She was utterly at a loss as to how to act around him.
Did she hate him? Yes. Yes, because he used her naivety, broke her heart and gave new life to her insecurities.
She was very vocal about her hatred too. She found particular joy at making smart-ass come backs to his lame one-liners and making him lose face. She also found it hilarious to make puns at his expense. The man hated a woman, especially one who had been so dependent on him, put one above him. But there was nothing much he could do. She enjoyed his powerlessness.
Others knew of her hatred as well. Though she took particular care to not speak outright of his crimes, those who hated him flocked around her. At such discussions she was always passive and mute, but she listened. Oh she listened.
But there were other times when she’d feel sorry for him.
When she’d spy him sitting at a corner with a dull face, or see him lie down as if tired. Times she’d wanted to go and make sure he was okay. Because she had a hard time believing that this bitter and closed off individual was someone whom she’d prized above all others once.
Her thoughts never followed the same path. She knew certain people he considered ‘friends’ were so only in name, and sometimes the fact made her giggle while other times it made her want to stand up for him. At first she had no idea what to do about the rumours spreading about him, stuff she wished wasn’t true but couldn’t say for sure. Usually, she’d speak on his side but now she held herself back. Hate was still strong in her.
Where she had once celebrated his achievements as if they were her own, she now felt indifferent. The jealousy she had felt at seeing him flirt with girls post-breakup now dulled and instead she found herself hoping he’d finally grow up enough to have a proper relationship. She no longer felt the need to involve him in her life- rather, she found comfort and empowerment by being alone. It pained her to admit it, but her broken heart was necessary for her to finally see her own beauty. The grief had helped her grow.
She had tried being civil to him on multiple occasions, but his cocky responses always set her off.She hated how he acted as if he still had power over her.
No matter how pronounced her confusions were, she knew for sure that she was no longer in love with the brute. She knew, because her heart was now set on another and she could finally experience the kind of love she’d read about in books.
But every time she saw him, the confusion lingered.
Smile or scowl?
Speak or ignore?
Laugh or console?
They were exes with bad memories, still forced to interact on a daily basis. They had both moved on, and she couldn’t help but think it easy for her because he himself had destroyed the man she had loved in him.
But was he not still part that man? Perhaps not worthy of love anymore, but worthy of being forgiven?
She plugged in the earphones and lost herself to music.
She couldn’t wait for the day they no longer had to meet.