The Last Conversation (another failed relationship part two)
There comes a time in a woman’s life when junk food is a must. You fail your chemistry exam, you go crying to a mega sized bag of Doritos. You find out your boyfriend left you for someone more successful and prettier, you succumb to Ben and Jerry, the best orgasm a woman can have. In my case, I resulted at the Dollar Tree where one can stack up on junk food for under $20. I walked in there with firm confidence that I would only buy one bag of chips, but instead came out with 2 bags of cheese puffs, a bag of Doritos, one jar of butter cookies and a jug of grape soda. As I struggled out of the store with my bags, the inevitable happened. After two long weeks, Julian’s ring tone was now blaring out of my pocket. I had become unaware of everything around me, including myself. I could only hear my heartbeat getting louder each second. My wool trench coat suddenly stopped itching and I was now reaching for my phone. “Hu-hu-hello!” My tongue felt heavy as the word slipped through my lips. “Barbara, it’s Julian. I was wondering if you could meet me at Pastis this afternoon. I really need to talk to you. I don’t think we ended things right, please meet me, we owe it to our relationship.” I listened to his strange voice but couldn’t bring myself to give him an answer. “Barbara? Babs, you there?” “Yes, I mean yes I’ll meet you, just tell me what time and I’ll meet you Julian.” I called Cathleen as soon as I got home.
I paced around my living room, anxious and nervous about my recent conversation with the man i love. My craving for junk food magically disappeared and awakened a thirst for heavy vodka. I poured myself a glass of old scotch my grandma had given me for my 21st and dialed Cate’s number. “If you don’t come over here and take me right now I’m gonna find someone else to do it.” Stunned and amused by her greeting I responded, “ I hope that’s not your voicemail greeting too.” “Oh Barbara! I’m sorry about that, I thought you were Ben. That asshole promised me a romantic afternoon together, yet his preppy ass is still at work!” Whenever Cate got in this unappealing mood, the only thing left to do was always, as you already know “Junk, Junk, Junk.”
We opened every single bag of chips I had and the best bottle of red wine in my kitchen and splurged. “What time are you meeting him?” “Four. What do you think he wants to say? I mean if he wants to get back together he’s got another thing coming.” I said the words out loud, but inside I knew that I would take Julian back in a heartbeat, and so did Cate. “There’s no need to lie to me or to yourself Babs, you need to really take him out of your life. He’s not right for you! Now you’re a smart woman, but I still fear that you’re not strong enough to “have a talk,” you’re still mourning for fuck’s sake. It’s a trick.” “So what are you saying? I shouldn’t go?” “ No, no, you should find out what he has to say. I just don’t want you to fall for his crap.” As we drank our last glasses of “fix me up” scotch, I thought of the perfect outfit that would make Julian go wild. “Definitely the black skinny jeans, with your beige cashmere sweater and your black strappy Ferragamos. You want to be sexy but not “trying too hard ” sexy.”
I walked in Pastis feeling beautiful and desirable. I could feel every gaze on me as I strutted to Julian’s table. My red lips I hoped would remind him that I was still the interesting, wild, yet classy girl he met at Perse. I sat down in front of the man I had been craving for the past week. My palms were sweating, I was sure he could see right through me. He smiled, revealing his pearly white teeth. Damn him, he knows how much i love his smile. “Wow Barbara, you…….you look absolutely magnificent.” I looked at him stupefied by his behavior. He gravitated around the crooked table like a 5 year old. That’s when I realized, Julian was nervous. “Thank you. So why did you drag me all the way down here? If you’re gonna tell me you miss me, you can forget it Julian.” I exclaimed looking straight in his eyes. He froze and replied, “ That’s not it, Barbara i…” “Can I start you guys with something.” Julian jumped at the waiter with his order, seeming to be relieved he had come to our table. Suspicious, I stared at him trying to figure out why he was so nervous and what exactly he wanted to tell me. “ I’ll have a strawberry mojito please, thank you.” After ordering I went back to staring at him. “Great little place right?” “Julian, why am I here, come on! The suspense is killing me.” I smiled as the words came out. “ Ok, here goes, ok… I’m engaged. Oh man! I feel so much better already.” I had landed somewhere else as soon as the word engaged made its way out of his toxic lips. The word floated around the room as I pondered in my own thoughts. “ Look, I know you’re upset but I only told you because I didn’t want you to hear it somewhere else. I want us to be friends Barbara.” I had completely left the room, I was somewhere above the restaurant and the shop next door. “ Hey, Barbara?” He seemed concerned, for the first time since our relationship. “ Engaged!” I finally yelled; the whole restaurant fell silent. The waiters were no longer moving and the loud conversations had suddenly stopped. “Calm down, we’re in public.” “ We just broke up Julian! How could you meet someone in two weeks, and already be engaged!” “ Well we..” “ Don’t! Don’t you dare say it! You’ve been seeing her for a while huh?” Julian simply looked. His face was now, tomato red as he looked on in disbelief. “ I can’t believe this!” I chuckled. “ You are one class act. You know what? You’re a bigger jerk that I gave you credit for.” I took out the money for my mojito, pointed my clutch at him and said, “ I feel sorry for you, really, I do” and walked away from the man who had broken my heart all over again.
Unable to get a cab, I walked the thirty blocks hoping my heart would somewhat stop hurting, but instead it felt heavier after each breath. I looked around and wondered how, a bright and lively city like New York could hold people like Julian. As i got to 38th street, a homeless man grabbed my hand and said "Look to the future my child, there is nothing left back there for you." Scared and amazed, i put my clutch under my arm and walked away as fast i could. I began packing, the minute I got home. I couldn't help but think about what the man had said, could he be right? was he some sort of a psychic? It didn’t matter that my feet were hurting, it didn’t even matter that I had no one to help me. I knew that if I packed, I would somehow feel sane and be hopeful again. I now had a reason to break up with my true lover, New York. I was finally happy to be leaving the place that held so many of my memories, and if this man was right, i would never have to hurt again, at least not here and not over Julian.