It was as if Evan felt it was some kind of sport to keep on embarrassing her, or at least try to. He seemed so vengeful and hell-bent on making her suffer, but Nadhira had absolutely no clue why. He was the one who ended the relationship in the most dramatic of fashions, he was the one who immediately began another serious relationship publicly within two days of the break up. Insult was then added to injury when he announced his impending nuptials at their quarterly office get together. She didn’t even flinch when all of their co-workers stared at her in shock. There were a few looks of pity, a few looks of slight amusement and a few looks towards him of utter disdain. Not quite the reaction he was hoping for, but he knew Nadhira was the kind of person who was beyond demure in public, but would quietly fall apart in private. He loved that about her when they were together, but now that they had broken up, he wished that she would act out and become a little bit more of an emotional wreck publicly, just to stroke his ego a little bit. Evan was sick and tired of imagining her pain.
Nadhira had cried for about a day. She thought that was sufficient. Truth be told, their relationship had not been working for a long time, but she was too busy trying too hard to be happy regardless. To be honest, she cried more about feeling embarrassed by the way that he left her, than the fact that he actually did leave her. She sat soaked in her tub, in hot water and foamy suds up to her neck, with a few on top of her head like a sparkly white crown, fluttering through her break up cd selections, thinking about everything. She was supposed to feel bad, but she didn’t.
She felt warm on the inside from the lovely bottle of cheap wine that she was drinking, she felt ticklish on the outside from the millions of popping soap suds, the aroma of vanilla was strong in the air, and the music had her humming. She knew she was over him and she knew she was fine. Her humming turned to full on singing when she heard Trina Broussard’s voice blare out of her speakers.
“Damn, I haven’t listened to this cd in a while.” she whispered.
The only thing about her life that she would consider to suck, would be the fact that she had to work with Evan. She also felt a ridiculous amount of pressure to look better that she ever had, because God forbid she’d have an off day and look less than together, then the rumor around the office would be that she was falling apart because of the break up. The gossip was getting better, at least the reasons flying around the cubicles and water cooler had become less dramatic and more plausible, though neither of them ever really confirmed why they’d broken up. She actually wasn’t sure what his reasons were, but, whatever the path, the destination to splitsville was the same. It had been a few months and though there was still tension, it was not coming from her.
Everything about being in that tub made her reluctant to get up out of it, but she was beginning to nod off, so she decided against lingering any longer, out of fear that the news paper headline within the next two days would be, ‘Unrequited Love: Young woman drowns herself after long time boyfriend leaves her’. She chuckled at her own thoughts.
Nadhira felt really relaxed. She found that she was still humming and then she realized that she was actually smiling too. Recognizing that she was at a crossroads in her life, she felt like she should put down some of her thoughts on paper, about how she wanted to navigate her life, something that she had not done in a long time. She had been functioning on auto pilot for a while, but felt present in the moment now and wanted to do something new with her life, though she wasn’t quite sure what that something new was. She got into her night clothes, climbed into her bed, piled two pillows behind her back and her head and reached way back in the drawer on her side table and pulled out her notebook / diary. It hadn’t been written in, in a long time and it had fine cobwebs around the perimeter to prove it. When she opened the book to begin to write, she discovered an unwelcomed book mark. It was a picture of her and Evan and the key to the side door of his apartment. She thought she’d given him everything back. She studied the picture carefully, still smiling. It was taken at a really happy and promising time in their lives and he looked so handsome in it.
“No regrets.” she whispered to herself, then wrote it on the page.
Seeing the picture threw her for a bit, so she decided to 86 the self-help, life navigating epistle she had intended on writing, put the key on the side table, so that she would remember to give it to him at work the next day and spread out selfishly on her comfortable king bed and went to sleep almost immediately.
Nadhira made sure to take the key for Evan’s house with her to work the next day. She was going to wait until he either left for lunch, or went into a meeting that she knew would last a while and just put it on his desk and be done with it. She didn’t want to initiate any type of conversation with him, because to her, he was so unreadable, that she didn’t know if he would cause a scene. At around 1 o’clock, she heard him outside of her office talking to his assistant about going to a meeting and taking lunch afterwards, so she was going to use that opportunity to quickly go into his office and put the key and the sticky note saying “didn’t realize I still had it.”
That would be that. Suddenly, the door to her office swung back and he came in and closed her door. She was beyond stunned.
“What did you say to Terah?” Evan snarled.
“Come Again?” she replied not knowing what he was talking about.
“Did you see her in the elevator and say my condolences on your engagement?”
“Are you on glue or something? I have never said a word to your woman. Did she tell you I said something to her?”
“Yes she did! And I know she wouldn’t lie!” Evan replied.
“Evan, you know me and I know you know that is something I would never do. I don’t know what crack you been smoking, but you’ve been jekyll-hyding me like a mutha fucka and you need to just chill out with the attitude. As far as I can remember, you left me, you humiliated me and you moved on to another woman to the point of getting engaged, so why are you acting so injured?! I’ve never said a word to Terah and word to the wise, tell her not to speak my name, ’cause you know me well enough to know I will get militant with that bitch. I don’t know what you think I did and at this point I don’t care anymore. My conscience is clear. You are just puffing up your chest and acting like a fool and holding on to any little thing I did to justify your behaviour, but I’m good. Clearly you’re not. You must miss me or something.”
Nadhira must have touched a couple of nerves, cause Evan closed the gap between them to about an inch and that was the closest they’d been to each other in months. She could smell coffee and toothpaste on his breath. He was still so friggin’ handsome, but all she wanted to do was take the paper weight on her desk and smash it into his face for being such an asshole. For a few seconds, it looked as if he was going to kiss her, but she didn’t know what trip he was on, so she just prayed he didn’t put either his hands or his lips on her.
“I never realized what a smug bitch you are. I’m glad I never asked you to marry me. It must kill yo to see Terah and me together.”
“No it must kill you that I did not fall apart. It must kill you to think that you may have in fact done me a favour. It must kill you to think that you are not even worthy of a reaction out of me, even though you were such an unimaginable bastard. The only thing that kills me, is to see her bamma ass trying to dress like she has any kind of style and pretend to have some substance behind her eyes in that vacuous head of hers. It must kill you that she will never meet my standards. Be warned, never come this close to me again. Be clear, I fuckin’ hate you and be sure to tell her not to let my suit fool her, because if she ever steps to me sideways or speaks my name in a negative way, that it’s going to take a dentist to surgically remove my louboutins from her mouth, after I shove my foot up her ass. Are we done here?”
Evan looked at Nadhira’s spiked heels, , swallowed hard for various reasons, but mostly because he knew that she was indeed very serious about what she said. He stomped out of her office feeling very unsatisfied by the outcome of the conversation he’d just had.
Nadhira slammed her door behind him. She looked at the key to his apartment and picked it up and threw it in her waste paper basket. After a few minutes, she reached into the bin to retrieve it. That key was going to come in handy some day, maybe sooner than she imagined…….
The Key Part 2 coming soon.