I knew it was a mistake to invite him, but I did it anyway.
I’d saved up enough money to treat myself to an overnight stay at Hard Rock Hotel. It was one of my favorite places complete with luxurious rooms, great restaurants, nightlife and fluffy beds so comfortable no one would ever want to get out. The room wasn’t cheap by any means, but it was totally worth the extravagance.
Early in the day, after I checked in, I called a few friends to meet me there for dinner and drinks. I had a group of four people who said yes, and we were all excited and planned out all the things we were going to do.
There was only one problem, and his name was Micah.
He was the first call I made to come hang out at the hotel. We’d been seeing each other about a month even though I knew he was trouble from the start. I hesitated to tell my friends I invited him, unsure of what their reaction would be. They never met Micah before, but they all heard about him from me.
My stories about him weren’t always flattering. He’d gone from being charming and sweet in the beginning to borderline abusive within the span of four weeks. My friends objected to the way Micah treated me and disliked him without ever meeting him. Part of me thought he might be able to win them over in person. Besides, wasn’t it my fault for talking bad about him in the first place?
Can’t We All Just Get Along?
I invited him to spend the night with me at the hotel. Some of it was loneliness. I didn’t relish the thought of sleeping by myself in that great big bed. It was one thing to do it at home, but the thought of doing it at Hard Rock sounded depressing as hell. Micah may have been a jerk at times, but he always knew how to have fun, and I desperately needed some fun.
Surely, he wouldn’t make a scene for just one night, especially in front of my friends. Maybe he’d curb his drinking and stay in control.
I left the hotel to pick Micah up from the trailer he lived in because he didn’t own a car. He emerged in full Micah attire, torn jeans, and a black shirt and a metal-spiked collar around his neck with messy blond hair and black eyeliner around the rims of his eyes. Even if my friends didn’t like him, he would sure be something to look at.
I was too smitten to realize he looked ridiculous. He thought he was cool, and I was hoping some of that self-confidence would rub off on me. I’d just been through a nasty divorce that left me feeling like dirt on the bottom of someone’s shoe. Didn’t I deserve to have fun? Who cared what other people thought?
Back at the hotel, the first thing in my room Micah spotted was the mini bar. He offered to make us both drinks, and I agreed in the spirit of having a good time. I didn’t stop to think about how much those two drinks would cost. Wasn’t that what credit cards were for?
I was a bit tipsy by the time my friends showed up. First were Fred and his wife, Noel. I introduced Micah, and Fred shook his hand with a smile. Noel seemed stunned at what she was seeing and hung back behind her husband. I worried this would be harder than I thought.
Next came Kari, and Mark was right behind her. I’d made the mistake of telling Kari all my worst stories about Micah, and it didn’t surprise me when she didn’t smile as she said hello to him. Mark was friendly and relaxed, not really knowing much about Micah at all. Micah made Kari a drink in an attempt to win her over. She still didn’t smile as she took it out of his hand.
“Let’s go to dinner,” Fred suggested. “I’m starving.”
We all headed downstairs to look for a restaurant. Micah was clearly drunk by this time, and it made little sense as he’d only had two drinks. He and Mark walked behind the rest of us with Micah pointing out every hot woman that walked past us.
“I love being single,” he announced. “I never want to be in a relationship again. It’s so stupid.”
Kari shot me a look to tell me she didn’t approve. I didn’t flinch though. Micah and I had this conversation regularly, him telling me he didn’t want to commit and me pretending I didn’t either. The more time we spent together, the more he told me he wanted “no strings attached.” I told him I was fine with it, and I wasn’t about to start an argument in front of everybody.
Things Go From Bad To Worse
We found a Mexican restaurant at the end of the outdoor mall and decided to stop. Micah had other ideas and wanted to skip dinner altogether so he could drink more.
“Eating is for weaklings,” he scoffed at all of us.
Personally, I was as hungry as Fred, so Micah was overruled and we all sat down at a long table. I was on one end with Kari, and Micah was on the other end jabbering away in Mark‘s ear. He ordered a drink, yelling at the waiter to hurry up.
We were halfway through dinner when Micah, seemingly inspired by whatever conversation he was having with Mark, stood up at the table and unzipped his pants to reveal his junk. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing! Noel gasped and turned her head, and Fred stood up as if to provide Micah with cover.
“Micah,” I called out. “Stop that and sit down!”
Micah was laughing hysterically as I got up with Kari to go to the ladies’ room. I knew what she was going to say, and I was dreading it. Still, I had to ask the only question on my mind.
“What do you think of Micah?” My voice faltered and betrayed me.
“Well,“ Kari said as she rolled her eyes. “I enjoyed seeing his scrotum.” I didn’t miss the sarcasm.
She put an arm around me. “Why, Glenna?”
I didn’t know what to tell her. Should I admit how lonely I was? Should I tell her there were good times with Micah mixed with the bad? Should I let her know I didn’t feel like anyone else would ever want me?
I said none of those things, just hugged her and went back to the table.
As Kari and I were about to sit down, Mark leaped up from his chair and started shouting.
“Dude, you’re bugging the hell out of me!” He was addressing Micah. “Get away from me and leave me alone!”
Mark quickly walked out of the restaurant and back into the mall. I was about to follow him when I saw Micah’s face. His eyes were narrow and his cheeks were bright red. His hands were balled up into fists. He looked like he was two seconds away from chasing Mark down and beating the crap out of him.
Instead of trying to find Mark, I walked over to Micah to try to calm him down.
“It’s okay,” I lied. “That’s just the way Mark is sometimes.”
It was the only defense I had. Micah was actually being super annoying. He’d been up in Mark’s face all night telling him jokes and seeking attention. I totally understood why Mark had enough, but how could I explain it to Micah without hurting his feelings?
The Truth About My New Boyfriend
My other friends approached me to say goodbye. The great night I’d planned was ruined. With Micah, there never seemed to be a good outcome. I was positive I’d be getting several phone calls from my friends the next day telling me to dump him, and I wasn’t sure if they were wrong.
I’d known my friends for years, and they were good judges of character. If all of them said the same thing, maybe I should listen to them. My own judgement left a lot to be desired.
Micah and I headed back to the room, neither of us saying a word. Once inside, he sat down on the bed with his fists still clenched as if he was about to battle the entire world.
Instead, he burst into tears.
“I don’t understand what happened,” he sobbed. “What did I do wrong? I was nice to your friends, and none of them liked me. I thought Mark was a great guy until he turned on me.”
Speechless, I sat down next to him on the bed. How was I supposed to answer? I mean, I couldn’t tell him that his whole personality was off-putting, or that they just didn’t like the way he looked or sounded. There was no way I would ever damage anybody’s self esteem. He seemed so insecure in that moment, and I didn’t want to make him feel worse.
Micah curled up on the bed and cried himself to sleep.
After I took him home the next day, I realized I felt somewhat protective of Micah. As much as he projected confidence and street smarts, there was a lot he didn’t understand. I felt sorry he had trouble blending in with a crowd. I believed he started drinking early the day before because he was nervous and wanted so badly to impress my friends. I didn’t love him, instead feeling pity for the man who seemed so lost.
The truth was, Micah just didn’t fit in. Instead of seeing him as major trouble like I should have, I saw him as the underdog. My nurturing nature kicked in, and I wanted to take care of him rather than running away as fast as I could. I thought I could overlook how mean he was sometimes because inside he was just a hurt little boy.
When I got the bill for the mini bar, it was $500. I didn’t know there was that much alcohol in the room to begin with, but if there was Micah apparently drank every last drop.
The Things We Do Out Of Loneliness
“Shoulds” are a tricky thing. Deep inside, I knew I should have left him then, but I chickened out. Sadness can be a fierce demon, and so can low self-esteem. In those days, I still thought Micah was cool and was grateful he picked me to be with.
It’s amazing what perspective can do. Micah was a mistake to get involved with, but without him I’d never have had my beautiful daughter. Even so, he took his anger and insecurity out on me, and I put up with it far longer than I should have. I knew my friends were right, but I didn’t have the nerve to stand up for myself or leave such a toxic relationship. Micah and I were stuck to each other, and the glue was the loneliness we both felt.
Our beloved friends only want the best for us, but until we want it for ourselves, we can never be truly saved.