Another time when Kevin yelled at me soon into the relationship was because I was not at the door to greet him after he came back from a week in France. I had just finished teaching my colleague, Tamara, English and was packing up. I tried to be as fast as I could as I had Kevin’s key as I was looking after his cat, Decibelle, for the week. He sent me a message saying he had arrived, which was around the time I was finishing up the lesson. I sent him a message back to come and find me in Room 14 as I didn’t want him to be locked outside his room. He responded that he would wait for me instead. Tamara and I then headed back and we met Kevin on the way. I could already sense that he was in a bad mood. When Tamara left, I asked him what was wrong and that was when he started yelling at me. He was angry that I wasn’t at the door to meet him and he was also angry about the message that I had sent him to meet me in Room 14. He said that I would have been at the door to meet anyone else but him, that I didn’t miss him and some girlfriend I was to not be at the door for him. The irony was that, throughout the relationship, he had always kept me waiting, and he had never kept his word about doing things for me when he said he would (Chapters 26 and 67). Even the message that I had sent him to come find me in Room 14, he kept saying that it was such a rude message, that all he got was a “Meet me in Room 14” and some love that was. I struggled so much to understand what the problem was. If the roles were reversed, I would not have been upset that my boyfriend was not at the door to meet me, especially if I knew that he was teaching at the time. I would have been understanding. And I would not have found the text message that I had sent rude. I was just letting him know where I was so he could get his key.
That night I left the house because it was unbearable to be in the same house as him. And even after I left the house, the abuse continued though text messaging. I went to confide in another colleague of mine, Andrea, after I had left the house. I asked her to meet me in the field and told her what had happened. She was very comforting. After some time, Kevin came looking for me, smoking a cigarette. It was dark so I couldn’t see him, just the light from the end of his cigarette coming towards us. As he got closer, I could see that there was still no compassion on his face. He seemed a bit nervous because he realised that Andrea was there, but there was also intimidation on his face. Yet no compassion. Soon Andrea left as she decided to let us talk. But even then, Kevin denied any wrong doing and continued to blame me for not being at the door to greet him and for sending an apparently rude text message to meet him in Room 14.
While he was in France, I had bought some Belgian chocolate and left them on his table. When he saw them, he did not feel in any way bad for the way he had treated me. Instead, he ripped into the box of chocolate and stuffed his face with them. He was so impatient to get into them that he could not even open the box properly. The box was made of clear plastic that had a piece of sellotape at the opening. He didn’t have the patience to take the piece of sellotape off so that he could open the box properly. He just made a hole through the side, enough to put his hand through, and gobbled up the chocolates in no time. He didn’t show me any gratitude or apologise for the way he treated me. He didn’t even offer me any chocolate either.
A few days later, Kevin told me that there were rumours spreading about the state of our relationship. The first thing that came into my mind was that Andrea had told people about what had happened that night. I felt bad as I didn’t want to make him look bad. I even apologised to him for telling Andrea. That was when I began to distance myself from her. Now when I look back at this and the many other things that happened in this relationship, I don’t think that she was spreading rumours. I think Kevin was saying these things just to make me distance myself from people, to silence me. He was trying to isolate me and have me under his control. This was one of many things that he had told me people had said but which I had never heard with my own ears.
Other than Andrea, I didn’t say anything to anyone else. First, I still didn’t comprehend whether what he was doing was abuse or not as it was so covert. Second, I didn’t want to make him or the relationship look bad. Third, I was also in denial about his true self. I wanted to believe his false self. I still had hope.