Daphne and I continued to message each other zealously . For me, it was never an annoyance and always something to look forward to. Although, it really did consume a lot of time. When I would watch tv, or wash the dishes, or get ready for bed, there would always be some texting back and forth. It was frequent enough that my son noticed and commented on how much time I spent texting. Luckily, I could message on my computer or else I would have never got any work done.
Feeding the Stereotype
In addition to the superfluous conversation, Daphne again mentioned how she was worried about having to go back to stripping due to her dwindling savings. She also told me how she lent someone $27,000 and that she was relying on their monthly repayments to pay her living expenses, but that those payments were inconsistent and sometimes never came at all. She didn’t tell me at the time, but I later found out that she actually lent the money to her ex, who was using it to keep a hold on her and to continue to control her. This was obviously causing her great distress.
I hadn’t given Daphne any money since the prior November I think. I didn’t even give her money the last time I saw her at the strip club in December. She had been reaching out to me to do things together and I rightfully assumed that I wasn’t expected to tip her for that. And ever since February 16 of course, our relationship had transformed well beyond that lifestyle. Like I previously mentioned, I started to do everything I could for Daphne. While she never asked me for anything, I gave Daphne money to help her get by. I told her I would have given it to her sooner, but ever since our relationship had changed I need to feel mentally okay with it. I suppose I was saying that I needed to feel like we had indeed moved past our strip-club identities and that I was not being taken advantage of.
I don’t believe Daphne brought up her outstanding loan as a way to induce empathy in me so that I might ultimately give her money. Not because I can’t, or don’t want to, believe it. As stated, it was because we were well beyond viewing one another as a dancer and a customer. In fact, it would probably be easier if it was just a stripper ploy. I could then point to a blatant reason why she left me behind – because I was just getting worked over by a talented exotic dancer – which would at least give me the understanding I seek and enable me to just move on. If it was blatantly apparent, I do not think I would have difficulty recognizing and accepting it.
Daphne and I planned another outing a few days after the last, on a Tuesday night. We were going to go to the restaurant we planned on going to before Daphne had to cancel for that promotional modeling gig. However, it got cancelled again. Her new dog, Rebel, has separation anxiety and is also timid. Daphne’s two other dogs, Earnest and Marilyn, did not welcome Rebel into the family and they usually all had to be separated. Marilyn ended up biting Rebel the afternoon before we were supposed to go to dinner. Marilyn is a pit-bull mix who apparently had behavioral issues in the past. Daphne spent a lot of money on training those issues out of her; while she was fine with people, Marilyn still had issues with other dogs. The dogs were overwhelming to take care of all at once and added more stress and chaos to Daphne’s life. Needless to say, she should not have gotten Rebel, but knowing that Rebel had been adopted and returned several times, Daphne would not return him. Anyways, I purposefully cancelled the restaurant reservation knowing that Daphne would just be full of anxiety and would not be able to enjoy herself. I was fine cancelling. I wanted to avoid any negative energy that could potentially ruin any of our time together. Daphne and I were progressing nicely and would need continued positivity and merriment to keep the momentum moving forward.
Another Night Out
On the upcoming Friday, March 9, I had asked Daphne if she wanted to come down (she lived about a half-hour away from me) to my house during the day with the dogs to go for a walk and have lunch. She agreed and planned on it, but ended up being delayed due to additional dog issues, searching for an apartment, and applying for a temp office job. We rescheduled for later that night to go out and have drinks again. This this time Daphne planned on meeting me directly at my house, where we would then leave together to go out. Yet another sign of progress. Daphne arrived at a reasonable hour this time, around 5 pm. What I do remember is that when Daphne arrived, we had drinks at my place and talked fairly intensely before we left to go out. This became a precedent. Sometimes it was actually difficult to wrap up our conversations and leave.
The bartender we became friendly with the last time Daphne and I went out, Lita, texted her to come back down to the restaurant/bar. Lita also mentioned how everyone like us down there. This was a place that I went to before I met Daphne – it was close to my house and had a good happy hour vibe. I remember everyone glancing at Daphne because of her beauty. She definitely stood out, even in that upscale environment with numerous attractive socialites. I also felt like people were eyeballing me, scrutinizing me for being with this striking women who was considerably younger. Although, it may have just been the coke, but I doubt it. When Daphne would eat, she would often offer me a bite of her food by raising her food to my mouth – she spoon-fed me. While most would consider that excessive PDA, including myself before Daphne, I thought it was an intimate sign of affection and trust when Daphne did it. Although on that night, the spoon-feeding didn’t help my paranoia.
What Is This That We Are Doing?
After happy hour, Daphne and I bar-hopped around the area. When Lita finished her shift, we came back and got her to go out. We went a few places, then went to my house for some reason I can’t recall. Daphne and I wanted some coke, which meant I had to go get it from a dealer a few miles away. Naturally, I didn’t want Daphne and Lita to come with. Lita had wanted to take us to a Mexican place specializing in Mezcal, so I told them to go there and I would meet them when I was done. I didn’t want them to have to pay for their drinks, so I just handed Daphne my debit card, right in front of Lita. In my mind, this was a sign of affection and obviously trust. After I met up with them, we eventually went to a bar and pseudo club. We ended up sitting at a table off to the side and talked. When Daphne went to the bathroom, Lita asked me what our deal was. I told her we were just friends, then quickly stated I wished for more. Lita said she asked Daphne the same thing earlier and Daphne said that she didn’t really know what we were or what we were doing.
Ironically, we eventually went to the strip club where I originally met Daphne. Daphne had a great time reconnecting with her former coworkers and I had fun showing up at a strip club with a former dancer. When she introduced me to one of the girls, she said this is my boyfriend. That was initially amazing, but I knew it was a hollow statement. Although, I don’t know why she did that. Other than that, nothing particularly eventful happened at the strip club. Overall, it was another amazing night out with Daphne with nothing but fun and good conversation. I wouldn’t let Daphne drive home, so I got her an Uber and she left her car at my place. I made no advances toward Daphne at the end of that night either. She had just started coming to my house. I wanted to make sure she came back, so I needed her to always feel safe there and without any pressures, amongst other reasons.