I wrote this last fall. I think that it could turn into a really good story. Let me know what you all think.
"Hey, it's jsut me. I left something at your house last night. Could you let me know if you find it? It's my diginity."
I couldn't believe how I had behaved. I had been at a cook out at my friends' house. Luke and Sarah. Sarah and I have been best friends since high school and Luke is her prince. Dotes on her. Pampers her. But let's her be herself. Luke's best friend is Matt. Matt is my ex. And he was at the party. With his new girlfriend.
My name is Theresa and I'm a complete mess.
Matt and I dated about five years ago. Right after I got out of college, Sarah and Luke fixed us up. It was great at first. We hit it off and it seemed like we had a lot in common. But after about six months, he gave me the "it's not you, it's me" speech and broke my heart.
He's had a few girlfriends since then. I know this because Sarah feels the need to keep me in the loop. He's repeatedly dated Debbie, his high school sweetheart. Let me tell you, she's no sweetheart. But she has some sort of power over him that I just don't understand.
So, back to last night. I knew that he was going to be there so I dressed my best. Low V neck, slinky top, tight jeans, sexy sandals. Hair up, because that was how he had always liked it. i looked great, felt good, was nervous.
I got there at six and nobody else was there. Sarah and I did a shot and then I cracked a beer. I needed to take the edge off my nerves.
Other people started showing up. Mike and Julie, Steve and Shelly, Terry and Megan, Matt and Kris, Jason, Tony, Bill. Yup, it was mostly couples but there were three bachelors there and I intended to show Matt what he was missing.
While Luke was cooking, I focused my attention on Tony. Tony worked as an engineer at a local hospital. At work he was all business. Outside of work, he was the most laid back, down to earth person I know. He was a great guy. We talked about sports, his neices and nephews, and how Luke and Sarah should just get married already. i had often wondered why he had never asked me out. He always seemed so interested. A few months ago, Luke let it slip that Tony was gay. That would be why he didn't ask me out. But he was still nice to look at and hang out with.
I barely acknowledged when Matt and Kris showed up. She didn't care, but he gave me a glare. Good.
After we ate, the party moved to the pool deck. And I moved to Jason.
Jason had alwyas been like a brother to me. Great to hand out with but not to date. He'd do anyting for a friend and was alwyas there to porect or stand up for a friend. Jason was a bartender at my favorite bar. We started talking about who we could throw in the pool first. I wanted it to be Matt, he wanted it to be Sarah. We laughed about it and decided not to throw anybody in.
I stole a few glances at Matt and was not happy to see that he still looked good. i tried not to obsess over whateve had gone wrong between us, but I never really could understand it.
His girlfriend was cute and nice and that made me mad. I wanted her to be mean and bitchy so I could as why he was with her. But they actually seemed well suited for each other. I hated it.
Bill and I had known each other as long as Luke and Sarah. He was going through a divorce and just needed a fun night with friends. He was also a great guy and I couldn't figure out his wife. Why would she leave him. I guess you never know what goes on behind closed doors.
Bill and I started dancing. Probably not a great idea when you are on the pool deck and you've had a few drinks, but I had poor judgement. One wrong step back and I was in the pool, fully clothed.
Everybody got a good laugh out of it, including me. It was a good thing that Sarah and I wore the same size. She gave me some clothes to change into and I returned to the party.
I had drunk just enough at that point that my snarky side was coming out. I was throwing little jabs at Matt. Things that nobody else really understood. He made one comment and it was all over.
"Really? really, do you want to go there, Matt?" I was standing toe to toe with him.
"Go where?" He wasn't smart enough to say no.
"You said that I was the best thing that happened to you. You said you saw a future for us. You said you loved me! It sucks that you either lied or could only see your future in weeks, because a month after that we were done. When you lamely broke up with me, I was crushed. Crushed! I loved you,too. And I saw our future more clearly than you. And it was wonderful. But you lost out. You screwed up! You left me."
"I didn't leave you," he tried to reach for me, but I pulled away. "I didn't leave you, Tessa. I was just so afraid of how intense things were. It seemed like we were moving so fast. I had to get out."
"You are an asshole! I could have used that information five years ago."
"I didn't know how to tell you."
"Screw you! You broke my heart. It killed me. I spent the last five years trying to figure out what's wrong with me. You ruined me."
Everybody had been silent during the exchange. His poor girlfriend had a deer in the headlights look and I wanted to punch her.
"luke, can you take me home? I need to get out of here."
Matt tried to reach for me again and I flinched. "Do. Not. Touch. Me. You lost that right a long time ago. everybody, I'm so sorry that you had to witness this craziness."
Luke and Sarah walked into the house with me. Sarah gave me a hug and said," I'm sorry."
"It's okay. I knew that he would be here and I can anyway. I'm sorry for causing such a scene."
So, I left the message for Sarah and headed to the shower. I was a little hung over but doing okay. When the phone rang, I assumed it was Sarah and quickly answered it.
"Hey." It wasn't Sarah. it was Matt.
"Hey," I answered softly.
"How are you doing today?"
"You care because?"
"Because I do. I've always cared about you."
I laughed out loud.
"Okay, I can see how you might not believe that, but it's true."