I was at work a few months back, making a latte or cappuccino or something, and in walks Tyler. I see him and ignore him. My manager knows about our break up, so when I finish the drink I’m working on, I approach him and tell him my ex is here. He takes over at the register and finally it’s Tyler’s turn. He places his order and everything is fine. When it gets time to make his drink, my manager takes over and I make a B-line for the break room. Before I get there, I hear, “Dallas!” and I keep going. Suddenly, there he is, behind the counter, holding me by the arm.
“Dallas, we need to talk.”
“Just go away!” I say. Our break up wasn’t easy. It was me who broke it off with him. He didn’t like that. He wanted to talk, but since I’m me, I ignored him and I was hoping he’d just fade away, like carbonation in a long forgotten soda.
“Dallas, please,” he says. “I still love you.”
By this time, my manager has stopped making the drink and rushed over to us. He puts his hands on my shoulders and says, “Time for you to go.”
“I paid for a drink,” he replies.
“You forfeited that drink when you harassed my employee.”
Tyler let go of my arm and backed away. He stared at me with more hate in his eyes than I’d ever seen on anyone. This coming from a guy who just told me he loved me. This was the man who bought me flowers on the day I was sad for no reason and would get up in the middle of the night to get me butterscotch pudding when I woke up craving it. He stops just a few steps from the door and says so loud everyone can hear, “You’re employee is a slut!”
He says, “Did she tell you that we fucked in the parking lot?”
“Get out!” my manager shouts.
“And at the Christmas party. At your house. She gave me a blowjob.”
None of this is true. He’s lying just to hurt me. I mean, sure we slept together, but we didn’t do anything like that. And even if we had, he had no right to use it against me like that. My manager moves so quickly he feels like an apparition. He charges at Tyler and that little coward shuffles out the door and runs to his friends waiting for him in their car. They peel out and then we’re left in harrowing silence that rings like death. I don’t look, but I can feel everyone staring at me, judging me, thinking some slutty whore just made their drinks. But my manager, as cool as ever, says, “Sorry everyone for the disturbance. I’ll be around shortly to give you a coupon for a free drink.” He looks at me and says, “You’re okay. It’s not your fault. Go take a breather.”
I push open the door, the squeaking of the hinges sounding like a desperate plea for help. I sit down, put my hand in my palms and cry. I’m not a crier. I keep it all inside. I try to be tough, but this time, I just started crying, the tears coming down like thick gobs of glue, sticking to everything. I don’t know how long I’m crying, but I hear the door squeak open and soon a hand is on my shoulder.
My manager says in his calming tone, “Shh, shh, shh. It’s okay. It’s okay.” He sits down next to me and I instinctively turn and put my weeping head on his shoulder and he holds me and pats me on the back and keeps saying, “It’s okay.”
He tells me, “I don’t think you’re a bad person. No one does. Your ex is the bad one. Not you. It’s not your fault.”
I cry until my tear ducts are dry.