In a city of eight million people, the possibility of running into him seemed unlikely. And daytime took him completely out of context. But as soon as my brain's facial recognition skills kicked in, I realized I was standing face-to-face with Mr. Weird Science project. My ego retreated. I couldn't even pretend to be normal. I couldn't even pretend to be unaffected by our recent conversation. There I stood; withdrawn, awkward, damn near mute and I couldn't control it. Yet, just weeks ago, I was all lovey-dovey, naked and emotionally vulnerable in his bed.
I couldn't even maintain eye contact let alone physical contact as he leaned in for a hug. And despite my inability to formulate a coherent sentence, the little voices in my head were rambling at maximum volume, reminding me of what an asshole I was for thinking that "us" was ever a possibility. My embarrassment and disappointment felt magnified out there in the sunlight after courageously exposing my truth in the dark. Clearly, the Universe wanted to rub some single-itis into my wounded ego.
I somehow managed an excuse to walk away and prayed my feet wouldn't fail me. Just my luck, I'd do something like fall or step in dog shit. Then, in a fog of disbelief, I returned home to brood and revisit my anger with the Universe. After all, It had watched me try to sort through the mixed messages of our relationship and convince myself that any real connection was in my head. It saw me struggle to accept that, if we weren't meant to be, that there was someone better out there for me. And It knew I wasn't truly convinced of that yet. It knew that I didn't really want to stop seeing him. But the more I prolonged this friends-with-benefits situation, the more rejected and insecure I'd feel. I mean, if after an entire year he didn't value what we had, I knew walking away was the right thing to do. Even if it felt wrong. And it did. Something about "us" didn't feel over. There was still too much unspoken truth.
And then the anger turned on myself because, clearly, I must be delusional and needy. How could I want to be with someone that didn't want me? Maybe that's what happens after being single for so long; no matter how much time and energy you invest in loving yourself first. Maybe I'm eternally damaged goods.
I decided to wrestle with that apparent truth later. In the meantime, I couldn't let his last memory of me, be the awkward and insecure version of me. And so I texted him.