Stop staring. They are lost in a private moment, a moment they have chosen to bring out in the public. Listen quietly. Absorb what they are saying. Learn from it, try to prevent yourself from being in that same state. Don’t let your relationship get to the point where you have to yell your thoughts, feelings. Don’t feel that the only way for him to see your heart is to throw it in his face, it will hurt him and you will be left broken. If it ever gets to that point, just walk away. Smooth out your skirt, put your purse casually over your shoulder and walk away. He can’t follow you if you walk determinedly enough.
They continue to fight. She wants more respect, to be listened to and really heard. He isn’t even listening now, he’s just plotting the harsh words that will fall from his lips the minute she takes a breath. They are all wrong for each other, even you, a stranger, can see that. But no one can tell her what she needs to figure out for herself. Her hair is wild and flying in all directions, gorgeous curls tremble on top of her head as she raises her hands to her forehead. She is trying to cover her eyes, to hide from him, from the world. His hair is neatly combed and still wet from his shower. They don’t fit. She is emotional and proud of what defines her, he is frightened by it. He wants her to be like the Lilly Pulitzer blondes that sit at the next table, ordering pink and green drinks to match their sweaters. This girl, this wild, untameable girl will never be one of them. If he loved her for what makes her different, then they could work through anything, but he doesn’t.
She fingers the maroon napkin, twisting it between two jeweled fingers, obviously a woman who is denied nothing. She is debating whether or not to use the napkin to wipe away her tears. She decides instead to use the palm of her hands. It’s messier, but at least it feels more real, more comforting, to touch herself with her own flesh. He hasn’t touched her in ages, not like he means it. He touches her in passing, when he’s horny or wants a quick feel, but nothing lasting, nothing beautiful and heart-skipping. Just cold and emotionless, like the relationship.
Walk away. Just stand up, storm out, run away. Do anything but don’t stay. Don’t stay in something that isn’t right. This will tear you apart, it will change you. Without realizing what you are doing, you will try and change yourself for him. Don’t do it. You are wonderful alone. You are wild and carefree and happy. Yes, you will be lonely, but isn’t it better to be lonely moving in the right direction, then lonely going nowhere? Yes, he loved you once, but it wasn’t real love. It wasn’t lasting love. It was ordinary and predictable. It could have been anyone he met that night. It was a learning experience, you learned what doesn’t work for you. Now go home. Go back to what makes you happy, what makes you confident, what makes you YOU. He will find someone new, like the Lilly girl on the seat behind him. You will find someone new, too. Someone who wants to know what you are thinking. Someone who will find joy in the little things, just like you do. If you give yourself a chance to find the right person, he will show up, eventually.
Throw the drink in his face, throw the chair out of your way, slam the door. Fill yourself up with life, act irrationally but at least do it with energy, with enthusiasm. This is the first day of the rest of your life. Lose your breath while you’re living it. Take it for what it is, an adventure. Never settle.