The Daily Post Weekly Writing Challenge:
Isn’t this what you wanted? Isn’t this what you just love to do?
And here we are. Standing two feet from each other as if it were destined to happen. He stares at me expectantly, waiting for me to speak. I place a smile on my face and hope desperately that it fits there. His hair is different, but then again, so is mine. I like his better. It makes his dark brown eyes stand out better. He too, has a smile on his lips, it seems to belong there. I see the familiar laugh lines along his eyes. I miss them for a second before I remember that I really don’t.
“Can I hug you now?” He asks. The words seem to hang in between us as I step forward to embrace him. He wraps his arms around my shoulders, bringing his head to lie against mine. He smells the same. I wonder if I do. I touch his back awkwardly, wishing I had worn heels with my dress, wishing I looked a bit more intimidating. Instead, I feel small.
We exchange pleasantries, how are you, I’m great, I’m just on my way to see Mary and the girls for drinks. I don’t tell him that I can’t wait to order my first martini, or that I can’t wait to feel the alcohol hit my empty stomach. I don’t tell him that wine doesn’t do it for me anymore. I do tell him that work is great. I do ask him how Ashlee is, he smiles at the mention of her name, he says she’s good, he says she’s busy with work. I think of her brown hair, her brown eyes, the way that she took my place, the way that I wanted her to.
You always said how you’d eventually get bored of me, you always knew this would happen. So why do people ever try with you? Why did I ever try with you?
I say that’s great, he asks me about Peter and I shrug in response. He lets out a chuckle, “Yeah, I guess it has been a long time,” and with that I nod, paste a smile onto my lips, and say that we should meet up sometime for a cup of coffee. I know we won’t, we’re too busy, we have different lives now. It’s too late. We both acknowledge the lie, we hug an awkward goodbye, and I continue up the hill toward my friends on the other side. And I don’t look back.
Why did you let me try with you?
And this meeting wasn’t destined to happen, as I know that it seems, as I know that he believed as he walked away from me. Nothing happens for a reason, it’s all coincidence. It just reminds me that I’m alive. It just reminds me that I’m me. We can’t always chalk things up to destiny.
I didn’t have to let you try anything, I say in response. You wanted to change me, that’s why you tried with me, that’s why they all do.
When I’m seating with the girls, I order my first martini, and the only thing I can think of as I take my first relaxing sip, is that I really really wish I’d worn heels today.