BrokenJPG

A Copywriter’s Blog

She sat on the train, head bowed, willing herself not to cry. She wouldn’t give him the satisfaction.

Besides, she’d already spent the morning depressed. Alternately sobbing into her pillow and holding a tear-choked and one sided debate with her cell phone. “I am NOT boring” she had gasped at it. The text on the backlit screen, barely discernible through her tears, offered no consolation.

Then, once she’d run out of tears, she got angry. Who was he to call her boring? She could go out. She could go out anytime she chose. Why, she’d go out right now. “Besides,” she thought as she went into the bedroom to dry her eyes and get dressed, “the best revenge would be a life lived richly.”

What time was it? 2? Hah! She’d go out and- and- and start drinking right now! She put on the sexiest clothes she owned: A pair of pants that didn’t so much hug her curves as hide them, and a very sensible blouse. She almost left an extra button undone, but didn’t want to look like a whore.

Then she grabbed her purse, hailed a cab, and rattled off the first intersection that came to mind. She would get a drink at the first bar she found. Which had turned out to be the questionably named “Hairy Monk”. She paid the driver and, with a burst of willpower, stepped inside.

She blinked a moment, allowing her eyes to adjust to the sudden gloom. She would have taken a table, but the only other people there were sitting at the bar, and she didn’t want to do anything that made it look as though this was the first time she’d been in a place like this alone. She chose the stool at the end of the bar, next to the wall.

She ordered a drink in a voice barely above a whisper. Red wine- chosen because it was a safe bet between the white wine she only sipped on special occasions, and ordering something like whiskey.

She sat stiffly, her head bowed so low her chin almost touched her chest. This was all wrong. The TV’s were too loud. The air was too thick. And everything seemed just a little too sticky. This was a terrible place. She wanted to be gone.

What sort of revenge was this, where her hands shook and her throat closed and the tears gathered just behind her eyelids? The wine appeared, and she grasped it, grateful for something to do with her hands. She took a drink, tilting the glass higher and higher. The liquid burned her throat, but she no longer cared. She put it down empty, telling herself the rising lump in her throat was from the wine. She placed a dollar on the counter and slid off her stool in a single motion, halfway to the door before she had even pulled the purse back over her shoulder.

Hailing a taxi would have meant speaking to someone, so she had taken the subway instead. And now here she was, fighting back tears in a train car at 2:35 in the afternoon. The most pathetic- and boring- person alive.

When she got home she stripped off the clothes she had been wearing, putting on a familiar pair of sweatpants and an oversized t-shirt. Then she sat in the window seat of her apartment and picked up the book she had been reading. She did not cry. The lump in her throat was gone. The last thought she spared before losing herself completely in the pages was that it was true. The best revenge was a life lived richly.

*If you’re interested, my own comments on this story are below in the- um, comments. For an understanding of where this story came from, read this post.