There’s no getting around the fact that what happened that night with Dread and my inability to work through it right away has made me unfit for love for the moment. There’s also no avoiding Valentine’s Day, unless I could manage to create some sort of real life Grinch situation. Seeing as I’m lacking green fur, a mountain cave, a large sleigh, and a dog named Max; I’m probably out of luck with that one. Though, I do have a pooch (also known as a FUPA but I hate that term and prefer to use my own crass terms for my body parts, thankyouverymuch) like he does.

Whatever, green is so not my color.

Instead of staying at home and bemoaning my single status, letting my friend take me out of a fake date, going out with the guy that I’m kind of seeing but not really in a relationship-y way, taking myself out, or going all “I hate corporate holidays!!!” (I don’t. I’ll take any excuse to celebrate. Whether the day was fabricated by Hallmark, the government, or Jesus; I’m down.), I decided to take another step in the direction of taking me back.

Shortly after 6:00pm I was dropped off outside my gym. My heart starts pounding. As I walk in, I can’t help but to look for him. Startled, I see dreads but they’re too long to be his. A moment later my insides jump, seeing a set that are just the length of his.

I hold my breath as he turns toward me.

Not him.

Kendra, just walk through like you own the place. Don’t give a damn if he’s here or not.

Easier said than done.

I’m failing. My eyes dart back and forth, searching for him, and hoping that they won’t find him. I walk down the stairs toward the locker room, passing into the weight room to get there. This is what he comes to the gym for. This is where he’ll be if he’s here.

Trying, and failing, to look devil-may-care as I survey the room, I don’t see him. I’m highly annoyed when I realize that I totally look like the hopeless newbie fatty at the gym that I’ve been a member of for over a year. The people around me have no idea why I have that nervous searching look. They probably just think that…

Never mind what they think! It doesn’t matter. When have you ever cared what others thought of you at the gym? Don’t start now!

This is my domain, my space; I’ve always felt comfortable here.

I get to the locker room and change into my bathing suit. I feel too tired to run tonight. It feels like I just got to the safe zone in a game of tag or something like that.

As I walk out of the locker room and into the pool area I suddenly feel nervous and vulnerable.

What if he sees me in my bathing suit? I’m all exposed-ish.

He’s seen you in less.

Yeah… but… no, wait, that’s true.

I don’t know if that should be comforting but it is.

I take my notebook in the sauna and start writing all of this down. I want to get it right so that I’ll remember the details properly. Of course, what felt like a genius idea, writing in the nice toasty warmth of the sauna, went downhill pretty quickly as my metal pen started burning my hand and the metal spiral on my notebook did the same to my legs.

You brought a metal pen into the sauna? Dumbass.

My inner voice just called me a dumbass; apparently I’m feeling comfortable again. It’s true. I’ve regained my composure and my piece of mind. I sit on the stairs of the hot tub scribbling away and systematically objectifying every single hot bodied male in the pool area.

Mmm… man meat. Oh, hey, I should totally cook some pork sausage when I get home!

Um… yeah. Back to normal.

I wish that I had brought my running things now because, now that I feel at ease again, I’m ready to push myself a little bit. I’m out of luck, though; it’s all at home. I relax in the hot tub, trying to read for a while.

Sadly, two of the dudes I’ve been sneakily drooling over leave the area. Another leaves shortly after. There went the entertainment. I’m joined by a not so hot bodied man who is not so sneakily ogling me. It’s not like I can object. I mean, I bought a low-cut bathing suit for a reason.

Yes, guys, I did want you to look.

I’m done, though. Trying to balance the book above the water is making my wrists tired and I really want that pork sausage.


I change back into my clothing and get ready to go. On my way out I search just as much for Dread as when I came in. He’s not there and I’m really glad. Even though I was preparing myself for the possibility of running into him, I definitely didn’t want to.

As I leave I think about the fact that he kind of feels like a ghost in my life now. It’s like there’s always a possibility that he’ll appear somewhere but he usually doesn’t and now he’s starting to feel less real.

I decided that I want to make sure I come back again quickly so that I don’t let the fear build up again. At some point I will run into him again and I have to be okay with that.

While I have no desire to confront him or even talk to him, I want to be able to coexist with him and let him see that he has no power over me anymore. There’s no such thing as justice in a situation like this and I don’t want revenge. At this point, it’s no longer about him. It’s about regaining the real me.

I put on girl power tunes, do a victorious happy dance, and go catch the bus.

Mission accomplished.

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