This post started off as just a retelling of what happened on Saturday, morphed into a short story, took a brisk stroll through Rantville (with a pit-stop to fill up on Vitriol) and ended with me realising I should have written this post a year ago and damned the consequences. If it comes across as angry, it's not. It's incredulous. The only person I'm angry at is myself.
Oh, and whilst I usually try not to swear too much on this blog, I'm relaxing that for this post. Fuck it.
Just one more quick word: If the people involved in this little side-show alley drama are worried that I'll be divulging things they'd rather I didn't, I won't. I've got more class than that. But just remember that class or no, it pays to realise who holds the aces.
Play nicely, children.
On Saturday, A and myself went to the football. And as is our usual practice, one of us was running late (me) and I had both our memberships, so instead of a casual stroll to our seats, we were in something of a hurry.
A few minutes before quarter time, I decided that negotiating the crowds at the break wasn't my bag, and scurried downstairs to grab some food.
Walking back up the stairs, I paused to tuck my purse under my arm, and looking up, less than twenty metres from my seat, saw something that nearly made me drop my over-priced, lukewarm chips - a head and hat i'd know anywhere.
(Cliff notes version: Ex-Boyfriend. Together three years, split up three times, took him back twice. One major betrayal I can't really talk about, dumped me the day after I was made redundant and gave me less than two days to find somewhere else to live, last May. If you want more details, check the archives from July 2004 to June last year.)
Now, one of his best friends sits on the end of the aisle a dozen seats back, so I walk past his friend a few times a game. I don't say anything to him, he doesn't say anything to me, it works fine. I've had those seats for three years.
I walked back to our seats and told A what I'd seen.
"He knows we sit here" He frowned.
"Yup. You know his friend who sits on the aisle? He's sitting with him"
A turned around and had a look.
"You're right, it's him" He swivelled back around in his seat "I should blow him a kiss. Did he see you?"
"I have no idea. I only saw the back of his head. I just walked straight down the aisle and didn't turn my head" I smiled as he turned in his seat again.
"Stop it!" I shoved him. "You're a child"
"His friend is looking at us" He turned back to me. "I can't believe you recognised him from the back of his head"
"Are you kidding me? He's wearing that stupid hat he always wears to the football" How many times had I playfully threatened to burn or lose that hat? How many times had I seen that black coat? How many times had he had to pick my hairs off it and pretended to be exasperated? I didn't need to see his face.
"Oh, yeah. Are you going to say hello?" A turned to me.
"Why?" I asked, startled. Whilst A and The Boy had always gotten along, I knew A thought I was better off with him out of my life.
"To be friendly?" He suggested, starting to smirk.
"A, we're not friends. We haven't spoken since September. What would I say, even if I wanted to?"
A laughed. "Good point. Well, he never did anything wrong by me, so I'll say hello when I pass"
"I never did anything wrong by him and look where that got me"
"Yeah, you didn't do enough wrong by him, that's your trouble" He smiled.
"True that" I laughed. A turned serious.
"Keri, he knows we sit here"
"And his friend must have told him we still sit here" He turned again.
"Probably" I shrugged.
"Aren't you going to even look at him?"
"What's the point? I know what he looks like" I sighed. "A, I don't care anymore. I'm done with it. It's weird that he's sitting there, but I don't care whether it's coincidence, mind games or whether I just don't exist to him any more"
"Fair enough. Back soon" A loped away, and was back within minutes, grinning.
"What did you do? Do I want to know?" I smiled. Of course he would tell me. Especially if I didn't want to know.
"Stole his hat" A grinned.
"Nah, just took it off his head and pretended to run away. Came back, said hello, and that was it" He shrugged.
"Fair enough. Happy now?"
"Yip" A folded his arms smugly and grinned at me. "Bet you won't last the whole game without looking at him"
Oh, but I did. You see, the odd thing about forgiving someone because you love them, is that when the love dies so does the forgiveness. And what I'd forgiven him for was worse than most.
I don't know that was angry. I thought I was, on Saturday after the game when I was telling someone over the phone about it.
But I'm not now. Well, look; I'm not some Zen-filled hippy who never loses their temper, but I don't wish him any harm. I'm angry at myself. If I see him or someone asks about him, I get a lurch of "You IDIOT" come over me.
I still can't believe I took him back when he'd already done that to me twice.
I can't believe we spent so much time with his friends and so little with mine. And I let that slide.
I can't believe I let so many of my friends go by the wayside because he was uncomfortable around people he didn't know and I'd feel guilty.
I can't believe I forgave him when he betrayed me and worse, lied about it for months and let me find out from the one person I least wanted to speak to - ever - because he was too fucking gutless to do it himself.
I can't believe I didn't punch him in the face when he told me part of the reason he ditched me the second time was because he felt guilty about what he'd done and couldn't face it anymore. Even though I never threw it back in his face, never made it hard on him.
I can't believe all I said was "How dare you punish me for something you've done?" and "You'll never get another tear out of me. I've wasted too many on you"
I can't believe I made it until the last of my belongings was in the hastily obtained truck my father and brother brought round before I said anything harsh.
I can't believe my last words on leaving were "You're pathetic"
I can't believe I kept that promise - he never saw me cry during that break-up.
I can't believe how much I censor myself here because I gave someone I despise my word (Yes, you. Playing the fucking victim while you twisted the knife? I should have kicked your sorry arse when I had the chance) You never kept your word, not once.
I should have written this post last May, when I was still raw, still hurt. Still angry, and trying to make sense of it all. Now, I know that there is no sense. And there doesn't need to be.
I have my peace. Seeing him jars it for a moment, but it doesn't shatter it like it used to. I smile, I laugh. He'll never find another person like me, and I'll bet he knows it. He's told me that before.
I used to believe I was lucky to have him, that I didn't deserve him. I look at that now and wonder what the fuck I was thinking. I think of all the times I was the only thing he could rely on. His strength. He said it more than once. He needed me, I was there. Every time. When I needed him, most of the time, he wasn't there. He never gave back that which he got.
I look at it now, and I can smile. I can hold my head high, because even when he least deserved it, I treated him with respect. I never took the revenge that could so easily have been mine. Because I'm better than that.
And I know now, more than ever, that he never deserved my heart, because all he ever did was break it.
Most of all, I'm thankful. I'm not bitter, I still trust, and that's more than I expected.
But last week, it closed a door. He has no power over me now. I'm here, I'm whole, I'm happy.
Gah. Enough! No more. Ever.
Now, a question, ladies and gentlemen. I haven't deleted the posts
about The Boy. It's all still there, though I don't look at it.
So, opinions, people. Trash? Keep it as a testimony of my own stupidity?
In the comments, as always.
**N.B The only comments I've ever deleted have been those that reveal an identity. Please respect that, as I do**
20 hours ago