As The Stomach Churns
So I’m thinking my past life is more soap opera than Jerry Springer, right? Please?
The day after the most insane night of my life, I had things to do, people to see, restraining orders to file. I dressed in my most Pollyannaesque attire, and with my sister (my hero) in tow, I headed to the courthouse. It was there that I filled out some paperwork in order to receive papers that would prevent him from coming within so many feet from me, my home, my place of business, etc. Because you know those papers have actual magical powers, right?
After the trip to the courthouse, we were off to The Wolf’s workplace. He was a courier and the keys to the vehicle he used were left at the house, as well as the credit card they’d given him. (The credit card he’d used to take The Girl to CityWalk.) I walked into a warehouse area and found a familiar face, a woman I’d met at the Christmas party and a family picnic. I handed her the keys and the card and told her where he was. She looked at me with such pity. “I’m so sorry,” she said. “We told him he was screwing everything up.” I thanked her (for what, I’m not sure) and left the building.
Feeling as if I was on autopilot, I strode purposefully to the front office. I didn’t know The Girl’s last name, but I knew her first name, and there couldn’t be many. I walked into the reception area, and for some reason before I even spoke to the woman behind the desk, I looked at a table behind me. There before me sat a full employee list. I scanned the names, found what I was looking for and walked back to the receptionist. “I’d like to speak with The Girl, please.” Without hesitation, the kind lady phoned for her.
I didn’t know what I would say. I didn’t know what I would do. I just wanted to see her face-to-face.
I’d seen her once before. I had called The Wolf to ask him a question about something during a time that I was staying at my grandmother’s, right after the private investigator had confirmed that The Wolf was a big, fat liar who was dating someone else. I heard noises behind him, and a voice. Hers. He told me he was out to lunch. I drove home for my own lunch, and right before I turned on to my street, I saw his car in the parking lot of a Wendy’s. I changed lanes and drove in, with a clear shot of The Wolf and The Girl eating right in front of one of the windows. Part of me wanted to make a new drive through for the restaurant. Another part of me wanted to walk in, order a beverage, and casually dump it on their heads. The sane part of me drove out of the parking lot and headed home.
The Girl came out of the hallway and stopped short at the reception desk. About the same height as me but a couple of sizes smaller, she was a slight young woman with long, dark curls falling past her shoulders. Her eyes were brown. She was Hispanic, which explained The Wolf’s fascination with the language for the past couple of months. I looked in her eyes and saw that she was… intimidated?! For real? Awesome!
“Could you step outside for a moment?” I asked her in my most kind and professional voice. With a bit of hesitation, she followed me out. I guess she figured if I went all crazy white girl on her, the receptionist would see through the glass doors.
“I just thought you would want to know that The Wolf is in jail. He got out of hand last night and he’s there under suicide watch.” The stunned look on her face was very satisfying. She mumbled something about not wanting to be involved with him if he was like that and I tilted my head. “I thought you would be more concerned about him?”
“We were just friends,” she said indignantly. I smiled.
“Friends don’t see forever when they look into your eyes,” I replied, quoting a line she’d written in a card to him. The stunned look on her face was very satisfying.
“He told me you two were about to get a divorce. He said things were over,” she stammered.
“I didn’t mention divorce until after I found your clothes in my laundry the other week.”
“He said you were cheating. He found a condom!”
I squared my shoulders and locked my eyes with hers. “He was my first,” I said firmly, “and my only.”
Her jaw dropped.
I almost felt sorry for her. Almost. He’d probably lied to her as much as he’d lied to me. Then I thought about her boyfriend at home, the father of one of her children, who she’d been cheating on. I also knew she’d been to the house and it was clear that I was still very much there. Then it crossed my mind that at the Christmas party, several eyebrows raised when she’d asked The Wolf to dance. No pity.
“That’s all,” I told her. “I just wanted to talk to you face-to-face, so you could see there was actually another person involved.”
And that was that. I was satisfied. Sure, there was a small part of me that wanted to know what it felt like for the palm of my hand to connect with her pretty little face, but I was better than that. I turned and walked away, and moved on with my life. Not destroyed. Not irreparably damaged. Not a victim.