“How’ve you been?”
That’s the message I received earlier this week from an ex-boyfriend. Not just any ex-boyfriend, but the ex-boyfriend. The one who crushed my heart into a million little pieces over a decade ago.
He was my first real love, and our relationship was built on a great friendship. I remember staying up all night on the phone with him, talking and laughing about anything and nothing.
They say love is friendship set on fire, and this was definitely true for us.
Our relationship was great in the beginning, but eventually began deteriorating. He and I had two very different view points on what it meant to be in a relationship. We seemed to fight about everything, and spent the last half of our relationship making up more than we did actually getting along.
Our relationship was like an addiction. You know it’s wrong for you, and it makes you feel terrible most of the time; despite this, you can’t let it go. I promised myself that tomorrow would be the day I’d break it off, and make it stick.
Tomorrow never happened.
We fought and fought and fought. Every argument took something away from me. I felt exhausted, deflated, angry, confused and unhappy.
I was living in Seattle at the time, and knew the only way to kick this bad habit would be to put some distance between us. I called my parents, and asked them if I could move back to California. My dad and grandfather helped me move when my apartment lease expired.
I was still in contact with my ex when I moved back, but we couldn’t help ourselves. We were back to our old ways.
We stopped speaking. He was dead to me.
I cried every single day for over 6 months. That’s a small price to pay to get your happiness back, but it was pure torture at the time.
When my anger for the situation finally subsided, I sincerely hoped he’d find happiness. The guy who was once dead to me was now a ghost I wished was living well in his afterlife.
I’ve thought about him off and on over the years since then. Not because I wanted him back (I recycle a lot of things, but relationships aren’t one of them) but because I don’t believe you can permanently erase someone from your memory who meant so much to you at one time.
Apparently he had been thinking about me too.
Time goes on. People change. Romance turned hatred turned indifference can one day turn friendship.
“How’ve you been?”
And just like that, the ghost was brought back to life.