Fiction: New chapters

As I get past airport security and look around for a place to eat something, I feel a pair of eyes boring into my head. I turn to see him staring at me like he’s seen a ghost in the darkness. I freeze for a minute, and then gather my wits about me.

I nod an acknowledgement, smile and walk on in my pursuit of food. On the outside I appear calm and composed but who knows of the storms that brew within? It’s been three years since we spoke. Three years since I broke down and cried like a child at the unexpected end of this relationship. And then I gathered myself, rose from my ashes like the proverbial Phoenix and swore I’d never let a man hurt me again.

Yet, those storms seem to have merely taken a sabbatical, only to return with unexpected force in this characterless airport lounge. I swear at myself for being so vulnerable to him even after all these years.

I find a chair and sink into it, no longer even wanting any food or drink. All I want is to disappear from this place and never have to see him again. But I know that won’t happen.

Almost as if on cue, he finds me and approaches. He sits down next to me and calls out my name. I look up, expressionless, deadpan. He starts apologising. I hold a hand up asking him to stop. He pauses and then asks, “How are you?”

The rage bubbles. How dare he? How dare he ask me this after leaving me to pick up my pieces? I steel myself to face him. With the same deadpan expression, I nod and say, “Very well. Thank you. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some work to finish.”

He looks taken aback but I’m sure I don’t want to engage in further conversation. I’m done. That chapter is over. And it will remain but a chapter in the book of my life.

I hear the boarding call and pick up my bag to take that flight I’d missed all those years ago. And a new chapter begins.

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