After my unfortunate run-in with The Ex Fiancé (summary: ran into him in sweaty neon gym clothes with inch-long dark brunette roots holding toilet bowl cleaner), I stalked him on Facebook for a few weeks, planning my next move.
One night, while shoving my face with crab Rangoon, he updated his status: “Shopping with the boy for something to wear tonight to Therapy!”
I leapt up, throwing away the rest of my orange chicken. I didn’t need to feel bloated for this. It took me about an hour to bleach my roots—I wasn’t going to make that mistake again—before picking out my outfit.
I wanted to look sexy, but not like I was trying too hard. I squeezed into my American Apparel black deep V-neck and a pair of hot pink mid-thigh shorts before jumping on a train into the city.
I tried to look aloof while walking around the bar, channeling Daisy Buchanan. I strolled upstairs, and there they were, sitting at the first table. The Ex Fiancé saw me instantly, and I pretended to do a double take. I walked over to their table.
“Small world, huh?”
“Small city,” he corrected.
I sat down next to his new boyfriend, who he brought with from Minnesota. The Ex Fiancé looked uncomfortable as green strobe lights flashed across our faces. “How are you boys getting along?” We exchanged small talk for a bit, the new boyfriend not saying a word. “You’re quiet. Tell me about yourself. What do you want to do in the city?”
“Well, I really like Rachel Zoe.”
“OK, well she’s a person, and you can’t be her because… she’s her.” He flushed bright red. “Are you saying you want to do what she does?”
“And what exactly is it that she does?”
He was flustered and didn’t respond. I could hear myself being an asshole, but I couldn’t stop. The Ex Fiancé glared at me.
“Well,” I shrugged, “I’m sure you’ll figure it out.”
My hair was blonde. My shorts were pink. And my envy of the new boyfriend was deep, deep green. My plan to redeem myself from our last meeting had failed.
I pretended to get a text on my phone. “Oh! My friend is at Industry. Whoops! I’ll see you boys later.” The Ex Fiancé got up and followed me to the staircase.
“Who the hell are you?” he asked, but when I turned around to respond he’d already returned to his table, putting his arm around the new boyfriend.
I took one last look at them. I wasn’t Daisy at all: I was Gatsby. And no amount of American Apparel or bleach would make him come back to me.
I returned to my West Egg—err, Ridgewood apartment, collapsing onto my mattress fully clothed. So I beat on, boat against the current, per usual. Holding onto my past. At least Gatsby didn’t have to see pictures of Daisy and Tom pop up in his newsfeed every day.