Round One, Me.

I want to write about this before I forget it, forget this feeling I have this morning after far too many Diet & Vanillas and blowing my calorie intake for the day.

There's some craziness going down at my college alma mater and being the good alumna I am, after much cajoling I went with a very dear friend to dinner with people I didn't know to figure out a game plan, if one is to be had, in order to keep some bad business from happening.

This may seem unremarkable, because for the most part it is.

Except the place they were going was Fridays. And the whore was working.

And I went anyway.

I'm not going to rehash all the little details of the night, but know that the third victim was also working, and we checked in often with one another. I also said hello to a good deal of employees I've known for years at this point, smiling and being the best causal me I could, and after a couple of beverages it wasn't such a hard feat to accomplish.

And yes, she saw me, and I her. We left our table and sat at the bar overlooking her section, and my newfound friends and my very dear one assisted me all evening with cataloging the once-overs, the dirty looks, the tabs on my whereabouts -- and it was all I could do to laugh. And when her very white-trash-downgrade boyfriend showed up (as identified by employees for my knowledge) and stayed as long as we did, also watching me like a hawk while as glued to her side as he could be, I realized the rumors of my evil side had been something she kept close to her chest, for moments like this.

Never in all my years of being at that restaurant have I seen the section she was working -- the main drag of the restaurant -- so devoid of its server. Never have I been eyeballed with such uncertainty and malice and, if we're being honest, fear. And never in all of my days did I think I this situation would play out with what felt like all the cards in my hands.

We closed out the restaurant, she and her bodyguard not leaving until we did -- the closest to interaction with her was had at this moment, when my friends instinctively held the doors open behind them and I said calmly and clearly said "Don't bother." and the doors fell shut behind me, in their faces. I watched her drive away like a bird in panicked flight, and I could only chuckle.

I had let the myth of her build up so large in my head that I had forgotten she's nothing more than a desperate and sad excuse for a person. I had let the rumors and the whispers and the third and fourth person stories become unequivocal fact in my head, and upon seeing her I remembered she is nothing more than human, and not a very good one.

It was also very refreshing to see her in person and assert that she's not as attractive as her pictures pretend, not as thin as she thinks she is, and that the effects of three pregnancies have only served to momify her ridiculous boob job into some franken-version of pathetic oversexualization. Admittedly, it's more than slightly petty of me, but to be honest her presence in my life has put me through hell and back a number of times, and while I may not be the epitome of fitness and beauty, having a group of people you've never met before assert that you are indeed, the better catch when it comes to physical appearances (as well as other realms) does help to heal an ego formerly torn to shreds. So does them using her name as derogatory remark to end a disagreement, eg "Oh, why don't you go screw _______" complete with drunken pelvic thrusts while in earshot of her, but like I said I'm not going to rehash every single moment. Trust, the night was epic.

I'm pretty sure I terrified her, but her quick steps and her call for reinforcements and her inability to do her job with any sort of composure while I was in sight was what gave her own insecurities away. And I did this by only existing, by being a presence among many in a public place. And as I tell my story more and more to the people who know her, and perhaps even knew of the situation as it unfolded nearly two years ago, I find I have more allies than I do enemies. Because in the end, I am the woman wronged by a girl who has done nothing but alienate herself and burn bridges to hide from her own lack of worth in the world. And the more I open up, the more I find people are willing to help me, help us with tasks we haven't been able to accomplish alone.

So this isn't over yet.

But for now, a giant weight has been lifted off of my soul, because I know that I am the better person in all of this; that I am the reason that we are the only relationship that survived her offense; and that in the end she didn't win because I didn't directly challenge her to "stand up" for myself -- but that I win because making my presence known was enough to convey my superiority with class and grace and all those things you get from that higher, less-traveled road -- without a word needing to be spoken.

And at the end of the night, I returned home to a husband who stayed up late on a school night to nurse my wounds if I had them, no doubt quaking in his boots wondering what wrath I would bring home with me; what war stories I would have to impart upon him while I slunk away to bed to heal my pride.

Instead, we hugged fiercely, and for the first time in recent memory I felt whole in his arms, smiling at the sensation of safety and kindness and love that enveloped me while he held on so tight, so dear.

It was exactly what I needed to feel human again. And indeed, this freedom makes me feel nearly superhuman.

I'm so close to being myself again I can almost taste it, fighting back the tears of joy and relief and release to enjoy having life in my limbs and in my heart once again.

The sun is shining bright this morning, and I am smiling from the inside for once.

This may be the best hangover I've ever had.



Tabatha blogs at Tabulous & Turn Right At Lake Michigan & tweets.


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