effect.
After the NCO reported back to them that Jason had made the call, Dane called me. He was livid and told me to fix it.
“What do you expect me to do, Dane? David laughed at him and he just called… Do you seriously think I have any leg to stand on with my husband right now?”
“I swear to God, Rae…”
“Dane, please let me explain what’s been going on…”
“If David gets in trouble, I will never speak to you again.”
That shut me down. What the hell. My best friend. My best friend just took the side of a man that was quite literally threatening me. I knew David was an awesome liar. He did it so well and can’t really blame Dane for being convinced of whatever was being said where I couldn’t defend myself… but …my best friend. I thought, as his best friend, I deserved at least the chance to defend myself. I deserved the chance to at least try to explain my side. I knew he was likely just saying that and assuming that the fear of losing him would force me to do what they wanted me to do. That pissed me off on a whole other level. It took 2 seconds for all of this to hit me. He might as well have slapped me in the face. That would have been easier to take at least.
Then I said “Fine then. Bye.” and hung up.
A few days later I went to church and there was Dane, looking as cocky as hell. He made a show of not talking to me… He was being such an ass. On my way out I told him to just wait and see. He’d eventually find out what really happened and he’d be sorry. He’d realize that David was nuts and a liar and then realize he threw away our friendship over him. He chuckled like a cocky bastard.