While on vacation, I was the one to bring it up. Via text, of course. I asked if he would want to drive two hours and buy me dinner. He considered it.

“Do you really think that’s the best idea?”

OF COURSE NOT. Of course it’s a bad idea. A LOUSY idea. No freaking way, in no one’s sane mind, would anyone EVER suggest that us having dinner would be the RIGHT choice. An implication would be LAUGHABLE. And why did I suggest it? Because, duh, do I EVER make the right choice? The healthy choice? OF COURSE NOT. That would be too easy. I like life complicated. Keeps me on my toes.

I have no idea what I expected to accomplish in a dinner. Nothing constructive. But I guess I just wanted to see him – it’s almost been a full year since we were in the same location. Just wanted to look at him, see the progression of gray hair and see if his eyes still changed when we talked. And, maybe, have good news for The Bestest Friend if he got fat. I was going to have to see him some time in life, might as well be when I was in bikini shape and sporting a hot tan; better than at a college friend’s wedding where we would awkwardly introduce our dates.

He considered it. He even gave me Thursday as the potential day. He tried to convince me to drive the two hours to him so we could “have more time and [I could] even stay on the couch if that’s[my] preference.” I turned him down. I didn’t want the potentially REALLY bad opportunity; I only wanted to look at him. Honestly.

We had a few phone calls over the week’s course. The area , the weather, the water … shit, even the grocery store chain … it all reminded me of him. Made me remember and think entirely too much. The down time, especially in that area, made me miss him is all. The calls were different for us; we didn’t fight; we didn’t flirt; I wasn’t passive aggressive or throw any low blows; we talked and it was nice.

“I have a lot of character flaws.”

“Yeah, you do.”

“For the first time in my life, I am acknowledging them.”

“Acknowledge them? Would you like help identifying them? I still loved you with them, but I could make you a list.”

“I know. But … but I guess I am not ignoring them anymore. For the first time, I am trying to be a better person. I am trying to lessen the self loathing.”

“Ok.”

“Ok.”

“Can I tell you something and then we never talk about it again?”

“Will I like hearing it?”

“Doubtful.”

“Ok, then I want to be able to talk about it again.”

“Sorry. Won’t tell you then.”

“Fine. What is it?”

“I miss you.”

I tried to convey that he didn’t miss me, he was just lonely. He misses having someone. Anyone. The Kid has not been alone for longer than two months, bouncing between flings and steady relationships, since middle school. He probably strung me along for longer than needed, as space filler, until he found a replacement. I’m the opposite. I lean toward hermit. My time is precious and I’d rather be happy alone than chance unhappy with someone unworthy. Or maybe I am lazy and have a fear of rejection. Whatever.

“Kid, I think that’s why you struggle with the self-loathing so much. You don’t enjoy being with yourself – you’ve never had to.”

“I don’t have the right to miss you.”

“No. You don’t.”

“I had what people spend their entire life searching for. And I fucked it up.”

“Yeah. You did.”

The last time I cried over him, something broke. The last remaining heartstring maybe. And I know I’ve implied it before, but now, I think I actually mean it. We talk sometimes –more than I would admit– and I miss him as a friend, but I don’t think I miss him as a boyfriend. He treated me poorly. He lied; he cheated; he didn’t go out of his way to make me feel special. He easily replaced me, and she meant something to him, as much as I like to tell myself otherwise. I sometimes wonder how much I meant to him, and how much was just habit. He never paid attention to my habits and fuck, even Work Boyfriend, after only a few months and our deep relationship consisting of sex-in-the-freezer jokes, knew the little things like my favorite cocktails and how I take my coffee. For a boyfriend, I have higher standards than those The Kid set. I’ll still talk to him, over AIM, where we will have polite small talk and he will never ask me a single question, but I won’t yearn (barfy word) for him. Because I think I almost believe myself when I say he’s not my someone.

“It’s probably better if we don’t meet for dinner. It will set me back.”

“Excuse me? Kid, how is it about you?”

“I am trying to be ok with lonely.”

“You listened to me?”

“Always do.”

I think I am finally listening to me, too. And I might be ok with lonely. I still think about him, in some way, everyday, sometimes as a passing thought and sometimes more. But the tears are done. Finally. For now (not promising against breakdowns in the future). That does not mean that when we do meet, awkwardly, you best believe I won’t have an amazingly hot date. Because I will. Even if I have to rent one. Just because this turned out for the better doesn’t mean I am not neurotic or going to be a bigger person about it. I’ve grown not matured.

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