I don’t remember how I agreed. It was a bad idea from the very beginning. I didn’t want to play the part of the other woman, even in the remotest idea, when I used to be the only one. But you mentioned the word closure. Something I was always guilty of depriving the people who loved me. So here I am, and we are at this point.
I laid down the rules and you were as kind and understanding as I remembered you to be. I don’t want trouble, I said. And I would never want you to lose what you already have and deserved. The beautiful things your God gave you. The life that I can never show you.
Your back was on me so I saw you first. I didn’t have the jitters I thought I would have. But lately it seems that feeling has been alien to me. But still, I would have thought this one would trigger a comeback. You turned around and that smile I know so well. We eased into the conversation like old pals. Jesting and just talking about life. Yours and mine. Separate and different from one another. Did you find it weird that we’re talking about our lives this way? I did. When the last time we talked in person, your life and my life were one and the same. That was years ago, but this is surreal.
You asked me questions and I gave you my honest answers. Answers I wouldn’t have provided years ago before circumstances forced me to grow. I wouldn’t know how to answer you back then anyway. I didn’t know myself then the way I know myself now. Out of respect, I tried not to turn the conversation about her as much as I can. A senseless sentiment, I know but what can I do? It’s an instinct that my conscience forces me to follow.
It’s funny how the years seemed to not have made a difference. We’re still the same people, maybe wiser, maybe older. The old dynamic is still there. You were a part of me for the better part of my life. And I in yours. But pretty soon, my son will turn 7 and he will be officially the longest relationship I’ve had, hence will be mostly my identity now. And as for you, your years with her are piling up going straight to forever. That is why we know it will never be like how it was between us. Everything’s the same, and everything has changed.
And so we part ways, I’d like to think, as good friends. Though I know that will never be. I hope I gave you what you were looking for. I hope I helped you hold on to that happiness you worked so hard for. I hope you will find the peace that has probably eluded you like how it has with me.
I watched you walk away, almost exactly how I saw you again for the first time in years earlier today. As the dim parking lot slowly took you away, I mentally patted myself on the back for handling this one well. Days will turn into weeks and weeks to months and years. I file this under case closed in my mind and it’ll be just a distant memory like all our other moments together. I searched myself and found nothing but happiness for you. There were no sparks, no chemical reactions. No anxiety or panic. No fear or shame. No awkwardness, not even embarrassment. There is even no giddiness or romantic thoughts or anything of that sort.
Only one thing.
It felt like I was home. But that home is no longer mine. And this is where I finally say goodbye.