I didn’t expect to see you there. I mean, to be honest, I don’t think about you half as much as I used to do. And anyway, I’d had a bad day and so I had other things on my mind.
I’m self-conscious enough though to be pleased that I still had my makeup on and my nice jeans and jumper from when I’d been shopping earlier that morning. Less so that it was now accompanied by heavy walking boots, a rainproof coat and dog hair (and the dog of course).
Why’d I had a bad day? Long story, but along the lines that I felt lonely. Lonely is quite a regular feeling nowadays. My friend let me down. I miss my Dad like crazy. It’s Christmas. I’m lonely.
So, I attempted to walk off my sadness with my dog in hand, boots on foot. I didn’t know you’d be there.
Was I pleased to see you? Of course. There’s still that little thrill when we meet. A hint of a memory of what was and what could have been. But I’ve moved on now – you’ve moved on. We made that decision, didn’t we? That it wasn’t going to work? Yes, I know we were drunk. OK, yes, I did most of the talking. But I couldn’t cope with it anymore, see, the not-knowing. The backwards and forwards. So, for self preservation purposes, I called it a day on whatever it was. OK, yes, I will also admit that I have wondered what would have happened if I’d have just let you speak, but I got over that. It’s been over a year since then. I got over you, as much as anyone who thought they found and lost their soul mate can. Wrong time, wrong place and all that.
So I was pleased to see you because your addition to the tea and company I expected from my sister was welcome. You make me laugh, think, talk. That’s a good thing when you’re feeling lonely.
But… I do have to say though, that I was a little confused by some of what you said. The fact that one of the first things you asked me was “So what’s new? Have you met anyone new? Been anywhere new?” Of all the things that you could have asked me, that was pretty straight to the point. I didn’t answer that part. I wouldn’t have asked you, or anyone else that, so it surprised me that you would ask me that.
And then, later, when we were all talking, you said how you’d missed all this. I’m assuming you mean us together as you still regularly see my sister and brother in law. I was the extra ingredient. I agree, I miss it – you – too. So, OK, may be that one wasn’t so confusing.
What about this one..? We got talking about modern day women and what they want from a man and how it’s impossible. An interesting conversation. Then you asked me what I was looking for in a man… OK, part of the conversation: a woman providing an example. But did you have to then say that there was “only one man in the world like that, and that’s me.” Really? What am I supposed to do with that?
Then later, you mentioned that you had just started watching the film version of my favourite book. A coincidence? Maybe. But I wasn’t the only one to think that it was strange. Why tell me that?
And then, the moment that you pointed out our age gap.. I can’t remember the context, but this was an unexpected twist… That when we met the age gap seemed too big but now it doesn’t. I mean, age gaps don’t mean a thing when you’re just friends so.. you know, that naturally got me thinking.
Don’t get me wrong, I also wasn’t the only one who noticed the name dropping of your girlfriend. Sometimes – if you don’t mind us both suggesting – a little needlessly. I’m sure that we also didn’t need to know that you have no sex drive anymore. Someone a little more invested might think you were hinting that you were less physically involved with your girlfriend but as I ‘called it a day’ last year, I obviously didn’t think this but I just wanted to add it in there as something potentially confusing.
I know, I know, we’d all had a bit to drink by this point. And honestly, it’s not the first time I’ve reflected that I probably imagined all these things. That maybe I am adding more weight to these innocent little comments than there should have been. Except… it wasn’t just me that noticed them. I mean, one of our party commented that you seemed more like your old self than you had done in months. Of course, I know that we have that effect on each other – people have commented on that for years. Just like they always thought that we were an item when… We weren’t. So what if they thought that some of your comments were a little suggestive too?
But yes, it was lovely to see you.
Obviously, in my current lonely state, it’s entirely possible that I imagined all the hints and suggestions. I’m back to those days of self doubt, confusion and heartache and I don’t want to go back to not knowing what’s going on.
What was that? What do I want then?
I’m not sure.
Ok, yes, I will admit that I have given mixed signals too in the past. But in my defence, I was confused. And protecting my heart.
No more mixed signals? OK, here goes…
If you told me that you’ve always loved me – no, less than that – if you told me that I’ve always had a special place in your heart. Or, that we were soul mates (yes, I know you’ve said that beforez but in this context)…
So, if, you told me that you missed me. That you always wondered what might have been. That you were scared of how powerfully we felt for each other and it was too much back then… If you told me that we were both older now, and you still felt the same after all these years. Then, yes, I would loan you my heart. Just for a while. Just to see if all that promise we have felt for all these years was truth. I could do that, if you said those things.
But, if you didn’t.. Well, nothing has changed then. I’d lose a little bit more respect for you as you’re either messing me about and still playing the game after all these years.. Or… You still don’t know what you want. And, you know what? You can’t blame your youth for that anymore. And surely, if you care for me as you say you do, you wouldn’t do that again.
I know we have history. So much of it. But that history has made me really tired of the “what ifs”. Has it not you too? So let’s not slip into old habits. Please. My lonely heart can’t take it again.