I saw The Specials the other night with Katherine and Michael.
It was a spectacular show, bringing back memories and leaving me energized and sore (I should have warmed up before dancing that much).
But that’s not what I want to write about. I want to write about the fact that Andrew was there.
Since the conversation with Sarah where she revealed that he had slept with Billie before we even got married (oh, how I hated seeing some of those weirdly shaped puzzle pieces finally fall into place), I had spent far too much time imagining what would happen in our inevitable chance encounter. Inevitable not because we run in the same circles, but because you just know that you will run into your ex at some point in your life. The world is always smaller than you think.
Should I glare, sneer, give him the cold shoulder? Maybe I should confront him, ask why cheat, why go through with the wedding, why gaslight me into thinking all our problems were my fault, why accuse me of cheating when it was him all along?
So many fucking whys.
I never really stopped and thought, do I really need to know?
I picked at the small unsealing scab for years. Rage and hurt and betrayal would bubble to the surface again and again. I knew this was not good for me, yet I could not stop.
I was not blameless. I know that. I but did not fuck someone else before getting married, and then still getting married.
And all my friends knew. Even my best friend at the time who stood up with me.
I’m standing in the lobby of the Opera House, waiting for Katherine to buy a T-shirt, and look across the room to see him looking at me.
He knows it’s me. He’s got a deer-in-the-headlights long stare of recognition on his face.
I notice he’s embraced his baldness (finally) and shaved his head.
I notice he’s put on weight (so have I), gotten jowly (so have I), has grown a beard to try and mask it.
I notice what hair I can see has gone grey (so has mine).
I notice he is surrounded by friends, laughing and joking, not noticing how still he’s become. There’s a woman with silver-streaked dark hair who I assume is his Zoe, standing beside him and looking up at him with smiling affection.
Katherine interrupts my staring with a funny comment. I look away from Andrew and laugh loudly. When I look back, he’s gone.
OK, I’ll admit I laughed louder than I should have, loud enough to cut through the murmur of the crowd. I’m pretty sure he thinks I was laughing at him. I’ll admit i hope so. Unless he has changed dramatically in the last 22 years, there are few things he hates more than feeling like he is being laughed at.
It’s small and petty of me, but I am ok with him thinking that. I’m not perfect.
But really, I find I no longer care. My happiness with my life right now can be ok with his happiness.
I find I no longer want to know why. I no longer need to.
It’s in the past. And it can stay there.