I need to go grocery shopping, desperately. I hate grocery shopping. I’m a frugal shopper, so the whole process is quite the ordeal. I clip coupons, I scour weekly sales ads, look up recipes and construct a list accordingly. I then travel to 3 different grocery stores, all twenty minutes away – picking up the best deals at each one. Grocery shopping takes at least three hours out of any given day. I also go on the weekends so I can go in the morning and get the best produce. (In the summer, I can get most my produce from the garden or farmers markets – but it’s a habit best kept all year round.) The one local grocery store overprices most things, there’s always someone I know there (which shopping is stressful enough without adding socializing on top of it), and I’ve dated employees there (including but not limited to the Assistant Manager.) So unless I am in a real pinch for time, I avoid it like the plague.
Right now the contents of my refrigerator are water, soy sauce, an onion, carrots, ginger root, and booze. I hadn’t eaten all day, but despite my hunger and lack of food – I just am not in the mood to go grocery shopping. I turned to the freezer and there were some veggie burgers. My lip curled as I pulled out the box. There was only one left so I heated it up in a skillet with some olive oil. I ate it on a small plate with some soy sauce when it was done. It didn’t dawn on me till I was finished that that was the last thing left from Jon. I had picked them up a little over a year ago. We had gone grocery shopping together. I picked them up because Jon is a vegetarian, (although I wouldn’t be surprised to find if that wasn’t a lie too.) I made a lot of meals for us, and I thought I’d keep them on hand so he’d always have options when he came over. Sometimes I’d heat one up for him when he’d come over on his lunch breaks,(he had just got a job working part time in the deli at the local grocery store. He’s still there.)
I am not a vegetarian. One of the many great things when we’d break was all the delicious roasts, bbq, and steaks I’d make for myself. The first time I caught Jon in multiple lies, including but not exclusively – the relationship he was having with a married girl – I spent seventy dollars on a brisket. The next time, he faked having a mental breakdown over having sex with a guy named Drew from college in order to emotionally manipulate me into letting him use my car after calling me worthless and a bitch – I made a pork tenderloin glazed with peach chutney so tender it made my dad tear up. And through most of it, these veggie burgers have sat in my freezer. It’s not that the thought of throwing them out never crossed my mind. To be honest, I suppose I never did because I always thought “what if” we made up. What if he apologized? What if there was a reasonable explanation as to why he acted so out of character of the good person I believed him to be? What if he went to therapy, or was convicted by religion, or any miraculous thing happened and he finally appreciated all the things I gave him and gave up for him and did for him? What if he finally valued having someone to go on random adventures with, whether it was on a long road trip to a faraway city or to Wal-Mart late at night. Someone who bought a liter of lemon Rum, (even though she hates Rum), because he said Rum and Cokes reminded him of this one party in college and she hadn’t seen him smile in a while and wanted him to smile. Someone who got him a white teapot for his birthday because she remembered months ago he mentioned he wanted a teapot but couldn’t find a white one. A person to bring him tea, soup, and cold medicine when he has a cold. Maybe one day he’d wake up regret hurting someone who saw the best in him, and encouraged his talent. Someone who believed in him even after he lied to her face for the hundredth time. Someone who would give up eating a steak alone to eat pasta for the third night in a row with him. Who bought him books And paint him pictures. And maybe, maybe this time when he apologized, he’d actually mean it. Then the veggie burgers would be there and it would save me the hassle of stocking up again.
I had eaten the last veggie burger, and I had forgotten Jon. I didn’t think, “what if”. There is no more what ifs. No more wondering. No more regret except for the time already wasted. I realized I didn’t need an apology. I didn’t need anything at all. I felt nothing at all. I no longer care for him, at all. No missing, no wondering, and no more pain or anger. Just a lackluster lunch on a low key Saturday afternoon. Relief poured from my smile all the way to my toes. Peace engulfed me. I had wanted to ‘be over ‘ him for so long and the moment arrived and I hadn’t even noticed. It must’ve come quietly in the night sometime ago. He is now just a memory and I am nothing short of thrilled.