If things seem too good to be true, then something is definitely wrong. That's what Paul realized once it was too late, and it required some desperate revenge on his part. Be careful who you fall in love with readers, because they could totally demolish your life if you aren't careful. What would you do if your reputation was demolished, all because of a lie?
Enough was enough, Paul needed to take action. He asked out his crush of three years, Kate, on a coffee date. TO his utter surprise, she said yes. All it took was three dates to transform them into the most obnoxiously in love couple you had ever seen. Over the next several months, things seemed perfect. ALmsot too perfect. It turns out they were too perfect to be true, but we'll get to that bit later. At the time Paul marveled at how many interests they shared and how they rarely disagreed on anything. They both had good jobs, so they would like to spoil one another often. Both of their families were even super encouraging of the relationship. Seriously, how lucky could Paul get?!
Several months later, Paul was finally accepted into the Armed Forces, achieving a dream he had held onto for many, many years. He went through the most intense basic training, and the only thing keeping him going at times was Kate's support and encouragement. She would call and text him often, having faith in him when he didn't even have faith in himself. She was beyond proud of her man, which was all the motivation Paul ever needed! After basic training, Paul needed to leave over the summer for advance training. Once again, Kate's unconditional support propelled Paul through what turned out to be a much more challenging dream than anticipated. He actually passed his training as the fifth best in his class, and it was all due to Kate. Unfortunately, Kate's support would come crashing down in a bombshell revelation.
Once Paul got home, things went sour quickly. Kate thought that Paul wasn't as spontaneous and outgoing as he used to be before his training. According to Kate, Paul was dismissive, took things way too personally, and was reluctant to go out for anything. According to Paul, "Unbeknownst to both of us, I had developed some nasty social anxiety due to the events of the summer, and it started affecting our relationship."
They were coming up on their two year anniversary, but not before a nasty argument reared its ugly head one day. It had been over something super small, but it prompted Paul and Kate to call things off. Paul was an emotional wreck. Kate eventually did text him, asking to try and fix things. They kept in touch and eventually got back together after a few weeks apart. Unfortunately, Paul could never forget how, "Every time I talked with her, it was if I was walking on eggshells, and it only worsened my anxiety, which in turn hurt our already damaged relationship."
Unfortunately, things were about to go from bad to atrocious, and all it would take was one surprise house visit.
Paul came over to Kate's place to spend the night, only to find Kate with... John?! Wait, who the heck was John? This is when some important context comes into play. John was one of Kate's college classmates. They were close friends, and he apparently consoled Kate through her break-up with Paul. Now Paul was aware of John, but he never suspected anything could go on between the two of them. Okay, that was the important context, so let's carry on with the story. Kate said that John was only dropping by for a quick visit, and he was just about to leave. When it was finally just Paul and Kate, Kate became increasingly cold and distant. The relationship was clearly dead. There was no denying that from either Paul or Kate. Because it was late, Kate agreed that Paul could spend the night at her place, and they would be officially broken up the next day.
But that night, Kate seemed to be permanently shackled to her phone. She grew weirdly protective over it, hiding the screen from Paul. Apparently this was some "private stuff", which was seriously confusing to Paul. It wasn't like he was trying to be nosy, but Kate had never been this secretive around him, even before they were dating. Once Kate fell asleep, curiosity finally overtook Paul. He needed to figure out what was on that phone, as well as why Kate was acting so strange all of a sudden!
Luckily, Paul knew Kate's passcode to her phone. He uncovered literally hundreds and hundreds of messages between her and John. The messages talked about how excited Kate was to be a couple in public with John. She also laughed at Paul for every little thing he did. With each text, Paul quickly realized that his entire relationship with Kate had been a lie. Tears began to stream down his face as he scrolled through the incriminating evidence. Paul tried to be quiet, but Kate was way too light of a sleeper. She awoke at once and threw a fit over Paul. Paul was completely speechless, since his brain was still trying to process the massive lie he had been buying into for so long. He simply grabbed his stuff and left. It was pitch black outside and rather sketchy, but luckily Paul was able to get home safe and sound. Once he shut the door, he collapsed onto the floor and ugly cried. It got so bad that he called in sick to work the following day, just so he could sulk in bed and process his emotions.
The next day, Kate decided to make everything supremely worse. Paul woke up to numerous angry texts from Kate's friends and family. Apparently, in order to paint herself as the victim, Kate said that Paul attacked her the previous night. No mention of anything she had done, just that Paul was clearly lying and had definitely beaten her. She said she wanted to be the "bigger person" by not pressing any charge. That was convenient. Paul will never forget how, "I spent the next few months in fear that her allegation would have me discharged from the army, and my would be forever tarnished. But nothing ever happened."
Thankfully, Paul was still able to hold onto his dream, even as his relationships were completely falling apart. Paul tried to stay quiet and get some distance between him and this horrifying experience. Unfortunately, Kate had one more trick up her sleeve to ruin this man's life.
It wasn't too long before Kate texted poor Paul, apologizing for the whole thing and admitting to faking the story. She told him that she would never publicly admit that to keep her reputation intact. Not a care in the world for Paul's reputation though! Paul screenshotted each text and continued to message her. He figured that this could work as some sort of evidence, so he should capture everything he could before it was too late. Kate wasn't done though. There were another few times when she would message Paul apologizing for everything, but he would simply screenshot all of her words while remaining completely neutral. Paul was slowly but surely forming a delightfully wicked revenge plan. Paul recalls how he was, "Making several copies of the worst text message, I bought several manilla envelopes and mailed them to everyone I thought would matter to Kate: her parents, grandparents, extended family she was super close with, best friends, work boss, co-workers, teachers, and whoever I could find a mailing address for."
Within three weeks, Paul got the results he was looking for, but it soon became far more chaotic than he ever could have predicted.
Once the results poured in, they took over Paul's life. Some of the recipients tried to shame Paul, but once they actually read what Kate had typed out, they eventually apologized. Kate own parents contacted Paul, saying how they were deeply sorry for their daughter's behavior, and how she was raised to be much better than she was acting. They implored Paul not to pursue any legal action against them. Paul realized he didn't have the money or the mental willpower for a legal fight, but he was amazed Kate's parents were actually worried about that from him. Kate herself tried to retaliate, texting Paul things like, "How could you betray my trust like that?" or, "You ruined my life you idiot!" Paul would never reply, merely reading each angry text with a satisfied grin before eventually blocking her number entirely. From what Paul could gather, Kate's life spiraled out of control after the evidence was released. She lost her job and dropped out of the continuing education program she had previously been in. Hopefully John was worth all of that fallout!
And that's where our story draws to a close. Paul began seeing a therapist, which made a huge change in his emotional state. Seriously, this therapist helped Paul regain a sense of normalcy in his life, and he was astonished at how much better he was doing on the inside. But did Paul go too far in getting revenge? Did Kate deserve it? Let us know in the comments, how else could Paul have reacted to such a heinous smear campaign?