What made you seek therapy?” my psychologist asked.
“The guy I just dated ghosted on me,” I whispered. “I don’t know why he ghosted.” My voice wavering as my eyes filled with tears.
His name was Dan. I met him at Babalu nightclub in Midtown and he asked me to dance a Gilberto Santa Rosa song. Dan was light on his feet and extremely cute. He was short, but at 5’2″, I’ve never needed a giant.
At the end of the song, he asked for my number. I refused and took his instead. At 23, I needed to be in control — that included initiating a romantic conversation, picking up men at bars, and shutting off my feelings so I wouldn’t get hurt. Dan was no exception. So exactly two days after meeting (I followed the two-day rule like a pro), I called him up. We chatted, and set a time and place for our first date.
Our first date led to many more. By summer’s end, we were sexually involved, had met each other’s friends and were spending almost every day together. And my heart, well, it was invested. I let my guard almost completely down. I believed we would last past summer. Then I received a call from a woman I didn’t know.
“Who are you?” she yelled into her cell.
“You called me! Who is this?!” I exploded. But in my gut, I already knew. Dan had shared details about his past and swore that his off/on relationship with his ex was officially off. “Because she’s crazy,” he said. I believed him. But there was Crazy on the other end of the line, screaming and seeking answers about who I was and how long I had been fucking her man.
That same night I confronted Dan. But not before going out to China Club with my girls, chugging six Bacardi and Cokes and chasing them with three Jose Cuervo shots.
“Why would you do this to me?!” I hollered outside of the club, slurring my words as my friend, Marilyn, held me up. He said she was lying. He said that he’d explain everything.
“I’m only a few blocks away,” Dan reassured me. “I’ll come and get you so we can talk.”
Only he never showed up. On that warm summer night, I waited outside for Dan for 30 minutes with my friend. I called him repeatedly, and he never picked up. He ghosted. I never spoke to him again. But I needed closure, I needed to know why he ghosted.
“But I tried to see him again,” I explained to the therapist. “I went to his favorite clubs and bars, and I almost went to his job.”
“What stopped you?” the therapist asked me.
“I didn’t want to be that girl. I didn’t want to be Crazy,” I replied. “I’ve been here before, you know. Guys just ghosted, disappearing. I don’t know why —” I’m choked up again. He nodded and jotted something down on his legal pad.
“So why are you here, Sujeiry?”
I burst into tears. “Men always leave. Even my father…” It wasn’t about Dan at all. I sought therapy to heal my wounds after years of men disappearing — like ghosts in the night.