Another Creepy Nice Guy

When I was in my early 20s, I worked as a secretary for a large company. Even though we had about 100 employees, not a single guy there piqued my interest – until one came in as a temp. 

About 10 years older, he was a pilot fresh out of school, and his appearance caught the eyes of every female at work. Pilot was tall with dark, curly hair, blue eyes, a very nice build, and intelligent. Men like that are rare where I come from. 

The hiring person filled me in on some of Pilot’s info, saying he’s single and really nice. It was obvious he and I were immediately attracted to each other, stealing looks at one another as much as possible. He initiated conversation, and we traded numbers. Pilot asked me out on an actual dinner date, which is something that never happened to me, since no one wanted to date anyone with a preschool-aged child. Another day, we had lunch, then Pilot made dinner at his place. (I wasn’t much of a cook back then.) All of this occurred within a week. Because of my inexperience with dating, I thought nothing about how quick everything was moving. I took it as a sign that he really liked me, and meeting someone that accepted me with a child from a previous marriage was another reason to “hold onto nice guys like those.” 

By the end of Week 1, Pilot told me how great I’d look in a wedding dress. While that was flattering, I wasn’t looking to be married anytime soon, because I was newly divorced. But the red flags continued.

During week 2, Pilot came to my house after work when my child was asleep. My cousin stopped to visit, and while we were talking, Pilot became jealous. Her and I looked at each other like what the fuck, because it was really strange that a man would be jealous of two cousins having a normal conversation. This was probably the strongest red flag up until then, but I didn’t know what to do about it. I was confused more than anything, and I started putting up walls after that. 

Prior to meeting Pilot, I had arranged a cruise to the Bahamas – solo, because a friend bailed. The cruise was a week away, and he wasn’t happy about it. I think he actually wanted me to cancel it or do something so that we could go together, but that wasn’t an option, as there were no refunds. Besides, I was looking forward to this, and I didn’t need anyone’s approval or input on what to do with my life for a trip I paid for myself. All I wanted to do was get out of town, relax, and see something different. I didn’t care that I was going by myself, because I needed the time away to think about the red flags Pilot was throwing everywhere. The trip would give me room to breathe. 

Around week three, which was also the week of my trip, Pilot came to the house. We had some drinks, and his entire personality changed to the point that I was fearful of making the wrong move or saying the wrong thing. His entire face twisted into this angry sneer, jealousy seeping over my upcoming trip to the Bahamas. He sat on my couch, fuming over it, as if he owned me. I don’t recall much about our conversation as much as I recall the feeling of fear coming over me. I remember asking if he was okay, and he pretended nothing was wrong, even though it was blatantly obvious something wasn’t right. But I wasn’t about to budge and cancel my trip for a man I barely knew. Again, I was so young and inexperienced, and I didn’t know what to do about his creepy, controlling behavior. My attraction to him was waning, because anyone that tries to control me literally closes my flower bud, if you know what I mean. 

Just a couple of days prior to leaving for the Bahamas, I got into a car accident. Pilot offered to drive me on the 2-hour trip to the cruise ship port. It was the longest, most awkward ride, because he acted like a complete jealous dick and hardly spoke to me the entire way. He was literally sneering his upper lip, huffing and puffing, and beginning to resemble the big bad wolf.  When Pilot said he didn’t trust that I was going to be by myself, that eliminated every possible feeling I had for him. Now he was accusing me of cheating on him before I even boarded the ship. He barely said goodbye to me before he left. Whatever. I was just glad to be away from him and his unpredictable behavior.  

During my trip, I realized I did not want Pilot in my life anymore, and I’d have to break up with him when I returned. Do I tell him during the ride home, or do I wait and tell him later? 

Even though I was young and naive, I was extremely independent. My time was spent working, attending college, and raising my child. If I were to accept someone into my world, he would have to accept all of those things and improve my life. Pilot only added fear from his jealousy and hidden rage. On paper, and in general, he seemed like a catch – a nice guy. But his issues were far beyond anything I could, or should, handle. I felt in danger with him, like he would get violent with me if I angered him enough, because his behavior reminded me a lot of what is portrayed in movies with abusive men that murder their partners. 

When I arrived at the port after the cruise, everyone cleared out while I stood there wondering what to do, because Pilot never picked me up. (This was before cell phones, so making long-distance calls on a pay phone was costly and a huge hassle.) There I was, stranded two hours away from my house, because the man I was dating decided to be a complete dick and ghost me. Was this his plan all along? Was this his way of “teaching me a lesson,” because that’s what mind-fuck people do? 

Begrudgingly, I had to call someone from my family to get me. What should have been a two-hour drive turned into six hours of sitting around a terminal, and everyone there agreed that Pilot (the nice guy) is a shitty person. 

At work the following week, Pilot called in sick. I knew it was a lie; I knew he couldn’t face me. He worked a different shift sometimes, but he just stopped showing up altogether. I never saw or spoke to him again, and I was glad. He was just another one of those “nice guys.” 

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