These violent delights have violent ends
And in their triumph die, like fire and powder,
Which as they kiss consume: the sweetest honey
Is loathsome in his own deliciousness
And in the taste confounds the appetite:
Therefore love moderately; long love doth so;
Too swift arrives as tardy as too slow.
So, just when I thought I wouldn’t have a fitting end to my wife being gone, now I do, though not quite as expected, and it has been enlightening to say the least.
So, it appears Sierra wasn’t fooling around. She actually blackmailed me (whether it was an incredibly elaborate joke or not remains to be seen). And somehow, it seems a fitting end to our relationship. So far, she’d refused all my calls. But, here it is (my reply occurs right after she demands $2,000.00 for her silence):
I really did underestimate Sierra I realize. I called her on the phone and she answered. The line was silent at first, then I spoke.
“Hey.” Her voice was even meeker and quieter than normal.
“So, I guess you’re really doing this huh? You’re actually blackmailing me.”
“That’s such a strong word. More like how much is your marriage worth to you.”
“Yeah, uh huh, well, first off, you do realize you’ve already committed a felony at this point, and it is on record in SMS, I’m glad your mom is a lawyer.” I remember when I was deposed for a civil case (not against me luckily) one time, they read me a full transcript of SMS text messages subpoenaed from the wireless carrier complete with dates, times, phone numbers, it really instilled in me the idea of being careful what you say in digital records (hey, this blog doesn’t count).
“Uh huh, whatever dude.”
“Not really, if I went to the police right now, you’d be standing trial and then I believe the sentencing is a few years in jail and up to a $10,000 fine, besides being a convicted felon and never being able to get a decent job or housing, ever. You know, that isn’t what I want for you.”
“You aren’t going to do that because you don’t want your marriage to be over.”
“Look, A) my marriage isn’t worth $2,000, B) I don’t have $2,000, I make $– a month and I have to pay $– in expenses, I’m in debt up to my eyeballs, and I have no savings, the most I could give you would be $100, and honestly if you’d just asked me for money to help you out with something without threatening me, I would have given it to you because I care about you, but I’m not going to give you a dime now, and C) my wife and I are already talking about divorce so I have very little motivation to stop you.” I suppose I exaggerated a tiny bit in a few of the areas, but it was all more or less true.
“Look, how much is your marriage worth? How about I show up at your house this weekend and have a talk with your wife.” Really? You’re going to miss Christmas to visit my wife?
“Ok, fine, but I’ll be going to the police first.”
She hung up after that, and I sent her the “Ok, seriously…” message. I was calm during the conversation, but it was still kind of surreal for Sierra to be saying these things on the other end of the phone. It was her voice, but the things she said were stone cold criminal coercion. Those messages above have been her last words to me thus far. I realized I may have scared her a bit, that was the impression I got from those desperate grasping-at-straws tough-girl messages she sent (she apparently doesn’t know how chicken is played, since if we are playing it, she’s either running off the road or we are going to crash, because I’m not paying her a dime). I realized I should still keep my cool, this was a potentially dangerous situation, even though it was likely diffused at this point. Part of my plan for dealing with blackmailers involved not trying to anger or scare them, because then they might do something rash. So, I let her know that I had no intention of calling the police on her unless she followed through with her threats. I certainly didn’t want this to become a matter of public record and have my marriage ended all the same. Even if I was a little peeved at the girl and she certainly did deserve to be in jail for this, but I still didn’t want that for her.
Strangely, I felt exhilarated at the whole situation. I’m guessing it was adrenaline or something. After it became clear to me that she was risking far more than I was and wasn’t likely to go forward, I could feel my eyes shining, I was giddy, chuckling to myself and grinning like an idiot at what that little minx had tried to do, she had never ceased to surprise me (dear Lord, hopefully this is the last surprise from her, ever). Foolish, I know, but I felt like Danny fuckin’ Kaye in The Court Jester when he gets hypnotized into believing he is dashing and gallant (gosh, that scene makes me die of hysterics every time I watch it, frickin’ genius, plus who knew Angela Lansbury was such a looker, well, that said by a guy who grew up with Murder She Wrote). I sense TroubledTide‘s gaydar just pegged at code glittery-pink. Yes, I like Danny Kaye, so what? Many a straight man likes Danny Kaye. Right… guys?
Given that it has been 2 hours and I’ve gotten no response back, seems likely that I’m in the clear. This was likely a crime of opportunity on her part. I realize, it seems really unlikely that she had it planned from the beginning or she wouldn’t have gone through the trouble of having all those crazy adventures with me. Or maybe she is more of a piece of shit than I thought and figured, “hey, I’ll fuck around with this dude for a month or two and then fleece him for some change when I graduate.” Still, I think she began to get the idea when I had lunch with her in the parking lot, I didn’t mention it in the earlier narrative, but she said something, I can’t recall exactly, or what the context was. I think it was…
I said, “You wouldn’t want to get me in trouble would you?”
“Oh I would, not right now. I’m kind of like a benevolent dictator,” she replied, I guess in my naivety I thought it was just a joke.
I realized, this girl seems to have a heart even blacker than my own, and that really made me sad for her. To be so young and willing to do that to someone else, to fleece them for $2,000 just because you think it will be easy money. Perhaps she thought I owed her, maybe she even felt guilty for what we’d done, she figured that I’m a bad dude, I probably deserve it. I imagine that’s how this went down, she stewed about the idea yesterday evening and then decided to put it in action, probably thinking she had so much power over me I’d shit my pants and pay up. Or maybe she thought it up after smoking too much dope. Honestly, until I started looking for an affair and exploring the possibilities, I don’t think I really grasped how serious a crime blackmail/extortion is, even if payment isn’t made or information revealed. In the US, free speech is so ingrained in us (that’s getting less these days with SJW and PC culture, but still) that we sometimes believe we can say anything and it wouldn’t be a crime (we are just expressing ourselves after all). It could be that Sierra figured, hey, she’s just talking, if I give her 2,000 bucks, great, otherwise, no possible consequences. It also wouldn’t surprise me if the DA decided they didn’t want to pursue a case against a bright-eyed and beautiful twenty year old just about to graduate college with her whole life ahead of her, but I was banking on Sierra not being stupid enough to risk that. She also might have a strong “I was just fooling around and trying to scare him” defense. Or better yet, claim I was scaring and harassing her.
I mulled over the possible outcomes of all this. I figured, at this point, I don’t see how she could not know her plan had failed, she probably knew I wasn’t going to call the cops on her, or she was so oblivious that she wasn’t concerned. I suppose she could still follow through with her threat, I would imagine the most likely motivator being spite or a sick sense of entertainment (that would put her on another plain morally, a place occupied by people who like to see their fellow man suffer). But, really, I’m sure she has better things to do with her life than try ruin mine. I’m pretty sure the meeting-my-wife thing was just for dramatic effect, she’d be much better off revealing the evidence in an anonymous fashion, but I wasn’t going to tell her that, I’d already given her enough advice she could make use of in her next crime. It was unreal to me. I realized that my behavior was wrong on a moral level, but a legal level really took the consequences up a notch. Was I any better than Sierra? Or was I just as morally bankrupt? I was cheating on my wife, while she had been an active participant in that sin. Furthermore, she then wanted to go as far as to threaten to destroy my life, breakup my marriage, separate me from my son, permanently alter how every person I hold dear on this earth would think of me, all for some cash, around enough to pay for a month of her living expenses (which her parents pay anyways). Not to mention the lies and deceptions (I have my own there).
She sounded very dragged down on the phone, she really did when I talked to her on the phone the last few times and that is why I’ve been concerned for her. Pretty sure this issue she is having at school is real and serious, and she may have become desperate, perhaps fearing what her parents might do if she fails this class and misses graduation because of it. She was that close, and to miss a final, that would be serious indeed. Still high on adrenaline, I was worried about the poor girl, also, I wanted to put her at ease and not give her any reason to hate me which could cause her to be rash in her judgement. So, I sent her a couple of parting messages:
Ok, well, I am sorry things didn't quite work out. All this does put a bit of a taint on our relationship and that does make me sorry. Despite all this, and for what it is worth, you are one of the hottest, sexiest, and most interesting and fun girls that I've ever met, I wish you well in all of your future endeavors (except criminal and morally bankrupt ones) and I hope you find your own special happiness, get your long hair, a big weed farm all your own, that you always have plenty of Nutella and hummus, and find that long lasting relationship your mother wishes for you, get married, have plenty of beautiful kids and I hope you never find yourself in circumstance similar to my own. If you should ever need anything, I'd do my best to help and I hope you'll drop me a line sometime. Warmest regards 😘 -Jason
Oh, and I still have your cranberry knife and I'm serious if you want the 5 bottles of hard cider, I can drop them at the curb of your place since I'm getting the vibe you don't want to see me again, pity, I'll miss your lovely face. Keep my work mug if you would and treasure it always, ok really going now, night Sierra, I'll let you know when I'm going to drop the stuff off.
Ok, so a good bit of sarcasm leaked in there. But, if there is one thing that I’m glad my Christian background taught me: love everyone, even your enemies, no matter what, regardless of what they’ve done to you. That was coming out strongly with the adrenaline still pumping, I really did feel sorry for Sierra, that she was this kind of person. I had had a vision for our relationship and a vision of who she was from the beginning. I thought we were going to have wild and fun times, become good friends, do silly, foolish, sexy things together, and when she graduated we’d have a last climatic final meeting where we’d fuck in a hotel room for hours and end our whirlwind fling/romance on the fondest of terms, I’d give her a nice parting/Christmas gift (I had a really unique pretty ring picked out that I thought would suite her well) and we’d always look back on the good, foolish times we shared before she left college to start her life. Perhaps she’d still hit me up on Instagram, text, or email and let me know how she was doing down the road. Seems like things are never how they are in our dreams. I was saddened that this dream had slowly cracked week by week, until this betrayal dashed it to pieces. I was trying to come to terms and understand who Sierra really was deep down. Probably just a girl that hasn’t dealt with consequences all her life, her parents have paid for everything, being attractive has given her uncanny control over the male species and opened up doors wherever she looked, she could use people as she saw fit, and discard them when they are used up. I really hoped this would be a learning experience for her, that she’d turn over a new leaf, perhaps even apologize for threatening to steal from me or destroy my life. I realized in hindsight that my parting messages would probably only fuel her narcissim and conceit, but whatever, I had been honest at least.
A call from my wife took the wind out of my sails. I answered the phone, so happy to hear from her, we talked about our days and it was nice, until she started probing into every minute of everyday. This always happens when she is about to come home, she wants to know everything I’ve done every hour of every day so she can judge how diligent I’ve been at completing the tasks she’d asked of me (and the ones she expects, but hasn’t talked about). I really hate it, and it didn’t help that I hadn’t really completed more than half the honey-do list she’d left for me (to be fair, it was a long list and I had five major events I had to tend to over the weekend, though I probably could have gotten more done in the evenings during the week rather than getting wrapped up in chasing tail). We didn’t hang up on good terms, sadly, but there was nothing for it. I agreed to pay my penance with double-duty when she got back, and that was that.
The adrenaline subsided, and having been grounded back to reality, I went back to thinking about Sierra’s behavior. The more I thought about it, the more morally abhorrent I realized it was. I still think it was a casual action on her part, but still, I realized that she intended to cause me harm. Yes, she thought she could probably justify it, she probably figured that I was cheating so I deserved whatever I had coming to me, she may as well be the one to profit. But still, I realized that I had never intended in my life to ever cause anyone harm. Yes, adultery has the capacity to cause tremendous damage to those we love, but there is a reason why adulterers generally go to considerable lengths to hide their affairs, some would say it is because they want to keep doing it, which is true, but the biggest reason I think is because we don’t want to hurt anyone. We are taking a grave risk, yes, but we are banking on not getting caught, being able to have our cake and eat it too, to satisfy what we perceive are our needs for sex and intimacy while still honoring our responsibilities to our family. The moral value, I think, is determined in large part by one’s intentions. There is no way Sierra didn’t realize that she was intentionally harming me (unless she just wanted to scare me off, which didn’t appear to be the case). At best she was threatening theft. And worse, she threatened to destroy my life, my marriage, my wife, my son, all of my relationships. Sure, I may have deserved it, but she wasn’t judge, jury, and executioner. In my heart, I would hope this was brought on by some guilt and this was an act of vigilantism on her part, thinking she’d either scare me straight or make me pay for my sins. But, I don’t think her intentions were that noble. I, in part, didn’t feel the words I had sent her in my parting texts as strongly as before. But, I wasn’t going to take any of them back. I wanted to tell her how morally abhorrent her behavior was, but I also didn’t want to push her to action.
I didn’t want to see her again, ever. I figured I’d follow through with my words and drop off the knife and bottles at her apartment, and be on my way never to return. I wished her well, but the fact that she was willing to make such an attack against me was very bothersome and a serious betrayal. Honestly, I knew that if I saw her in need I would try to help, but as far as I was concerned (and I’m sure as far as she was concerned too), there was no fondness between us anymore, all of my romantic feelings had been erased. The only thing good that remained, for me, of Sierra were our early memories together.
Not sure why I chose this song, I thought about Queen Bitch by Bowie, or something sad and soulful, or about breakups or some other nonsense. But, instead, all I can think about is a song about the darkly feared potential outcome of the cold war. A great song about humanity, communication, struggles, consequences, war and peace. The Live Aid version is still the best (for those that know their rock history, Queen’s Live Aid set is the greatest 20 minutes of rock n roll ever played).