This is Part Two. You’re going to want to read Part One first.
“Seeing her now my fear for her was gone but So-and-so was gonna be pissed. He was going to get a lesson real quick on the type of person he thought he deserved to own. Maybe it was hilarious after all. I couldn’t deny that his type deserved for someone as majestic as her to walk right on by as though he didn’t even exist.”
I ran into her on the street.
“How have you been?”
She was walking her big mutt of a dog. I had barely heard from her in weeks and had nothing to base her well being on except rumors and hearsay (none of which was any good at all).
She smiled and was very happy to see me, which surprised me. “I am really doing better.”
We made our way down the street, side by side. She was moving aloofly and lightly and I began to wonder if the drug abuse rumors could be true.
“How did putting it back go?”
She sighed, looking tired. “Pretty well actually. I waited a couple more days to make sure it wouldn’t scream when I put it in. We reached an understanding I think.”
She scratched her chest and, between a part of her scarf, I could see the healed scar from where she had ripped her heart out.
“Oh?” I had a hard time imagining how any kind of understanding could be reached between a woman like her and a heart like her’s.
She stopped in the street, hands in her jacket pockets and looked at me. “He and I were doomed from the beginning.”
“I could of told you that!”
She said, “How stupid do you think I am? I knew that we were doomed from the beginning.”
We kept walking (my mouth firmly shut now.)
She said, “It took my heart a while to figure it out though.”
That made sense to me but I had to admit that I had questioned her intelligence from time to time over the last years and her recent actions left me at a total loss. Many people were mad at her.
We made our way up the street in silence and found ourselves seated at a table outside a coffee shop. We ordered coffee that came steaming and her dog got a free treat for sitting down and being good. I had trouble looking at the mutt without seeing her heart in his paws and his grin including a mustache of blood.
“I hear you’re dating So-and-so?”
She snorted on her coffee and damned near sprayed it across the table. She grinned at me and it was sharp and shiny – almost mean. I hugged my coffee to my chest.
“It’s hilarious that anyone would think that I would be with the likes of So-and-so.”
I sipped my coffee. “Not so much?” I wanted to tell her, What do you expect? She wasn’t around anymore.
She shook her head. “He and I might have been doomed – but he still put little dicks like So-and-so to shame.”
I remembered seeing her out once since it had all happened. So-and-so had had a hold of her elbow in a leeringly controlling way. The sight of it had unnerved me, I feared for her in the sight of his fingers curled and clutching and biting into her skin. Seeing her now my fear for her was gone but So-and-so was gonna be pissed. He was going to get a lesson real quick on the type of person he thought he deserved to own. Maybe it was hilarious after all. I couldn’t deny that his type deserved for someone as majestic as her to walk right on by as though he didn’t even exist.
“You started dancing?”
Her demeanor changed, she looked bashful. “Yeah – I’m taking ballet.”
“What on earth made you do that?” My coffee was hot and delicious.
“I always wanted to. I’m taking German lessons too and putting in extra hours at work.” She smiled at me over her coffee cup and her eyes were very happy. “And I’m writing again.”
I nodded but I couldn’t stop myself, it was probably the last thing I should have ever said, “Do you know what people are saying about you?”
Her eyes went black and cold. “Fuck ’em.”
“Yeah but you can’t let them do that to you! They’re calling you a fucking whore! A cunt! They’re saying you’ve got STDs and that you’re spreading it around on purpose!”
She took a deep breath and I saw the rage flickering around her head, her dog touched her hand. She turned her eyes away from me and looked up at the cold autumn sky. I waited for her regard, for her answer, perched on the edge of my cold seat. The north wind stopped blowing when she finally looked back at me.
“Those women that are calling me a whore have all fucked dozens more guys then I’ve ever even dreamed of. You know this. Why do you listen? Why do you care what they say?”
“Because it’s not fucking fair! They deserve to get paid back for that bull shit!”
She sipped her coffee and said, “Then you deserve it too then.”
“What?” I sat back. “What the fuck are you talking about? You should see the shit about you they’re blowing up my phone with!”
Her dog pushed his head into her lap and I saw her noticeably soften, she smiled and leaned down and kissed the dog. She smiled at me too. “I heard that you told somebody that I had Herpes.”
I almost dropped my coffee. “Who the fuck said that?”
“They did. Do you want to know what they said about you, about what you said about me, before I changed my cell phone number? Do you know the last time they told me that he was cheating on me at the bar, right that instant, right in front of them . . . He was actually naked in my bed with me?”
I stood up. “If you do have a fucking STD he was the one that gave it to you! They want fucking proof from your doctor or you know what they’ll do to you!”
She calmly regarded me and I hated that she looked happy, weary, but healthy and happy. How could she be happy with everybody in town calling her a whore? Saying she had STDs? What happened to her dignity?
“Who told you that?” Her voice was steady and bored.
I rolled my eyes. “You know where I heard that!”
She nodded. “She wanted him and he wanted me. How on earth could you believe anything she has to say about either one of us? Do you realize how little any of this will ever matter?” She carefully cleaned the sleep out of her dog’s eyes with gentle strokes. “None of it matters at all.”
She stood up and they came around the table, they both stretched and she tucked her hands into her pockets.
She said, “Tell them they don’t deserve my proof. They needed the rumors to make it okay that I decided that they were trash and no longer deserved to be treated as any else. ‘They’ can go fuck themselves and if they are still your ‘friends’, you can tell them that for me.”
She gave me her new cell phone number and encouraged me to take dance lessons with her.
She went to leave and I couldn’t help it, but I asked, “Is it true about him? You need to be careful with him, you know what they’re saying about him? She’s real mad. They’re not divorced yet.”
She treated me with her shiny and sharp grin again and said, “Tell her that the fact that they even got married is proof that I never touched him. If he had had me, he never would have wasted his time with her.”
“That will just make her madder . . . They’re never gonna want you around again ever.”
She sighed and laughed and shrugged. “That’s okay.”
“Some of them were your friends. You hurt good people too.”
She looked at me, “Then where were they if they were my friends? Where are they?”
I gasped, “Seriously? With what is being said about you? How can you blame them?”
She rubbed the scar on her chest and stroked her dog’s head. The mutt was getting anxious to leave, he kept getting up, tugging at her then sitting at her knee again. After a minute he started chewing on her pant leg and I was reminded how her heart had looked in his mouth amid all of his shiny, white teeth. I shuddered. Suddenly I didn’t want to be around her anymore and I was glad I hadn’t been there when she put her heart back in.
She said, “You know you either have to believe all of the rumors or none of them.” She pushed her hair out of her face and smiled sadly at me. “I won’t be coming back so they won’t have to lie to my face anymore. They can move on to someone who cares.”
“They won’t though!”
She frowned, “Oh please, there are more interesting bitches in this world then me.”
“They won’t for awhile cause you’re not there to defend yourself! It makes everything they say true! They’re blaming you for everything!”
“I guess it does make me an easy target.” She shrugged, “Guilty until proven innocent, huh? They really are trash.”
“They hate you.”
She smiled. “I would hope so! There’s gonna be a few more to add to the list soon too – should I give them your number?”
“You can’t just keep banning people cause you don’t like them! You’ll end up all alone!”
Her voice changed and she had trouble saying the next thing between bursts of laughter, “So-and-so is gonna need a shoulder to cry on and someone to hold his little dick when it whimpers for me. Maybe I’ll give What’s-his-name’s wife So-and-so’s number. They can be one big happy family.” She wiped tears of hilarity out of her eyes.
I laughed despite myself. Maybe she was right. It was all so fucking crazy and stupid and absurd. Everything said, even the so utterly untrue stuff, was taken so seriously. What were they gonna say next? And I heard So-and-so was just hopping right on the band wagon. How could I have ever believed she would have been with him? “You heard who your ex is with now?”
She doubled over and laughed hard. “They’re perfect together.”
I smiled at her and she smiled back. I said, “I’m glad he’s gone for you. He wasn’t good.”
She nodded. “Me too. That was a bad few months.”
“Is it better? Does it scream anymore?”
She shook her head. “Nope. Now me and my heart work together. We’re both bitches now.”
“You still want to be with somebody?”
She nodded. “Someday . . . But the rest of them can go fuck themselves. No more pity fucks for me, I throw em out when I don’t like them now . . . and I don’t like any of them.”
Her grin was shiny and hard and I was glad when we parted ways.
I was left wondering though if she and I could ever be friends again. I wondered if it would possible for me to ever look at her without seeing her bare heart, bloody and ripped open, laying in a corner of her kitchen. I had meant to ask her if she had had trouble wrestling it away from the dog but I had not had the stomach for it. I was left standing on the sidewalk, looking at the sky, stunned by how useless words were. I could barely believe that she was talking about being with someone (for real) again after what she had gone through. Maybe now she knew what she wanted and what she didn’t want. Maybe after that lesson her heart knew exactly what it needed now.
As I turned for home I also wondered what the other guys would do if they found out about her disregard for them . . . especially So-and-so. I would have to text him . . . at least just to check and see if he suspected anything . . . just to watch her back of course . . . and I knew they were itching to know if any of the rumors were true about her. I would have to let some of them know some of what she told me . . . At least for her sake . . .