I was bussing table 72 in the bar, just trying to get my work done so I could get the hell out of Uno’s. Working at a restaurant is taking it’s toll on me and I feel like such a failure working there. Anyway, I grabbed the two pilsners on the table and began to circle the bar, making my way to the dish station. I passed booth’s 78 and 79 and looked out the window above them. It’s not really a window, but actually a garage door with windows in it. It’s purpose is to separate the dining room from the bar. This window looks out onto table 51, an 8 top in the dining room which no one enjoys waiting on due to it’s location and uncomfortable seating. It’s makes the guest bitchy. I looked into the dining room and suddenly all I could see was his face. Table 51, right on the other side of the glass and booth’s 78 and 79. There he was. Sitting in seat number 2. His sister was with him, his sister who looks like a chimp. He was with some other people I didn’t know. He was right there.
I looked at the floor and then back out into the abyss that was the dinning room. It was him. Definitely. I set down the pilsners at the dish station and took the nearest seat I could find. A bar chair. The bartender, Scott, looked over at me and saw the distressed look on my face. “You ok hun?”, he asked with genuine concern. I hate being called hun. I looked at him and almost began explaining when suddenly Shelly walked in to get a flavored tea. Raspberry Tea I am sure. I pointed him out, table 51, seat 2. She knew him. She knew his name, she knew his parents, she even knew his chimpy sister. and she knew them from church, of all places. I had mentioned him before to her, but never given her a name. She said she agreed, he was flamboyant.
At this point I looked again. I was still in some kind of disbelief, some kind of odd state where I wanted it to be someone else, but knew it wouldn’t be. Scott asked again, “Are you ok, hun?” I explained to him who I was panicking about and why I was feeling how I was. He understood. He said I should talk to him, but that wasn’t going to happen. Was it? I looked at Scott and explained how things had ended somewhat poorly between us. Scott volunteered to jump him in the parking lot. Thanks Scott. But no. I got up from the bar and walked to the back of the restaurant, trying to escape what I felt could soon be awkward. I began rolling my silverware. 65 sets. I had to do something while he was out there. I couldn’t just let him confront me somehow. But then I got an urge.
I jumped up, walked through the alley, out into the dining room, left foot, right foot, left foot, right foot. I passed table 51, no words, no glances, a quick pace. I stopped at the host stand. I had no reason to be up there. I walked through the bar, glancing at him again, fearing that he would look up or that the chimp might recognize me. I made it clear. I found Shelly by the soda station and just started ranting on. “I went to therapy because of him. I went to a counselor who recommended me to a therapist because he had just messed me up. I was told I have some complex about it all, but I didn’t believe it. Until now. Until I saw him again, and then I realized I do still have unspoken feelings about it all. About how much it scared me to be thrust into this new phase of life and stabbed in the back all at the same time.” That was all I said.
I walked to the back and finished rolling my silverware. I counted out, ate a breadstick and walked out the door of the restaurant. I wanted to go drinking, and then thought, no, I need to write this down. I need to get something out. So here I am, looking for a resolution. Looking for some answer, some odd peace of mind. But it’s not here. I was hurt badly, and to be honest it totally changed my outlook on life. I got all new friends. I lost touch with my family. I changed the music I listened to. I changed my attitude. No longer would I be happy and hyper active. Now I was sad and brooding and manipulative and cruel. Not because I was a mean person, or I wanted to hurt anyone, but because I was afraid of ever being hurt the way he had hurt me.
Six years ago I was a senior in high school. I was friends with Brett Evans. And I felt entirely compelled to tell him everything about myself. I wanted to spend all of my time with him. It was magnetic. It was innocent. It was new to me and forbidden to him. It was terrifying and ecstatic at the same time. To become someone’s friend, to fall in love for the first time, to express that love and be rejected, then betrayed and ridiculed. I was told I needed help. Told I had a problem. That was pain. That was the worst thing I ever went through in my entire life. My best friend, my first love, lied to me, told lies about me, and betrayed me entirely. And I got through it all by writing. This was what first encouraged me to use words. He took away my optimism. He took away my love of the world. He took away my confidence. But what he gave me were words. You really hurt me you fucking bastard. But I thank you for helping me find this gift. Brett Evans, I hope I never see your face again.