Friday, April 30, 2010
The Break Up
Today's muse: Based on a true story.
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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.