Two years into our relationship, Rick* received a verbal offer that would send him 2,500 miles away.
I couldn’t fathom how we could possibly have a successful relationship living such a great distance apart — even though I was the woman who’d urged him to apply for the job. He had asked me months before the job was even a possibility how I would feel about him splitting his time between San Francisco and Brooklyn. I uttered something along the lines, “I’m okay with that — as long as I don’t have to move.” But, once becoming long-distance became a reality, I suddenly felt abandoned. Instead of, “I’m happy for you,” our talks generally ended with me stating, “I don’t see this relationship lasting beyond December.”
I said it more than once.
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“We have a ride to the club tonight,” my friend announced. We left our dormitory and headed into the vehicle of a man my friend met a party.
In the vehicle, a young man that I recognized from a nightclub we frequented was in the driver’s seat. I asked his name because, other than dancing with him a few times, I knew nothing about this guy. As a matter of fact, I had no clue how he knew my friend, since the last few visits he was on my dance card.
“I recognize you,” I had actually said to him before asking his name.
His surprise and hesitation about revealing his name was all it took to make me suspicious. That’s because in addition to being a hypochondriac, I’m a killer-chondriac. As a killer-chondriac, I think everyone is the killer until proven otherwise. But what I realized that night was we don’t think of other ways strangers can do harm. So I dulled the alarm bells.