Jayne Martin

“Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.” —Nora Ephron

Stalking my ex on Christmas Eve was a bad idea. Even I could see that. First, there was that nasty restraining order I’d be breaking, but mainly because I’m supposed to be “moving on.” Or so my therapist, and yeah, maybe everyone else in my life keeps saying.

Still, I thought the Santa costume was kind of genius. Brought along a bag of tiny candy canes to hand out to annoying children.

She was with that accountant guy from the office again. Okay, maybe he had a steady job, but what else did he have going? I’d match pecs with him any day. They left the restaurant hand-in-hand. It was all too much. I leaped into their path.

“Tell Santa what you want for Christmas,” I said to her. Voice lowered a couple of octaves so she wouldn’t know it was me. “Here, sit on Santa’s lap,” I pulled her down on the curb.

A bus went by spraying rainwater and soaking us both. Did I forget to mention the rain? Yeah, a shitty night all around.

She screamed and her boyfriend grabbed her from my arms.

“But I’ll do anything, give you anything. Ho! Ho! Ho!” I cried, trying to stick to the script.

She wasn’t fooled.

“Jesus, Roland!” she said.

“I’m calling the cops,” said the accountant.

“Fuck you,” I said and clocked him in the jaw.

The guys in my jail cell were real understanding, though a few wanted to give “Santa” a lap dance.