Seth walked through the city. Of course, it was fall. His favorite season. Of course, Jared had to go and ruin it for him.
No. Seth decided. He would not let Jared ruin fall for him. He would go to the coffee shop, like he always liked to do on Saturday mornings. And anything that was pumpkin spice, he would purchase . Jared couldn't take away the pumpkins from him, the scarves, or the boots he wore. Jared couldn’t stop him from taking selfies next to fall leaves, or going on hay rides. Sure, he would be doing it alone. But so what? Jared wouldn’t stop him from living his life.
It’s funny, Seth thought. The things that become so commonplace when you’re in arelationship. How sometimes you stop doing things your own. You forget what being with your own thoughts is like.
He called up his sister. Maybe she could take his mind off all this. She spent most of the time talking about her kids. One got into a fight at school, one was doing cheerleading, one was joining the debate team. She kept rattling on. When he mentioned the breakup, she pretty much just skirted right over it.
Good God, he thought to himself. Can I have one minute where we talk about me? Is that so much to ask? Really?
Then, she went into asking questions about his job. And how much he was making. And whether or not the boss liked him. She had a tendency to make it seem like all he ever did in his life was sit still. It was never enough money, never enough prestige. Would Seth be joining them in the beach house next summer?
No, Seth would not, he decided right there in his own mind. Seth would not be coming by to the giant beach house with the stupid elevators and the fake cabinets and the incessant yammering of your children. No, Seth didn’t want to be in the sun all day, roasting his life away and getting skin cancer. And no, Seth didn’t want to spend nights watching bad reality television families that you consider could examples. No. No. No.
The call lasted thirty minutes longer than he had anticipated. He tucked his phone away and finally seemed to notice how cold it was getting outside.
Jesus Christ, he thought to himself. It’s cold as hell.
What was Jared doing today? He was probably at the Farmer’s Market, going on a hike, finishing up some volunteer project. He was altruistic sometimes, it was mind-numbing. Or he was busy with work at the office. He always put work first above anything else. Seth wanted to go on vacation, but Jared could never make time for it. It was always something The boss needed him, or there was a big project due, or shit was going down in the office and he had to be there for it. Jared worried incessantly over how his coworkers saw him. He always thought that if he was visible, if he was always 20 minutes early, then he would get promoted. Seth never had the heart to tell him he’d been there three years and not once did his boss come to him and offer him a raise. But Jared kept going on.
Jared had work to distract him. But what did he need to be distracted from? He’s the one who broke up. He’s the one who initiated it. He started this whole mess. He’s the one all fine and dandy and just doing whatever he wants to do with whoever he wants to do it with. He had no regrets. He wasn’t sad, or broken, or distraught. He wasn’t searching Spotify for breakup playlists. No, that bitch was happy as a clam.