Seriously why don’t they just disappear, self combust or at least have the decency to move? Was it SATC’s Carrie who thought there should be an ‘island of ex boyfriends’? Now there is a humane course of action to wholeheartedly support. Note to self, ring Branson he must have somewhere to spare.
This may not come as a total shock but for the record the ex and I did not part on good terms. Since the split I had managed to relegate him to the Outer Hebrides of my subconscious, through a ruthless execution of communications and plenty of nights out with the girls. Stereotypical but effective! And it had worked, there had been no confirmed sightings for months warranting the fair belief that he had done the decent thing and left the area. So it was with a reasonable sense of emotional bravado at lunch that caused the flippant comment ‘we haven’t seen each other for ages, I am totally done with that’. Obviously like a faulty romcom plot we should now fast forward to an uneventful afternoon in the Bullring and sit back to witness the dramatic irony of it all. Whilst people watching I simply scanned the shopping floor ticking off fashion boxes in my head when it struck, a bullet straight through the shield. The ex, who was, to be fair, badly dressed. How was it possible that the world still stopped for a moment? That my heart still thudded just a tad too loud? There is no love lost between us yet my reaction during that split second was undeniable.
Que the self analysis. Was it the unexpected, defences left unprepared? Or was it bigger, scarier than that? Seeing that person forces you to remember all the potential negative outcomes that allowing someone into your life can bring. It doesn’t matter how much you trust them, or how often sweet words are whispered, the truth is that person will always hold your heart in their hands. The power to nurture or destroy you. If love ends, especially if it ends badly, then that person is no longer a random stat wondering an overpopulated planet. Rather they are a representation of all those feelings, the hurt, the diminished sense of self that you have hopefully worked hard to repair and revarnish. Yet even though you mend and move on they continue to be exist, somewhere, a ghost haunting you.
I went home ready to sink into an emotional hole comprising of vodka and SATC reruns, however the shock of the day was actually that by the time I had driven back it didn’t hurt anymore. As I put my key in the door, trite as this may sound all those old sayings ran through my head ‘what doesn’t kill you’, ‘plenty more fish…’ , ‘he was a complete idiot…’. We’ve all heard them trotted out during romantic trauma by those who love us and want to stem the bleeding. But maybe there is some truth in each of them. The death of a relationship will always hurt no matter how amicable it is, but that doesn’t mean your time is up. Whatever pain break ups create they still happen for a reason. I know that the ex and I were steadily chipping away at one another for months moving along the spectrum from adoration to barely contained hostility. Killing the relationship was the kindest thing for both of us to do.
So onwards and upwards, and if I were a better person I’d say I hope he’s as happy as I am, but I’m only human so lets just say it was good to see him.