the one that got away
person mistaken for a movie star
“Whoa, you look just like -”
“Thanks, I know.”
It’s a rude interruption, I know, to cut off the teenage girl checking me and my sad cadre of frozen dinners out, but I can’t handle it right now.
Everyone expects the beautiful person to revel in compliments and the comparison, but for as long as I can remember my beauty hasn’t met shit to me. like Rita Hayworth forever cast in men’s minds as Gilda, my ‘all-American’ looks that are so often commented on just make me feel like the curly blond hair blue-eyed poster child for Hitler’s youth and it makes my stomach turn.
I sigh and say “Sorry, an ex used to call me ‘Ilse’, ya know, Casablanca, and it’s just a little raw for me.”
An ex. Ha. I’m amazed at how easily the phrase, the casual identifier rolls off my tongue. Just like any other character from the past - oh ya know, just an ex.
But I miss her.
I can still smell her.
What do you do when the one who got away dies tragically and that’s the reason they got away?
I’ve taken to calling her an ex because I’m not a widow, we had broken up (I think) but there’s a gaping wounded space where there will never be any closure.
We were on a ‘break’ - we had decided on some space. But there wasn’t a final nail in the coffin of our relationship. Yet. Just a literal nail.
The checkout girl’s been saying something and I’ve completely spaced so I just smile and pop my credit card into the thing and wait for the beep.