So it finally happened…

I had a run-in with her* this morning. I've actively and successfully avoided her for nearly a year—until now. Our paths have crossed only twice before this (of which I know) since early last winter but I believe that she didn't see me at that time: I would've heard about it if she had, I'm sure.

I have my annual fall Friday tradition: a Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks enjoyed over my commute. It's one of the few ways that I treat myself. I eagerly await it, anticipation growing over the summer months. By time it arrives, I'm ready to indulge in one of my favorite guilty pleasures. I'm not the richest person so I limit myself to one a week and budget for it. I've been frequenting the Canfield Starbucks for the past several years.

So imagine my horror as, while the person in front of me completed his order, the ordertaker looks up and our eyes meet. This time it was unavoidable; neither of us saw the other until we made eye contact. I could hardly contain my emotions as I met her blank gaze. My heart sank and my stomach began to turn as I made an about face, leaving as quickly as possible without breaking into a full run and without so much a word. It was all I could do to keep from breaking down and weeping openly as I rushed out the door. I went to the Austintown Starbucks instead.

I wept for most of my drive to the office. I've been sick, my stomach sour and churning, since that time. I'm having difficulty focusing and concentrating on my work, let alone anything else. It's a struggle to keep down any food. I'm hurting unlike I've hurt since late last fall.

I'm going to see the opening of a show tonight at a theater in which she and I both were previously involved as volunteers. I know that I'll enjoy the show for what it's worth but I'm miserable regardless, knowing that I'll suffer the inevitable consequences. I worked on the set for this show at the invitation of the theater management—in spite of what they did to me—because several friends are in or were involved with the show; however, I was sick to my stomach for days. I cried myself to sleep for several nights following, the first time to do so since I saw the last show at this theater.

I wish that I were stronger, that I wasn't so sensitive or an ENFP empath. I wish at times that I could just crawl back into the protective mental INTJ shell that I created as a young child, curl up into a ball and cry myself to sleep as my mother sings to me like she did all those years ago.

"Some old wounds never fully heal and bleed at the slightest word. … Shattered legs may heal in time but some betrayals fester and poison the soul."

I wonder if this wound might ever heal….

* A person from my past with whom I made mistakes for which I paid dearly. I'll leave this at that.

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James Reed

Love has EVERYTHING to do with it, all you need is love!

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