By Eileen Kimbrough
There she is. A silver Volkswagen makes a left turn. Yeah, one of those small cars that looks like it’s going the wrong way. I strain to see the driver. It isn’t her. I know she has a Volkswagen. I saw her drive away in it once, before I learned what happened.
At that time, she couldn’t drive. Twenty nine, and never learned. I drove her to job interviews, helped her shop for interview clothes, waited in my hot car until interviews were over. I regret that.
Now I drive on, finish my errands, go home. Reading the newspaper, I check real estate listings, always interested in the selling prices of homes like mine. I see her name next to a listing. A newly purchased home. I check the address. It’s two miles from mine. This upsets me. I moved here to get away.
Once I saw her at the mall. I walked away. Didn’t want a confrontation. What would I say? There was a lot I wanted to say to her. But could I? I said it over and over in my thoughts. But to really speak it? Not sure I could or should. And what would she say to me? Probably a lie. Or a bunch of them.
I know now what really happened. Maybe she doesn’t know that I know. But we can’t have a friendly conversation. I walked fast, weaving through clothing racks, turning corners, until I was out of her sight, then went home.
Home, where I try to hide memories and bury dark clouds. My safe place. A new place where they have never been and never will be. Where I am alone with only my thoughts.
But now I see her face everywhere I look. Her glasses, dark brown eyes, long dark hair, skinny, skimpy body, smirky grin. I see the silver car.
I keep busy. Try to put it all out of my mind. I’m working hard to forget old memories, make a new life. I’m cautious.
Another day, driving home from work. I see her car near my home. I want to ram into her. But that would only make things worse for me. So I swallow the urge and drive on. I wonder does she even know I am here? That she was driving next to me on this street? She wouldn’t care. Wouldn’t even think about it. Probably wouldn’t notice.
I drive home and resolve to not look at silver cars, to never notice her. I want to get on with my life and forget people like her: a user, a manipulator, deal maker, predator, adulterer. I have more words but cannot say them.
How to forget? I start by ripping her pictures. His too. I tear them apart like they did my life. All in tiny pieces now. I throw them into the garbage where they belong. Not to be recycled. We don’t need more of them. I hope it’s over. And I can be alone.
Eileen Kimbrough has sold many copies of her self-published poetry book, “Painting with Words,” and contributed the poems and art for “Wings for the Soul,” published by a non-profit. Her stories and poems were published in Rivulets 24, 25, 26, 27, 28. She won the 2015 Marilyn Houghton Kayton Founder’s Prize for Poetry for her poem, ”My Dad Dreamed Machines.” Her new book, “Humanness: Micropoetry,” contains her drawings and was published in 2016.