I meet the ex-husband.
Initially, it is rather awkward, particularly the sideways hug, which both he and I usually reserve for people we don’t really want to hug. It is painfully obvious none of us really wanted to be there. Okay, it is probably easier for me, seeing as I have moved on and gotten married, but being on the receiving end of that sideways hug is still pretty painful.
When we finally settle down and swoosh past the pleasantries, awkwardness leaves, but silence takes over, which is oddly unsettling. He seems comfortable, but I am clearly fidgety. We smile and nod and wink through the first thirty minutes, which is how long it takes us to finish our first few drinks.
And then he opens up to me. He talks endlessly for an hour; more than he has ever talked in the nine years I’ve known him.
In the background, I can hear songs that only rub his philandering in my face. My girlfriend knows, and she’s okay with it. He laughs aloud. We were on a break. He says it just like he means it; he says it just like Ross.
I cannot believe what I’m hearing. We’ve broken up too many times anyway. He adds with a wink, and I kinda prefer the grey area.
I walk out of there with my head whirling, my eyes wide, and my heart shrinking. I made him this way.
A month later, I still believe that’s true.
I did this. I broke him. He’s like a fractured bone that can’t be set right, and I am to blame.