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It's spooky season (a real story)

It has now been 5 months since I am back in Montreal. I still think about my trip often; I miss the sense of adventure, the feeling of discovering new places, new people -every single day. It has been good to be back, though. I was happy to see old friends, my family, my baby cat. Happy to have some relationships that I knew were gonna stick, no more goodbyes every other day. But I must admit that there is a small sentiment of being trap, lingering in the back of my brain, since I am back. The fact that I do not love the neighbourhood I am at, surely doesn’t help, and topping on that, I was put on a show that was totally broken, making my day-to-day look like I am the meme of the cartoon dog sitting in a room on fire. I still love my job, I just don’t love this project. But with the writers and actors strikes going on, there was not many other options. So here I am, living my routine with as much fun as I can, while putting money on the side for the next big trip and looking forward to move to another neighborhood in May. October is finally knocking at the door and a few friends and I are planning creepy activities to get ourselves in the Halloween spirit. I just didn’t knew that this specific one was gonna kick-off the spooky season that way.



A few weeks ago, one of my follower wrote to me saying that he was gonna come over to Montreal on the last weekend of September (he leaves in Boston). He said he was meeting his friends and asked if he could also meet me for dinner or any activity. I never met him before -we got in contact on instagram about 4 years ago, when he attended a Montreal music festival where I was at. At that time, I was using tinder for the first time, and we had matched. I removed the app not too long after, because I ended up meeting someone that then became my boyfriend, but Adam and I still kept touch because we realized we had lots of musical interest in common. Over the four years, we never really talked much, just liked each other stories here and there.


So, when Adam asked me to meet for dinner, I didn’t see any problem with it. I was actually looking forward to meet a new person, because I felt like it would probably bring back a bit of the thing I missed from my trip. Just connecting with someone new. So, I said yes and told him that I would put it in my calendar and to poke me closer to the date so we could make a plan. The weeks passed, and when it was about three days before the date he was supposed to come, Adam sent me a message saying that all his friends had actually moved out of Montreal.


This, is the first red flag. I know it should have ring a bell, but on the moment I just thought the guy was not very well organized. I still wrote him back that I wanted to make sure he didn’t assumed he would sleep over to my place, because I didn’t felt comfortable to bring someone I didn’t knew over. He told me that he understood, and absolutely didn’t said that just to come sleep over. He rented an Airbnb and told me that his friends were gonna come meet him during the weekend. So the plan was kinda back on track. He told me that he would arrived on the Friday and leave on the Sunday. I told him I had plans on the Friday and asked him if I should reserved a place for dinner Saturday or for brunch Sunday. He told me to reserve for the dinner, as he was leaving the next morning.



FRIDAY


I was supposed to meet at my friend Alex’s place for dinner, but he got sick while on a trip to Portugal and we all felt it would be better for everyone to just report the evening to when he would feel healthier. So, when I finished work, I just chilled home and worked on my inktober drawings. Around 20H, I received a text from Adam saying he had arrived to his airbnb and asking me if my dinner was gonna be over soon or if we just met the next day. I told him it had been cancelled, so if he wanted, I could walk over to the street he was living on -there was a few nice bars around. We could go for a drink, and then call it a night and meet up the next day for dinner. He agreed. So I walked about 30 minutes, met him in the front of his airbnb, and then we walked over to the bar.


Adam seemed very nice. He was very energetic, smiled a lot and it felt like we actually did knew eachother since a while. Like old pals meeting again. There was no weird vibe, no flirty vibe -just felt like two friends meeting after a long time. I felt comfortable, we had nice conversations and then about two hours or so later, we walked back to his airbnb, in front of which we said goodbye. He didn’t want to let me walk back alone at first, but I reminded him that I had travel the world alone -so I wasn’t scared of walking in my own town. I knew the city and most importantly, I knew that I was well able to defend myself. He aknowledged it, said good night and I walked back home.



SATURDAY


I wokeup and did some cleaning, some drawings and just chilled in my apartment. Around 10AM, I received a text from Adam saying that his friends hadn’t answered him about when they were gonna meet him, yet. He asked if maybe he could come hangout at my place, as he remembered seeing guitars in my stories and suggested we could maybe jam. Because I had felt comfortable with him the night before, that I didn’t get any weird vibes and that it was during the day -I agreed. I told him that he could meet me around 13H and we could jam until his friends answered him.


Adam arrived, I let him in. He said it was hot outside and I could see that he was a bit sweaty, so I offered him a glass of water. He asked if I had any alcool. I didn’t think anything of it, at that moment, and looked around in my fridge. The only thing I had was a white claw and the bottom of a bottle of wine. He said to bring both. He took the white claw and I finished the wine. We started playing and singing, and it was actually super fun. I was happy and once again felt very comfortable, like I was just chilling with an old friend. About an hour into the jam, his friends finally texted him. They were gonna meet very soon in an ice cream shop, with their whole family and stuff. Adam invited me but I declined, I wanted to get some time by myself. He left and I walked to my usual coffee shop, where I ended up meeting my friend Vero. We stayed there about an hour thirty, talking about different thing (including me being happy to have made a new friend). Adam texted back that he was almost done, and we planned to meet again at my place to jamm a bit more before taking an uber to the restaurant.


When I arrived back home, I realized that my guitar capo was gone (and his (older one) was on the table instead). He also had forgotten his guitar tuner. I thought it was a bit weird to forget one and mistakenly took my capo, but I would just asked him when he arrived. When the bell rang, I opened the door to Adam standing with a bottle of wine in one hand. I was a bit surprised (because we were not gonna have lot of time to jam before having to leave) but I thought maybe he was just trying to do a nice gesture. I opened the bottle, pour a glass for each of us and we sat on the couch. I asked about my capo and he replied that no, the one on my table was mine. His was all black. This, is the second red flag. I know what my capo looks like, and that wasn’t it. I first thought he was clearly trying to replace his old one with mine, something was fishy, but I brushed it off as just a mistake or something. We started jamming again and as he pour himself more wine, I felt like the vibe was starting to get a bit more flirty from his side.


We were about to leave and he asked me if he could leave his stuff here, so we can come back pick it up after dinner. At that point, I didn’t felt comfortable anymore. I really had the vibe he was trying to get back home with me later on, so he could try something. So, I said no. I said that we wouldn’t come back here, so to grab his stuff. He was like “oh no, I didn’t meant to assume we would, it’s just I don’t like having my sunglasses everywhere with me”. I stopped him and told him that I just wanted to make things clear that I was only a friend. I wasn't in the mood for anything else, not even a one night. He felt almost shocked by my comment, saying that he had absolutely not thought of that at all. And that he was happy with just being friends. He then continued about the fact he wanted to keep his stuff here, and that maybe he could just grab them back the next morning. I told him that I had plans, the next morning. He seemed shocked, once again. I told him that before he came to Montreal, I had asked him if he wanted me to reserve for dinner OR brunch, and he said dinner. So I now had plan for the next day. I also told him multiple times before he came to Montreal that I didn’t had money to go out every day. I had made different choices (buying travels, activites) that made me have to tighten a bit my finances until christmas. He said he wanted to pay for me, and once again I explained I didn’t felt comfortable of him doing so, because I didn’t want him to think that this would get him somewhere. I just felt like this whole nice mood had changed and I was welling to just cancel on the whole evening, but he finally said sorry and that he understood. He just felt like he was basically in Montreal for me, to which I answered that this was news to me before he came -as I thought he had lots of friends here. I just wanted to be extremely clear that nothing would happen. He aknowledge it, apologized again and said that everything was absolutely fine and that it wasn’t his intention for me to think he would want more, he just wanted to spend time with me as a friend.


At that moment, I should have just said no and call it a day. But I did genuinely thought that he had understood the message and that he felt a bit ashamed but that he really wanted to at least be friends. So we took the uber, changed subject, and the whole mood became purely friendly again. We arrived at the restaurant, ordered one drink and pizzas. The vibe was finally back to something very fun and casual, which made me feel comfortable again. We laughed, talked about different things, our families, trips, work, etc. He told me he really liked the restaurant and asked if there was another place I would suggest after -if I felt not too tired. That’s when I thought about the Cobra -a dive bar with alternative karaoke. I thought it would be super fun to just go there for a few hours, sing some songs (maybe a few of the one we played earlier at the guitar) and make new friends there. I also felt like this would fit his vibe very well and that he would enjoy it. He agreed. We took another Uber and arrived there around 21H30.


He absolutely loved the venue. There was a 80s vibe to it, lots of weird stuff everywhere on the walls and ceiling. He kept sending pictures to his brother and friends, obviously enjoying his time a lot. The bar wasn’t very full by then, but I told him that by 23H, it would be jam packed. He told me we were gonna have fun and we started looking through the karaoke book to find which songs were gonna be ours. We settled on a few, put them in the queue and we were call about 30min later to perform our first. It was from blink and we had lots of fun singing with the crowd getting bigger by the minute. I had one single glass of rhum and coke and a few glasses of water, while he kept drinking beers after beers. He was getting more and more tipsy, and with it a bit touchy too. At some point, I had to tell him to remove his hands from my legs, a comment he didn’t seem to enjoy at first but apologized at after. We continued the night, meeting lots of different people and having fun, until at some point I looked over and noticed he felt a bit down. I asked if he was ok. “Honestly I just want to kiss you”. I was a bit annoyed by the comment and very harshly replied: “Adam, I told you about 5 times: No. Nothing is going to happen. I am not in the mood, I am not interested. You need to stop. If you want, we can just leave”. He looked at me, like it was the first time I was clear about that. I knew he was drunk, but I was just getting very annoyed at the situation. He apologized (again) and told me that he was starting to get drunk and he just liked me a lot, to which I answered that’s ok, but I told you no -so do you want to leave or can you stay and we have fun and sing more songs? He said he liked the place a lot and that he wanted to stay and that he was sorry. Someone started playing a backstreet boys song at the karaoke, the crowd went nuts and I felt like the night was gonna be ok from then on. I started singing, he did too, it seems like everything was fine again. Mid-song, two stools got free so Adam pointed them out and we sit at the bar. I ordered another glass of water and then looked at Adam who looked super pissed off. “Are you okay?” He proceeded to STAND AND SCREAM that he hated this place and hated the fucking people in it and that he needed to leave right now. like RIGHT NOW. I was so confused, but obviously linked it to the fact I probably had ruffled his ego when telling him that he couldnt kiss me. I told him I needed to pee and then we could take an uber back and have me drop first and then him (to his airbnb). I went to the bathroom, thinking to myself I was so fucking happy alone and single and that I couldn't fucking tolerate anymore grown-ass man not being able to control their fucking emotions. But, as a lady, I tried my best to temperate myself and went back to Adam with a smile. “Let’s go”.


We are now out on the sidewalk and I ask him: “ What is the problem? You were fine 5 minutes before. Is it cause I told you we would not kiss?”

“Absolutely not. That has nothing to do with this. I just fucking hate this place, and the music it’s like to-tis-to-tis (*beats) and it’s full of fucking douchebags and its like all the people that use to make fun of me and I just couldn't stand it anymore and I needed to leave”. Internally, i am CRINGING at the fact a grown up man (Adam is 37) is reacting this way, but I try to chill the situation by answering “Ok. That’s fine. We are out now. Let’s take a uber. I can take it and it will drop me first and then you”.


Adam doesn’t want. HE will pay for the uber. I say ok and I make sure he enters both addresses in. The uber arrives, we go in.


“I’m so sorry, I just needed to get out. I’m sorry for ruining your night”, he said.

“Honestly, Adam, it’s fine. It’s late anyway. I just didn't understood what happened but it’s also ok to be fine one moment and not the next. There’s no drama, everything’s fine.”


He thank me for being understandable, but I’ll shit you not, inside myself there is not an ounce of understanding here. I am just pissed off that he felt angry at me for reiterating boundaries I have set several times, very clearly. I know he is inventing a whole story about why we went out of the bar. We clearly went out because he realized there was really absolutely no way for him to even have the slightest flirt.


The uber finally arrives in front of my house. I turn to give Adam a goodbye hug, but he is now going out of the uber.

“What are you doing? Are you gonna sit at the front?”

I go out of the uber.

He is just walking towards my door!!

“Adam? What are you doing?”

THE UBER LEAVES.

“Adam, what the fuck. I told you no, you aren’t coming back in.”

“I forgot something inside”, he said.

“What do you mean you forgot something inside?”

“My guitar tuner”, he continues.


I was livid, guys.


“Well, take an uber and ill drop it to your airbnb when I go meet my friend tomorrow.” I said.


“Don’t be like that, I’m not trying to do anything I just want to grab it and then I will leave. I know where it is.” He said.


That, is the billionth red flag. I shouldn't have let him in, but I just wanted this whole thing to be over. I unlock my door, stand in the doorway with it open and watch Adam goes to my living room to grab his fucking guitar tuner.


“Can I just sleep on the couch?”


Is he fucking serious.


“No, you can’t. Please leave.”


I am still standing with the door open, my phone in my hand, ready to dial 911.

I know my whole building is probably hearing everything, as my walls are thin as paper. I am not afraid, I am just fucking angry.


“Im not asking to sleep with you or in your bed, just sleep on the couch” He said.

“Adam, I told you several times this wouldn't happen. Those are the boundaries I have put. You aren't respecting any of it right now. I told you no. Now call a uber and leave.”


He can hear in my voice that I am not fucking joking. He starts walking towards the door, than stops. He touches all his pockets and then look at me like a lost puppy.


“Where’s my phone?”


I swear to god, I just cant take it anymore.


“What do you mean wheres your phone? You had it. You called the uber. Do you want me to call you? I will call you”.


I call him. It rings. It answers. Fuck.

It’s the uber driver. Adam forgot his phone in the fucking uber. I don’t remember being that annoyed since the longest time. I speak with the driver who says he now has another client, that he needs to drop 18min away from here, but he will call me right after to see if he can come drop the phone.


I am now trap with Adam for 18min x2 more time.

I explain to him what’s happening. He starts shouting. I tell him to tone it down, that all my neighbours can hear. He apologizes. I tell him to go sit in the couch, ill get him a glass of water and we will wait 20min that the driver calls back. He goes to the bathroom while I pour ourselves water glasses and i can hear him scream at himself. “why are you so dumb. fuck. fuck.”


This whole fucking thing reminds me of the toxic relationship I had before my trip. Being with someone that cannot control his own emotion, the negativity and stress it brings is astonishing. I managed my way out of this and promised myself to NEVER allowed this back in my life. And here I am, with a stranger screaming at himself in my bathroom, trapped for what I feel will be the longest 40 minutes ever.


He comes sit on the couch and I tell him to calm down. He apologizes. The 20 next minutes are him telling out loud how dumb he his and making the worst scenarios, while I tell him theres no point to do that. What is done is done. You can’t control what happening, the only thing you can control is how to react to it.


20 minutes passes and the uber driver hasn't call back. It is now 3h30 AM and i just want to fucking go to sleep. I pass about 20 min calling Adam’s phone without anyone answering. It’s almost 4 now, and I tell Adam that clearly the guy will not come back. He has no more phone. I tell him I am gonna call him an uber, and that if the guys bring back his phone- ill bring it to his airbnb tomorrow at 11AM. If not, then I will pass and tell him bye.


“Can I just sleep on the couch?” He asked, again.

“How many time do I need to say it? No! I am calling you an uber and there’s no discussion”

“But if I stay here i can use your phone and just continue calling him and like that tomorrow maybe Ill have my phone”

“I said no. Your uber is here in 3 minutes.”

“You really called an uber?”

“Yes, please leave. I want to go sleep.”


He proceed to put his shoes, fucking pissed off at me, and slam the door when he leaves.

Ok. It’s over. I look at the uber go to his address. He is gone.

I try one last time to call his phone. The driver answers.

He says he is now downtown and cannot bring the phone back. He says thats the only night he really makes money, he is sorry but he will put the phone at the uber office monday. I say it’s fine, goodnight.


I go to bed, exhausted. I try to fall asleep but kept thinking that Adam knows where I leave, and I don’t feel comfortable. I end up moving some furniture in front of the balcony door, so that if he tries to break in, I will hear. Maybe that’s over-reacting, but I am tired and i had a few drinks, and I just feel like he can’t understand no.


I end up falling asleep, after sending all of this by text to Rali.



SUNDAY


I wakeup four hours later (it’s now 8 AM), obviously sleep depraved, but still on a stress that prevent me to get more hours in. I send vocals to both Vero and Rali, explaining the whole story. They replied to me that I shouldnt even go meet him at 11. I don’t have his phone and I don’t owe him shit. After all, he never respected any of my boundaries, so why would it be any different if I meet with him again. I agree. I send Adam a message on IG, explaining why I am not coming. I know he will not see this until he has access to some sort of phone or computer, but at this point, I also don’t give a shit.


Then, I think again about the fact that he knows where I leave. When he realizes, at 11H, that I am not in front of this place, will he get mad and come straight here? Rali and Vero propose to me to leave my flat and go with them, but I am actually more afraid to leave and that he breaks in and hurt my cat. I am not saying he could or that he is as mental, but I do not him and I don’t want to take the risk. They tell me they will come meet me at my place then, and we will stay a few hours to make sure he doesn't come back.


It’s now 10H30 and both girls are on the way. My door rings. I feel like if it was Vero or Rali, they would have text me, so I check through one window and I see Adam.


Fucking hell.


I go to the door, open (thinking he is still outside the building, cause someone needs to buzz him in) but as I open, he stands right in front of me.

“Oh thank god”, he says, probably thinking nothing more than “maybe she has my phone”.

“I don’t have your phone”, I say, without an once of warmth in my voice.


He just looks at me.


“Also you are not coming in. We can go outside if you want to talk.”


He seems so confused. I close the door (to put my shoes on) and text Rali: “he is here!”.

At least, I know that they are close. Also, the family that let him in the building heard me say that I don’t want him to come in and they are now just parked in their car, in front of the building, all their windows rolled down. We go outside.


“I wasn’t going to come at 11. I told you several times yesterday what was the situation and what were my boundaries and you kept not listening. Then you get mad at me for telling you again. Like you are 37, you should know how to drink and you should understand when a woman says no.”


He just stands there, in shock. He starts trying to find excuses, saying that he drank too much. That he was never angry at me for saying no. That he didn't felt like he was pushy or anything.


“I told you i wanted to be only friends. nothing more. You put your hands on my thighs. I tell you no. You then ask to kiss me. I tell you no. You then make a scene and we have to leave and you go out of the uber? And you keep asking to sleep over while I said no multiple times.”


“But, i didn't want to try on you or anything”, he said.


“Well I am sorry but how should I assume that, when every other boundaries I set you didn't listen? I say no and you keep trying and trying, what is telling me that if I say yes for you sleeping on the couch Im not gonna wakeup with you in the bed. Those are my boundaries and I am not gonna apologize for it. I do not know you. I do not owe you anything. We had fun jamming and at dinner but this went too far. I am angry at you. I don’t think you were respectful.”


“I didn't meant any of this. OMG. I was just trying to” He stops in the middle of his sentence.


Rali just arrived. She parks in my driveway and comes straight next to me.

He looks at her.


“That’s my friend Rali”.

Rali wants to kill him with her eyes. He kinda fake apologize without really apologizing.


“So for your phone, the guy said he will bring it to an Uber location. So I guess try to find that or call uber and tell them to ship your phone back to Boston.” I said.


“Well I need to find a phone first”

He looks down at my phone.


“Yeah. Good luck. I’m sorry but like Im just very angry. No hard feelings but thats gonna be it.”


He looks at me with a puppy face.


“Ok, well have a great day. And i really didn't meant any of that but I understand. Bye.”


He left. Vero arrives too. The three of us gets inside my flat.

I finally feel like it’s over.

What a fucking way to start spooky season.



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