Updated: March 18, 2014 4:15PM
The first Mona heard of Trey was when the tenants in her building told her that a policeman had been hanging around the lobby asking about her.
“I had no idea what was going on. I was frightened. What had I done? This went on for about a week.”
And then one night, he knocked on her door and asked if he could come in. “If I had been older and wiser, I would have refused, but I was young and dumb and I let him in.”
Trey told her he was a cop and had been practicing his “shadowing” techniques when he started to follow her, and found out where she lived.
“He said, ‘I know you live alone, and I just want to be sure you’re safe.’ We chatted briefly and then he gave me a smoldering look and said, ‘Beautiful lady, you’re the woman of my dreams. Actually talking to you is a dream come true.’”
Mona and Trey began to go out. After a few dates, he took her back to his place and told her he was in the midst of a divorce. His wife, Maria, had moved out of his apartment with their little son.
“I could see that she’d not only left with all her personal items, but also most of their furniture. He showed me letters from her attorney demanding almost all of his paycheck, claiming Trey owed her child support and maintenance, since she was unemployed and he had a good job.”
Trey told Mona that if she would stick with him through this “rough spot,” they would marry and start a new life together. In the meantime, he needed a short-term loan to tide him over.
“He was constantly borrowing small sums and making partial payments. It was probably only about $150 or so that was never repaid, but on my limited budget, that was a strain. He was borrowing money from his family, too.”
After dating six months with his divorce in limbo, Trey finally filed. His mother told him he was giving Maria far more than she would ever get in court.
Maria’s mother was right. The marriage had lasted less than five years and the judge ordered Trey to pay child support but nothing else. The judge told Maria to get a job.
“I was in seventh heaven. Not only had Trey had a victory in court, he also got a big promotion. Now he could afford to do what he’d always said he wanted to do — marry me.”
Not so fast.
Trey told Mona he was too “heartbroken” from his divorce to remarry or even date anyone exclusively. He told her he needed his “space.”
It was about this time that Mona had to take some time off of work. Her paycheck was light.
“This time I asked him for a loan. He said, ‘You know I’ll always take care of you,’ and then took a few one-dollar bills out of his wallet and handed them to me.”
Mona said thanks, but no thanks.
“I came out of this experience vowing to never again get involved with a man until his divorce was actually final, and I never have. It’s just not worth all the emotional stress, and all for a handful of dollars!”
Have you ever been the transition person? Send your tale, along with your questions, problems and rants to firstname.lastname@example.org. And check out my new website askcheryl.net.