Hating an Ex

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic

After the end of her affair with a lover who humiliated her, a woman looks back on the reasons why, gradually, she came to the point of hating him.

Hating an Ex


At the beginning of summer, I really get sick. On the day of the summer solstice, it’s my birthday. Instead of enjoying it, I feel like I have to puke these last few years.

It’s not only my birthday. The whole month of June always reminds me of one of the darkest periods of my life, and of that one man whom I hate like the plague. Hating him has become my work, and I love working.

The object of my hatred is a man from Anheather named Bruce Ryes. When we were lovers, especially during the last half-year, we didn’t do anything but bicker all the time. Often, I was fed up with him and called him a traitor, Ahab, and a lot of uglier things too. However, in the two years that we had our relationship, we loved each other passionately. I never got into a man as I did with Bruce.

That he loved me very much, and that I was the woman of his life, that's what he told me every time we met. At first, I thought that he meant what he said. Later, I began to doubt. Wasn’t he using this sweet talk to get me into bed and have sex with me? Maybe it was just lies he told me. It may be that the only thing that interested him was shooting his cum into me.

Now I hate Ryes from nine o'clock in the morning until five o'clock in the evening, for a whole working day. Then I try to forget him and do something distracting with my two daughters or my husband. Or I go to the appointment that Pat Jackson, my new lover from Daiste, asks me. Pat is at least a man I can count on, and not an unreliable selfish bastard like that conceited man from Anheather, Bruce Ryes. Pat never makes me feel bad like Bruce did when I told him that I couldn’t come to the appointment. Never should I give Pat an explanation, and I had to do so all the time when I was Bruce's mistress.

I have to save my energy to hate Bruce Ryes. After all, tomorrow I have to get back to that work, but do it even better. It’s easy some days. I have found out means that make it really simpler, and I have also become better at it. I practice a lot. Time after time, I let the movie of events roll in my memory:

2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, the years in which turned out what a bastard Bruce Ryes was.

2010, 2011, and 2012, the years when we were still happy together... I block them off, or at least, I try. I try to bury that past because otherwise, it would be more difficult for me to really hate that asshole.

Sometimes, I wonder what I’ve overlooked in that retrospective. I find moments, small seconds of discomfort and conflict, and I isolate them. I take a picture of them in my head and that is what I use for that day of hatred.

Hating Bruce Ryes is much simpler than the other occupations or obligations that I have had. Easier than leaving my parental home at Boarmarsh and marrying a man I didn’t really love. It’s also simpler than to pay off the house mortgage now, forcing myself to maintain, clean, and cook for my two daughters and my husband.

When I’m home, and I don’t have to go to the bathroom or to bed, I almost never leave the living room. Last summer, it was different. I hardly felt like entering that living room. I was always brooding there. My hatred for Bruce Ryes just consumed me.

Hating was easier than cleaning up after Ryes had been in my house to make love to me when my husband was at work and my daughters at school. When Bruce was gone, I had to shake up the cushions from the couch on which we had been lying naked. I had to fold up the blanket that I had placed underneath us to prevent that there would be any wet spots on the couch cushions. Moist stains were always on the blanket. I had to put that blanket in the garage, hidden in a cupboard because my husband or my daughters shouldn’t see it.

It’s easier to hate Ryes now than to clean up the dirty cups from which he had drunk coffee on the coffee table, and to wash them in the kitchen. I tried to lay easier lazy curls in my hair with a hairdryer when Bruce would come, and I would rarely succeed. Hating him is indeed a lot easier.

It’s easier too than not to fall asleep with him in the room at Haylan. We rented it for a few hours to make love. I’m bitter because in such a room he ruined my sleep rhythm and kept me awake. I hated that he couldn’t leave me alone, even after he had ejaculated deep inside me. I wanted to sleep for a while, not long, but Ryes prevented me from taking a little nap. He couldn’t resist kissing my lips, my forehead, my eyes, all of my face, everywhere, from my head to my feet, but most of all my breasts, my buttocks, and my pussy. It was caressing, he claimed, writing music on my body with his lips and his hands…. Yes, his favorite music? Surely not mine! It was no more than a kind of voyeurism on his part. He looked and fiddled through all my intimate body openings, even putting his fingers into them. As a cow that was inspected by a cattle salesman, that's how I felt. It was really dehumanizing, and I felt deeply humiliated time after time.

Sometimes, I thought I would get tired of hating Bruce Ryes, but it continues to feel like the only real thing that I have to do. It’s hard to describe how that man lied to me and disappointed me in the long run.

I remember how he promised me to go with to a live performance of Leonard Cohen in London. I loved him so much, and I looked so much forward to melt away with him and weep a bit while we hugged each other, listening to Cohen’s heartbreaking music... For my husband and my daughters, I already had invented acceptable excuses to explain my absence.

And then, suddenly, Ryes refused to go. He had to go to a birthday party, he said. He even showed me a wrapped gift that he had bought as a birthday present. He didn’t say for whom it was.

I was terribly disappointed. That birthday party had nothing to do with it, I’m sure if there was one. I suspect that Bruce Ryes thought the tickets for Leonard Cohen's concert were too expensive. That’s why I reckon, he didn’t respect our appointment.

How I had lied to my family made me feel ashamed of myself. I also noticed on that occasion that I couldn’t deceive everyone. My mother had smelled “something rotten in the state of Denmark” in some way. Maybe my sister Victoria had informed her. Although, she had nothing to reproach me because she herself had three lovers at the same time.

Whatever happened behind my back, my mother invited me to have a coffee with her in Hazelstead. I didn’t sense what was coming my way because we did that more often.

When we were sitting together on a terrace in the Hazelstead marketplace, my mother suddenly asked me what would become of my life if I continued my ‘pranks’ much longer. I replied that I didn’t understand what she meant. She got angry, and I got an outright speech about my dubious morality. I knew she was right. It made it easy for me to start hating Bruce Ryes that day because it was all his fault.

I remember Bruce once saying that he never would make an appointment with me again. That was after we had fought one afternoon, and while I lay naked on the bed in a room of the Black Ring Motel at in Meldreth. At first, I misunderstood Bruce. I thought he wanted to put an end to our adulterous relationship. But I was mistaken. He found those old decrepit rooms of the Drive-In Motel at Haylan far cozier and much more intimate, he said. I didn’t at all. The rooms in the Black Ring Motel had been refurbished, were airier and more spacious, and above all, they had large walk-in showers where we were able to wash properly after sex. How unworthy and stupid I felt when I believed him. I, silly goose, I even agreed with him and said that I also felt better at Haylan. That wasn’t true, and I should have kept my mouth shut. After all, I was wrong. It had nothing to do with the coziness of those rooms at Haylan. For Ryes, it was again the price that counted. The rooms at Meldreth were more expensive, and the time limit for lovers was three hours. We couldn’t stay longer unless we paid extra. That wasn’t the case at Haylan. There, Franciana, the manageress, let us be once we had paid her thirty-five dollars. Whether we stayed in the room for three or four hours, or even longer, it was of no importance to her.

I then hated Ryes because of his stubbornness. As if those fifteen or twenty dollars more meant anything... We already had so little time to spend a few hours in intimacy with each other...

Unfortunately, I hadn’t yet learned my lesson. Much too easily, I forgot that Bruce Ryes hadn’t shown up for an appointment in Herchville. As an excuse, he told me that he had to take someone from his family to the emergency ward in the Ghinck General Hospital. And then to think that I had spent more than an hour doing my makeup and choosing an outfit that day because I still wanted to try to impress Bruce…

Afterward, I got to hear from a friend that she had seen Bruce Ryes that Saturday afternoon at the ice rink in Hazelstead. I was mad at him when I found out about that and humiliated into my toes. A dirty filthy liar, that was Ryes...

I remember how I hate him when I think of how he often began drinking excessively without taking me into account and how long it took me to make him stop boozing. No one can believe how bad it was and how much time I have wasted trying to convince Bruce Ryes to moderate his drinking habit.

I remember how I hate it when I think of the time when my sister Victoria and I spent an evening and half a night on a terrace of Duchard Square in Hazelstead. It was a beautiful summer evening, and I was wearing an expensive cream-colored trouser suit. Other people complimented me on how elegant I looked. Bruce Ryes didn’t. To him, that I looked good and dressed to perfection was taken for granted. That was very disappointing for me, but that night I became sick of misery when I watched him drink one Carlsberg beer after another on that terrace and smoked at least one pack of Pall Mall cigarettes.

When we finally went to the underground car park on Duchard Square at three o'clock in the morning, my former lover was staggering on his legs. Before we reached our cars, he puked in a waste bin in front of the parking lot. I was disgusted with him then.

I hate Bruce Ryes too because I didn’t get a job because of him a few weeks after we became lovers. I had to present myself for an interesting assignment at an elite school in Ghinck. Bruce absolutely wanted us to meet that day. He put me under pressure, and I called that school in Ghinck with the excuse that I was sick, and that day I couldn’t come for the job interview. I have to say that I was madly in love with Bruce then, and it didn’t bother me to tell that lie. That day, we rented a room in a kind of villa at Brewstham near Saint-Troyan to go to bed with each other. It was delicious to make love with Bruce then, but that teaching job that I would have loved to have in Ghinck, I had to forget it. Because I didn’t show up for the job interview, the school management probably became suspicious of what my professional attitude was. I didn’t get a second invitation for an interview.

Some months later, I think in September or October, I wanted to spend a few hours 'officially' with Bruce. That meant, just meet each other without making love. 'Unofficial', those were the dates on which we met to make love somewhere.

That time, I would have liked to have been together with Bruce at the County Library on Martyrs Avenue in Hazelstead. There was an exhibition with the comic as a theme. Rye reacted quite coldly to me when I proposed to go there together one afternoon. He didn’t really say no, because he liked to be in my company. He was waiting for every opportunity to get me into bed somewhere and fuck me. That was, I believe, the only thing that interested him.

The exhibition with those comics was boring, said Bruce, but he did do me the favor to come to the library that afternoon. Maybe he wasn’t wrong with that statement, but my experience is that most exhibitions are rather boring but instructive, they usually are, I think. That is something that Bruce Ryes never really understood. Everything had to be fun and pleasant for him and not have a clear purpose. It all had to be loose and spontaneous, he felt. Bullshit, of course. The only thing that interested him was getting me out of the County Library and go somewhere with me where he could have his way with me. I have to admit to my shame that I agreed that afternoon to let him screw me. But then, I didn’t hate him yet. On the contrary, I still really loved him then.

I hate him from when he came to visit me at my home at Boarmarsh the last time. My husband and my daughters weren’t there. Bruce knew that because I had told him. My love for him had already cooled down considerably, and at my school, I had started flirting with Pat Jackson. I didn’t yet go to bed with Pat at the time. That started about a month later.

That day Bruce Ryes behaved with me as if he were in charge in my house. I saw how he confiscated the TV. He pretended it to be his, technically. I didn’t say anything, and just let him zap from one channel to another. The only place where my thoughts stopped was the couch to which he dragged me to have sex with me. The sex maniac didn’t even ask me if I liked it that day. While he was busy with my body, I froze. My mind wasn’t there when Ryes egotistically made love to me. I can’t describe my disgust for him, especially when, groaning and moaning, he came deep inside me.

It was late before he left. After a long day with him, I then had plenty of time to hate him.

And there is still so much more. I have another hundred reasons to hate him now that we are no longer together. Everywhere I am, whether it's in my home, whether I pass by at that Haylan motel, or whether I'm going to bring books back to the County Library, everywhere I am reminded by all kinds of things of how I hate him.

But I want to be honest. I don’t know how it comes, but when I come to the end of my teaching day and climb up the slope to the parking lot that looks out over my school, it sometimes becomes difficult to hate Bruce Ryes. On that parking lot, we were standing close to each other against the tennis wire when I showed him my school. That was a very special moment, an experience that I simply can’t forget. It is a bit weird though because then our relationship was over, and my colleague Pat Jackson had become my lover in the meantime...

Hating him becomes difficult when I remember both of us in his car, or in mine when we drove to a motel together where we could make love. I remember his patience with me, how sweet he was for me, and even for my two dogs, and when I thought I was pregnant with his child, how one day he would be a good father to our son… Those positive memories of that miserable Ryes are sometimes surprising, I readily admit that.

I get distracted from my hatred for him when I remember how wonderfully his hands felt while he was stroking my naked body ... And all those sweet things that he said to me over the two years that we were lovers...

Of course, I hate his obsessive way of loving me, but he really loved me like no man before or after him knew how to love me. I have to forget the intensity of his love for me. That will certainly be difficult because so far, I have an excellent memory. In my case, that is more of a curse than a blessing.

Sometimes, I take a day off from hating Bruce Ryes because I remember that how we were glued together on the couch, as it were, or somewhere in a bed in a rented room for hours on end. We permanently changed the shape of the cushions with our naked bodies because we wanted to get closer and closer together and our arms and legs intertwined. And how beautiful it was, that time that we let my two Labradors sleep with us after we had fought in the bed of my youngest daughter Nellie... How that felt better than the dozen hotel and motel rooms we had been in, or the dinners together... Although, afterward I was still cross with Bruce. It was at his insistence that we had sex in Nellie's bed, and also that the dogs came to lie with us. That only happened once. When Bruce left the house a few hours later, I had a lot of work to get rid of the traces of our carnal feast and the dogs’ hair. Terrified was I that Nellie would notice that something abnormal had been going on in her bed.

The times when Bruce told me when I was lying close to him about the distant journeys he had made... The times when I kissed him and spoke Italian to him to declare him my love, and he told me about the differences in the Spanish spoken in Cuba, in Colombia, or Peru...

I hate him, but it’s difficult when I remember how Bruce respected me in spite of everything, even admiring me for what I was and what I did. I am not shy to say that after our two-year affair, I used Bruce Ryes as a kind of standard for all men who became my lovers afterward. Because of this comparison, a number of them didn’t pass the test, and that led to the collapse of a number of relationships.

I fight against it, but it is still difficult to keep hating Bruce Ryes constantly. It never feels like a real achievement I can be satisfied with..

I would rather hate him than not think about him at all. There was no real middle way with us when we were still together. I then started to resolve in him, and he in me. In those two years with Bruce Ryes, I have never been able to do anything else than love him passionately. So, because I don’t want to experience that feeling anymore, I now make a full day’s work of hating him. And the people who know me know that I like to work.


© Bruno Roggen, Anhée, June 2021


Submitted: June 26, 2021

© Copyright 2021 impetus. All rights reserved.

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