“Any Patrick Bateman news?” I jokingly asked my friends Rick and Beth.
“Last time I heard anything about Patrick Bateman was right before his wedding,” said Rick.
I nearly choked on my water. “HE’S MARRIED?! TO WHO?” He and Beth exchanged an “oh shit, we thought she knew” look.
“That girl. The other one he was dating when you guys got back together,” added Rick sheepishly.
The sound of boozy patrons, loud jazz music, silverware clinking against plates seemed to come to a screeching halt while I tried to register what I’d just heard: my lying, cheating ex-boyfriend, Patrick Bateman, tied the knot.
Rick, who was in the same platoon as my ex at Fort Benning, Georgia, and his wife, Beth, were my closest friends during the time I was dating Patrick Bateman. They were our go-to pals and vacation buddies, and were equally as upset when they found out we’d all been lied to by our so-called best friend. They stopped speaking to Patrick Bateman as soon as they found out what he’d done, but remained loyally in touch with me over the last four years. So when they told me they were coming to New York for a long weekend, I jumped at the chance to see my old pals.
What I failed to mention when I first informed you about the whole Patrick Bateman saga was that, despite every bone in my body telling me not to trust him, we got back together for a minute after I found out he cheated. He put on the charm, and I hesitantly decided to give him a second chance, promising myself that if he made one more mistake, even a teeny tiny fib, that would be the end of things. He knew that he royally fucked up, pled his case and confessed that his initial intentions were just to hook up with me, but before he knew it, he was falling in love and didn’t know how to leave his other girlfriend. But when all was said and done, he chose me, and was willing to do whatever it took for us to work. He was about to deploy at the time, and told me that he couldn’t go to war knowing we wouldn’t be together. He even made emotionally manipulative pleas about how he feared he would act “recklessly” or do something “dangerous” if he didn’t have the one thing worth fighting for back in the States. Me. He said he wanted to marry me and spend the rest of his life with me. Blind to his manipulation at the time, I skeptically agreed to give our relationship another shot. I knew that if I didn’t give him a second chance, I would always wonder if things could have worked out between us.
We were back together for four months, Skyping every day while he was in Afghanistan, when I got a phone call from the other woman — the same woman I tracked down and bonded with over the pain and betrayal of a man who claimed to be committed to us both.
“I talked to him today,” she informed me. “I asked him if he still spoke to you, and he said no, but I saw right through his lies. I thought you should know he’s been dating some other girl for six months now. He met her after you and I broke up with him, and from what I know, things are pretty serious.”
I hung up the phone, shattered. At that moment, I typed the other other woman’s full name into Facebook, and there they were. Her profile picture was a photo of her and Patrick Bateman. First, I wrote to her, informing her that she was being lied to, and that she deserved to know who she was really dating; Next, I emailed him an evil Dear John letter:
I know about this other girl. I don’t deserve this, and you don’t deserve me. Be safe over there, and when you’re done fighting for our country, go fuck yourself. And then do it again…and again…
P.S. Don’t even think about reaching out, because we’re DONE.
P.P.S. I can’t wait for Karma to find you. I hear she’s a bitch.
And that was it. I never heard from him again.
Flashbacks from that heartbreaking day flooded my mind. The email. The phone call. The message I received back from the other other woman that read:
You’re mistaken. Please leave me alone and God Bless.
I thought about Patrick Bateman walking down the aisle in a tux, the ring I tried on and the wedding I was supposed to have. That woman, who I tried to warn, would soon have (if she hadn’t already) a very rude awakening. I, on the other hand, dodged a bullet. And Rick and Beth knew it, too.
“He will have families in different zip codes before you know it. He’s a sociopath, and you have the rest of your life to be happy,” Beth said.
Rick chimed in, “Now tell us about this new guy you’re seeing.”
I told them about Officer Handsoming, his job, his family and how incredibly comfortable I feel with him after only one month. When we parted ways and I got home, I allowed myself five minutes to cry. Just five minutes to think about Patrick Bateman and his wedding, and feel bitter about how he screwed me over and left me struggling to trust anyone ever again.
When I was done crying, I wiped my face off, and realized that Patrick Bateman will never find true happiness the way that I am capable of, and that his version of “happiness” is built on lies in deceit. And that’s sad. I thought about how insanely lucky I am that I wasn’t the one who walked down the aisle with him. For the first time in a long time I felt like I was exactly where I was supposed to be.
[Photo from Shutterstock]