Exactly ten years ago, I met up with my soon-to-be-ex-husband to have our divorce documents witnessed by a JP. We didn't know a JP, so found one in the phone book at West End in Brisbane. Because West End is one of the best places in Brisbane for a coffee...we went for one afterwards. We sat together awkwardly, drank quickly, then wished each other a happy life and said goodbye.
Of course, I never wanted to see him again.
a) the awkward factor is too high for me and
b) I wanted to move on with my new life and marry my new love.
And I never did see him again...
helped by the fact that we live around 800km from each other...
We had just stepped out of Myer at Sunshine Plaza.
I was sniffing the two new perfumes that I had just sampled...one on each arm...as you do!
When I caught a glimpse of a familiar figure.
At first I wasn't really sure if it was him.
And then I wasn't sure if I should point him out to my husband.
But it was and I did.
Fortunately he had his back to us so didn't see me.
I wonder if he would have recognized me.
He's a little heavier, so am I.
He's a little grey, so am I.
He has kids! So do I.
This was odd to see (even though I did hear that he did) because it was one of the reasons I left.
I always knew if I was patient and waited a few more years we would have kids.
But I'd waited 6 1/2 years, and was sick of waiting.
Granted, he was still finishing his teaching degree full time, it wasn't really possible.
But I'm so glad we didn't because I could make a clean break and move onto my new life.
Both my husband and I never talk about our past lives and partners.
They're like two giant elephants in the room.
So it was odd/weird/conspiratorial/nice/crazy that we both saw him today.
We could talk about it...albeit briefly.
"So he does have kids."
"So he did put on weight."
Two huge bugbears for me in that relationship.
He was never ready for kids and I was never thin enough for him.
Anyhow, as he stood waiting for his wife (I'm assuming he remarried, he may not have) at the coffee counter, holding onto a massive pram with God knows how many children...he was blissfully unaware that he'd been spotted.
And me...I felt just like the time I was on playground duty and was hit on the head with a soccer ball...stunned and dazed.
Like my husband said, thank God he didn't see us and we didn't have to speak.
I feel ill just thinking about that.
So this is why I have a small medicinal glass of wine at 4pm on a Sunday.
Have you ever had a close call?
And would you care to join me, I have a spare glass?!