A Letter to a Lover Parting Ways
It was the two of them, together. It always had been. I’d seen it and not let myself believe it, because I thought so little of her as a person. Because I saw her as pretentious, shallow, snide. Because I saw through her, and had seen him as a hero. But then, why shouldn’t she be snide? He’d chosen her, after all, to be his new girl. They would have five kids together. It would make her even more unbearably smug. When you truly love someone, you wish them well, even if that happiness doesn’t include you. I wanted to be angry, to hate her. But I don’t. I wish them well. I really do.
I went to this party once, always the same party, where I didn’t fit in. The party where I am ever on the edge of belonging, quietly hoping for a rescue that I’ve realized, perhaps, I don’t quite believe in. Always the same party, where he chooses her. Whoever he is. Whoever she is. She wears colors I won’t, or can’t bring myself to anymore because I’ve lost the ability to be unchanged by the experiences of my existence. She can still bat her eyelashes in a way I never could manage, and perhaps, envied in some regard, while also still finding it to be reprehensible. She is the one who can still muster the moxie to say she likes all the things I don’t like, whether she really likes them or not. She is being a good sport. She is winning every day in the doting of all around her as she presents to them the picture of the gal who is “best all around.” And I say,… Oh well… and I… wish them well. I go my way. Decide to quit standing around holding the building up, waiting for the mythological hero to make the first move, to notice me, to see what he hasn’t yet seen. Because it took so many years to learn the pleasure of waiting for a man to ask me to dance, instead of crossing the room headlong and asking him in some brazen way, impatient and not knowing any better.
I leave the party. I rescue myself. I’ve gotten quite good at it over the years, but I admit that sometimes now I shudder at wondering if I will always be able to. Which is to say I am uncertain as to whether my resilience is resilience, or merely a product of my youth, now fading in degrees. I rescue myself, at least, emotionally, and, for the moment. Somehow, that makes me infinitely more interesting than I was when I was waiting, if only for a while.
What good is any of that? I wish them well.
I was getting a bit rusty at the “flash fiction.”