You see her face and you peek inside her life all from the backwards, self-preserving perspective that she’s the other woman. That you belong and that she’s on the outside. You’re defensive and ready to fight as you scan through the photographic moments that he’s chosen to represent her. You’re searching for every opportunity to win — to win at what, you’re not yet sure.
You remember the fleeting moments that have defined and solidified your tenderness towards him. Those were the moments that reassured you. It was you and him by the river for the first time and rocks and leather and underused fishing rods and his hand on your knee as he drove north on the interstate you grew up around and that same hand on your cheek later as you said goodbye and the thrill of finding him on your Brooklyn doorstep at 3am. It was confiding in him at all hours of every day for months. There was an easy omniscience that couldn’t be blueprinted or explained. Nor did it need to be, or so you thought. He was yours, wasn’t he? But now a sickness has crept over you — as only the truth juxtaposed with perception can induce. Just a glimpse at the physical proof of her existence is all it takes to make you recoil. To sully every memory you have of him. To discover your relationship for what it was and to hate yourself for hurting this beautiful woman; and even worse to hurt her without her knowledge. She’s still living her fairy tale. He’s still writing it for her. Meanwhile you’re alone in New York City with the pit in your stomach that accompanies a mugging. But yet you can’t play the victim. You freely handed over large chunks of yourself with a smile on your face and hearts in your eyes. It seems too trite to say it’s not fair. But you’ll say it anyway. It’s not fair. And you find yourself seeing her as a deity that you’d quite like to know. You see why anyone would be lucky to love her. And then you see his face next to hers and he pales in comparison. She’s lovely…and come to think of it, you’re quite lovely too. And you realize that he’s the one who’s undeserving of it all.
It’s all just enough to drive you mad and to make your insides squirm so violently you want to dig them out of you and bury them far away. You can’t stand the You who did this. The two weeks ago You. The two months ago You. If you could just go back and tell her how it ends. Tell her you can’t lose something that was never yours. You won’t lose him. You’ll lose something much more valuable in the process.