How Dating Almost Cost Me My Life
So he picked me up at 9pm in his rented Infiniti (because his car was in the shop) and we drove into New Jersey. We parked outside the restaurant which had a great view of the city, when we heard Jazz music playing from a nearby club.
He asked, "Do you want to go in after dinner?"
I said, "I'd love to. I love jazz."
He then responded, "Oh yeah, you're usually playing it in the house."
I smiled because it was nice that he noticed that. Or rather, it was nice to be noticed period.
We walked into the restaurant where he ordered sea bass, stuffing, and I can't remember what else. I don't even remember if I ordered a large meal because I probably ate dinner at home before hitting him up. I just wanted him to have a good time because I know his Thanksgiving was shitty.
He ordered two glasses of Prosecco for us and we talked a lot. He seemed like he was in a great mood and it was nice to see and be around. I looked at him and commented something along the lines of this feeling like a second Thanksgiving for me; his response: "This is my first."
I felt like he was falling for me. I know this was all happening so fast and I have been very clear about where I am at this point, emotionally, mentally, and I couldn't handle someone falling for me when I was still in love with me ex and had been completely open and honest about it. However, I felt like maybe going out on dates with this guy meant that I was probably leading him on. So I asked him, "How do you feel about me?"
"I don't think it would be fair to your healing process for me to answer that," he replied.
I looked at him, and asked him again. "I want you to tell me how you feel," I told him.
He paused and looked at me. "I like you, Aurea. And I'm not playing games. I want to settle down and grow a family one day."
"I think you should see other people," was my immediate response. There was no filter and I probably sounded cold as hell. I just knew this was coming and I didn't want any of it.
"My ex girlfriend said the same thing to me," he said with regret in his voice.
"Yeah, but I'm not your ex nor your girlfriend. I told you where I'm at and I don't want to lead you on or anything. I can't and will never give you what you want."
"Let me ask you something," he said. "Do you enjoy spending time with me?"
"I do," I responded.
"Then lets not get caught up in something that isn't and just have a good time."
I decided to let that go because I didn't want to ruin our night by arguing with him. I was the one who asked him to go out tonight so that we both could just enjoy each other's company to begin with.
After dinner, we went to the jazz club and it was filled with an amazing live performance and really great decor. We got a booth and he ordered a bottle of 2002 Moet Chandon. Knowing that he drove, I began to worry.
"Do you really want a bottle, or do you just want to get another glass for us?" I asked, hoping he'd say a glass.
"No, babe, we're celebrating!" he said all excited.
Reluctantly I said OK, and when the waitress popped the bottle, there was no going back. We enjoyed a glass and by the time it was over, the performance had ended as well. The singer had walked over by our table and we began to compliment her on her performance and she was gone for the night.
I asked him, "Do you want to take the bottle to go? I mean, it's paid for."
He said, "No we'll just finish it here, love." He proceeded to pour the rest of the bottle into our glasses.
They played Latin music on the system since the club was closing and I danced by myself since he doesn't dance and I was enjoying my night. He photographed me, clearly finding me beautiful in my element. He then finished his glass before mine, and I swallowed the rest of my champagne before we left. We agreed that we would head back to his place on the way to mine to continue our night. Maybe smoke a little pot and drink some more champagne. Sex wasn't exactly on my agenda for personal reasons, but I wasn't really ready to head home. I guess I didn't want to be alone again, and I knew he didn't either.
We got into the car and we was headed toward the Holland Tunnel to head back into the city. I figured since he had water in between his glasses of champagne and since I wasn't even tipsy from the 3 glasses, he would be okay to drive. But as we entered the tunnel, he proceeded to speed. I thought to myself, "What the fuck is he doing?" I've been in the car with him before and he's driven past the speed limit, but this was excessive. He was in Sport Mode and drove too fast in a two lane tunnel, that the car began to swerve and jolt extremely hard as he tried to gain control. My life began to flash in front of me as I gripped the door, anxiety washing over me as I held onto dear life. I imagined the car going right through the tunnel into the water. By the sixth jolt, the passenger airbag on the door had imploded onto my right side, hurting my arm. His airbag didn't implode onto him, just mine.
As we exited the tunnel another driver drove past us and asked if we were okay, where he responded saying we were.
"Speak for yourself. You're OK, I am not!" I yelled.
"Are you hurt?" he asked as he continued to drive towards his house. "Do you want me to take you to the hospital?"
"No, I want you to take me home. I don't have my insurance on me."
"I can't drive too far in this right now. I'll pay for the visit."
"No, I want you to just take me home. I want to get out of this car!"
He then parked in the lot outside of his condo. As we headed upstairs, I was beyond heated. It was late and I was ready to go off on him, but I was waiting till we were inside.
As soon as we were in his apartment, there was no stopping me.
"Was it the fucking alcohol?! Why were you speeding like that? Do you have no regard for anyone's life but your own?!"
"No it wasn't the alcohol. I was fine, I wasn't drunk or anything. I am so sorry," he proclaimed.
"Then what the fuck was it?! Are you an adrenaline junkie? Do you get off at speeding and chasing danger? Who the fuck does that in a tunnel?! Do you honestly not give a fuck if you live or not, because I do!"
"I don't know what came over me, Aurea. I'm sorry. I never meant–"
"I don't care. I don't even want to hear it. I just want to go to bed and you need to take me home early because I have things to do." I was tired. I was extremely upset. I was far from home and I didn't want to be anywhere near this man. He put my life in danger. Maybe I was stupid to get in the car with someone who had 3 glasses of champagne, but I never in a million years thought that we would end up in a fucking car accident. My dad always drove while consuming numerous amounts of beer and never got into an accident. Maybe I just trusted him too much.
That night, I fell asleep on the couch in my dress, and woke up the same way. I found him in his bed and it was early morning. Man, he didn't even have the decency to give me the bed and sleep on the couch. Ugh!
"Yo!" I yelled. First off, I never use the word "yo" unless I am pissed the fuck off. "Get up. You need to take me home now," I demanded.
"I can't drive that car," he said.
"Well then you need to put me in a Uber or Lyft or whatever the fuck it is and get me home because I need to go."
I was angry and he has never seen this side of me. But I wasn't about to go back and forth with him. I said everything I had to say and needed to process this further as far away from him as possible.
As he got ready he kept talking out loud. "I am such a fuck up. I would understand if you never want to see me again. I am never going to drink again. Drinking always gets me into trouble. I'm going to have to pay like 5 grand to get that car fixed." He kept saying things that yelled manipulative red flags and a part of me felt sorry for him but the part of me that was too angry to not give a fuck took over and I said nothing until we went downstairs.
I didn't expect him to follow me downstairs or walk me to the car. And when he did, he went to kiss me goodbye on the cheek while I went for a sideways hug. It was awkward, it was weird, it was unfortunate. But I got in the car and I never went back. I was so upset, I wanted to call my best friend in LA and tell her. Go figure, she called me ten minutes later. It was 6 AM in LA and she proceeds to tell me she had a dream with me and woke up to her right arm in excruciating numbing pain.
I was stunned, because the Universe has ways of relaying messages to those I am deeply connected to. When I told her about the accident and my arm, which had three welt lines, she was so upset. I went straight to my doctor's appointment, then home to nap, and showered and decided to go to the hospital after all. I went by myself and ended up spending 6 hours in the ER, getting x-rays done to make sure I was okay and ended up missing spending dinner with my family. It was an all around bad day. When he texted me, asking how I was, I told him how I felt and cut off all ties with him. I didn't want or need someone who was all fucked up in my life when there was already a lot going on in mine. I didn't have room for more chaos. He was apologetic and hoped that I would get over it, but I would not that quickly. I just couldn't look at him the same.
I took the accident as a sign, as a wake up call. I was nowhere near ready to date, period. And this was a time for me to focus on myself and to learn to be alone and be okay with that. I needed to learn to love myself again, wholeheartedly. I needed to learn that my own company was good enough. I needed to make smarter decisions and be aware of my surroundings and with whom I shared my energy with. It was the worst date of my life because I almost lost my life, but it was a blessing in disguise because it pushed me to realize some real and valuable shit about myself. I was pushed to accept what was, and to grow in my space of discomfort. I was broken because of my relationship, but I was also sure as hell that there was no one else who was going to put me back together again other than myself. Almost losing my life that night was the message slapped to my face that I needed.
I am glad I alive today. And I will tell you all this: I will never get in a car with a man that drinks again. Things could've been way worse, and life isn't something I take for granted, whether it be mine or someone else's. Please be safe, and NEVER drink and drive.