Like most love-struck humans, I often fantasize about my ex. The one that got away. The one that should have been kept at arm’s length.
Romanticizing a love experience that wasn’t truly love, yet felt like it. Such is the plights of teenage expectations. So in the spirit of morbid curiosity, I came up with this scenario in which I somehow meet up with my ex somewhere. Not focusing on the details, let’s quickly settle on a location. Like a coffee shop (yeah, that can work). I order a commonly preferred drink and sit down as the heat settles. She walks in. We lock eyes for a quick second as she hurries in a panic. It’s not long before she’s standing next to me, working up the urge to combat the years of estrangement with a greeting. Awkwardness burns the skin as I sweat in anticipation for the upcoming conversation.
Me: You can sit down if you want. I’m not waiting for anyone.
Ex: Ok then. Thanks.
Me: Soooo, it’s been about 6 years, give or take, right? How are things going with you?
Ex: Oh you know. Just been busy with life stuff.
Me: Alright then. Well, you look great.
Ex: Thank you.
Me: Yeah… I’m honestly surprised to see you here.
Ex: I could say the same thing about you.
Me: Do you miss me?
Ex: Ummm sure. I’ve thought about you here and there. It’s been such a long time since high school, you know?
Me: It has. And yet I would have liked to have filled that time with you.
Ex: Yeah about that. Sorry for not being as present as I should have been when you switched schools.
Me: It wasn’t solely my decision. I would have rather stayed with you.
Me: Yes. I guess a girl actually liking me was more important than getting a higher education.
Ex: (Slight chuckle) Aww, you were always the sweetest.
Me: Also a bit naive. I thought you were the most perfect girl I ever met. I would stay up every night, waiting for the chance to finally see you again. I thought about the many anniversaries we would have. The presents, the smiles. I wanted you more than anything.
Me: But you never gave me that chance. You abandoned me, then discarded me when you felt it was convenient to end an already dead relationship. I held on for as long as I could. Still thinking about you, praying for you. Hoping you didn’t move on, yet you did. So when I finally moved on, I did it in denial. When it came to any potential love interest, I wanted to somehow prove to you how wrong you were in leaving me behind.
Ex: I… I uhh…
Me: I failed. A lot. Each relationship lasting as long as ours did. Maybe I am a terrible boyfriend. A needy, self-conscious guy with trust issues and an addiction for female validation. Doing whatever it takes to keep you around, even if you would rather be anywhere else. So let me ask you this: did you actually love me?
Ex: I mean you were nice and all. I don’t know, I thought I did. I loved the way you made me feel. But I moved on. I thought you did too.
Me: So that explains why it was difficult to respond to a text message. And not wanting to be Facebook official. And not talking to me for long stretches of time, having a short conversation about nothing, and then ignoring me again. Once I stopped being physically available, you decided to be emotionally absent. It all makes sense.
Ex: Again, sorry about that.
Me: No you’re not. If anything, I’m sorry I wasted your time. After all, the relationship was never truly defined. It was based on assumptions. I said “I love you” too early. I thought that’s what you do when a girl hugs and kisses you at each opportune moment. In a way, I was using you to feel better about myself. Then when that stopped, the pendulum switched and you became one of my biggest regrets. Truth is, we both weren’t ready to be a couple. Part of me still resides in you. I don’t think I’ll ever be brave enough to take it back. I think it’s because I was never supposed to give it to you in the first place.
Ex: (Taps table nervously) Well, I have to get going now. Bye now.
Me: So long. (Finishes drink)
When it comes to previous relationships, my overthinking mind becomes attached to what could have and didn’t happen. Unanswered questions come by now and then, teasing me about her.
Honestly, a hypothetical situation could never satisfy my longing for closure. I never knew much about her. She’s an unsolved mystery that still walks around in a shroud of secrecy. Perhaps it’s a form of therapy that I confront her, even in thoughts.
Reconciliation is a distant remnant of a hope I once held. But then again, regret is the very Ex that exited my alphabet long ago. There’s still more words to spell, paragraphs to portray, and stories to share. She’ll just never be a part of them.