When we met for drinks on her way through Seattle, she had everything she'd ever wanted. She would never have put it this way, of course, but--a man wrapped around her finger, a degree with honors, a successful career that was taking her through the airport bars in all the interesting airport hubs in America. Just like when we were dating, everything happened on her terms, the way she wanted it, because she'd carefully arranged it that way. She assumed she knew me still.

It was the little things--the way she'd disdainfully make some little comment about me, trying to assert her dominance, the way she'd always done. She was wrong about it now, of course, but I didn't say anything. Drinks arrived--she was drinking a Manhattan, something I'd turned her on to a year or two before, and I ordered PBR--and she asked me one of those questions, assuming she knew the answer. She wasn't expecting me to. She thought she'd won, right there. "I'm just like you," she was trying to say. "Just like you, but I'm successful. What have you done?"

When I finally answered, she simply moved on, of course, but there was a change. She was in unfamiliar territory now. She kept trying, I kept correcting her. Eventually she said something like, "You're not even happy with where you are, I don't think you're one to talk," and I said I was as happy as I'd ever been.

I say I don't understand why we'd ever dated, but really, breaking up was the best thing that had ever happened to either of us. We both define success as not being like each other.

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