As I mentioned, Darren was my secret admirer that became my boyfriend years after he first set eyes on me. I mentioned that Darren and I had a tumultuous lifestyle riddled with drinking and questionable behavior. We were collegiate outlaws.
After dating for eight months, Darren moved back to his home town in central Illinois. We stayed together but it wasn't the same. Shortly after he moved home, I heard that he was cheating on me with his "best friend", a girl named Jennifer. Jennifer knew that Darren and I were a couple, we even had mutual friends. I often inquired about his relationship with Jennifer, his supposed "best friend", Darren assured me it was strictly friendship. Due to the obvious reasons, I was tremendously upset when I learned that I had been correct all along. Once things were over between us, I never spoke to or heard from Darren again.
Fast forward. I graduate college a year and a half after the break up. I move back to Chicago. I start working in advertising. I enroll in graduate school. Five years pass.
In grad school, I had class Tuesday and Thursday nights at 6:30p. I would leave the ad agency until about 6:00 p.m., it took me 15 minutes to walk to school, and I would always arrive a few minutes early.
One particular day, I left work an hour early to visit the head of the Arts Management department. I arrived at school around 4:30p. I was walking south on Michigan Avenue, approaching the main entrance of Columbia College when I saw him standing just outside the doorway having a cigarette. Darren was standing there smoking. I could not believe my eyes, what was he doing in Chicago?
I walked straight up to Darren and said "Hello Darren" and walked inside. Instantly, I started to think about what time his class started. If he had just gotten out of class he wouldn't be standing in the doorway, he would have walked on. It deduced that his class was at either 4:30, or 5:00 p.m.
A week later, I made an excuse to leave work early again and head to school. I knew that Darren would be standing out front again, I had no doubt. Sure enough, I was correct. This time, I stopped and asked him for a cigarette. We both smoked our cigarettes and had a bit of small talk. This was when I learned that Darren and Jennifer were still together, five years had passed and they were still together. They were living on the north side of Chicago, she was a waitress and he was a film student.
The end of the semester was approaching. I saw Darren outside of class one last time and I reminded him that we likely would not see each other again in school. We decided that we would meet the following week after class and have one beer together.
The following week, we met after class and went to a pub for one beer. I wrote my work number down on a napkin, in case he wanted to ever get a hold of me. We went about our separate ways. It was completely innocent.
Fast forward again. This time only about two weeks. Darren phones me to tell me that Jennifer found the napkin with my phone number in his jacket pocket. She quickly assumed that Darren and I had been speaking for the past five years behind her back and was threatening to show up at my office. Darren explained that she always felt as though she lived in my shadow and that her fears were realized when she found the napkin. Although nothing had happened between Darren and I, I felt as though...Vengeance was mine!