No, I wasn’t Bonnie to his Clyde. He didn’t wear silk suits, black ties, or a fedora. We didn’t delicately orchestrate shoot-outs at banks or on trains. He didn’t buy me furs or take me dancing. That bastard.

We were inseparable throughout our teen years. Flash forward: four years of on-again off-again dating. Our relationship was as volatile as the economy. He kept his job a secret and had odd hours, secretive phone calls, and impromptu “business” trips. I didn’t think anything of it until he (along with 3 of his closest friends) was arrested for dangerous driving, cocaine possession (with intent to sell), and assaulting a police officer. I went to his bail hearing and had the pleasure of hearing about his lengthy criminal record of break-ins, possession, and assault. I was shocked. Where the hell was I during all of this? Our relationship was exposed as one bizarre lie after another. It was so humiliating.

He was eventually released on bail and I was known as Johnny’s* ex-girlfriend. Oh you know, Johnny, the guy that punched a cop in the face and went to jail. Stay classy, Johnny.

He was like Gossip Girl. People sent him tips and he would often show up where I was. It was a nightmare. He ruined two dates with one really great guy I was seeing. The first time, he sat down at the next table and just stared at us, until my date and I got so uncomfortable we just left. The second time, he sat somewhere else and gave me a play-by-play commentary of my date. Your date is wearing a striped scarf, five points for Gryffindor! Needless to say, it was creepy.

I started ignoring him completely as punishment for his pathological lying throughout our relationship and of course, for being a total jackass. I ignored his MSN (if you remember using this, you’re old), Facebook, and text messages. I didn’t answer his calls. I was so proud of my willpower and (not-so-secretly) thrilled that the more I ignored him, the more desperate he was for contact. Feeling that way is a bad move when your ex-boyfriend is a sociopathic pathological liar who has been to jail.

Soon, he started stalking me. No, not like you “check up” on your ex and his new girlfriend Facestalking™, but actual stalking–in the bushes with binoculars stalking. It all happened one night when I was out drinking and dancing with a girlfriend. I was in charge of man-handling her cell phone that evening, since she tends to seductively desperately call/text her ex-boyfriend after a drink too many. Nobody was man-handling my phone, so when he called me for the umpteenth time, I happily answered. I agreed to meet him and “talk”, while he agreed to make the drive downtown and pick me up. Upon realizing the horror that was on its way, I hailed a cab and quickly went home.

He called me twenty-four times. I didn’t answer, but my best guess is a) he was at the club, b) he couldn’t find me, c) he wanted to know where the hell I was, or d) he was going to kill me. He decided to make a house call, and instead of knocking on my door or ringing my doorbell, as is customary when visiting someone’s home, he decided to climb the side of my house. Let me repeat that in case you missed it. He. Climbed. The. Side. Of. My. House.

I was in absolute terror when I saw him crouching on my dad’s shed, pressed up against the window. It was from that moment forth that I had deeply regretted dating a criminal. Obsessive criminal ex-boyfriends aren’t afraid of trespassing on your property, climbing the side of your house, and watching you through a window. They’re also nonchalant about scaring the bejesus out of you. While I’ve changed my number and moved out since then (three years have passed), I still look over my shoulder from time to time and wonder if he inadvertently spies on my parents.

There are still some people who refer to me as “Johnny’s girl”, but I pretend they don’t exist.

*Names have been changed to protect the not-so-innocent.