November 21, 2020:

We haven't spoken in fifteen years and the first thing she does is show me a naked polaroid.

She'd forced her sister to take it soon after we'd broken up. On her back on a carpeted floor sprayed artistically gold and covered with gold glitter. Her, not the floor. She looked ridiculous.

"I hate to tell you," she says, contradicting herself with unmistakable glee. "But I've never looked better than right after our breakup."

I suppose betterness is in those of the beholder.

It'll be a while before I suss it all out. That her life is driven by the narcissism she's displaying here. That it had been a mistake for me to stay with her as I had, back then, offering the loyalty that I had. That the happiest, most productive times of my life were when we were apart. That it's a mistake now to invite her in again.