So, it’s a little after midnight, and my adrenaline is finally coming down from yesterday.

I’ve been up since 5 yesterday morning, only taking a 45-minute nap mid-evening, so I’d have enough energy to make dinner. I got up early to get ready to go to Chris’ court date. The night before, my stomach was filled with anxiety and I couldn’t rest. Just like this morning when I had almost arrived at the courthouse, I had to stop and pull over to collect myself. My legs and my hands were shaking, my heart was beating hard in my chest, I felt woozy, and I just didn’t want to go. But, the alternative was to not be there, and allow Chris to keep claiming that he ‘isn’t feeling well’ so the court date would keep being extended.

He’s fighting a felony for a high-speed evasion on his motorcycle, that he went on while riding bikes with a guy named Jordan (who has an outstanding warrant for murder) and two domestic violence charges. Chris told me about Jordan, and that’s the kind of people he likes to surround himself with, but that’s a story for a different day.

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I got up, got ready, and made the drive. After I pulled over to calm my breathing a bit and center myself, I arrived at the court. I saw his motorcycle parked as close to the entrance as possible, which I fully expected to be parked where it was, as his way of telling me he was there; especially since I hadn’t spoken to him in about a week. He will always find a way to see me, to try to communicate with me, or to insert himself in my life where he is fully aware he isn’t welcome. He makes it personal about me, and never our son. So I knew he would be at court because we hadn’t spoken. He wouldn’t go to handle it and take care of business, but to see me, because that’s what he does.

Before I was able to get checked in, I had to stand off to the side and wait for clearance because they’re only allowing certain parties in the courtroom. I saw him sitting at the other end of the long corridor. When he saw it was me, he just stared. I gazed at him right back, barely blinking as I stared him down. After just keeping our eyes locked, he got up and began to walk towards me. I was just about to get my belongings checked and as he got closer, I wanted him away from me. I shooed him off with my hand and said ‘don’t even come walking over here, just go on about your way’.

He did.

He made a quick turn into the men’s restroom, acting like he was heading in there anyway.

I walked down to the waiting area, and sat with my book. He walked by me as he went in, deliberately not looking in my direction. He went in and sat in the front. I always sit in the back, facing the door, never with my back towards it. We sat there waiting for the judge, and after he pretended to take a call and hang up, he got up and walked out. I imagine he went out to suck the guts out of a cigarette like he always does. As he came back in, he walked behind me, which was so close to me that it made me shift in my chair, just because it made me uncomfortable.

I sat there reading my book, trying to drown out the unpleasant experience of being amongst repeat offenders and the people who prosecute and defend them. I wasn’t paying any mind to the details of the other cases, until another case was called that sounded very familiar.

It was a case about a man, who was in jail, had a drug addiction, and was there to answer for domestic battery on a woman who had known him for a year. The woman was not present, but she wrote a statement which was read before the court. It basically said that this man had a drug problem, he was a different person while under the influence and he didn’t mean it, and she asked the court to get him the help he needed. As the letter was read, my heart pulled with each new sentence. I felt this woman’s pain, frustration, and desperation; only magnified because I share a child with the source of my torment. I was overcome with emotions, and couldn’t keep the tears from my face, or the animosity from my senses. I tried to cry quietly, feeling like I was suffocating in a face mask.

Finally, they called Chris’ name and his public defender spoke for him.

I don’t know which was harder to watch; Chris being loud and fake with him, or the public defender buying it, and in turn putting on the same act. I thought to myself, ‘Tweedledee and Tweedledum, they would be friends in real-life’.

It’s amazing how fast an arraignment for a felony and two misdemeanor charges goes.

His public defender pleaded ‘not guilty’ for him, and Chris didn’t even have to stand up. (Insert eye-roll here).

With the arraignment complete, he was given another court date for a month out, and he was dismissed. He didn’t have to stick around for paperwork.

I stood up, determined to just walk to my car and leave. I was a far ways ahead of him, when I heard him talking loudly to me in the distance behind me. He was telling me ‘you look beautiful today, I love you guys, I miss you, I want my son, where is my son’. I ignored him and kept my stride, until I heard him say, ‘you’re keeping my son from me’. I didn’t say a word up until then, but the moment I heard what he said, I did an about-face. I said ‘don’t tell me anything you feel about me, why don’t you be a father and quit blaming it on me that you’re never around. What’s the matter, life isn’t as fun now that me and the baby aren’t sitting at home waiting for you while you go fuck off’?

I turned back around and began walking again. He was being his usual shiny, public self, and asked me if I wanted some fruit that he had just gotten, as he knows I love fresh fruits and vegetables and the baby does too. This calculated and insincere offer was enough to give me the push right off the edge, and I turned to him one more time and just said very sarcastically and honestly, ‘I wouldn’t take that fruit if I were starving in the streets’.

About this time, he began once again to get closer to me, only this time he had a clear view of my neck.

He stopped in his tracks and said after a brief pause…. ‘do you have enough hickies on your neck’?!

I intentionally, and heartlessly said back, ‘for today, yes’.

I saw the color drain from his face, even though it was partially covered by his helmet. He went pale. He stared at me for a second, turned around and walked towards his bike slowly; like an athlete who just lost their team the game. His demeanor instantly became hurt, and defeated.

I yelled….’what happened?! I thought you said I looked beautiful today, where’s my fruit’?!

I knew he was shocked, as he was hit below the belt without expecting it, and least of all expecting it from me. Before this point, I had never not once hurt him that way.

Up until this interaction, I had never deliberately rubbed our break-up in his face, because that isn’t really my style. I like my relationship and whereabouts to be kept way under wraps, because jealously and knowledge of inside information by outsiders leads to all kinds of problems. But something has been rising inside my being, slowly simmering and thickening. Thinking about everything he had said and done, and said and did over and over with complete disregard to what it was doing to me or how it was making us feel; it had been festering. He did this not only to me, but to our son, and the son we also lost. I have had to listen to him rub ‘low-hanging-fruit’ females in my face, had to sit there at home taking care of his child while he was out acting like he was some Mac, had to accept that he was always nicer and more considerate of strangers on the street than he was to me or his first born. He allowed, and welcomed, every trash bag he put between us.

I let him stare at the hickies covering the front of my neck from end to end, and even though it was only briefly enough to notice them and put them to memory, I had made my point.

To me, hickies are the old-school equivalent of announcing your ‘relation-ship’ status on Facebook (which I would never use because besides two blogs which I use as a running record of my writing, I don’t believe in social media like that).

To me, hickies are a sensual form of flattery; acquired during slow and deliberate lovemaking. Kissing…. embracing…. connecting…. the euphoric energy exchange, makes you just…. suck….

To me, it was the perfect way of making him feel in one second, how he made me feel for two and a half years, and counting.

I got to stab him in the back, right to his face, and it was a rush of, ‘THAT’S what YOU get’. It was long overdue and justified. No big fight, no big scene, just personal closure and permanent detachment.

There is a saying that you reap what you sow, well he reaped it right there in the parking lot. And it happened, face to face.

Two and a half years of him being a mean, spiteful, and egotistical, and the confusion and heartache he caused me, dissipated into the air like moisture on a hot day.

I let myself have the moment.

I didn’t have to be the rational one, I didn’t have to do the right thing, I didn’t have to be the bigger person.

For once, I smeared his face in the mud that he slung at me time and time again. That one brief moment, took the weight that was systematically heaved onto my shoulders for far too long. I quite literally felt the ache in my heart just, stop. The thousands of things he did, all it took was one thing from me, and suddenly the scale was tipped in my favor.

Checkmate.

I drove away; calm, and satisfied, and relieved. I bet he can’t get it off his mind. I bet he raced to some old supply, or some new supply, as if I could see him do it, or cared that he would. It was so simple, and yet so effective. Those ‘monkey-bites’ got the job done.

I do believe, that Karma, is a dish best served, cold.