The File Explorer in Windows is the worst. My Computer, then lovexxrenee, and then the C drive itself all have their own sections with all the same folders and all the same files. And in case that’s not sufficiently inefficient for you, turn on Libraries for a fourth copy of the same shit and a bunch of redundant, empty collections as well.
I was trying to get rid of the excess, so I deleted a bunch of files from my User folder, but then they disappeared from My Computer too. Not to make a big deal out of it, but I kinda wanted those… So I downloaded some malware along with three free data restore programs from the internet. The installation was underway in the background when I noticed that a handful of the lamented articles were still in my C drive, so I moved them to the first occurrence of “Desktop” and started looking for some more.
Now, I have screwed up my PC by going through the Program Files many times. Once, I deleted so much stuff that I had to completely reinstall the Operating System. Whoops. So when I had reached the end of familiar territory, I should have turned around, but these were documents that had taken some time to collect and I’m still not quite sure from where. Finding them online again would be a pain and might be impossible. It would also be just a waste of time if they were still right there, on my hard drive. I solemnly swore not to move any damn thing that didn’t belong to me explicitly, and started clicking around.
I wound up in a pool of Cache, swimming through compounds of alphanumerically labelled bits, and while I realized quickly that these particular parcels were unlikely to present my misplaced PDFs, now I was entertained. It was somewhat nostalgic, like when your Google Activity reminds you of former web adventures and you feel again what you were feeling then. Inspired, usually, in my case. So when I clicked on the one that said Tinder, I was not thrilled with the disturbance.
You see, I’m not on Tinder. I haven’t been on Tinder since my divorce three years ago, and then only for a few weeks. I have no interest in online dating, I have no interest in meeting men and the nature of my work means that if I did have interest, I would more than have the means. Tinder does not exist to me.
My stomach started crushing itself and my body went stiff. My index finger kept tapping through files, but I couldn’t see the words anymore. I don’t know what exactly I felt, something like anger shrouded in disbelief. I literally could not believe it.
Brian rolled over then, scooted up against me and tried to curl my frame into his by gently pulling at my hips. I’ve never been so hurt by him, I’ve never been so angry that I would resist. Usually, his touch would make sparks fly through my body and I’d crave the pressure of him, or I would hold his hand against my chest and fall asleep.
I wasn’t ready to react, I wasn’t ready yet to feel. I anchored myself to my spot on the bed and with an authority so absolute he dared not protest, I gave my first word on the matter. “Don’t fucking touch me.”
After about an hour, the crying hit. Fat droplets stirred my foundation like sediment, weathering canyons down my cheeks until I wiped them off so Brian wouldn’t see. My throat burned as I held my breath, resisting every would be sob and holding firm my figure against it’s need to heave. I bounced between, “How could you to this to me?” and. “How fucking dare you?” Whatever he tells people, I was good to him. I was better to him than most people care to be and he completely took advantage of me. He used me. There’s no way around it.
The man I thought he was had issues. Borderline Personality disorder probably, a bad case with a heavy dose of narcissism. But he had a good heart and he wanted to do better and he tried.
He made me feel safe and he made me feel sexy and I was completely myself with him. “I could do this forever,” he’d say as he gave me yet another massage. The he’d groan when his hand slid over my ass. “You’re the hottest thing on Earth, I swear to God.” He said all the sex he’d had before in his life had been erased by the sex he had with me. He said he cherished me first as a human being, then as his best friend, and last as his partner. He said he loved me. He said he that if I would marry him, he’d book the trip to Vegas.
The man he turned out to be is the worst person that I have ever met.
He is a liar. He was a thief on sacred ground.
I didn’t say anything at all for two days, just kept my distance and was warm enough to convince him nothing was wrong, though I was probably more suspicious of him than usual. He did some unrelated shitty thing and I told him to get out and while he was packing, I finally brought it up. He lied to my face, tried to blame me, tried to say it was all from an ad. I turned the fan on in the bathroom to drown him out. “‘I respect you as a person’ he says and then stands there gaslighting me. GET THE FUCK OUT.”
I wanted to be wrong and I needed to be sure, so I spent the rest of that day and all of my free time during the next digging through my cache some more. It looked bad. All of the websites had two LOG types, a MANIFEST and an Index, most had two or three more random files, but Tinder had at least thirty different folders of the average number of documents.
Some of them had different dates.
One implied some previous site activity.
One implied some pretty vigorous engagement.
Now I’ll admit: I’m no techie. I am not certain just what the hell I’m looking at. Maybe these are global parts only, published on different days and unrelated to any specific browsing session. The only thing I know for sure is that Cache comes from websites you have actually visited, that I’ve never used my cell phone or laptop to access Tinder, and the Brian is the only person who has regular access to both.
So Brian, knowing that I probably wasn’t totally sure yet, asked to stay the night last night, two days after I kicked him out, because he was cold and didn’t want to sleep outside. I let him in. He continued to lie to my face and I slapped him every time he told me he didn’t have a Tinder and kicked him back out around 6 am. Thought maybe he’d have enough sense to own his shit. (I made sure he had a place to go. If he does not go there, the rest is on him.)
Then I opened the Google Account he left logged in on my browser and started poking around. Not much in G-Mail, but not nothing. One dating app sign up from a month ago and some pretty sleezy Craigslist replies from before we were together.
The Play Store was a goldmine. As you look through these, know that the Samsung SM-G781V is MY cell phone.
And that’s where I’m at. I didn’t even make it to the end of his apps list, but I can guaran-damn-tee Tinder is in there somewhere. I know that I could dig, probably very deeply with this much access to his data. I could read along to his awful lies as he tears me apart to make himself palatable to another woman. I could know the whole terrible truth.
I just don’t know how much of the truth is too much.