The one that got away

To get into a creative writing habit, I signed up to the Writer’s Digest newsletter. Their free gift for signing up is a two-week writing prompt boot camp. The second assignment is to write about bumping into an ex-lover on Valentine’s Day, the one you believe is “The One That Got Away.” 

“Oh, um hey there!” I said, awkwardly. This can’t be happening to me, I randomly decided to stop at McDonald’s before hopping on the highway to return home. He doesn’t even LIVE in this part of town.

“Hey, Cha Cha! Long time no see. What you been up to?” He says with that wide grin he always wears. Damn, he looks good!

“Oh, nothing, much. You?”

“Same. Everything with you good? What are you doing in my town?” He’s looking at me weird almost like he’s looking at a lollipop he’d like to lick. I don’t know, I can’t explain it but I know I don’t like it. He better not say anything stupid.

“Yes, everything with me is stellar! I met up with a friend in The City, the traffic was crawling so I thought I’d stop by Micky D’s and get an orange shake and their strawberry creme pies I really love them but I don’t get them anymore since I cut back on eating processed food, and they only have them for a limited time.” I’m completely rambling, trying to figure out how to escape.

And I need to escape. This is how we always start. Randomly seeing each other, dating, me ending the relationship and then we see each other again and the cycle begins again.

“Cool,” he says slowly nodding his head. I’m not interested in what he has to say next. Whatever it is, clearly it’s a trap.

“Well, it was nice seeing you.” I say as I turn towards the door, damn near smashing it into an older gentleman. I excuse myself and continue rushing into the restaurant, not even bothering to look back. I focus on my original mission. I could taste the pies, and after this brief encounter, I deserve those pies.

While standing in line I reminisce. At one time, I thought he was going to be THE One. You know, the one you will end up with, but he disappointed me, time and time again. We dated off and on for five years, and the last time we broke up really crushed me because I’d thought we were done playing games.

Well, it turns out, I was done playing games. He wasn’t. Why am I always the last one to find out?

I have to admit that since we broke up, I’ve been searching for the best part of our relationship in others. Who knew it would be so hard to find someone to accept me for me and not want to change me? With him, I could be my full bitchy, sarcastic self and he didn’t care, didn’t take it personally. It was great. Until it wasn’t.

With my orange shake and pies in hand, I pause at the door and scan the parking lot before I step out. Seeing it’s all clear, I get back to my car, and point it north towards my part of the world.

“Happy Valentine’s Day to me!”