I grew up with Joe*. Joe was the nicest kindest guy I ever knew. He used to hang with a crew of bad boys. Most of these boys treated girls like disposable items. They would pass them around.
At times they would run trains on women.
For some strange reason that I have never understood, these girls kept going after these boys. It is the strangest attraction I have ever known.
These women were not trainwrecks. They were beautiful women. They could get a nice guy at the snap of a finger, but they were attracted to the bad boys.
Joe was a nice guy. He never stood a chance with these girls. When he tried shooting his shot at them, they shooed him off. In fact, they would tell him that he was too nice. But he was attracted to Sally, and he decided to pursue her despite her reputation.
“Too nice?” Joe asked. “What do you mean?”
“I mean, you’re just too nice, Joe. It can never work out.”
“Let’s try and see,” Joe insisted. “We can make it work.”
“Okay. But don’t say I didn’t warn you.”
So Joe went on an all-out nice guy mode. He bought her flowers. The bad guys laughed at Joe. Joe told Sally he was not after sex, and would wait until they were both ready. Sally looked at Joe as if he had lost his mind. Sally was used to the bad guys often putting hands on her.
On several occasions, she tried to provoke Joe into physically abusing her. Instead, Joe walked away. That was a show of discipline because Joe was a boxer, and was renowned for his jaw-breaking knockouts.
Sally cheated on Joe many times. Joe forgave her. He gave her time. He thought this phase would end, but it didn’t. Then Joe snapped. He turned into a bad boy. The strange thing is that this change happened just as Sally decided she wanted to settle down. Trust fate to do the switcheroo when you least expect it.
When Joe tasted what it was like to be a bad boy, he turned into a monster. Wait. It was Sally who created a monster. Unbeknownst to her, she had killed his view of healthy relationships.
Animal experts say that once a lion tastes human blood and flesh, the only way to kill that appetite is to put the beast down, otherwise, it will wipe out entire human populations. The same applied to Joe. It is almost two decades since he switched to this bad-boy mode.
He has broken countless hearts, starting with Sally’s. His relationship with Sally has been on and off. Sally, long a changed woman, knows who Joe is, but she does not know how to pull this real Joe out. Meanwhile, Joe is having the time of his life.
He sees nothing wrong with the way he is living. He treats girls like they are a piece of number two, yet they still flock to him. This annoys Sally, and she keeps griping: “What’s gotten into you, Joe?”
Well, Sally, to get an answer to that question, look in the mirror. Deeply.