The Designer and The Felon Part II

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The Dating Series is a raw and candid collection of micro stories that aim to give the reader a snapshot of the situations my friends and I find ourselves in on a regular basis. The Dating Series is not a pity party…nor is it a personal or public vendetta on either sex… The Dating Series is an invitation to laugh together; because we’ve all been there, at one point or another… as singles in the dating world. It really is a jungle out there…

There are 3 sides to every story… Your side. My side. And the Truth… This is The Designer’s side.

Where we left off

A lady finally barged in with a massively menacing guy standing behind her in silence. ‘Get up, get all of your belongings and get out! I’ve called the police, what you’re doing is illegal!’ This lady was losing her mind. I thought it was a dream. The whole thing was so absurd, like a scene in a movie. I was genuinely scared.

So many questions

The lady was now fully in his apartment, losing her mind. He wasn’t even shocked, he just looked defeated. He slowly got out of bed and started collecting his things into a big sports bag. He was so complacent, and I, bewildered, collected my small pile together.

She was flinging around such wild accusations asking him how he could behave this way, calling him a con artist and asking for his keys back. Handing his keys back and she asked him where the second set was. I knew he was lying when he said there was only one set; he had told me that Tim had left a second set the day he vanished. I kept my mouth shut and side stepped the giant who was obviously along as security for this lady.

A word of warning

I had been outside for a while when this lady walked out to meet me. She asked me if I knew this guy and for how long I’d know him and I asked what it was to her; I wanted to know what was going on. She said that if he was my friend, he could tell me herself – and I told her if she wasn’t going to tell me anything, she could just back off. As if in a final warning, she said – just be very careful with this guy, before walking off back into the house.

He came out with his whole life packed into 2 sports bags. He was angry and telling me to just leave, that he would sort it out himself. His complacency gone, he seemed genuinely upset. I assured him that if he thought I was going anywhere without an expliation he was kidding himself.

she said – just be very careful with this guy, before walking off back into the house

He begun to make calls to hostels and asked me to give him a lift. I told him I would only drop him off if he told me what the fuck was going on.

A half assed explanation

He hopped in and begun explaining that when he renewed his lease, the landlord (psycho screaming lady) had put the price up without advising him. He told me that while he was seeking legal action he had been refusing to pay her. I told him that that didn’t explain the other comments about him being a con artist. I also slipped in that I knew for a fact that he had two keys, again only to be brushed off by him. There was too much that wasn’t adding up with him.

I tell this story in hindsight, but at that moment, all the previous little odds and ends came to light. It was like the minute that lady burst through his door, she turned on a spotlight that illuminated all the other missteps that just weren’t adding up. I literally felt like I just got smart.

Still not adding up

All these lightbulb moments gave me strength, and I started asking more and more questions as I started getting more pissed off. I asked him about his surname – Why did the Asos credit card field say Felon Smith, when I knew him as Felon Davies? He blamed this red flag on step family, explaining that Davies was his step dad’s name, while Smith was his real dads name. In my head I was thinking back to the night when he explained his family history, and it was a slap in the face to remember that he was born to his mums second partner. So while his older siblings had a step father, he didn’t.

It’s all coming back to me now…

I recalled all the random offices I used to drop him at, where he had a couch and a small stash of clothes. At the time he said he was working at these offices, and they didn’t mind if he slept there occasionally.

It was like the minute that lady burst through his door, she turned on a spotlight that illuminated all the other missteps that just weren’t adding up. I literally felt like I just got smart.

I remembered the short stint where he had a weekend cafe job, and his justification was that he was helping them import coffee from South America.

The time he got kicked out of one of his houses because his housemate was selling weed, he wasn’t allowed to go back for any of his belongings… was that really the truth?

It was like this lady had opened the door and turned on a light in my brain that shone a light on everything and joined all the dots. I wasn’t even shocked when she walked in. Scared, yes; but not shocked. All these things that didn’t make sense started slapping me in the face.

Back to the car

My brain snapped back to the present, suddenly more wiser and suddenly understanding of what a shady character this guy was. I told him that none of this was adding up. I just didn’t trust him. He asked if this would be the last time he saw me, and I told him that since I had asked him to be honest, and he couldn’t be, I think it would be the last time. He still tried feeding me bullshit, telling me that he didn’t know what else he should say, as he was telling me everything.

I advised him to shut up. I dropped him off at a hostel with 2 sports bags containing the small fragments of his life. He looked genuinely defeated but now that I had this feeling in my gut, I didn’t want a bar of it.

I didn’t even feel bad when I drove away without looking back.

Calling in the support crew

As soon as I got home I called the girls over for a debrief. At this stage, I was still so intrigued by this guy; I wanted to ask them if I should let him back in… even after the events of the past 12 hours, I still wasn’t ready to walk away from this guy.

My friend asked if I had Googled him. And I had looked him up; Felon Davis returned nothing of interested. She rolled her eyes as if I was an amateur – ‘no… have you googled Felon Smith; the name he had use on the Asos credit card?’

As soon as she clicked on the first hit, the newspaper article title slapped me in the face.

24 year-old New Zealander – Felon Smith; felon, con artist, thief

She rolled her eyes as if I was an amateur – ‘no… have you googled Felon Smith; the name he had use on the Asos credit card?’

The title didn’t even hit me yet, and it wasn’t until I started reading that I realised this was the same Felon that I knew, the same guy who had lured me in, strung me along, and almost sucked me in to his big scam of a life.

The article ticked all the boxes; NZ born, poses as a successful business man, quickly and intensely befriends people… this was definitely my Felon.

It went on to explain how he used different names and how he was wanted by both police and underworld figures after he had scammed them out of $50,000. Police had actually detained him for questioning for 2 days but couldn’t press charges due to a lack of evidence…

But it wasn’t until we scrolled down and saw his photo (in fact, it was the exact photo from his Grinder profile on where we first met), that it really hit home; this man was a fraud and a criminal.

The article ticked all the boxes; NZ born, poses as a successful business man, quickly and intensely befriends people… this was definitely my Felon.

I started reading the comments where people had shared their experiences of meeting with him, getting scammed by him, pointing out that he’s currently in Melbourne and alerting others to the fact that he was now going by the name of Felon Davies.

The aftermath

After the proof slapped me in the fact, I completely cut him off. I spoke to my sisters and we were all genuinely scared for our wellbeing. He had been to our family home, he knew about our family business. I was scared to tell my dad in case he overreacted or freaked out, and I was hopeful that it would all blow over without incident.

I knew I had potentially put my entire family at risk. Close friends were advising I went to the police, others were saying not to because it would be easy for him to make the connection that it was me who had dobbed him in, and who knew what this person was truly capable of?

In the end, I didn’t go to the police, and I was so thankful that nothing eventuated and that my family were never taken advantage of in any way.

Hindsight has 20/20 vision

In reflection, these things are clear to me;

  • The house he ‘bought’ in Kew was abandoned, and he was squatting there until he was found out and moved along.
  • The Felon was detained for questioning by police for those 2 days that his phone was off and he was uncontactable. I was very much involved in his life at this stage and remember those two days vividly, as it was so rare for us to be out of communication.
  • Tim left because he found out the truth, either by someone or some slip up, or like I did, from our trusty friend Google. I contacted Tim after the shit hit the fan, asking about his experience with the Felon. He never replied to me.
  • He was using a fake passport. When he bought me that ticket to South America, if we had gone on that trip, and he was caught at immigration, I could have been in major trouble – even though I genuinely had no idea at the time.
  • The house he got kicked out of because ‘his housemate was selling weed’ probably also learnt the truth before kicking him out and refusing to allow him back in to collect his possessions.
  • The landlady who barged into his apartment on Valentine’s night was an angel. Without witnessing her intrusion, I would have been none the wiser about The Felon, and would have continued in this toxic on-again, off-again relationship which could have ultimately landed me in serious, serious trouble.
  • I believe, and so do those closest to me who met The Felon, that although he was a criminal who was obviously capable of extremely dodgy shit, I believe that he genuinely cared for me. The fact that he never took advantage of me or my family, despite the information and access he was privy to, reiterates for to me.

They say no one is ever truly good or ever truly bad. Every person is capable of doing bad things and making poor choices, and even the world’s most horrid criminals can show humanity in various circumstances. I believe The Felon was a con man, a liar and a sneak. But I believe the feelings we shared were real.

I don’t know where The Felon is today, or if he has been caught, or even if he is still in Melbourne. It may sound crazy and hard to believe, but I still think of him every day. And up until this moment, I still hope to see his face around every corner when I venture through the city.

I can’t explain it, but this creature was an enigma.

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