I became a bystander

I watched a man scream at someone on the east side the other day.

“Why don’t you go back to the Middle East you fucking fuck!”

I did nothing. I tried looking for the man he was yelling at, but I couldn’t see. I tried watching the man who yelled the claim.

I did nothing. I saw nothing.

I became a bystander.

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Victoria

He walked ahead first. I followed obediently. He walked so fast, I had to do quick sprints to catch up to him. He never looked back to see if I was behind him. He never looked back to check if I followed. He walked confidently forward, never looking back.

Victoria.

We sat down for a small group dinner. He sat across from me, Victoria to the side of me. His eyes smiled at Victoria, but never greeted mine. I was desperate. My eyes were screaming his name. Look at me! I wanted to shout. But it was as if he was avoiding contact.

No. Not all contact.

He stared deeply into Victoria’s eyes. I know it wasn’t to coax or flirt with her. But his eyes lit up when they spoke. He showed off his knowledge in politics and government. He spoke eloquently of social theories. He conversed academically of social work.

He wanted someone he could captivate. He wanted someone he could win over.

I wasn’t that person.

I sat on the side of the conversation in silence. I watched him dance with another mind. I watched until I couldn’t watch anymore.

I stood up. I walked away. I looked back. He had not noticed that I was missing. I could not help the tears that ran down the side of my face. I stared at the rock on my finger. I looked up at him. He was too busy putting himself on a pedestal to realize his partner had walked out on him. Too busy making himself look good for Victoria.