My Encounter with the Beast.

Okay, maybe beast is a bit of an exaggeration, but I did manage to run into Cedro today. Maybe it was some sort of twisted karma for bashing him via the Internet yesterday. Maybe my life is actually a new soap opera version of the Truman Show and one day I’ll wake up to discover the camera crew. The more plausible explanation would be bad timing. For whatever reason, it was definitely unpleasant.

I was out running an errand for my internship when I realized I’d be passing by the restaurant I used to work in. It was a little after 3 pm and I knew the place would be a ghost town. I checked the schedule online to see if any of my friends were working and decided to pop in and say hello. Cedro wasn’t on the lunch schedule so I seemed to be in the clear. Somehow in the fifteen minute time span I was visiting, he managed to arrive early for his dinner shift. I guess I didn’t think twice about him showing up early considering when he would show up 15 minutes late for something I would applaud him for being on time. I also had no idea in the first place that he was even working the dinner shift. But nonetheless, in he walks, early for his shift.

Just prior to his appearance I had mentioned to the bartender, Todd, that I wanted to come in on my birthday this Saturday to get a drink. He was happy I’d be stopping by, but first had to mention, “Cedro is not invited”. I thought I heard him the first time, but I had to say “what” at least three times before I was sure of what he was saying. I guess I kind of chocked up at the sound of Cedro’s name coming from someone who is not fully aware of the situation. It was at that point that I realized, he didn’t approve of Cedro either. “No, of course not,” I replied. “Cedro isn’t invited to my life.”

Not three minutes later, in he walks. I was in the middle of asking Todd for advice on where I should go for my birthday after coming in to see him, when suddenly someone put their hand on my back. It all happened so fast that I can’t remember if I saw him out of the corner of my eye first or if my spidey senses just knew who was there.

I didn’t flinch. With my body leaned over the bar in mid conversation, I turned my head around keeping my body mostly facing forward.

“Hi, how are you?” he asks.

I could see it in his eyes – he was expecting a happy reaction from me, or at least, a reaction. His body language almost suggested hug, but I didn’t reciprocate.

“Hi,” I said with a forced smile, “I’m good.”

I turned back to Todd, “So where should I go?”

My tone with Cedro wasn’t cold. It wasn’t bitchy. It wasn’t happy or friendly either. I simply answered the question asked and resumed what I was doing.

This is definitely not how I would have expected our reunion to go a few months ago. But hey, it is what it is.

He went to the back, to the locker room I suppose and I continued my conversation with my ex-coworkers. As I was heading out, saying good-bye – see you on Saturday, I noticed Cedro walk back into the restaurant, linger for a moment, and then head outside. He knew I was leaving. I knew I was about to be cornered into a conversation. Absolutely not. This was not the time or the place. I was busy; I was supposed to be on an errand. I didn’t have the time for it – or the balls. My ex-coworker and close friend, Leanne, noticed as well. She grabbed me by the hand and said hey, come upstairs. The two of us skipped up the stairs to the main restaurant and I snuck out the back way, avoiding him at all costs. Usually I am much more confrontational, but not today. Today was not the day to put up with Cedro making small talk about nothing. But to be honest, it felt kind of okay to leave him hanging for once, to leave him questioning, to leave him looking for ways to talk to me. I felt in charge for once, and like deleting his text last week, it felt pretty damn good.


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