I was leaving the office and heading to my car when I notice a woman heading toward me. She was staring directly at me. I stared back. I kept walking towards my car, and she kept coming toward me. I didn’t recognize her, but it was clear that she knew me. "You're Kitten, aren't you?" She said.
"Who wants to know?" I ask. But I knew. I did not recognize her, but I immediately placed her voice.
"I'm Tonya," She said.
"I hope you have a good reason for stalking me," I said. There was so much going on in my head at this point.
So this is Tonya?
For some reason, most people when they found out that “B” had cheated on me was curious to know what Tonya looked like.
I didn’t even think about it. What does that have to do with anything? True beauty does not come in physical form. If all I have is my looks, I don't have anything. Being pretty or not so pretty doesn't have anything to do with cheating. A man will have the model woman at home and still cheat. So I didn’t understand the curiosity about her looks.
I guess it makes a woman feel less of a woman if the other woman is prettier and more attractive than she is, and I guess it makes her not feel not so bad if she is prettier and more attractive than the other woman. I don’t know.
But as I looked at her, I thought wow. And I wonder again, why?
The puzzle wasn’t these women. I was the puzzle. I’m the one who didn’t fit.
Few months ago, I came across a red box where I keep pictures of past lovers.
There is something eerily similar about them.
I’m not attracted to men who society would deem drop dead gorgeous.
I’m not attracted to smooth-talkers.
I’m not attracted to loud and boastful men.
I do not pick out a certain body type. But the men I’ve dated are all into sports in some way or another. I’ve dated boxers, martial artists, tennis players, runners. It’s not so much the body-type that attracts me. It’s the mindset.
I will take intelligence over looks any day. Intelligence can make a man/woman attractive. An attractive man/woman if a fool is just a fool.
I’ve been wrong in my choices plenty of times, but the fact is, there are similarities in all of them.
I’ve seen pictures of a lot of the women who “B” dated. I met the woman who approached us in the restaurant—the one with whom he used to swing. I’ve met his wife, and now I’ve met Tonya.
There is something similar about all of them. They are all older than he is which makes them old enough to be my mother. And physically, we were like night and day.
Wherein I look as if I live in the gym, these women looked as if they've never set foot in one. Wherein I vibrate with youthfulness, and colorful, these women looked mature and safe.
The question is not what attracted him to these women, it's what attracted him to me? I’m the one who didn’t seem to fit what appears to be his type of women.
I don’t quite know how the realization makes me feel.
"I'm not stalking you," she said.
"Then what are you doing here? What do you want?" I asked.
She looked desperate and out-of-control. She seemed to be breaking inside, and falling apart right in front of me. I couldn't get a handle on the woman. I don't understand her behavior, the phone calls, and now waiting for me in a parking lot months after she’d called me to tell me that my boyfriend had cheated on me with her.
I left. The story should be over, shouldn’t it?
I don’t know what’s going on, but what’s brutally clear is that whatever her plans were, they had gone terribly wrong. What would make her resort to this?
I stared at her, waiting for an explanation.
“It’s your fault,” she said.
“What’s my fault?”
She didn’t answer. I'm not sure that she was uncertain of what she was accusing me.
I walked away.
“What is it with women like you?” she said following me.
I didn’t stop walking.
She caught up with me and grabbed my arm. I pulled away.
“Don’t touch me,” I said. “Don’t ever touch me,”
You don't have to get loud to be taken seriously. My voice was low but clear.
“You don’t even know what really happened, do you?” she said.
“I’m sure I don’t. And I don’t care,”
“You didn’t know how to take care of him. You didn’t know how to give him what he wanted. He wanted a baby. I would’ve given him a baby. That’s why he came to me,”
“Congratulations,” I said.
She looked furious.
“You’re such a bitch,”
“Tonya, what exactly did I do to you? How did I interfere with your life? Am I the one who knowingly slept with your boyfriend, or was it you who knowingly slept with mine in hopes that he would leave me for you? Explain to me why you feel that you have the right, to call stalk me? The right to call me a bitch?
She didn’t answer. She wouldn’t even look at me. She was looking at the ground. It was very strange to watch someone behaving like that. And I wondered again, what did “B” see in this woman? She wasn't physically unattractive. Like his wife and the other women, They were all aging gracefully. It was her attitude that made her unattractive. It was the weakness I see in her, the inability to lift her head and face me. The inabiliy to function.
I lost the man with whom I was in love, but I picked myself up, brushed myself off, and moved on. I did not for one second felt the necessity to calll or stalk anyone. What the fuck for?
“Would you like to go for a drink so we can talk this out, and hopefully we can both move on?” I asked.
Why would I sit down with her? Because her behavior is troubling to me. And in way I felt sorry for her. I needed to know what was going on with her. How could she justify showing up, and having the audacity to blame me for anything?
She seemed taken aback at first. But did follow me to the coffee shop.
I ordered her a cup of coffee and listened to her.
I don’t know if what she told me is true. But Tonya claimed to have gotten pregnant with “B’s” baby and he denied that he was responsible for impregnating her and stopped taking her calls.
Tonya claimed that she miscarried. And somehow, in her twisted mind, I was was responsible because the only reason “B” didn’t want to be with her is because of me.
And when she got done talking I asked one question. "What does any of this have to do
That's all I wanted to know. I don’t care if anything she said is true.
She couldn't answer the question.
When I left "B" getting over him was the one thing I knew I had to do because I knew that I would never go back.
I woke up few days ago and realized that I wasn’t hurting over him anymore. The
heaviness inside me was gone, something was still there, but it doesn’t take my breath away. It had taken me over three months. It’s the longest I’ve ever hurt over anyone.
“What do you want from me, Tonya?” I asked.
She didn’t answer.
She had to know that harassing me was unreasonable, right?
I don’t like people who make bad choices and then break easily when faced with the bad consequences of their actions.
For me, life is about making mistakes, admitting them, owning them, and picking up
and moving on. I’ve made a lot of bad choices in my life. But you will never catch me falling apart over them. Some sees this as me not giving a shit about anything. Wrong, I call it “acceptance”
I think that “B” fucked a woman who was in love with him, when all he wanted was sex. And Tonya believed with everything in her that she could’ve made him love her.
Tonya hasn't learned something that I learned when I sixteen: you can't make someone love you if they don't.
When I left her at the coffee shop I left the questions with her. It just doesn't matter to me any more. There is so much I wanted to understand when "B" and I broke up. I couldn't stop the questions just as I couldn't stop the hurt.
The questions are gone now. And the hurt is fading. And my love for him belonged in a different time.