I’m not your bitch, bastard.

“You never heard the ‘I’m not your hot water bitch’ story?!”

Ah, what a great way to spend a Monday night.  Appetizers on the table, glass of Tobin James in my hand, listening and laughing to the ‘hot water bitch’ story when my heart jumps into my throat and my lungs shrink to the size of teacups.  Thud, thud, thud, pant, pant, pant.  I can barely breathe as I watch my Ex walk by the restaurant windows heading for the door.  Mercifully, he must have seen me, too, for after a phone call to whomever he was meeting, he turned around and walked away, most likely making other plans.

I force myself to practice deep breathing to calm down.  I don’t want to react, but it’s visceral.  My self-possession left me as soon as I saw him.  Why, why, why this response?  I treated him so well (probably too well) when we were together.  I should have no shame or embarrassment now.  I should feel empowered – he’s the one who’s fear should well up upon seeing me.  He’s the bastard.

It’s been over 18 month and this is the first time I’ve seen my Ex since we broke up.   That’s longer than we were together.  I thought, by now, I could run into him and treat him as an indifferent acquaintance.  I am obviously wrong.  I had plans to attend a mutual friend’s birthday party next week.  I have changed my mind afraid of another debilitating reaction and the likelihood that he would be there.