At church yesterday, when I should have been paying attention to the preacher man preaching about the resurrection of Jesus, the reason for Easter, I was instead paying attention to the resurrection of my past. During the part of the service where the congregation is obliged to greet their neighbors with how do you do’s and handshakes, I made the mistake of turning around in my seat to extend my hand to someone hauntingly familiar.
This person was someone whom I had not seen in four years and who, along with her husband, was responsible for my first break-up. My first boyfriend was 28 and lived with a married couple who acted more like his parents than his peers. She felt that I was at their house too often and so she delivered my then boyfriend an ultimatum, either I never show my face at their house again or he gets kicked out. He liked his living conditions more than he liked me. And he could always get another girlfriend.
This person, with her very presence, ripped open once healed wounds. I carry her with me into new relationships. When my last boyfriend never invited me to his house (he shared with his parents) after ten months of dating, I felt history repeating. I became insecure and accused him of cheating. I loathed the fact that he was welcome at my apartment (he even had a key), but yet I was not allowed where he dwelled. I didn’t know if it was because his mother didn’t like me. I only ever met her twice, but in those two meetings, maybe she had enough time to form an unfavorable opinion of me. Or maybe it was him. He knew that I didn’t like his house being off-limits and bided his time until I couldn’t take it anymore.
This person, with a few more wrinkles around the eyes than I remembered, plastered a smile on her face and extended her hand as if we didn’t share a past, as if she wasn’t the enemy. I faked a smile right back and asked after her husband who was absent. When the preacher permissioned us to take our seats, I thought about leaving. But it was my church, my home, and she would not be chasing me from it. I did make a slow point at gathering my belongings after the service and it was my Easter miracle that she was gone by the time I headed for the exit.