Mirror Match Part I: You Handsome Devil
Mirror Match Part II: A Crack in the Mirror
I sleep at home for the next few days. Our conversations are thin and strained. I’m sorting through my emotions trying to figure out how much did I drunkenly imagine, and how much is just my heart’s hyperbolic exaggeration. I can’t trust my feelings until I talk to her, like really talk to her. We make plans later on that night and that’s when I finally broach the subject:
“Did you and Cro-Magnon ever have a thing?”
“That would be silly.” She replies, laughing anxiously. That’s not an answer.
“Did you guys ever hook up?”
“Why would you think that?” Answering a question with a question.
“Honestly?” I press her. Did you fuck him?
“No.” she gnaws on her lip nervously.
I pause. The tell-tale signs are all there. I already know the answer without having to ask again. But it’s important that she tell me the truth. One lie is the gunshot at the top of the mountain that sends an avalanche of everything else tumbling down, burying skiers and baby mountain goats under a thick, smothering blanket of “I call bullshit”.
“Now is the time to be honest. While we’re just getting started. I mean, I like you and I don’t care.”
Clumsly. Stupid. Words.
I wince internally as I say it. The worst feeling for a writer, delivering a product knowing the revisions would’ve been so much better. When I really meant to say:
If you can tell me what this is, or what it was I can cope with it. I can understand it. I can deal with it. I’m not judging you; we all have our history and our hang-ups. When you lie to me, my imagination runs wild. And my imagination is a huge expansive space. And you’re fucking him in there. Like in a whole bunch of positions, all over your furniture, and my happiness. Your honesty here determines our chance for anything months and years from now. So tell me what we both already know, so I’m not fighting shadows.
But that never came out. And neither did the truth. In the weeks to follow, I could see Him everywhere. On her Facebook, on her phone, in her text messages, in everything she did and everywhere else.
Right now I am good-natured and stoic, able to weather these insecurities. But these tangled roots run deep. How much time with the shovel and weedkiller will it take to make Him go away? What type of victory will it be with calloused palms and poisoned lungs? I want to build a future, not excavate a past.
So I quit.
She could never be my Fish with someone else’s hook still in her mouth. Catch and release.
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