This week’s writing exercise from Write on Edge was to “write about a face to face meeting which, for better or for worse, doesn’t go as planned. Fiction or memoir, 450 words.”
It was a small town. Technically a small city. She had often wondered why they hadn’t ran into each other. It had been six troubled years since the breakup. A few time she had passed by his mother’s house and seen his truck parked in front but she never saw him. Not that she was actively looking. Time passed, feelings waned and the intensity of wanting to see him had weakened.
The relationship had lasted five years. They were drawn together like magnets. She knew this because he had told her and she believed him. They dated and eventually they bought a home together.
It had ended badly in every sense of the word. There was no closure. He had moved away to work. She thought this was temporary but she was resisting seeing the truth. The ending had happened through email, text messages and phone calls never returned. She excelled at denial.
She needed to speak to him face to face. She needed this for her. She carried so much hurt and so much anger for far too long. She was ready to let it go and forgive. She was ready to forgive herself and wish him well. She had begun to accept that might never happen. He was an angry man not given to forgiveness.
And then one day by chance, she was walking down the street and there he was on the sidewalk with some groceries. He tilted his head as if to wonder if he knew her. She felt a slight shiver. Fear.
She pulled up her brightest smile and said “Good Morning!”
He responded with a quiet “Hello” and dropped the bag he was carrying. She stopped, not reaching to help but awkwardly pausing.
He swore while grabbing at the groceries spilling everywhere. She couldn’t help but smile. He was exactly the same. Only she wasn’t. She wasn’t intimidated by his inability to love her anymore.
“Need some help”? she offered knowing he didn’t.
‘No. No thanks. How are you?”
She felt a little trapped. She hadn’t expected him to ask her anything. Cautiously she replied ” Good. I’m um… I’m good.” She sounded as if she was trying to convince herself.
” Yeah. Well that’s good to hear.” he began to move past her.
She held her breath. She was amazed at how good it felt to hear his voice, how comforting it was to be near him. She started walking squeezing back tears.
“Everything going alright with you?” he blurted out.
She turned and looked straight into his unveiled eyes and for a moment there seemed to be a recognition of what there once was.
She smiled. “Yep. It’s all good” and kept on walking.