The moment I’ve been dreading for years finally arrived…
After 10 years, I thought I’d be ready. I’ve stayed alert. I’ve rehearsed every possibility in my head a hundred times. I’ve done everything I thought I’d had to, and I should have been ready.
Because I’ve never been sure of where he’s gone lately, but I knew he was still in my city somewhere. So I’ve always been keenly aware. It’s always been entirely possible the cat would drag him back across my path.
Well, tonight was the night. And it just didn’t go as I had always planned it to.
I’ve been delivering pizzas, lo these few months. I enjoy delivery work more than I ever imagined I could. It’s a valuable service to my community right now, and I love being able to stand in that gap for people. It takes me all over my borough, and you meet a lot of different people with a lot of different situations.
I normally don’t mind the variables; but back when I was delivering for Instacart, I could never help feeling triggered when I found myself driving through the subdivision where my rotten ex-boyfriend’s mother lives. I never knew if I would find myself driving up to her house, only for him to answer the door.
Ever since I finally pushed him out of my life all those years ago, I’ve spent too much of my energy girding my loins for a chance meeting. I’ve carefully crafted a brilliant comeback for anything he might have to say, because I couldn’t count on what he would do. Pretend like we’re still friends? Beg for another chance? Casually ask for sex I’ve told him repeatedly I don’t want to have?
I had a sassy rebuttal for ever scenario, carefully crafted to devastate him in front of God and everyone. It could have happened at the gas station. Or while I was working. Or at the mall. Or on a date. I was going to look amazing, and he was going to look like the self-absorbed tool he is. And everyone would see that what he did had messed me up so bad that I had to relearn how to be strong, but that I had done it by my damn self.
I had learned things that really matter, and intense things about myself. I had outgrown him. He hadn’t deserved me then, and he double-didn’t deserve me now. Everyone around us was going to know it. I was going to shine like…