I’ve been cheated on. Like, a lot.
Like, by everyone I’ve ever dated bar one guy (as far as I know, but he was emotionally abusive so pretty sure this doesn’t constitute a win in any way shape or form. Seriously, screw that guy).
Shitty luck? Yes. Or else I just pick godawful men – not all that hard to believe when you think of how utterly crap modern dating is.
So with this in mind, when I overheard a guy on the train talking about cheating on his girlfriend, I might have sort of gotten a teeny, weeny, little bit cranky and done a dumb thing.
But let me rewind a bit.
I don’t usually do public transport but due to a series of unfortunate events (broken finger) and fortunate events (drinks date with my besties) I found myself among the masses on a Saturday night. I was kind of uncomfortable as it was one of the older trains with questionable air-conditioning and a faint scent that reminded me all too much of teenage boys layering Lynx over their BO like it magically made the smell better.
There were only two people in my carriage: an older woman and a man who looked about my age. Both were on their phones, ignoring the rest of the world. Then the man got a phone call.
Now, I’m not normally an eavesdropper but when you’re in a mostly silent carriage it becomes kind of impossible not to overhear things. I tried to tune him out, but without my headphones to lose myself in a true crime podcast (My Favorite Murder, I’m looking at you) I had no choice but to take in the “private” conversation of the man sitting to my right.
“Hey there,” he said. “Yeah I’m just on the train.”
So far, so normal. Then…
“You should come over. My girlfriend is out of town.”
And my stomach dropped.
Almost at the same instant I judged this complete stranger, I chastised myself. “Come on Liz,” I thought. “You don’t know he’s cheating. He could be telling a mate to come over to have a boys’ night because his lady isn’t home.” I quickly composed myself to ensure my face wasn’t betraying my feelings (#nofilter), lowered my eyes… and continued to listen.
“Haha no it will be fine. I promise,” the man who shall henceforth be known as Mr Shifty said.
Hmm, still suspicious but still unclear.
“I miss you,” he said.
Okay, sounding less innocent.
“Baby… Come on. She won’t find out, I promise. This weekend can be all about you and me.” Groan. Yeah okay, that was that then. He was definitely cheating. Almost instantly I felt a wave of empathy for Mr Shifty’s poor girlfriend.