Moving On Means Owning It

… I felt a tap on my shoulder, and when I turned around, two lips pressed against mine, followed by a slow-probing tongue. My choice to fight or succumb to the kiss was slowed down a little by the three drinks I’d had. I’m a lightweight, I know. I put my arms up and placed them on her forearms, gently but firmly pushing her away.  
“I knew you’d be back.” She grinned. “Idaho’s creepy. I mean farms are cool and stuff, but people are all backwards there.” 
“Sure, Ton-ton.” I saw that Chloe was waiting for me, very patiently considering her prospects. “I have to go.”
“Well, I guess I’ll see you around. Do you want my new number? I changed phones.” 
I paused for a moment. “No, I don’t think I do. Anyway, good luck to you. No hard feelings.” 
“None for me, either. I’ll see you around.” 
I didn’t bother to correct her. Seeing her again was not in my future plans, and if I did, I would not let her catch me off guard like that again. 
– Chickenshit: Crisis #8A Big City Blues
Billie flies to Seattle for a work meeting. She sees some old friends and goes to a couple of bars, but the town has lost its luster for her. Seeing Ton-Ton helps Billie get some resolution on her feelings. Her boss puts her on notice: If she wants to keep her job, she’ll need to get back to Seattle soon. Billie gets some offers, but not the one she wants.

Chickenshit – Or: How a City Girl Does Country All Wrong is Volume I of a series. Available  now on Kindle and on Amazon paperback. The next volume will be published in Spring/Summer of 2018.

Like it or not, exes are often a concern for many of us. In my own experience, seeing a former girlfriend has been a unique form of torture that I have gone to great lengths to avoid, including moving to another state on every occasion, now that I think about it. When I was Billie’s age and going through a break up, I was dealing with such intense feelings that I didn’t want to let go. Even when there was no reason whatsoever to hang on. Even after I had “moved on” and gotten a life, hopes of reconciliation lingered. It is so hard to let go when you know that person through and through, and they know you and, at least for a short time, they accepted you for who you are until that something happened, or didn’t happen, and the relationship fell apart. No more picnics in the park or long drives singing Indigo Girls songs together, let alone the more intense moments that bonded you so closely in the first place. Time to move on. And, for us slow to learn folks, time to move on from moving on.
I am proud of Billie for having the courage to quietly stand up for herself with Ton-Ton. Sure, it would have been cathartic for Billie to blast her and take her down a peg or two, but she didn’t need that to move on. She needed only the opportunity to step away long enough to see Ton-Ton for what she was and the chance to trust herself to say no to being used again. Anything more would have erased her own responsibility for her own well-being. Sure Ton-Ton did things that hurt her, but Billie made two mistakes. 1) Trusting someone who was openly narcissistic and 2) making more of a casual relationship than was healthy. Lesson learned, I hope.