I was just a girl with a crush on a guy in a band, like so many other girls my age back then. When we were in school together, he didn’t notice me, and why would he? I was a nerd. And not in that insincere way that gorgeous Hollywood starlets pretend they were in high school in every magazine interview, then you turn the page and find out they were really homecoming queen. I was a true social outcast. A face pockmarked with acne, frizzy, stiff hair I had no idea how to manage, awkwardly curvy, a little girl ill at ease in a woman’s body. It was misery.
A few years after high school, however, I was drowning my sorrows alone at a bar after my latest breakup, and there he was on stage with a new band. The lead guitarist. His gorgeous eyes never left mine during the entire show. By now, my skin had cleared a bit, I finally found a few products that got my hair to behave, I was less awkward, on the outside anyway. We talked all night after the performance, and dated for a full week before he had to leave for the next city on their tour. I never thought it would last. I met the man who is now my husband a few days later.
To see him today, in the produce section at the market while my husband is two rows over picking up our weekly supply of coffee, is surreal. We exchange pleasantries. He’s still with the band, touring, chasing his dream. I tell him I’m married, settled in town. I can tell he has no desire to meet my husband, and I have no desire for them to meet either. He leaves for the registers just as my husband rounds the corner, a huge bag of my favorite java in his hand.
“Who was that?” My spouse asks, tossing the coffee in the cart.
“An old friend,” I say with a smile, before changing the subject, praying my husband did not notice that my ex and our daughter have eyes the same unusual shade of violet-blue.