About a month into this life of fantasy, otherwise known as intense denial, I went on a preplanned out-of-state vacation. It just so happened that Levi, a mutual friend of ours, lived in the city I was visiting. He reached out and wanted to catch up. The three of us had been part of the environmental magnet program in high school and he and Anthony shared in the glory of the football teams’ numerous victories. The best of friends, Levi and Anthony were scarcely seen without the other. Upon graduation they even became roommates.
Anthony and I had yet to make our relationship public knowledge, so Levi was quite taken aback when I mentioned it in passing. His shock, turned to rage, turned to worry. I was thrown by his reaction considering the depth of their friendship in high school. After taking some time to sort through his varied emotions, Levi with the aide of another mutual friend, gently laid bare some rather ghastly insights regarding Anthony’s true character. From alcoholism, to drugs, to taking advantage of drunk women, their assessment left little room for debate and confirmed my deepest fears. They emphatically pleaded with me to “get out and get out now!” essentially transforming an innocent round of beers into an intervention. Little did they know, I had already fallen victim to his immorality in the worst way. I thanked them meekly and fled as soon as good manners would permit.
At this point some, if not most, people would begin to surface from the depths of denial and slowly begin the process of accepting reality. I boarded a flight bound for home with every intention of confronting Anthony, at the very least. And yet, by an act of manipulation so masterful I still don’t fully comprehend it’s success, Anthony convinced me that now was the time to publicly announce our relationship. With just a few clicks of a mouse, we were Facebook Official.
Down. Down. Down. Ever deeper down the rabbit hole I fell.