Someone You used to love and can't stand

As I walk into Starbucks, I think about how the cold Mango Dragon fruit refresher will feel down my throat when I see him. Steven Molina in the corner of the coffee shop laughing with his brother. My heart stops and I am tempted to run as far as possible.

I take a breath and walk to the counter. I order my drink quietly hiding behind my massive sunglasses and hair. I slip my card into the machine hyper aware of him. I look in his direction for one second too long and he sees me. His eyes lock onto mine and I wish for a quick death. I wonder if I should say anything or if I should just leave.

“Heather… hi” he is awkward and unlike himself. His older brother smiles at me, and I am just imagining all the awful things he must have said about me.

“Steven, it’s been a while” I say hoping that the final unspoken word is left unknown. I feel odd and his smile is not real. I remember his real smile and the tension must be seeping through this entire micro-Starbucks. I could also just be dramatic.

“How are you?” he says, and I wish I wasn’t here, “You look amazing”.

He’s probably lying.

“I’m good, just got back from New York and you?” I almost feel rude keeping my sunglasses on, but I have no interest in letting him see my eyes.

I smile at his older brother realizing how rude I must seem. He sips his coffee and I desperately wish to evaporate from this place. My order still isn’t ready.




“I thought that apartment had serious potential” I tell my brother as we consider the new property. He is skeptical and unsure. I sip my coffee and check to see if my girlfriend has texted me yet.

She has, a smiley face and heart. My brother mocks me silently, but I can’t help it. She’s incredible. The Starbucks is mostly empty so it’s a good place to discuss business. I realize that someone has walked in but don’t take any notice.

“It’s just not going to be easy to rent or sell” my brother points out. I look up and there is my ex. I don’t know if I hate her or pity her or miss her, but she looks good. I should say something. This is weird.

“Heather… hi” This is very weird, and I can only imagine she wants to run away. I almost think it’s better if I hadn’t said anything. My brother smiles at her continues drinking his coffee. My phone was once filled with her pictures, but I don’t think much about that anymore.

“Steven, it’s been a while” she says, and I notice the longer hair, dark sunglasses and manicured nails. She’s freaking out and I don’t know how I feel. I ended the relationship but she never really… I don’t even know.

“How are you? You look amazing” I honestly mean that she looks healthy. She must hate me or not be over me. I’m not that vain.

“I’m good, just got back from New York and you?” She’s been traveling. She’s better than I remember, and her smile is fake. I don’t think about her but seeing her, leaves me entirely uncertain of how I feel.