Encountering the Other Woman

I never thought I would see her in person. I felt as though the universe had put a tiny bubble around me that would protect me from ever having to see her. But that night, as I was walking through the congested clutters of people, I saw her. It felt like I got hit by a freight train that was full of all of the lies he’d ever told me “she doesn’t mean anything to me” “I’m done with her”, and in that moment I was paralyzed. She looked at me with a mix of disgust and intrigue, and in those five seconds that felt like a lifetime, we were obstructed by the masses and I was left stunned. I looked to my friends and breathlessly uttered “that’s her”, in that moment they knew. They knew that I was referring to the girl who assisted in single handedly filling my mind with thoughts of unworthiness and resentment. She was the girl my significant other had cheated on me with. For the moments following the encounter, my friends tried to occupy my mind with shots of liquor and dancing with the overly loud throwback pop music. All this did was aid in growing the pit of sickness that my stomach housed. Soon after, the music became the formality, fueling my anxiety. All I was able to do was think about everything I normally did, when I was laying in bed alone at night, or sometimes when he was right in front of me, and I just couldn’t help myself but let my mind wander to that place. They were the thoughts that I kept perfectly contained from the outside world. The questions I’ve always wanted to ask, but never would dare to. But tonight, I couldn’t hold them in any longer. Later on that night, I passed her once more on my way to patio outside of the bar, and that’s when I tapped her on the shoulder apprehensively. She looked over at me in shock and disbelief when I asked to pull her to the side of the crowd and talk about the white elephant between us. She nodded almost eagerly and stepped over. I told her who I was, and she replied with “I’m so sorry” confirming that she knew exactly what I was referring to. She would go on to tell me that she was told that I was an “on again, off again girlfriend” and that he had told her we just weren’t together at the moment. She told me about how she was a devout Christian that was disgusted with her actions when she found out that we were actually together. Then she told me something that for whatever reason, hit me like a ton of bricks “I’ve been cheated on before and it hurt so much, I never in a million years wanted to be the other woman for someone.” The thing is, I never once blamed her for this. I knew in my heart that he had lied to her about the status of our relationship. I would stalk her social media and would think longingly about what she had that I didn’t. With her long light brown curls, and her distinct hazel doe eyes, she was gorgeous and athletic. From her pictures, she looked like a free and beautiful soul. The soul I wanted to be. In our conversation she mentioned how beautiful she thought I was, and that’s when everything started coming back full circle. That’s when I realized we were in the exact same track of mind. This was such a big moment of understanding and clarity, and reveled in comfort and relief. Our exchange of words was the closure of a heartbreak we both suffered. It was the closure we didn’t know we needed from each other. As we exchanged our hugs and hopeful glances, I couldn’t help but think of how relieved I was that this experience wasn’t one of those cat fight scenes you saw in the movies where the two women blamed each other as opposed to the man. This exchange was one of respect and maturity. It was unconventional solace coming from two bodies. It was the end of a long lived animosity towards a person who used to only be just a picture and a thought.