He was intelligent, and funny, kind and cool… so I ignored the twinge in my stomach because it’s not every day you meet someone with these qualities. My instincts have never been wrong, and yet I continue to push them away. From our very first date, and a few comments he had made, I wondered if Ollie had found my blog. He seemed to know me…too well for someone whom I had exchanged a few text messages and conversations with. But none of this seemed to make me stop and turn away as I should have done. Instead, in JBlondie fashion, I kept the metaphorical blindfold tight around my eyes.
“I always find it funny when women have a drastic haircut after a break-up.” Ollie commented.
I laughed. “Yeah. It has to do with evolution I think. If it didn’t work as a blonde…maybe things will go better as a brunette.” I laughed again.
“Oh so you’ve done that before? Do tell. ” Ollie inquired.
I don’t recall how this topic of conversation began, but it’s one I will never forget.
Yes. I had done this twice. After my first love, Zachary, I died my hair a dark chocolate brown. Once I began falling in love with Fake Pete (The Catfish), I chopped off my long blonde hair in order to start fresh with him. The long locks reminded me of everyone who had come before him. I needed to forget them all.
As I pondered which way to turn this conversation I realized I had two options. I could laugh it off and make fun of myself. I could make light of how foolish I was to fall in love with a fuzzy screen, or I could let Ollie see a part of me that very few people do. Note to self: Always choose the light, laughing option.
“Well,” I began…“I’ve been Catfished before.” I gave him my crooked smile.
“Oh tell me everything.” Ollie pushed with a curious grin.
My brain kept shooting off signals to shut the fuck up, but my mouth kept moving in protest. I gave Ollie an overview of how it all began and why I chose to believe the things Peter Turner (Catfish) had told me. Explaining how it all ended was the worst part…how all of Fake Pete’s lies came to the surface and how I had never been so broken before. I had been staring at the wall during this confession, with Ollie listening quietly beside me.
When I was done dishing the dirt, I knew I had to turn and face him. At that moment, I remember thinking “god he probably thinks I’m a lunatic.” Instead, as my gaze met his, I found his light green eyes to be judgement free.
A moment of silence passed (which felt like fucking eternity) and my inner thoughts became selfishly insecure. “Was he laughing at my level of pathetic?” “Has he realized that my damage may be too much for him to handle?” After all, who the fuck falls in love with a picture? A thousand theories flew through my mind. The look on Ollie’s face only resembled a big question mark.
I couldn’t help but ask what he was thinking. Nervous butterflies turned into circling bats in my stomach while he paused again.
He inhaled and let it all out.
Ollie interrupted my neurotic brain and with no hint of sarcasm, as if he was going to tell me a secret, the words came out of his mouth…
“Jessica. What if I told you I was Peter Turner?”