Friday, April 30, 2010

The Break Up

Today's muse: Based on a true story.

* * *

The Break Up

“Tell me everything,” Ellen says, as she drops her purse on the floor and slumps into the chair across from me. “And don’t leave anything out.”

“Thanks for coming,” I tell her, and take her hand. She gives me a reassuring squeeze and I attempt a brave smile.

Ellen signals our favourite waiter--a self-proclaimed Diva--who sashays over to our table.

“Dry martini.” says Ellen. “Straight up. Bombay Sapphire. Olives.” Ellen is serious about her martinis.

The Diva responds with an approving “Mhmmm!”

They turn to me. Ellen raises a questioning eyebrow and The Diva cocks his head. Out of nowhere, the weight of the world falls on me and I can’t make a decision; as though the choice between a Cosmo or an Apple Martini is going to topple the scales of life and nothing will ever be the same.

Tears well up and my lip trembles.

“Oh, honey!” The Diva whips a tissue out from an invisible pocket and dabs at my eyes, careful not to smudge my mascara.

“Make it two martinis,” says Ellen. The Diva nods and scurries away.

I shake my head, mortified at making a scene. “I don’t know where to start.” I lift my hands in a hopeless gesture and let them drop to the table.

“Why don’t you tell me why you’re leaving him,” Ellen prompts.

I take a deep breath and let it out in a shaky puff. “It’s just not working anymore.” I shrug, not really sure how to express how I feel. Ellen rests her elbows on the table, cups her chin in her hands. And waits.

“Things were going so well, for so long,” I begin. “Josh was perfect.” I stare up at the ceiling and Ellen nods, prompting me to continue.

“He listened when I talked. He really seemed to care, you know? When I got that promotion, he snuck in two mini bottles of scotch so we could celebrate. And no matter how late it was, he’d drop everything and make time for me.”

“Then why are you leaving him?”

I sigh. “It’s so hard to make the time to fit him in.”

Ellen nods, and I know she understands, without judgement.

“Almost every time I make plans to see him, something comes up at work and I’m rushing out to see him. Most of the time, I go back to work when we’re done, just to finish up a few things. It’s ridiculous.”

I bury my face in my hands and groan. “It’s too stressful. I need to find someone closer to home. Someone I can see on the weekend.”

The Diva returns and places our martinis on the table.

“Boyfriend?” he asks Ellen, flicking his head toward me.

She shakes her head.



Monica Manning said...

I broke up with my hairdresser yesterday. For these same reasons. Heather (or, Lady Heather, as I call her) gives great cut and has selected the perfect colour for my hair. But trying to get out of the office to see her is becoming impossible. We laughed about it last night and she completely understands. I hope that work will eventually stabilize and I can go back to Lady Heather. In the meantime, she promised me I could have visitation rights. I wrote this piece just for her, although I changed the hairdresser to a man for the added twist.

I'll miss you Heather!

glnroz said...

and added twist, it was,, but then again,, you are great at that,,

jason evans said...

Ha! You really got me with the one.

I like the vibe of your writing. The pace of it.

glnroz said...

I just got back for the old Picture Poetry Prose site. I was looking for one of my old post and saw your "Sad Little Bear". That was the one I discovered you on... It is still great.. may I copy and and show to my girls sometimes?

Monica Manning said...

glnroz: I miss that site. I still have it in my muse list, waiting for the day she comes back. I keep hoping.

Of course you can show it to your girls. I'd be honoured!

summerfield said...

well done, kiddo. let's include this in your next recording, shall we?

Dan Felstead said...

Monica...I love the story and as I was reading it...I tried to guess how it would end...I was wrong!