We sent numerous messages online, before switching to instant messenger, and eventually texting... My office job was pretty slow, so I had a lot of time to talk to him, but after a while, I started to wonder why it was that Jonathan was always available; didn't he have a job he had to be at? His profile listed "IT" as his profession, and in the beginning of our communication, he had told me he had his own "cyber-security" business, and worked from home, but with the amount of talking (typing?) we were doing, I didn't see how it was possible that he was getting any work done. I knew from previous conversation that he was a felon (he said he threw a rock out of a car window, which sounded like a sketchy reason to be assigned a felony... I looked it up... the state he lives in DOES count that as a felony), so he ended up leaving college, spent several months in jail, and subsequently has a hard time finding a job. Okay, I can work with that. It's not ideal, but everyone makes stupid mistakes when they are younger, and he seems to have learned from it and matured, so as long as he is being honest, up-front, and truthful with me, I can accept this. One day I asked him what kind of work he does, and he said companies hired him to test their computer security. I.e. "professional hacker". I asked him if he kept pretty busy with that, and he said, "Honestly? No." Well, that was alarming! If your job is so slow that all you have time for is talking to women you met online, how do you pay your bills? So, I asked him, "How do you pay your bills?" (Subtle, right? ;) He replied, "Oh, I do okay... I'm in fantasy football leagues, and I play in World of Warcraft and Madden tournaments"....... Wait, you make a living playing video games and participating in fantasy football!?
Now, I should have cut all lines of communication right then and there, and ran as far and fast as I could, but as I mentioned before, I have a habit of hanging on to things I shouldn't (for far longer than I should), and when all of your friends are married and your eggs are rotting, you tend to overlook things that REALLY shouldn't be overlooked. A few days later I mentioned I had a day free of work, and as it was a Tuesday, I knew he wouldn't have his daughter, and I asked if he would like to meet. He responded, "Oh, I didn't tell you? I was in a car accident this weekend. A deer ran out in front of the car, and totalled it." I asked him if it was repairable, and he said a buddy of his was going to fix it. A couple of weeks later, I hadn't heard anything about the car, and I brought it up again. This time, he told me he and his buddy were no longer on speaking terms, so he would have to take it to the shop after all. Considering how he makes his income, I wasn't about to hold my breath. About that time he completely disappeared... He just vanished, like a magician. No texting, e-mails, or instant messages.
An entire week went by, before I finally sent him a text asking if everything was okay. He replied that he had been busy helping his friend move, and another one had just left rehab, and he was trying to help him get settled. We picked up our conversation where we had left off, but I was starting to think this guy was not what I had originally thought (I know, you have already figured that out), and I was a little wary. Sure enough, Thanksgiving Day came, and I sent my usual "Happy Thanksgiving!" text to friends & family, including Jonathan. He replied with the same sentiment. From previous conversations, I knew he was cooking the dinner for his large family, so I asked him if he had started cooking yet, and there was no reply. About 6 hours later, I sent a message about how the Cowboys were doing (not well) in the game, and still no reply. I never heard another word from him.
Now, clearly there were a bunch of things I knew were red flags, and I chose to overlook them... After all, he was calling me "Sweetie", "Beautiful", "Babe", and "Gorgeous", and my ovaries really respond to that! Chalk this one up to another lesson learned. Hopefully the next time Harry Houdini saunters my way, I have the sense of mind to let him keep walking right on by.