A few weeks into moving in with The Ex Fiancé, I was already unsure it was a wise decision.

We were not adjusting well to living together again. He didn’t like that I made one of our two spare rooms a sewing room; I didn’t mind that he made the other his personal office, especially since he was still in grad school, but when he hung a bunch of photos on the wall, I noticed that I wasn’t in any of them. I didn’t like the couch/loveseat combo he purchased, but I couldn’t say anything about it, because I didn’t pay for any of it. We could never agree on what to eat for dinner.

One day, while hosting at a restaurant, someone passing by caught my eye. When he saw me he did a double-take, then stopped walking and stared at me. He smiled at me; I smiled back.

He reached for the door handle and came inside. “Hello,” he said – he had a British accent and a perfectly tailored suit. I swooned.

“Hi,” I said. “Uhm, table for one?”
“I think I’ll just grab a drink at the bar – if that’s OK.”

“Yeah, absolutely.” He nodded, gave me a final look and went to the bar.

My heart raced. He was so handsome, and for whatever reason, was clearly into me. Was he traveling for business? Had he moved to America for a job offer he couldn’t refuse? Did he want to get married? I wanted to get to know him – I knew, right then and there, that I wanted to know everything about him.

I knew he was going to ask me out before leaving – I knew he had only come in because he found me attractive. If he didn’t ask me, I was surely going to ask him. Yes, I was dating – and living with – The Ex Fiancé. But that didn’t mean I couldn’t go out for drinks with a stranger, right? I played it out in my head: We’d go out for drinks, go bar hopping, and we’d walk the streets talking until late into the night. He’d ask me back to his hotel, and I’d politely decline, making sure to leave him with my phone number. If I liked him, I’d start seriously reconsidering what had, so far, been a shitty situation with The Ex Fiancé.

After his drink, he made a beeline to leave the restaurant, and I couldn’t stop him- but he hovered at the door, thought about it, and turned around to talk to me. “It’s really too bad you have a boyfriend,” he said, nodding. “He’s a lucky guy.”

With that, he turned around and left.

I rushed to the bartender: She told me he asked about me, so she told him about The Ex Fiancé. He’d gotten away – but with that interaction, I realized how little loyalty I had for The Ex Fiancé, and wondered how far I’d be willing to stray.

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Ian-Michael Bergeron
Iowa-born writer Ian-Michael Bergeron has written his weekly column in Get Out! Magazine since 2015, as well as editorials and interviews. He lives in New York City in a one-bedroom with two cats, Alexander and Thomas, and spends most of his income on shoes.