Two Minute Emotional Whirlwind
Illustrated by Kristy Lankford
She is wearing a satiny dress colored in the very lightest of blues, and she looks stunning, absolutely stunning. The dress pulls the blue from her eyes, and its sheen plays beautifully on her lightly tanned skin. To add insult to my injury, she has the thick, flowing, naturally curly hair I’ve always wanted. The cut of the dress reveals her bare back halfway down, clings to her backside, and dips low enough in the front to confirm that her body is rather luscious. She looks stunning, and I don’t know her name. But it’s obvious why the man holding her by the waist replaced me with her. Without proper protocol, in my opinion – he could have at least dismissed me cleanly before taking up with her.
I knew that attending my friends’ tenth wedding anniversary bash would not be easy. It would not be enjoyable. These were mutual friends, and since they refused to ostracize one of us over the other, I felt it was only fair to appreciate the friendship and honor their invitation.
I’m sure he knows that I’m here. My strategy is to avoid contact with them, to avoid close proximity. This forces me to have to watch and pay close attention to their whereabouts. It’s really distracting from the little fun I could be having tonight. So far, there hasn’t been any eye contact or sign of acknowledgement. I pray to the Fates that I manage to avoid them all night.
Two hours later … Love didn’t work for me, and apparently now Luck doesn’t either. I come out of the bathroom, round the hall into the entertainment room, and almost smack into him. I guess he wasn’t watching out for me, keeping tabs on my locus, the way I was with them. I open my mouth to apologize, then realize who I ran into. His smile vanishes, replaced with an expression which I can’t really define.
Our friends stand frozen, staring at us. She beholds me without any animosity, scorn, or recognition. I realize that she doesn’t know who I am. Apparently he wants to keep it that way. My ex-fiancée mutters, “Oh, sorry about that,” and turns to lead her to the party outside.
My heart is pounding. I feel like I can’t breathe. I’m ready to die. My head feels hot, my body feels hot. I feel dizzy. My eyes are stinging. Now they’re blurring, and my tears feel hot. I fight to not break down in front of anyone until I can compose myself. Back to the bathroom I go, only I can’t get in, because someone else got there before me. Where to go now? The door opens, and a very attractive man steps out. He looks at me, surprised no doubt at the sight of a woman who’s struggling to keep dignified composure.
“You look like you could use a shoulder and an ear. Maybe even an arm.”
My heart is pounding.