This story was written dramatized (to protect the identities of those involved) by Sang Kromah, based on real events told to her and Sonafee Keita by an Anonymous Source
Loneliness has a way of forcing people into situations they normally wouldn’t find themselves in. It has the power to hold us prisoner in relationships we have no business staying in. It has the power to transform us into people so far removed from the people we know ourselves to be.
I always knew exactly who I was. Outgoing, but loved my alone time as well. Being alone never bothered me, because I had good friends and a pretty good family support system, but I was offered a great job opportunity in Philly, so everything changed. I still had great friends and family, but they were now halfway across the country, and, if I’m honest, I began to lose myself in this state of loneliness.
It was early last June. I had been working in Center City Philadelphia, at one of the city’s best hospitals. On paper, everything looked great. Great job! Great apartment in University City. But it had been three months since I’d moved to Philly and I hadn’t made a single friend. Of course, there were the usual acquaintances you meet at work, but with crazy hours and not knowing a single person outside of work, I was completely and utterly alone. One afternoon, my best friend, Naomi called to tell me she was engaged. I was happy for her, but a little confused. Before I left Minnesota, Naomi was casually dating someone, but I had never met him because I didn’t think it was serious at the time.
I felt a little odd to be venting about how lonely I was, while she was so happy about finding “The One”. I felt even more alone after a call that consisted of proposed get-togethers and other events that I knew I would miss being so far away, so I did something I had not done before. I downloaded OKCupid. You might be wondering why OKCupid, but a few of my friends had used the app. One was engaged and the others have met some amazing people on the dating app, so why not? Almost instantly, I’d found something to keep myself occupied in my downtime.
Let me be clear, I’ve never been the type of woman in need of a date or a boyfriend for validation, but as I mentioned before, loneliness is a bitch, and I was lonely as hell. Almost instantly I was matched with about 100 guys in my area, then I decided to turn my location off and just use my city as a location. I didn’t want to be that accessible. You never know who’s out there. I kept swiping left until I landed on the profile of a Resident at a neighboring hospital in the city, who looked like he could have been Jason Momoa’s impeccably polished twin brother, and it was obvious that he knew it. His username was DrDrogo87*, alluding to Momoa’s Game of Thrones character, so for the first time ever, I swiped right.
It started off casual. He waited a couple of hours to message me a Khal Drogo quote from Game of Thrones. “Moon of my life.” He obviously saw from my profile that Game of Thrones was my favorite TV series, but after that icebreaker, I was completely and utterly open. After that, we were chatting constantly throughout the day. First all about who deserved the Iron Throne and after about a week, we began to really get to know each other. Well, as much as you can through text. After about a week and a half, we felt comfortable enough to exchange numbers and texting became hour-long conversations between shifts. He knew the names of all my friends. All my likes and dislikes, so we were ready to meet.
Our first meeting was on the 4th of July. He took me on a food tour of University City. We started with Middle Eastern food so we stopped by Manakeesh for some Lebanese flatbread then went to Kabobeesh for some Indian-Pakistani lamb kabobs, and finished at his favorite spot, CO-OP Restaurant & Lounge. We ordered and ate so much and it felt comfortable. Relaxed. He spent a lot of time at CO-OP because he lived in the neighborhood and the food and atmosphere were amazing. He held my hand and it felt like my hand belonged in his. It was the best first date I’d ever had. No awkwardness. We talked and ate more than I had ever eaten on a date before. I knew that I was falling hard already. He was kind and looked at me like no one else mattered and I felt safe…if that makes sense. For the first time since I had left Minnesota, I wasn’t lonely.
After that, we were nearly inseparable. From GoT binge-fests to weekend trips we’d score on GroupOn to impromptu make-out sessions between shifts. Everything was perfect except for the fact that I had never seen where he lived. Which was strange, because he was a fixture at my place. This was someone I had traveled with, shared very personal details of my life with, and it was now November and I didn’t even know what the outside of his building looked like. Of course I’d mention spending the night at his place at times, but he’d talk about his gross roommates and how he was in the process of looking for a place of his own.
I didn’t think much of it since we were usually together anyway until I received a follow request on Instagram from a person I’d never met before. I mean I normally thought nothing of those random requests, but I had to pay attention to this one, because although this person’s profile was private, I could see her avatar and there, in plain sight, was my Khal kissing a girl who looked nothing like me. I couldn’t move. Every conversation, moment together, and text began to replay in my mind as I stared at this miniature image. He knew nearly everything about me, but what did I truly know about him outside of the obvious. So I requested to followed *MoonofmyLife90. Instantly, she accepted my follow request, even though her request to follow me remained pending. She wanted me to see her page. My heart broke more and more as I scrolled through her photos. Picture after picture of “My Khal” and this girl. She was a flight attendant and traveled quite a lot. Other than both being petite, she was the polar opposite of me, but there, in almost every shot was Khal. Her hair was platinum–nearly white–much like Khal’s Khaleesi on Game of Thrones, while my hair was pitch black and resembled wool. I have been a longstanding member of the Itty Bitty Titty Committee, while she had enough to feed the poor. I wasn’t usually one to compare myself to other women, but I found myself feeling rather inferior. Don’t get me wrong, I am proud of all of my accomplishments and who I am, but they just seemed to fit and I felt like a fool. But nothing prepared me for what I saw as I continued to scroll. Wedding pictures. This ass was married and had been for two years and counting.
I was literally shaking. This bitter taste took up residence in my mouth and when I swallowed, it became a lump in my throat. My first thought was to call him screaming because the truth was there in plain sight. But I couldn’t bring myself to do it. My second thought was to call my bff, Naomi, but I was embarrassed. Naomi’s life was perfect at the moment. She was getting married and in the process of buying a home with her fiancé, and here I was, yet again, in some sort of distress. But after meeting Khal, I had become close to one of my co-workers, Tasnim. We’d gone on a few double dates together and we had become rather close, so I called her and explained what was going on. Tasnim told me to screenshot the follow request as well as photos of them together that showed recent dates, then block her. I took her advice. And although I wanted to call Khal and go all Lemonade on him, I put my big girl panties on and played it cool.
We had a date that night, so the plan was to confront him, but about thirty minutes before we were supposed to meet up, he cancelled. No explanation. Just a text saying…
Khal: Something came up. Can’t make it. Will make it up to you.
Me: Is everything okay?
Me: Are you there?
His silence lasted for a week. I would call and the phone wouldn’t even ring, it would go straight to his voicemail. Therefore, I had been blocked.
Exactly a week after radio silence, he showed up at my apartment with flowers and a distraught look on his face. It took everything within me not to punch him in his jaw, but I just stood there, trying not to clench my fists, so I settled for folding my arms across my itty bitty chest.
“I have so much to tell you,” he started, breaking down on bended knee to make his confession. You see, Khal was married to the flight attendant, who had now quit her job because she’s pregnant and had decided to stay closer to home until the baby was born. He claimed that they were separated and she came home about a month ago to discuss their marriage and fell into old habits “just that one time” and that’s how it happened. She had gone through his phone without his permission and that’s how she found out about me and wanted to confront me. So his plea was for me deny that we had been in a relationship.
The audacity of this man. I pushed him away from me. I was crushed. This is someone that was going home with me to meet my family and friends for Thanksgiving. And now, everything made sense. I had never met his friends or co-workers, but he had met mine. He knew where my spare key was hidden and I didn’t even nowhere he lived. I had given myself to this man so freely, and he had given me nothing. I didn’t even know if he was really a resident.
I could easily lie and say that I handled it gracefully, but I didn’t. I went off on him, beating him with the bouquet of lilies he had attempted to give me only moments before. I made a scene in the lobby of my affluent apartment building and I truly didn’t care who saw. I cried, even though I tried not to, but the release of tears felt freeing as I berated this liar that didn’t deserve them.
After he was escorted off the premises by my doorman, I made my way to my apartment and cried for an entire night.
It took a while to get over the pain I felt, and needless to say, I deleted OkCupid. I never blamed the app, but for me, there are better ways of getting to know people, and loneliness should not be a determining factor in your search for a relationship. Once I understood that I worked on getting to know myself better and outside of that, Tasnim has become one of my closest friends. Philly has become home and I have become a part of the community I live in.
I don’t know if that bootleg Khal Drogo has tried to reach me because he’s been blocked from every platform by me. But if you see a Jason Momoa wanna be in Philly, you should probably RUN!