Why you should care

Because there’s lots of Hollywood outside of Hollywood.

It was the tail end of 2014 and I had recently gotten back together with my ex-girlfriend. We had been broken up for about a year at that point, and many things had changed in our lives. I had just been accepted into East Carolina University, and she had just lost custody of her three children and moved into a subsidized apartment. A true match made in heaven.

Things were going well, so we decided to give it another go. I was renting a room from some friends and getting royally screwed on the deal, and she was trying to get her life back together while living in an affordable apartment that was much closer to school than my current place. Also, the sex was always amazing.

I was approved to move in and the ball was rolling. In the weeks leading up to my move, I spent most of my free time with her at the new place and got to know some of the natives.

He repeatedly made inappropriate comments about my girlfriend while simultaneously encouraging me to check out his wife. The not-so-subtle message was clear: swapping.

One couple stood out. The wife was a pleasant middle-aged woman and the husband was an older man. They had been married for years and had two children. I was introduced by my girlfriend, as they were already well acquainted with one another. We also all had a shared affinity for strong beverages.

I noticed some serious red flags immediately. As I mentioned before, the wife was very pleasant. However, the husband was clearly batshit. Within minutes of meeting each other, he began insisting that I take shots of his cheap whiskey and became very aggressive. He repeatedly made inappropriate comments about my girlfriend while simultaneously encouraging me to check out his wife. The not-so-subtle message was clear: swapping.

I am no prude by any means, but neither me nor my girlfriend was feeling it. We had both engaged in threesome situations before and would have welcomed the wife into our semi-conjugal bed, but the thought of my girlfriend having sex with that creepy old man repulsed both of us. However, there was no way to politely convey that to Mr. Creeps, so we exchanged some pleasantries and hightailed it out of Dodge.

Time passed and Mr. Creeps started to ramp up the crazy. He obsessively contacted my girlfriend through her phone and social media and would become belligerent if she didn’t respond. He also knocked on her door multiple times a day and would not desist. I still hadn’t moved in with her, but it was clear that I needed to act immediately before this problem escalated.

I mulled it over and decided that direct confrontation would be a bad idea. I was a healthy and capable man in my mid-30s with a temper, and he was weak and mouthy. I could already see that situation resulting in a trip to prison and a trip to the morgue, respectively. I settled on a congenial but strongly worded email. He ceased harassing my girlfriend, and I considered the problem solved.

Justin Jones

Author Justin Jones in the neighborhood.

Source Photo Illustration by Sean Culligan/Courtesy of Justin Jones

I moved in, and everything seemed rosy. The apartment was nice, and my girlfriend and I were getting along. However, issues arose when I attempted to be friendly with my neighbors.

People in the complex would refuse to acknowledge me. On multiple occasions people glared at me like one glares at a pedophile. Eventually, the few residents who talked to us came forward: Someone had started a rumor that I was a pedophile, and it spread like wildfire. My neighbors had been told that I molested my girlfriend’s children, and that was why they were placed in custody. (Disclaimer: When my girlfriend’s children were removed from her care, it was because she was financially incapable of paying utilities and was without running water. We were not together at the time.)

It was easy to pinpoint where the rumors started. I felt enraged and helpless. As angry as I was before, my current rage was worse. If the prison/morgue dynamic was a possibility before, it was an inevitability now. All I could do was damage control.

Eventually the situation subsided. I spoke with my neighbors at length, and they began to realize that I was a decent guy who was falsely accused. It also didn’t hurt that Mr. Creeps was becoming a pariah because of his behavior. Even his wife and children began using our home as a sanctuary.

One morning I stepped outside, and I saw a commotion in front of Mr. Creeps’ apartment. A sheriff’s car was in front, and there was an audience. Soon, Mr. Creeps was escorted into the car in handcuffs and driven away. Apparently, he got liquored up and put his hands on his wife and kids for the nth time. In North Carolina Section 8 housing, it is an automatic eviction if you are arrested on the property, so he never came back. His family was simply relieved. His kids told us that the beating was worth it to have him gone. In the following weeks, we saw a sense of peace within the family that didn’t exist before. They moved shortly thereafter.

But not before his wife shared a wild night with us in our semi-conjugal bed. I feel terrible for what he put his family through, but I also can’t help but feel vindicated. The same man who spread vile rumors about me to my neighbors was arrested in front of the neighborhood.

Also: sex with his wife. So, some well-deserved happiness all around. Good times. Better times.

OZYTrue Story

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