“Hi Nick, how are you?”
“I’m great, listen … I’m in the neighborhood. Are you busy?”
“I’m heading out for lunch shortly.”
“Are you alone or do you have company?”
“Alone,” I said.
“May I join you? It would be nice to catch up.”
I gave him the address. He got there before I did.
It’s interesting getting together with an old love recently ended. You never quite sure if you’re ready to take that step until you’re face to face.
As much as I loved Nick and made an effort worthy of an Oscar for best effort at a relationship, loyalty, respect, trust, sex … I walked away feeling compromised, neglected, reduced as a woman, and confused.
He was waiting for me at the bar and I was filled with emotions good and bad.
Nick claims he loved me, but when things got complicated with T, he said he wanted to keep me, but didn’t want to deal with my son. What the fuck kind of love is that?
I greet him with a smile. He looks dashing.
He hugs me. Tightly as if …
“You look beautiful,” he said. “You always look beautiful.”
“Thank you,” I said. Knowing that indeed, I do look beautiful. I’ve worked out almost every day since we broke up. I am fit and tone. I feel great about myself. I turn heads everywhere I go. I smile a lot. I’m happy.
Where a lot of women fall apart after a break-up, I get better. When next you see me, I will not have gained five pounds and depressed. I will have lost five pounds and just back from vacation.
I move forward with grace.
We talk about our kids … politics, the economy, our finances, the self-development seminar he attended that made him realize what a wonderful woman I am. How much I loved him, and how I gave and gave and gave and asked very little in return. And he was wondering, what if we didn’t give our best?
I stare at him. What’s with these men? Why didn’t you recognize my fabulousness when we were together and treasure it?
Why do you wait until I’m gone … and then you want to come back?
“Pepper,” he said, “I want to talk about our last conversation.”
“Why?” I ask.
“We didn’t finish.”
“We did,” I said. “You said you didn’t want to deal with my son. You rejected the package. End of story.”
He stares at me.
“You just left.”
“Yes, because it was over,” I said.
“But, I’ve been thinking …”
I stop him. “I know that you miss fucking me. I know you miss the blowjobs. I know that you’re hoping I’m going to jump back into bed with you. I won’t. And I’m going to say something to you now that I should have said a long time ago … I’m not angry, I just need to get this off my chest.
As your woman … I expected to come first. Not second, or third, or fourth—FIRST. I hated the way you jumped to do your ex-wife’s bidding and pushed me aside time and time again. I hated that you never made it clear to her that I am FAR more important than she is and that your time with me is not up for grabs even if it was to deal with your children. I hated how insignificant and alone I felt in our relationship. I hated feeling like just your cunt when my heart was all wrapped up in you.
“Wait a minute …” he said. “You’re being irrational.”
“I’m not finished,” I said. And I hate the way you call me irrational every time I start to express myself.
“I didn’t get much from you because I didn’t demand much from you. I took whatever you gave me and made it okay. I kept my mouth shut when I shouldn’t. None of it was okay. None of it! I didn’t like the woman I was with you.
“I thought you were happy with me.”
“I loved you,” I said. “And Nick, I did give my best. You’re the one who didn’t. Me giving, and giving and not asking for anything back was stupid. I should’ve demanded more of your time, consideration, respect, sensitivity, love …
And I would’ve left anyway. Because I would’ve eventually … come to my senses. I always do. I deserve FAR more than you gave me. That’s why I left.”
“I’m sorry,” he said. I didn’t mean to hurt you.”
I hurt myself. I compromised. I settled. And that’s just not me.”
We ended lunch on a good note, agreeing to be friends.
I walk away feeling dignified.