“I didn’t mean to,” I told her, sitting down at the table and slumping forward, head under arms. “He pushed me and I pushed back – and he shattered.” I sighed. “I can’t say I’m sorry because I had no other recourse at the time, but I can’t say I’m happy with the outcome, either.”
“He was out of control.”
“I know.” I closed my eyes underneath my arms. The world felt muffled. “It was like tit-for-tat but suddenly it was tit-for-armageddon. He said he didn’t care if I left. He said he’d be better off without me anyways. How was I to know he’d . . .” It isn’t like it’s easy to leave when you’re not wanted, either. I kept my spine straight and my chin up but being told how quickly and easily I was going to be replaced – it reduced me to a commodity, an object, a thing.
“That he’d what?” she asked.
“Oh, I was thinking.” I pulled my arms off and stretched.
“You had no way of knowing that he was going to lose his shit over you to the extent he did. God, Lola,” she looked me up and down, “What is it that you do to these men, anyway? It’s like they can’t function if you’re not in their life.” I shrugged slightly. I should feel flattered, right? Look at you, Lola, driving men so very literally mad out of love. Only I feel a hole in my solar plexus because, well –
“And I told her ‘Why the hell would you want that,’ because why would she, right?”
“What? I’m lost – told her what?”
She sighed. “I told her that it isn’t a good goal, to emulate Marilyn Monroe. Why would anyone want that? To be greatly desired is horrible and actually lonely because everyone wants you so much they don’t even see you as a person – I mean, look at you. And you’re no Marilyn.”
I smiled, for the first time that night. “No, I am definitely, definitely not at all a ‘Marilyn’. She was the best at being Marilyn.”