Bada-Bing, Bada-Boom:
Ahhh, Sweet Revenge

by Gwyn Fassnacht

I recently went to my high school reunion. I went for no real reason. Well maybe just one...I wanted to show my old boyfriend what he missed out on. Now don't think me petty or bitter. I'm not. After ten years I would be pretty pathetic if I still harbored any feelings, good or bad, about him. Not that I have any, really. Okay, okay, maybe I do still have some negativity towards him, or did anyway, but going to the reunion helped me gain major closure.

The first night of the reunion, there was an informal gathering for drinks and reacquainting ourselves. My husband, who was unaware of my mission, opted to stay home with our two young boys. The youngest was barely eight months old and I was still toting that baby fat, which didn't fit in with my plans for the revengeful illumination of "The great one that got away." But I went anyway, in a new outfit and chain-smoking the whole way. I felt I looked good and was in high spirits until about ten minutes before I got there. Then fear set in and all the old insecurities flooded in to swamp me in my little car. Did I look fat in these jeans? Was my hair okay? Is that a wrinkle?! Breathing hard, my hands gripping the wheel. I was crazy with the need to turn and flee. But too soon the exit appeared. I could see the hotel beckoning. Screeching into a parking space, I took a few moments to compose myself.

After a half hour I got out of my car and went inside. Blinded after driving in the late-afternoon sunlight, I waited for my eyes to adjust. Patting my hair, wetting my lips, and pulling my shirt down, I walked up to the greeting table. To my surprise and joy, the homecoming queen, whom I was sure had no clue who I was, smiled and hugged me. The icy wall of fear was melting away to be replaced with a little saner feeling of old times—until I walked into the ballroom. Oh my gosh! There he was, right there! Unbelievable! I had planned to avoid him for awhile. Darting like a rabbit on the highway searching for safety, I slipped off to the side before he could see me. I spied familiar faces and in a blink was sliding into a chair with a sigh of relief. Hugs were passed around and I started to feel human again. After an hour or so, somewhat reassured by two vodka and orange juice drinks, his best friend sat down across from me and smiled. I smiled back suspiciously, because back in high school, they were conspirators. Sure enough, I soon felt a presence at my elbow. Well, well, well, apparently I wasn't the only one who sought courage in booze.

My old boyfriend sat down and made himself comfortable, asking how I'd been, yada yada yada. All the same charm. While he talked, I appraised. Had he always been that short? And what had happened to his hair? Flipping my own hair confidently, I started to pay attention. He pointed his wife out and I managed to smile. He asked if I was married and I said I was. I talked about my two wonderful boys. To which he replied, he only had a dog. Thank God. Poor dog. No, that's bad. Remember, no bitterness; just closure. After about 15 minutes of talk during which I found out he knew way too much about my current status for comfort, he finally got to the meat of the stew. The breakup. There are some moments in your life that are true treasures. Now this wasn't exactly that, but I do wish I’d had a tape recorder. He said that the breakup was the worst mistake of his life, words I hadn't known I needed to hear. To which I replied "Well if you hadn't dumped me, I wouldn't have a great husband and two even greater boys". Bada-bing, bada-boom, thank you and goodnight. Oh that felt great. Needless to say, he left the table shortly after that.

The next night, there was a formal dinner and dance, which I attended with my husband. We looked good, if I do say so myself, and let me just say thank you to the person who invented girdles! We entered arm-in-arm and began having a great time. I felt better than the night before, having remade friends the previous night. As we sat at the table and reminisced, I noticed the old boyfriend standing with a group of buddies. I searched the room and found his wife sitting by herself. My heart went out to her. While my husband sat attentively, and got up to get me a drink or kissed the back of my neck, hers was strutting around the room getting drunk and hanging with the guys. Poor girl, here I thought the pain he had caused me was great, but hers was an even deeper wound, for she had to put up with him all the time. With that knowledge, the closure came. Breathing easier I turned and kissed my husband, and asked him to dance. Arms wrapped tightly around his waist, I buried my face in his shoulder and whispered that I loved him. He tightened his own grip and danced closer.

The fun went on until late, and as the event was wrapping up, the DJ put on our song. With a smile, I held out my hand and my husband whipped me onto the dance floor. We danced close again, kissing sweetly as the last note died away. The glow surrounded me close as I went to say good-bye to friends, and got the best present of all from another old boyfriend. He was my junior-high boyfriend whom I held hands with and passed notes with for probably only a week. He hugged me close and said, "You're beautiful babe, you always have been." He may have been drunk, but I took it at face value and keep it close in my heart. All in all, it had been a wonderful night.

As we were leaving, I looked around and noticed the wife was alone at a table again. A quick search showed the old boyfriend doing the same thing as the night before, and much more intoxicated. I sighed and wrapped an arm around my man, and together we went home to our boys.

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