Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree of Truth.
I’m always amazed at how much can change in a year. Or not.
Today, rather than run into a meeting ten minutes early, I waited in my car. Normally I would have gone inside to socialize before the big, boring, sit-for-hours briefing. At the time, I didn’t know why I was moved to hang around outside.
Then I saw a married couple I’d known quite well last year. The husband stood directly in front of my car and I got a good look at him, though he didn’t see me in my car. For the first time since I’ve known him, he seemed truly happy. The smiles were genuine.
The wife, she stood with her back to me, also waiting
to cross the street. I couldn’t see her face, but she looked skinnier than last time I saw her. Her hair was a little longer, but the exact color as before and just as curly as a year ago. Similar dress to the last time I saw her. But dang, she looked great!
I stared through the windshield at them. They’d split up and she’d remarried, and here they were together and happy?
A year ago this weekend, her new boyfriend stood in my house, asking if she was there and terrified because her husband kept calling his cell phone and screaming obscenities and physical threats, all of which I could hear every time the guy touched his phone’s voice mail to see if even one of the last 20 messages was from her instead of her irate husband. (Rather than tell her husband she was leaving him, she left her cell phone records where he could find them so he could officially initiate the separation and she could respond by running to her boyfriend.) I was in the middle of an extremely awkward situation where her husband, a then-coworker of mine, blamed me for their marriage’s breakup because she’d told him she was out clubbing with newly divorced and wild-womanish me (instead of with her new boyfriend) and that I was always picking up men.
Ha. I never went clubbing with her, not one single time. And I’ve yet to go “pick up men.” Do I sound bitter? Yeah, I’m still offended!
But here they were together, in front of me, after she’d left her husband and married the new boyfriend.
I watched them cross the street, and the woman turned slightly and beamed up at the man. It wasn’t the wife!
Her look-alike, yes. But not the same woman.
Why do men do that? Look for a replica of the woman who left them?
Though women do it, too, where they’ve been left behind.
It’s a dynamic that, in most cases, should be healed rather than repeated.