You know how the story goes. The almost finds someone after you and in some instances it most certainly is the one they end up marrying. There is no guidebook for coping when an almost moves on, proposes, then posts their wedding announcement on Facebook. Did you even see it coming? I’d like to say I didn’t, but I did.
You wonder if the thoughts and emotions warrant a tweet, a Facebook status, a blog post; noting that you would have to go through the trouble of hiding the Facebook status from the 30 to 50 mutual friends that would destroy anonymity from the obvious timeliness of your post.
“X is getting married,” you drop in passing conversations to close friends, noting how their responses range from nonchalant to well meaning to pure curiosity to psychoanalytical accompanied by awaiting silence.
“Oh, I see.”
“Wow, remember a few years ago we were just talking about this day. Now your almost is married.”
“That’s interesting. I didn’t even know he had someone.”
“Are you invited?”
“So, how do you feel about this?”
Somehow the fact that though both of you have moved on holds no weight over the notion that you are still supposed to feel something or have a reaction even though your 7 year complication ended 5 years ago. Crafting a response takes your mind rapidly through the last 5 years post-demise of which no one knows the real details to. The only reason why you can give the answer you are about to give.
Long distance gets in the way and turns every conversation into a quarrel that never gets fully resolved. You untag yourself from every single photo and post on he tagged you in. Delete all your albums and emails and posts. Cut each other off social media because the best form of emotional damage is to appear distant and uncontactable, only realising that somehow you still want to know what the other is up to.
A friend request is sent. Repeatedly. Curiosity gives in and the accept button is clicked. Somebody initiates a “let’s be friends again” conversation. You exchange sporadic emails that briefly cover random topics unrelated to the past year and it is never brought up.
He flies over 8,000 miles across the globe, three years since you last met, lands and texts you to meet up the next day. You note that it is sudden and out of the blue yet to this day you recall it was a Friday night while you were eating dessert.
He is running late, preoccupied with a previous appointment and leaves you waiting for an hour. As you leave and make your way elsewhere he finally responds and travels to wherever it is you are headed. This is not an unfamiliar experience (-10 points). When you finally meet it feels exactly the same as always. It is so easy. Almost nothing about either of you has changed; still the same people who like the same things. Just that both of you have moved on to someone real. You don’t know what to expect but it is definitely going to be big.
“I haven’t told anyone yet but I’m figuring out how to propose to her. I was thinking of… ” He rattles on ideas you love that sound amazing. But only to the both of you.
“See, I knew you would appreciate it!”
You remind him that what you like, may not be what she likes. That it had to be personal and from the heart, that it had to matter to her. Somehow after all the conversation, maybe you will never know why it didn’t work out. Even though it took 10 years (hopefully lesser for anyone else), you are grateful that you stayed as almosts because everything you went through made you a better person and taught you what The Right One would definitely not be like.
Facebook tells you they are engaged. You wonder which method he went with in the end.
Facebook tells you they are getting married. You receive a virtual invite. Your own wedding is in the works.
You write this post to hoping someone somewhere will one day get it and be able to confidently respond “I’m fine.”