It all came down to whether or not I could prove that my ex sent my naked photos to our coworkers. I’d been accused of life-ruining hacker skills, cage-fighting ninja skills, and calorie-burning hooker skills but I still managed to bend Bitch Lawyer over my knee and spank her with the truth of what an abusive piece of shit her client was.
Still, the burden of proof was on me to show that the pre-paid phone that sent the photos belonged to him. Without that, he’d come back to work—regardless of the restraining order.
I’d gotten a quick glimpse of the phone records they’d subpoenaed from Sprint before Bitch Lawyer had a meltdown over my smug assertion that they matched the records I’d gotten from (sort of) hacking the online account. I’d managed to expand upon this glimpse when my employer’s attorney briefly left the room in a meeting afterwards and I snapped a photo of them with my iPhone.
I immediately got to work.
At first glance, they didn’t make sense. Numbers were all over the place and the time was coded strangely. I tried to contact Sprint for an explanation, but their phone and internet people proved to be useless. Luckily, a much bigger case was going on at the same time.
Lo and behold, his Sprint phone records had been subpoenaed. Along with a document that explained how to interpret them. It was now a matter of public record, waiting for my greedy little fingers to lift it from the interwebs.
You know how much I love solving mysteries and I now had a loose thread to pull until the whole thing unraveled. I spent the next 6 hours making a color coded spreadsheet lining up the exact correlation between my (somewhat unethically acquired) records and his (supposedly contradictory) records.
It was the most beautiful AHA! moment of my life.
Every damn call.
Every damn text.
Matched perfectly down to the second.
There was only one problem—there were no photo messages in the records they’d subpoenaed from Sprint. Not a one.
After seeing how perfectly they lined up, I still had several days before I had to testify. This was perfect, because there was no way I’d be able to take the spreadsheet in with me—I wasn’t supposed to even know what were on those Sprint records—so I did the only reasonable thing.
I memorized them.
Bitch Lawyer’s plan was to place the obscenely confusing Sprint records in front of me and ask me to “explain” them and show how they proved the phone belonged to Psycho Ex. She was banking on my inevitable confusion. Luckily I gleaned an obscene amount joy from disappointing her.
I met with my employer’s attorney before Psycho Ex had a “Sprint Expert” flown in to testify. I gave her two questions to ask the “expert.”
1. What timezone do these records reflect?
2. Are there any photo messages listed on this record?
She stared at me like this:
I felt like a stagehand behind the curtain on opening night. Late in the afternoon, it was time to go back up on the witness stand.
Playing her part as expected, she put the Sprint records in front of me.
“Ms. Lorens, can you identify what is in front of you?”
I could feel her sighing on the inside, having flashbacks to my previous unhelpful answers.
“Ms. Lorens, these are the Sprint records for XXX-XXXX and have been validated by a Sprint expert.”
“Do you see Mr. Psycho Ex’s name on them?”
I took my time flipping through them, barely concealing an attitude brimming with indolence. Finally, I answered.
“Can you prove that this phone is in any way associated with Mr. Psycho Ex?”
It was as though I’d suckerpunched her with my audacity.
“Ms. Lorens, please show me where these records prove that Mr. Psycho Ex is the owner of that account.”
I performed a monologue about how the Sprint records matched perfectly– and confirmed the validity of–the records I’d downloaded from the online account. I asserted that on my records you can clearly see that the photo messages originate from Psycho Ex’s personal cell phone and that on both records you can see where he exchanged several back and forth calls with it only minutes after it was activated—to test that it was working.
Poor Bitch Lawyer, she asked me to prove it.
It took me an hour and a half to go through 5 pages of calls and texts, flipping back and forth between her records and my records. Thankfully my employer’s cud-chewing attorney had confirmed with the “Sprint Expert” that the subpoenaed records showed up in the timezone where their corporate offices were, which explained the exactly two hour time difference.
It sounds simple now, but so much of the information was buried in a mess of relay codes and tower switches, where every single exchange of data generated a long list of irrelevant numbers.
The judge put on her reading glasses and took notes. I snuck a glance and she was drawing a table, complete with arrows, linking the two cell phone records.
“Every single phone call and text lines up perfectly,” I recited. “Except that mine include photo messages. We know that photos were sent, or we wouldn’t be here.”
I savored the silence before delivering my next line.
“One has to wonder why you went to so much trouble subpoenaing these records but failed to request the picture messages when that’s what we’re here to argue about in the first place.”
Translation: “You are a stupid biatch. And I just ate you for lunch.”
She immediately asked for a recess so she could go meet with my ex in the hall. He’d been sighing and banging his hands on his knees so loudly that the judge had to stop me at one point and remind him to be invisible.
After Bitch Lawyer’s little intermission she decided not to talk about the phone records anymore.
“Ms. Lorens, did you see my client purchase the prepaid phone?”
“I don’t understand the question.”
“Did you physically see him buy this phone?”
“No, I’m not the one who follows the other person around while they’re shopping.”
“WERE YOU THERE?”
Her eyes were bugging out of her face.
“… was I where?”
“WERE YOU THERE WHEN HE BOUGHT THE PHONE?”
“No, but his personal cell phone obviously was—“
“WERE. YOU. THERE.”
For the sake of the vein about to pop in her forehead, I decided to let it go.
She switched gears, once again, and started questioning me about The Other Woman who Psycho Ex had been with for a decade before I came along. She’d contacted me on facebook 6 months after I’d dumped him and we’d met for coffee, exchanged battle stories, and blown ourselves away with the depths of his deception. For a few months, we’d been strange friends, despite our 26 year age gap and the fact we’d shared a man for the better part of a year.
But then, she flipped on me and got back with him. I hadn’t seen her in almost a year when I showed up to testify and received the stink eye from her while waiting on the elevator. She’d been sitting in the waiting room all day, planning to testify against me. According to her affidavit, I had hatched a complicated plan of revenge against Psycho Ex.
Obviously, I denied this, telling Bitch Lawyer, “the only revenge I ever mentioned was the revenge of going on and living a happy life.”
“And if Ms. Other Woman testifies otherwise, you’re calling her a liar?”
“I don’t know why abused women protect the men who hurt them, so I can’t answer that question.”
I was still nervous though. If she was willing to weave a fictional tale, there was no telling what she might say.
Thankfully, Bitch Lawyer hadn’t taken into account that this entire situation was the world’s most relentless clusterfuck and that The Other Woman was sitting in the waiting room next to Bradley—who was there to testify about his wife receiving my naked photos. His wife, whom Psycho Ex had banged several years prior. While still with The Other Woman.
Sitting in a waiting room often lends itself to small talk like “so what brings you here?” and I’m guessing Bradley’s answer was a bit of a shock to The Other Woman.
She had no idea he’d had another affair before the one I’d unknowingly wandered into.
The armed guard later told me that he was more afraid of The Other Woman and her rage-filled 98 pounds than he was of Psycho Ex. She took the stand and stared him right in the eyes and went on a long rant about what a liar he was and that he couldn’t be trusted and that she’d lied to his ex-wife about his drinking and she’d lied to Bitch Lawyer but that she wasn’t going to lie anymore. She then went on to say I was “the most gracious young woman” she’d ever met and she felt sorry for me for “wandering into his sty.”
Bitch Lawyer was desperate to get her out of there, frantically moving to dismiss her as a witness—even though she’d subpoenaed her in the first place. Before she walked out of the room she pointed a finger in his face.
“God knows what else you’ve gotten away with.”
Bitch Lawyer called for another recess and ran back out to the waiting room, hoping to dismiss her one other character witness—Psycho Ex’s former boss. She’d obviously realized there wasn’t a person on the planet who had anything positive to say about the man. Miraculously, my employer’s attorney finally woke from her trance and followed just behind, telling her to stay.
It was witness tug-of-war and I’m sad to say I was once again hidden in a back room, reading Buzzfeed articles about the world’s cutest baby animals and missing out on this whole show.
In the end, Psycho Ex’s former boss was kept on as a rebuttal witness, despite Bitch Lawyer’s best attempts to make her disappear. She ended up being the last to testify before the judge’s final ruling– and the ultimate cherry on top.
What is the most glorious “AHA!” moment you’ve ever experienced? Have you witnessed someone’s much deserved public humiliation? Do you ever play at ignorance in order to gain the upper hand?
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