Around Christmas, my friend Dana asked me to go out on a double date with her and her new boyfriend. The new boyfriend’s best friend was single, and Dana thought we’d be a perfect match. I’m not sure what psychotropics she was on, but they had to have an awesome street market value for her to ever think that Rick and I would have been a good pair. At first glance, Rick seemed dumber than a box of hair. You know how there are some conversations that are like watching a tennis match? Talking to Rick was like playing tennis with a brick wall. But he seemed kind. He held the door open for me, and took me to meet his mother. So I decided to give the “nice guy” a chance, especially since I’d just broken up with a misunderstood bad boy.

At first, Rick was really good to me. I thought I’d made the right decision even though I wasn’t really attracted to him. I wondered if there was something wrong with me that I could never really invest in a nice guy! A good guy!

We’d been seeing each other for a few months when he decided to have a party and have all his friends come over. He got raging drunk and started sobbing in his beer about his ex-girlfriend. The relief that washed over me was such a release. I was so thankful for a way out. So, I told him if he was that torn up about her, he should go talk to her. Be with her. I didn’t want to stand in the way of true love. He hugged me and thanked me for understanding. I stayed at the party because I’d gotten to know his friends, and I was having a good time.

Then, suddenly, Rick went crazy. He broke a beer bottle on the table in front of me and started screaming at me, threatening me with the broken glass. Back in those days, I was never one to back down from a confrontation, and I got back up in his face and pushed him, dared him to cut me. I belittled everything about him, really. By the time I finished, he was clutching the broken glass shriveled up in a corner… bawling. (Yeah, harsh, I know.)

And then I started seeing his upstairs neighbor. In retrospect, maybe that was not the wisest course of action.

It was Valentine’s Day and I was visiting my new boyfriend when I heared Rick downstairs cursing at me, calling me a bitch and a whore. Telling me all the things he’s going to do to me. He was going to kill me, etc. Again, not one to back down from a fight, and assuming this was crazy, I told him he was a pussy and to put up or shut up.

I want to reiterate that this was not very bright on my part, but my mouth has always gotten ahead of my brain.

The next thing I know, I see the head of an axe come through the door to the apartment and Rick’s screaming he’s going to kill me. I called the police and was told that unless I could actually see him holding the axe, it was hearsay. What!? I asked the dispatcher how that worked, because if I could see him with the axe, I wouldn’t really have time to be on the phone. Because I’d be dead.

When the wood splintered like that scene from The Shining, I bolted. I jumped off the balcony and ran barefoot down the street and through a seedy part of town. He followed suit, chasing me. I had no idea where my new boyfriend went. I was on my own.

I finally ran into a liquor/convenience store that was filled with what I think must have been gang members. My being there was like a scene out of a movie where a record skips and everyone turns their attention to the thing that doesn’t belong. They all pulled their pieces. One asked me, “You lost white girl?”

“There is a crazy motherfucker behind me with an axe.”

Rick ran in behind me, axe raised over his head and the sound of twenty slides being pulled back on 9MM echoed through the place and one guy pulled me behind him.

Rick froze, then backed out of the store slowly and my new friends escorted me to my car. New boyfriend became my ex-boyfriend for being MIA. I reported the incident to Rick’s boss. He was immediately given a drug test and fired because it came back dirty.

I went on a few dates with one of the guys from the convenience store – the one who’d been my tattooed human shield – but we broke up, because his mother didn’t approve of me.