Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Just to See You Smile

“Yesterday I knew just what you wanted
when you came walkin up to me with him.
So I told you that I was happy for you,
and given the chance I’d lie again just to see you smile.”
(Just to See You Smile, Tim McGraw)

When he told me, I thought I’d been hit in the chest with a brick. That tender bud of confidence I’d been nurturing since my return to the United States curled in on itself and went back into hibernation. Three months later, there’s still a vague ache somewhere near the vicinity of my heart.

He was so excited when he told me, so proud. He sounded happy. I couldn’t take it away from him, so I just smiled and murmered something politely congratulatory. What else was there to do?

Scream? Stomp my foot? Cry and tell him I’m sorry and that I didn’t mean to hurt him and that she’d never make him as happy as I could have? I couldn’t, of course… because it wasn’t true.

Almost three years to the day after we broke up, Bentley told me he was marrying the gal he left me for.

She’s cute and blonde and energetic and fun, and unlike me in almost every way. In fact, she’s a near cookie cutter of every other pre-me girl he dated. I was a bit of a step off the beaten path for him.

The strange thing is, I really am happy for him. I don’t begrudge him his joy. I can’t fathom rekindling a relationship with him. The pain, I suppose, is more a mourning for the closing of a chapter in my life; the end of something beautiful and dynamic; the drawing-to of a period of growth and learning and self-realization.

There’s no way to turn back those pages, no way to un-live the years, and I’m glad for it.

With all sincerity, I wish Bentley and his soon-to-be bride the very best. May you always be kind to one another, and live in inspiration and joy together.


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