There I was, in the farthest corner of a sizzling hot room, my quick exit thwarted by the throngs of misty eyed parents. I made my way through the sweaty humanity and out toward the hall.
Whomp. There they were.
I've known of this relationship and felt like I had dealt with all the feelings and anger and memories and sadness and still, I felt like I had been kicked in the stomach. And I don't know why.
I mean, I would never in a million years want to be back with him. I don't think he should live out his days bemoaning the fact I left him. I have moved on, made a new home and am well into the process of building a new family.
I am an articulate and passionate woman. I have achieved some great things professionally and personally. I have an incredible man who not only loves me but is complementary in so many ways. My kids are happy and healthy and I am finding my place with my stepkids who are also happy and healthy. I am happy.
Then why did this bother me?
I could sit here and ponder all of the moments and replay all of the tapes over and over and get myself worked into a froth. I just don't want to. I want to be done examining that for a bit. Deal with the heavy work later and just spit shine it. Move the hell on.
In the moment, looking like a dear in headlights, I latched onto a woman I have known for eight years. We had worked together at a restaurant in town and although we were never close, we knew each other well enough for me to implore her to save me from myself which she did. (thanks, KR!) We made chitchat about our kids and our work for a bit. We talked about this amazing cake she makes that I now need a piece of, badly. She made the appropriate face when she saw the object of my upset. She was a damned good buddy and I am grateful.
I made it out alive.
I can't believe I went in there alone. That's like jousting without armour or a stick. I felt so silly.
Now I know how to survive the next however many years until this either doesn't bother me or he drops dead.
Always bring a friend.