“Can we talk?”

Leah turned to see Marci on the next stool. “I’d rather not,” she answered flatly and turned away.

“This is uncomfortable for me too,” Marci said, “but we have to talk about this.”

“About how you broke his heart?”

It was what Marci had expected, but it still made her cheeks burn with shame. “Well,” she offered, “if I hadn’t, you never would have gotten together.”

However, Leah’s next reply was entirely unexpected. “We’re not together,” she said, draining the amber liquid from her glass.

“I thought . . .”

Leah turned back, tears glistening in her eyes. “I don’t think he was ever really that interested. Anyway, he’s engaged now or something.”

“Oh,” Marci answered. A pause. “Me too.”

Leah let out a heavy, pained sigh. “Congratulations, I guess.”

The women sat silently in the noisy bar until Marci decided to make one last effort. “You know there’s a reason I left him, right?  There are . . . a lot of reasons.”

“Yeah,” Leah said, “He’s toxic. I get it.”

“If you get it, then why do you still hate me?”

Leah shook her head. “Like you said, if you hadn’t left him, he never would have gotten to hurt me.”

Photo by Austris Augusts on Unsplash

Story by Gregory M. Fox