Monday, December 5, 2011

Amnesiac vs Interloper

The Ex, by her mere presence, automatically vetoed any pretensions to single-hood that I may have been entertaining. I couldn't even remember deciding to want her back. It had already happened. Besides my missing her vaguely, her mysterious allure had already swallowed me whole as soon as I spotted her from atop a tree. The fact that the Ex seemed comfortable in my presence was a strong boost. Now for the actual reunion.

"Now what's this about I burnt a book?" asked The Ex, eyes wide.

She had to be feigning amnesia. I couldn't believe she was going to make me go through the whole sad story all again. Fortunately, the evidence was nearby. I left, rummaged through my stuff and returned with a half-burnt, half-colored pencil-drawn comic book and handed it to her. Surely she would 'remember' a thing she colored, burnt in spite and returned to owner.

"You kept it?" A hint of nostalgia had entered her tone. She flipped through its pages.

"Call it a souvenir."

Together we flipped through the half-pages, seeing her coloring of my drawing. It was beautiful - if I may say so myself - right up to the charred edges of the burnt pages.

"You made me burn it, you and Anita" she said, matter-of-factly. "This was your fault."

"Rumors," I deflected, strategically. Names of third parties militated against the peace talks' success. But this was also new information to me; at last I could identify some kind of motive for her retrogressive arson. The day she delivered the burnt book she had been too venomously 'sweet' about it to confess jealousy. Revenge was served cold.

A brief silence passed. Then: "How've you been? They tell me you're having a blast."

I wondered what Angela (who calls The Ex "Our Wife") had been telling her. "A boy manages the best he can," I murmured. "Your sources exaggerate the case."

The Ex laughed. "Clarify."

"It's been a real struggle," I claimed, "It's like, subconsciously, I've been looking for another you all this time." It was out! I sighed with relief once I'd signaled intent.

"You don't get to say that," came the reply. "Three years ago, maybe. But I knew this day would come; I told you you'd look for me."

It took me a min to come back down to earth.

"A gal manages the best she can." The Ex giggled, "Luckily I manage pretty well." The way she said it, there were a million ways to interpret that, and none of them gladdening. Then she very carefully rolled up our half-burnt comic book and walked away with it.

I was strangely ambivalent towards whether or not she wanted to finish what she had started by burning the remaining half of our comic. Maybe my primary strategy for winning back the affections of The Ex shouldn't have been to analyze our break-up inside-out.

I had to rethink the whole reunion strategy. Finding out if she was single would constitute prudent preliminary preparation.

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