awful August day, I figured the possibility of Mr. First and I ever getting back together was pretty much gone. As time marched on, I slowly realized that I was falling out of love myself and that the long distance that tormented us during the relationship was actually a blessing once we'd broken up. Without the worry of running into him on the train, at the park, or anywhere in all of New York City, I was able to relax, let go, and eventually move on.
But I'm a girl so I'll admit that over the years I've wondered what it'd be like if we ever did see each other again. Would it be awkward or would I realize that I'm completely over it? Would he have someone else holding his hand? Would I look hotter than The Other Chick and would he secretly think, "I've made a mistake!" (Oh, you know you secretly wish that, too.) Do we have to act like we never happened all those years ago? I mean what do you say to someone who unwrapped all your secrets, who saw and heard your everything before becoming a stranger? A sheepish "Um, hi?"
Last week, and more than three years after I saw him last, I had the chance to see the ex again. A small group of grad school friends decided to gather in the city for dinner and drinks - Mr. First included. A part of me was curious as to what the encounter would be like, I wanted answers to all those questions even if it meant stirring up feelings that need not be stirred. But even though I closed that chapter, in the end I just didn't want to be reminded that I was ever there. Deep down I knew that it'd probably do more harm than good to see him again and that I'm still not ready to be his friend.
The evening came and went and I didn't feel like I needed to be there. Perhaps it would've been nice to see him again, to chat face-to-face rather than the random message out of the blue that we send from time to time. I guess at the end of the day, I just didn't feel it was worth the risk. I fell in too deep and did too much climbing to willingly put myself in a situation I'm not yet ready for.
"Happy birthday," I texted a few days later. "Hope 28 is a good one."
"Many thanks! You were missed on Friday night."
"Yeah, ended up being on the fence about it and then decided to do something else..."
And so it goes. We can continue this friendliness at an arm's length, but not much closer. Maybe after three more years I'll feel differently. Maybe then we can laugh about it all and I can be his friend no matter who's hanging off his arm and no matter what any of us looks like. That's if we're even still relevant to each other at that point.
So tell me, have you ever run into an ex? What was it like? And are you still friends with any of your exes?