I’m feeling anxious as I try to avoid this conversation but it’s too late, she’s already seen me. I hate it that I still feel the need to duck and hide and look over my shoulder. It’s been three years. Three years of freedom and still I feel like a prisoner sometimes. Anyhow, she’s made eye contact and now I must be polite like I always feel compelled to be because karma and whatnot.
She hugs me tightly while squealing like we’re teenage friends who were once close and I try to remember how many times we actually spoke to each other.
How are the kids Angie Baby, she asks me, and I cringe at the nickname. She tells me she wants me to know that she understands why I left Him all those years ago and that she loves both he and I equally, that she is unbiased in our separation and all the while I am mentally scrolling through my files of self-defense tactics that would be useful should she decide to pull a knife or a gun on me right this moment.
Grab the wrist, pull towards you while twisting. Or was it twist and then pull? I picture my blood splattering the faces of innocent children standing nearby, tainting their innocence. I picture my daughters frightened and confused.
She gives me her phone number and tells me we need to spend more time together because our kids are practically family and they need to know each other. I feel like I might throw up but I smile and nod, unable to meet her eyes because mine have always revealed more than I intend them to.
Later that night I am telling Him what has happened and he says the same thing he always says, the only thing he can say.
But I’m not sure he is. I wonder if he is angry with me. Angry because I made horrible decisions before him. Angry because I have a past full of violence that seems will follow me for the rest of my life. Angry because I am still temporarily bound to another.
I put off writing this until I have had time to let the words marinate for awhile. At the time I am feeling a whirlwind of emotions all because of the past, emotions that I no longer want to be responsible for. Emotions that I no longer want to feel. But there is still so far left to travel before I reach my final destination and even though I am weary, I cannot find rest just yet.