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Being Played

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My Sweet Brittany

I remember the first time she was late to our date. Shyly, she revealed the bus she was taking....And I'd exclaimed; "Bus?"

She turned her face away, and admitted she didn't have the money for a Taxi.

We'd been dating for three months and she had never asked me for a penny.

I thought she had a car, I muttered.

She told me that on occasion she had borrowed her brother's car, but he had needed it so she took the bus.

I think I made a noise and that is when she told me about her brother. He was really her step-brother. When her parents died he had dropped out of school to support her. To see that she went to school, that she had everything she needed.

A few tears rolled down her face when she spoke of Trevor, and I myself was moved by the selflessness of a boy of 17 who would give up his life for a half sister of ten, and work so hard to turn out someone as perfect as Brittany.

Getting in Deeper

I wanted to buy her a car but she became upset, so I changed it to a loan. I would loan her the money to buy a car and worked up a payment scale.

Every week she gave me $ and every week, unknown to her, I put that $ in an Interest bearing account. Four months later I gave it all back to her, saying; "Now You can buy something good for your brother..."

Having mentioned the magic word, she embraced me.

"When will I meet him?" I asked.

There were tears again because her brother was very conservative and didn't know
she had a boyfriend.

"What about a fiancé'?" I replied, and asked her to marry me.

The Meeting

Trevor was a serious, not unattractive man, who was a wary of me. I was able to buy his trust by investing in the small business he operated.

He seemed a bit suspicious and hesitant, but allowed me to invest and over time, began to communicate with me about the business.

Brittany and I discussed our wedding. She wanted one of those Caribbean Dream Nuptials. I paid for it, of course, as well as for her brother's plane ticket and hotel stay, so that he could give her away.

Brittany begged me not to spend so much money, but each time she tried to stop me whether it was buying her that diamond ring or that dress, I told her,

"You are worth Twice the Price."

Married Life

I had known Brittany less than eight months when I married her. Or I thought I Knew Brittany.

She became very concerned about finances when we returned from our honeymoon. Concerned about money, property, how our lives would proceed. She felt we should share everything. Her name should be on my titles of property and my bank accounts.

Tax reasons aside, why shouldn't I share with my wife? So I put her name on everything.

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She was worried about her brother, he was going to lose the house. I asked her why she hadn't told me before, and she said she didn't want to bother me.

I bought a house, 'sold' it to her brother for half the price. He promptly sold it for more than it was worth. This surprised, and yes, annoyed me.

A few months later Brittany tried to convince me to sell another property to him for the same half price. I refused.

I told her she'd already repaid him. I told her that my investment in his business was a drain on my pocket. I reminded her I had virtually given away a good property to her brother, which he sold. I mentioned that I seemed to be supporting them both.

Brittany became upset, angry. She used language I had never heard from her, and left me.

I was stunned, I could believe this happened. Then, shortly after she wanted a divorce.

I didn't want a divorce.

The World's Stupidest Man

I must have regaled everyone I knew with tales of Brittany and Trevor. At my first pontifications everyone felt Trevor was beyond Sainthood, and they could fully identify with Brittany's sense of obligation.

As time passed and I shared the joint titles on the houses, and one I cheaply sold to her brother, sentiment began to change. People began to see Brittany and her brother in a different light. They saw two scammers. I tried to dissuade, to defend, but sounded stupid, even to my own ears.

Brittany moved forward with the divorce, property was divided. That is, she got half of everything I owned.

Meeting Reality

I was angry now. I needed to see Brittany, needed to understand what was happening and why.

It didn't happen.

Firstly, before the divorce was served on me, her brother sold the business, closed his accounts and 'disappeared.'

Secondly, she got a restraining order against me, changed her phone number. To contact her, I had to call her lawyer.

Everything I had, everything I'd worked for was spliced and Brittany got half, leaving me in disbelief.

Using the money gained from the sale of my properties I moved into an almost shoddy flat, the best I could afford.

Anger began to fill me, and I had to contact Brittany. Assuming she was with her brother, I hired detectives to trace them. There was no trace.

There was no Brittany nor Trevor Bowen who had ever lived at the address I had
for them. In fact, an elderly couple, the Windhams, had lived there for over fifty years.

There was no record of Brittany or Trevor anywhere. Not the schools they claimed to have attended nor where their parents were buried.

Me, in my trusting state, had never verified anything they told me. I had accepted their words without a blink.

I took me years to finally realise that I had been played from the night Brittany claimed to have ridden a bus.

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