My ex-boyfriend got in touch with me last night. Ha! I’ll back up and start at the beginning. I’ve had what I consider three significant boyfriends. My first boyfriend: we didn’t end up on very good terms. Not all his fault either. I’ll be surprised if I ever hear from him again. My second boyfriend, the one who got in touch with me last night – we were together for about six months.
An infinitesimally small amount of time really. But this second boyfriend had something of an effect on me, that is before he ran off with another girl during my first summer at uni. When I found out I socked him in the eye and was never really friends with him again. I say that slightly cringing because my whole family including my children (!) laugh at me about it now.
‘You hit him in the actual face?’
The actual face. First and last time so far.
Another reveal: he’s 22 years older than me. I realised today I am exactly the age he was when I met him. I was 21 at the time and he was 43. I was completely green too – no idea of the emotional baggage the simple quantity of years gives a person. Oops. I’m not saying that I deserved what I got but I wasn’t really paying attention. Any moron could have seen it coming. Except this moron.
Never mind. Water under the proverbial bridge. Cue the heartbreak. I can still taste it. Not being able to fix the situation was one bitter swallow. It was more of a choke really.
I don’t mean to paint a tragedy. I’d never have what I have now without him running off and finding another woman who once knocked on my door at three in the morning to tell me how great he was. Thanks for that. Then, last night, out of nowhere he apologised. It was quite formal in tone. I would like to say that I am sorry for what happened. I looked at the message. I could’ve written so many things back. They’d sat on the edge of my tongue for years.
He was the person who showed me how to be happy. He set a precedent of adventure and travel in my life that has continued ever since. That freedom of movement, the sheer joy of being unattached – I first felt that with him.
I can’t be friends though. For me it doesn’t work that way. I think that’s why it hurt so much then. Plus I have an awesome family now. Sure, they all laugh at me for having gone out with someone twice my age – daddy issues anyone? – but those assholes still need me. There is no going backwards.
We wonder what we’re going to get done in our lives. Plans, achievements, ambitions. Until situations present the question: you thought you were in control? ‘Wait, wait, wait,’ it says, ‘you’re riding this rollercoaster’. Jack and I often think with our Lulu that it’s not what she has but what she hasn’t got that gives her yearning character. I felt that strange duality last night. It was nice to get that apology.
‘No worries,’ I wrote back. That love for life came at exactly the right time in my life. I didn’t say that bit though.