the past

I have this old boyfriend. Actually, I hesitate to even use the word "boyfriend" because the circumstances surrounding the relationship are so bizarre. There was one, nearly month long false start, followed by my heartbreak, which was then followed by me very, very gingerly recovering. Actually, I was recovering from a lot of things, I think–a culmination of love and life events that left me in serious need of time alone to recenter myself. After a year or two, he came back into my life, and our relationship continued via email and on the phone. We corresponded lovingly through the winter and arranged to meet in the spring at which point we met and had an amazing time. We were both moving away, and he, seemingly halfheartedly, invited me to run away with him and get married. At the time it seemed like the only option for us to be together. I’m not sure how we came up with such an extreme measure, but I remember thinking, This is the only thing that makes sense. I didn’t have the nerve to do it, and I left for the new teaching job I had secured. I never saw him again after that, but learned that he was reuniting with the woman with whom he had been with before me and that was that.
I don’t think about him much, but when I do, I find it to be quite…disorienting. I guess sometimes I like to wonder, What if? Mostly, I think it is my brain going into an easy default mode, but that doesn’t mean that I am not haunted by occasional dreams and memories of these past loves. Last night, for example. I had a dream that I was with him. We were all drinking at a brewery at the coast. I was there. He was there with his partner. Two mutual friends (another couple) were there (mostly his friends). It was exciting. There was good conversation. Finally, one of our friends from the couple, the man, a guy whom I always liked, took me aside, to a walk on the beach actually, and revealed to me that his friend, my former love, had never really gotten over me, that in moments of drunkenness gazing into outdoor fire pits, he frequently revealed his uncertainty about his choice. He frequently wondered what might have been with me. This revelation devastated me, and I spent the rest of the evening stealing glances with him and trying to sneak away with him for a conversation that would never happen. 


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