Previously on Catfished – Part 1 Kevin had allegedly had a mental breakdown and had been taken to Connecticut to recover at his mother’s house.
The next morning I sat at work sick to my stomach, wondering what the fuck had just happened. Almost on cue I receive a text message. It was from Kevin’s phone, but it wasn’t Kevin. It was his sister, Jenny. She was texting to let me know that he had arrived safely at their mom’s house, and that she had taken his phone away from him because “he had been writing crazy things to his friends,” but that he had asked her to reach out to me to keep me posted and to thank me for being there for him. We had an uncomfortable brief exchange about how I knew him, and she said she that no offense, but the whole thing seemed a little weird to her. Awkward…
My friends were now telling me that this was literally becoming insane and that I needed to open my eyes because something was clearly not right about this entire situation. I told them that they were wrong, but deep down I knew that something wasn’t quite adding up. I will admit that I was initially suspicious of his “sister.” I like to think that I’m not completely naïve, so over the next few days as Jenny gave me regular updates, I looked for any clues that might tell me that this whole thing was a load of shit. I even compared the texts from his sister to his texts from before, and sure enough they were written in completely different styles. His texts usually contained abbreviations and often lacked punctuation. Hers were always grammatically correct and were written in complete sentences. They were clearly written by two different people. I just had to trust that I had gotten to know this man well enough over the past few months and that I would have known if something had been shady. I began to feel guilty for even questioning his sincerity. I just needed to accept the fact that I had fallen for a guy who had “issues.” I certainly come with my own set of quirks, so who am I to judge, really?
But no matter how much I tried to convince myself that this was totally legit, I could not get rid of the constant nagging feeling inside of me, telling me that this whole story was just too bizarre. I began to push his sister for more information, because it just wasn’t adding up for me that he had a panic attack at work and 2 days later left town. Something else was obviously going on. She grudgingly admitted to me that this was more than just anxiety. She said that Kevin suffered from bipolar disorder and that he had been off of his meds for almost a year. That was, admittedly, a lot to take in, but I decided that before I freaked out, I would do some research online. What I discovered wasn’t fantastic, but it certainly wasn’t a total dealbreaker. Truthfully, I was already in too deep to just cut this guy out of my life, so it probably wouldn’t have mattered what his sister had told me at this point, short of her telling me that he was a murderer. I was going to be supportive, and I definitely was not going to bail on someone who was going through a seriously difficult time.
Finally after about a week Kevin called me. He had been given his phone back and was allowed to take his mom’s car out to the store. He apologized for everything, told me he had been thinking of me and told me that I didn’t need to stick around for this, that I could do better. I told him he was being an asshole and to stop. This obviously wasn’t his fault and it was beyond his control. I even offered to drive to Connecticut to come see him since he was now serendipitously closer to where I lived. He said no; said he had been looking forward to seeing me but that the anxiety of meeting in person just brought everything to a head. He told me he didn’t want me to meet him under these circumstances, which I grudgingly understood.
He ended up staying with his mom through Thanksgiving before going back to work. His boss gave him back his job, but was going to partner him up with someone for a while, until it was evident that he wasn’t going to have any more “episodes.” He was prohibited from traveling for now, so he wasn’t going to be allowed to come to NY in December as he had anticipated. This time I wasn’t going to pressure him about making plans to meet me.
By this point he, especially because we had not been able to talk as often as before, we had started to grow apart and he had started to pull away a bit. I had an honest conversation with myself and I admitted that this was all becoming a little too much for me. I hadn’t even attempted to meet any other men because I felt like I was in this bizarre relationship with a man I had never actually met. I was one of those people, who I had previously judged and laughed at, who fell in love with someone who lived across the country and who made excuses for why they were unable to ever meet in person. Eventually I started to take a step back and I even got back online. I met someone pretty quickly in early December and began spending time with him, but Kevin was never far from my mind. Soon it was Christmas, and, as mentioned, I received a pleasantly surprising phone call from him that made my day! We had hardly been talking and pretty much only communicated via text about once a week, just to check in and say hi. It felt great to hear his voice, and the old twinge of “what if” played in my head again. It really seemed like our story may have been one of those missed romances that completely derailed because of events that neither of us could have predicted. I remember hanging up that day and wondering how something that had felt so special and intense could have ended up going so horribly wrong before it even had a chance to take off. Little did I know what was about to go down.
The day after Christmas I met up with my mom for lunch. As we were finishing up our meal, I got a text from Kevin.
“There’s something I need to tell you.”
What came next would haunt me for months to come….