The One That Got Away
It’s Valentine’s Day and you bump into your ex-lover whom you refer to as “The One That Got Away.” What Happens?
Will be doing this challenge from three perspectives.
Three hundred and sixty five? Another number that each of us are taught to remember either inadvertently or purposely. Out of those three hundred and sixty five days, there are a handful or two days in particular that matter more than the others; birthdays of loved ones, holidays spent with family, traditions held tightly to with friends, annual events that make us feel alive. Then there are the surprise days that fate deals out to throw us for a loop. Today was one of those stomach clenching, mind numbing, heart racing kind of surprises. I remember his birthday, the holidays shared, the traditions we started, the annual events we loved to plan for. One look at him and it all came back. On one surprise Valentine’s Day where there were no lilies, chocolates, or sweet nothings, he was. Happy Valentine’s Day to me…
Gray gloom was the morning forecast. If there were ever a day to wish mother nature would prove mankind wrong it wouldn’t be today. The promise of rain from the darkening overcast helped the worn down hearts prepare for yet another reminder of why their lives are void of someone who they can enjoy it with. Priscilla Adams was no exception. She woke up to a soundtrack of nautical sounds, her alarm by choice. Her roommates made no attempt to confront her and she made no attempt to change. “It’s the sound of peace,” she often told them when they asked why she liked dying whales, “and they aren’t dying. They’re living freely.”
As she stepped over the yellow line, crossing from subway car to the 32nd street platform, her mind was busy running down the day. Her first class started in an hour. That gave her time for a quick, pathetic but filling breakfast from one of the vendors and, depending on traffic, studying.
The usual bumping of morning risers rushing to their next destination registered as nothing more than background noise. She was one of them. She moved on autopilot while her thoughts traveled elsewhere, giving a news production room a run for their money in its efficient multitasking.
“Rude much,” she shouted at one of the rushing robots who did more than the acceptable brush.
With a scoff and a roll of her eyes she returned to checking her email and expertly navigating her way through the slower crowd. She did a quick glance up. Walking the long blocks were a risk. The clouds had yet to release their water weight but with the way they looked, Priscilla took no chances.
A cab ride and fifteen bucks later she was back on the sidewalk where she was once again bumped roughly by a suit who rushed and missed the cab she had just freed.
“Excuse you,” she mumbled rather loudly.
“You could have held him.”
“Didn’t you hear me?”
It couldn’t be.
But then the suit turned to face her. That was his voice. Before her stood the man she had somehow managed to train herself to forget. Gone were the brown Justin Timberlake curls that made his boyish features almost troublesome. In their place was a modest low cut that made him look the part. The dark gray suit helped. It also made his smooth caramel complexion and hazel eyes all the more alluring.
“Prissy?” He had taken to snapping in her face to draw her back from what he assumed was a daydream.
“Don’t call me that,” she told him too quickly in response, absently shifting the shoulder strap of her messenger bag. He knew she hated the nickname. She was sure that was why he used it whenever he could.
“Prissy and spunky.” He chuckled at his private joke. “Some things just don’t change. How’s school?”
Priscilla looked over her shoulder at the building. The question had her breaking the eye lock they had going. “Good. Have another year.” It was home base. One quick dash and she’d be on the other side of the double doors resuming her day. “How’s life?” She asked instead, taking the detour route life pointed out for her.
He shrugged, checked his watch, and looked up the street. That’s new. Keeping time was something he didn’t do. Least not when she was with him. Guess three years changes some things.
“Got an internship. Unpaid. So, you know, have to find another cash flow.” His cool, easy tone dried up at the topic. The trained charming detachment had you guessing if he was happy or mildly content.
Somebody called out to her. Though it interrupted the slow melting of the ice, she wished they had more time. For what was up in the air but she wanted the extra minutes.
He was the first to speak since her friend called for her to hurry up. “I’m glad you’re doing good.” He placed emphasis on the word good. She wasn’t sure if he meant it or not. Didn’t stop her from smiling a toothless smile and murmuring a “Take care” before leaving him again for the umpteenth time.
He’s controlling, selfish, immature, and has no ability to commit. It was the same line she told herself the first ten times she walked out on him. But maybe he’s different. It was the other line that brought her back. It made her pause. Looking back, she sighed. He was already gone. She blinked a few times to stop the tears from a lost future and memories of a happy past. It didn’t matter how bad things got, he was always going to be the one.