every time a man leaves, there’s a part of me that is totally shocked. as though i’d never before been introduced to the concept that people go away, when in fact we all know i should have this one down by now.
but then there’s this other part of me whose reaction is a little trickier to define. if i didn’t know better, i’d almost swear she gets a thrill from it.
“what’s up with you?” I want to ask that part.
but she’d just give me a conspiratorial wink, flash me that deviant, wait-until-you-see-what’s-about-to happen smirk.
she’s cunning, witty, sexy as hell, and she moves faster than I can think.
so i can only assume she knows what she’s doing.
but just between you and me, I’m pretty sure she’s a saboteur.
last week i caught her wiring some explosives.
and it’s not as though that was the first time.
not so long ago, i fell in love, right?
remember that? good times.
but the minute she sensed a weakness in him, know what happened?
i mean, who does that?
if we’ve got a mission, fine, i’m in. but i’d at least like to know what it is.
so today i’m downtown, and i spy her across the street.
red hair loose, high-heeled boots. i can’t take my eyes off of her.
she’s a better version of me, in every possible way.
with a quick glance over her shoulder, she ducks into an elevator leading to an underground parking garage.
i dart after her. take the stairs. intuitively skip the first three doors for a pink one several flights lower.
“hey, i know this place,” i say upon entering, my words bouncing off the walls.
it’s all inexplicably familiar.
the cool draft. the dank smell. the wild animal sounds of the cars circling above.
the concrete support pillar.
upon which are duct-taped pictures of the men I’ve known, romantically.
big X’s sharpied across their faces.
the elevator dings; its doors slide open.
her purposeful heels hit the cold cement. seven steps and she’s beside me.
“are we avengers of some kind?” i ask, perplexed.
she’s got the fullest, most beautiful laugh.
“no. i mean it. what’s with all of these X’s?”
she takes a good look at me, seems to be trying to determine whether or not i’m serious.
where’d she get eyes that color?
“the X’s mean they weren’t good for you,” she eventually says.
i take a look back at the photographs.
“but . . . i loved every one of these men.”
she nods. “you sure did. no doubt about that.”
“well then why . . .”
“you’ve got a good heart, darling, you really do. just not a smart one.”
i let that sink in for a while.
it doesn’t seem like good news.
but then i remember that one of us carries explosives.
“i suppose that’s where you come in?” i ask.