Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
The break-up was legendary. There was yelling and screaming. Objects were thrown; insults were hurled. Crying was definitely involved, and maybe even some begging on her part. Throughout it all he remained reserved and resigned. This was happening, whether she liked it or not. He walked out of the door, and presumably out of her life for good.
But things happen, and life has a way of throwing things, situations, and people back in your face. Now, barley a year after their split, she was standing in front of him, wearing an expensive bespoke ball gown, for the first time in months. His tuxedo was tailor-made; she could tell. He always rented when they were together.
She was not sure what to say. The last year was hell learning to be without him. She never did understand the why of the break. Before the romance they had been best friends. She had been so sure. He was her one; and she was his. However, time proved her wrong as they faced each other as strangers, and not as the lovers or even the friends they had once been.
He looked different. She took in his features—still familiar, but foreign in a way. He had a beard now, and his hazel eyes held a glint she had never seen before. Even his posture had changed. He stood straight, with confidence. Had she dragged him down? Had their relationship been so excruciating for him? Had she been so clueless? She wondered as she wracked her brain for an appropriate response to this unplanned encounter.
“How are you?” He was the first to speak.
She continued to stand, mute. How was she to answer that question so it did not seem like she was still in pain from the abrupt end to their three-year long romantic relationship? The day after their breakup he returned to their home while she was at work. He packed his things. He was so thorough removing every trace that he ever resided in their shared domicile. When she arrived that evening, she noticed. It was hard for her not to notice that the small trinkets of himself were missing. The things he used to leave around the house staking his claim, declaring to the world, ‘this is my sanctuary, too’, were gone.
“I’ve been better.” She finally responded, praying her voice did not betray her although her words already had. She wondered if he even really cared anymore.
“Oh,” was his simple reply.
She could tell he was not sure what to say or how to handle her response. Rather than torture him further, she continued their conversation.
“What about you? How have you been doing over the last year?” She hoped her words did not sound spiteful. Despite the pain, she wanted to know. Despite the heartache, she still cared.
She felt his eyes; they were studying her. She could feel it. She wondered if he could tell, though she was clearly standing in front of him, she was dying inside. On an unknown plane of existence, she was curled up in the fetal position on a cold floor praying that eventually she would no longer feel.
“I’m good. I’m great, even.” He hesitated a moment. “I’ve uh…I met someone.”
She smiled. That is what the glint was—a spark, love for someone who was not her. The news should not faze her, but it did.
“Oh.” She said.
“Yeah?” He questioned her sincerity.
“No, really it is. I’m uh…I’m happy for you.” She said with a smile she hoped wasn’t strained.
“Thanks.” He said. He was nervous as he rubbed the back of his neck and tilted his head to one side.
She was happy for him. She wanted him to be happy. She wanted him to find love. She had hoped it would have been with her. But that is life. It was painful for her, for her heart. But if he was happy, then she would figure it out. She would find a way to make it through the place she was in at the moment.
“It was good.” He said. He shuffled his feat before adding, “running into you,” almost as an after thought.
“Yeah. Same.” She said.
He smiled at her once more before walking away. She watched as he joined a woman who appeared to be waiting for him on the dance floor. The pair began to sway to the music of the live band. She would be okay, eventually. But right at that moment she felt stone cold.