It has been years since I’ve been someone’s girlfriend. And even when I was someone’s girlfriend, I didn’t enjoy the perks. It was just a dumb title, a name I forced upon myself to hide the fact that I was just a mere fuck buddy.
But as D’s girlfriend, I’m enjoying actual perks. And it’s kind of overwhelming. In a good way.
I get flowers at work, and love notes, and sweet texts. When I walk into his restaurant, I get greeted by name, I get free champagne (and lobster rolls), and I get date nights and house keys (yeah, we’ve already done that).
It’s quite awesome.
Before we made it “official,” I wanted Marcy and Craig to meet D. Not that they are my parents, but they are pretty much the closest friends I have here, they mean a lot to me, and since I talk about this dude on the regular, I figure it would be good for them to meet him. However, I didn’t want it to be too formal, just in case D ended up being another fling and I’d be left looking like a fool.
So Marcy thought we could just go to the restaurant one night when he was working, enjoy some wine and appetizers, say hello and be done with it. We picked a Wednesday night, thinking it wouldn’t be that busy, and that was settled. D was super excited to meet them, and I was excited too.
My new relationship has me thinking lots about the future, but lots about the past, too. How silly and crazy those past relationships I’ve had seem…and in many ways, they seem very sad. I really didn’t value myself. I realized just how carefree my relationship with D is. I don’t have to worry about him cheating or that he won’t show up or that he’ll dump me if we don’t have butt sex (it’s happened).
So, last Wednesday night I took a long shower, wore my favorite perfume, and laced up my pair of daring grey suede thigh high boots. These boots were purchased years ago, when BEX dumped me. I sold a ring he gave me and bought them with the cash. Score one for single women everywhere.
Marcy picked me up, we picked up Craig and headed to the restaurant around 7.
I waltzed into the restaurant with confidence, seeing D right away at the host’s stand. But out of the corner of my eye, I saw a silouette I remember all too well and my heart clenched in fear.
It was BEX.
He was standing at the bar, mid-conversation with two older gentlemen, all of them dressed for the office, cradling rocks glasses in their weathered hands. He was staring at me.
“Do you think we can sit at the bar?” Marcy asked. The tables were booked.
“Yeah, let’s go,” Craig said, conveniently finding 3 empty stools beside BEX.
Keep in mind that Marcy and Craig have never seen him, so this was an innocent move. I followed them to the stools, as BEX reached his hand out to touch me, I ignored him, and he jerked his hand back.
“Can you join me in the bathroom?” I whispered to Marcy. And we bolted.
“Dude! Why is that guy staring at you??” she asked me.
“OH MY GOD, THAT IS MY FUCKING EX, THE EX, THE BAD EX, THE ABORTION EX,” I blurted out.
I was shaking. Here was a man who abused me for years, knocked me down to the point I didn’t even know who I was anymore. My friend had picked a random night, in a restaurant out of city limits (in a city an hour away from where BEX lived), at a random time of night, to meet my new boyfriend, and there he was. It was the first time I’d seen him in more than a year, the first time I’d seen him since he told me “Our relationship only made up 2 percent of my life so what’s the big deal?”
Marcy came to my rescue.
“Look, we are here to see your new man, you look hot, that dude is not even attractive,” she said.
“You’re right. You are right. I can do this,” I said. I took a deep breath and we went back to the bar.
After ordering a bottle of wine, BEX approached my bar stool.
“Lucky, can we talk?” he said.
“About what?” I asked.
“I would just really like to talk to you,” he said.
“Fine. Let’s step outside,” I said.
I didn’t know what he was going to tell me, but I needed to hear it. I also didn’t think it was appropriate for us to talk at my boyfriend’s bar, so we stepped right outside the glass doors so if needed, D could see that I had my arms crossed and was a solid 6 feet from BEX.
BEX: How have you been?
ME: Great, you?
BEX: Okay, I guess. Look, I’m not trying to make you uncomfortable and I certainly don’t want to force you to talk to me. It’s just been so long…
BEX: I still read all of your stuff and I saw you teach now, I bet that’s crazy.
ME: It’s wonderful. I love it.
BEX: I got a new job.
BEX: I can’t tell if you want to hug me or punch me right now.
BEX: I think that’s a fair question.
ME: Uh, I think you know that I do NOT want to hug you.
BEX: Would you like to go to lunch sometime?
ME: No. No I do not. In fact, my boyfriend is inside and he doesn’t deserve this, so I’m going to head back inside.
BEX: Oh, well obviously I didn’t know.
ME: Right, you assumed I’d still be single and I’m letting you know, I’m not.
I opened the door for myself and marched back to my bar stool. BEX followed, closed his tab, and left the restaurant.