Note: This is something that happened a very long time ago, when I was a noticeably different person. I don't drink latte's anymore, or wreak revenge on girlfriends. I much prefer comedy and Coca Cola.. :-)
Sometimes things happen, like your girlfriend cheats on you with your best friend who has just come back for a few weeks over the summer. Oh she's still dating you, but you're not totally stupid and eventually you work it out, but by then it's too late to fight the guy (lets call him Dave) cos he's hopped on a flight back across the Irish Sea, and too late to tell Chloe (lets call her that) because she's besotted with him. In fact, she's decided to go and live with him in the new city, and there's nothing you can do about it.
Or is there?
You've been dating for a couple of months, and so you know where she keeps her key to the flat (under the mat). In the corridors of your tortured and betrayed mind, a fiendish plans begins to boil up. You can't help but grin inanely at the simple audacity of it. It's just so insane it might work.
Dawn rolls around, and your girl, sorry I mean EX-girl, is leaving today for a dirty weekend with Dave in the new city across the water, she's also going to check out his flat, and because you know the way she thinks, probably to work out how much of his stuff she can persuade him to dump, and how much is salvageable. She's on the morning flight, and you go to University as normal, drinking a latte in the cafe around the corner from her flat. She comes past in the cab, but doesn't see you in the cafe at all. Drinking up, you pay and casually wander over to the flat. Looking around you for safety, you retrieve the key from under the mat, and gain entry...
Ahh the sweet smell of her abode, walking in you see things half packed, furniture in partial array, little boxes of utensils. One part of you is sad, she's finally leaving. Another just thinks: "Perfect, this couldn't be going any better".
You leave everything as it is (after all, you're not a thief or anything), and on your way out take care to replace the key exactly as you found it in it's hiding place. You make your way home and find a Yellow Pages, flicking through, ah. There is it. Your hands shaking, you push the number in, and listen to the ring tone.
"Hello, Diane speaking, where can we take you today?" Honey voice, little trite...
"Hi, do you handle internationals?" I say, smoothly.
"Yes sir, where were you thinking?"
"Do you cover Hong Kong?"
You see, in my insanity, I have decided to ship all of my ex-girlfriend's belongings to China as revenge for cheating on me.
I give the lady the address, and tell her where to find the key. I tell her the stuff is already packed, and to leave the bill under the mat, in the same place as the key. I make up some details, and confirm the pickup address. Then I hit a snag, what's the receiving address? I say hold on, and I go into the kitchen, I hunt around in the cupboards until I find it, my old Sony TV manual. I flip to the back, and there in the list of international addresses is the address of Sony International, in Hong Kong. I change the number of the building, give a bogus description of the place, and say that the stuff is care of Mr Won Ton Kee. She buys it, and I'm home and dry. I hang up, and collapse on the sofa. A wave of glee comes over me, and I giggle momentarily. I'm too nervous to go for evil maniacal laughter. It doesn't seem appropriate, yet.
The pickup is the next day, Saturday, in the afternoon. Obviously I can't be there to oversee it, but I should perhaps see that it goes off without a hitch, so I turn up midafternoon, and am satisfied that the removal truck is there and a bunch of Belfast lads are moving the stuff into the back. As I walk past nonchalantly, I hear them muttering swear words, probably at the half packed state of Chloe's stuff. I suppress a smile, but then realize I don't have to (no one knows my role), and then feel guilty. Back at the cafe, another latte, and 20 mins later the removal truck roars past me on the pavement. It'll go to the depot. Tonight the stuff will be sent to the airport. By tomorrow night it'll be arriving in Hong Kong depot, and a day or so later they'll attempt to make the delivery at that end. This gives me 4 days leway before the company knows something is wrong. I walk back to the house, and check under the mat, the little chit is there.
So at the house, I'm chilling, but then I begin to feel guilty, I want to talk to her, hear her voice, and the realization that no matter what I do, she's going from my life hits me. I feel bad, feel childish for what I have done and am about to do, and I think about ringing her, and perhaps also telling her. In the end I succumb, and ring her mobile. She answers, and I tell her I'm sorry for being a jerk and freezing her out for the last couple of weeks, that I hope she and Dave are very happy together. She's surprised, naturally, and gradually the edge leaves her voice, it softens. She expresses regret at having hurt my feelings, and we chat for a little bit longer before she has to go. The conversation doesn't really give me the chance to say anything, and I hang up. I ring her again the next day, and we talk for a bit more. I offer to give her a lift back from the airport, it'll give me a chance to come clean, and take it like a man. After all, what good is it gonna do to punish her now? She agrees to the lift, to my surprise, and I hang up before she changes her mind.
It's Sunday afternoon, and I hang with some mates, we talk about the football, and about silly little things. Later that day I go to pick her up from the airport. We go for coffee and have a heart to heart. I feel much better, having made my peace, and she seems whimsical. Driving back to her house, I decide that I'll tell her when we get out. Something seems to be holding my tongue though ... arg. We get out, and she says something like, this is a whole new side of you, J, but she knew deep down I was a doormat, that I wasn't as strong as Dave, and that's why she left me. I feel a bit stunned, but I can't say anything. She reaches down and gets her key while I stand there dazed like an idiot, my feelings hurt. She opens the door and goes in, I'm beginning to get a little angry and about to protest at her last remark when I hear her shriek in the house. I drop my anger and rush in.
The only thing left is the carpet. It's like a Duluxe Paint Advert, complete with little line of sunlight streaming in from skylight. Oh my god. I had almost forgotten about this back there. I grin, as she turns to face me. Luckily she's short sighted and can't see the expression on my face. As she comes closer, I regain a stunned look. I comfort her as best I can, her previous opinion of me gone now she needs a shoulder to cry on. We go out, and I get the bright idea to check the windows to see if it was a break in, like she thinks. Hmmm... no forced entry. What a mystery, folks. Whoever came in came in through the front door. That means they must have used the key. Maybe we should check under the mat? She looks and finds some paper, but because her eyes are tearing up, she can't read it. She gives it to me. I read it, and work out that it must have been a moving cockup. She looks a little relieved. But not much. I give her a number to dial on her mobile that's on the paper. She dials and talks with them for a couple of minutes.
It's been almost five years, but I can still remember the exact moment when her face registers her shock at the knowledge that all her stuff is in Hong Kong. She paled, repeated the name, and started swearing down the phone. It was the first time I saw her truly lose control. At which point I took the phone from her gripping hands, and hung up. I drove her, defeated to her mother's, and told her that I would do my best to get her stuff back. Which I did, after a two week delay. She was, and remains terribly grateful.
Meanwhile, she moved ahead to Dave's flat, a week ahead of schedule, only to find on arrival, Dave's other girlfriend. It seems like Chloe and Dave shared a lot of common interests. Anyway, she came back on the next flight to Belfast. I didn't pick her up. I was working hard on getting her stuff back, remember? I had nothing more to do with her after it came, and when it did she still moved to England, but somewhere far away from Dave.
I don't regret what I did too much. Nothing got lost, the insurance of the company took care of the costs, because they thought they'd made a mistake in shipping it, and she never found out. Oddly enough we're now okay, and still talk from time to time.