Secret Ex Girlfriends’ Club

She’s fiddling with the keys on her key chain again. Slightly rubbing them together, almost popping them off the ring. Fidgeting. She’s just fidgeting. It’s a nervous tic, something that she finds herself doing often but doesn’t remember starting. Just passing the time. Trying not to look at her phone. She doesn’t want to see how many minutes have passed, or, rather, how many minutes haven’t passed. It’s still the same minute. She’s still waiting.

The bartender hasn’t acknowledged her yet. She wants to look busy, like she has a purpose for being here, but she doesn’t want to look so busy that the bartender thinks she’s not ready to order. She’s ready. Shot of tequila and a tequila soda, please. Hopefully the booze will cut through her nerves. She hopes no one strange approaches her. She hopes no one tries to talk to her. It’s part of the peril of being out in the world – being subjected to strangers who might impose their will on you at any moment. Although, that is why she’s here. To meet a stranger. Hopefully someone who will not be a stranger for long.

The candles in their little cups flicker romantically. This would be a great place for a date. Or, it is a great place for a date, but it’s hard to think of this as a date. It’s more like an exercise in putting herself out there. Practice. Fake socialization. Just to get back into the swing of things. Even though she knows she’ll be spending most of this date day dreaming about checking her text messages in the bathroom in the hopes that someone more interesting has texted. Well, not someone. Not *him* that’s for sure. Even though she does miss the frequent incoming text messages and the modicum of security that he brought to her life.

She smiles at nothing in particular. She hopes that the man who is coming to this bar isn’t creepy or annoying. Getting to know people is such a chore. It’s so tedious. Mostly because it’s always such a let down. It was the last time she tried to get to know somebody. Just…a total waste of time. Why can’t people put out the cliff notes to their personalities so she can make better decisions about who to date. For example, a little note card with past trauma, attachment style, love languages, and a rating on a scale of one to ten on how good they are in bed. It always sucks to spend a couple nights with a person only to find out that they don’t eat pussy, or they hate trans people, or they think that sex workers deserve to get murdered. It’s exhausting. It’s like a full time job that she’s not getting paid for. Which is why she closes her tab. He’ll be buying her drinks as soon as he shows up. If he shows up.

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