Dear friends

Sorry, I couldn’t help that title. Admittedly, I’m not feeling the bitterness I felt when I mocked it those few weeks ago.

So, yes, this is a Lost Soul update.

Following those text messages, communications between us were understandably absent. Until I was told that he had gone in to hospital for major surgery on a long standing condition.

I couldn’t ignore that for lots of reasons. The main one being, the last time he was in hospital for the same thing was when my dad was dying. I visited him a few times when visiting my Dad and he always asked how he was, more concerned with Dad’s health and us than his own.

Later, when Dad had died, he visited straight away, still extremely ill himself and brought a bag of provisions to help. He also came to the funeral, still recovering. I can’t ignore that.

So, I text a few times in the week following his operation, asking how he was and congratulating him when he finally got the all clear and was able to go home. I don’t regret that. My thoughts and feelings were of general care and concern and if he wanted to believe it was for any other reason, well, more fool him. He has been home a week or so and I haven’t text since then.

Then, last night, I called my sister to see if the kids and I could go round to play with her eleven beautiful puppies. We could but then she told me Lost Soul was also on his way round there too.

I won’t lie. I felt a pang. A something indescribable and fleeting. But it was soon gone. We’d messaged, were back to being ‘dear friends’ and what’s more, he wasn’t going to stop me visiting my own sister. We were going to come into contact at some point so I may as well get it over and done with.

We arrived and it was fine. I asked how he was and then ignored him to snuggle puppies. He asked me what my weekend plans were and I told him. He offered me wine and I declined. We chatted and I acted like I should – like he was a friend of my sister’s whom I like. That’s all. Well done me.

My children chatted with him also and my son was particularly enthusiastic as they spoke about video games and the like. Then we left.

I will say it again: it was fine. Not easy, not what I once wanted and not how we once were but I rallied.

So imagine my surprise this evening when, as I was driving home from shopping with my children, the phone rang and my daughter told me it was him. He never rings (anymore, anyway). Before I could snap myself out of my surprise and tell her to not answer, she did. And put it on loud speaker.

I thought at first there must be something wrong, but there wasn’t and he stuttered something about calling back when I wasn’t driving.

My mind raced on the way home. I could tell my daughter was suspicious as we’d had a previous conversation about Lost Soul when she’d overheard a conversation about him so I changed the subject, checking myself if I felt that the tell tale giddiness I get over him started to show. How ridiculous that I could let myself behave that way again anyway!

As I got home, we unloaded the car and she asked me if I’d called back. I said no and carried on unpacking.

My mind was racing. Why would be be ringing? Thoughts whizzed round like a discs in a jukebox, desperately searching for a probable answer.

Maybe he’s thought differently now he’s seen me again. NOOOO! Maybe he needs help with something? Maybe he can’t get hold of my sister? Maybe he wants to come round? NOOOO! I couldn’t let myself fall back in to the same old – and incorrect – thought patterns.

And then it struck me. Whatever this was, it was some kind of olive branch. I’d reached out first after our ‘disagreement’, so why shouldn’t he be able to call me about anything normal? Sure, warning alarm bells were going off in my head but I found an opportunity and called him back.

I will sum up the conversation. Basically, he had called to offer my son some collectable game pieces that he was going to sell. He thought it would be a good way to encourage my son to not play on the xbox so much and he would be able to play the strategy game with him and my brother in law.

What the…? Add any word you want there.

According to him, the collectables are probably worth about Β£100. Why would he offer them to my son for nothing? Why would he do this? I thanked him, said I would ask my son the next day and let him know.

When I put the phone down, I considered the possibilities. Maybe he is looking for an easy sell, hoping I will offer to buy them from him? Well, I’m not going to. He shouldn’t offer them if he was hoping I would buy them and secondly, I’m not just going to lay out that sort of money on something I don’t even know my son will be interested in. If this ends up with my son enjoying this strategy game thing, then I will offer money at a later date. Not now.

That eventuality satisfied, I thought again.

I won’t allow myself to believe that he has manufactured this whole thing to spend time with me and my son. What I will consider though, is this is a guilty man, a man who knows he has hurt me, trying to prove to me that he’s a good guy. Not for any reason other than to show that he’s not as bad as he has behaved.

But I know that already. I was in love with this man, once considered him my soul mate (which I now feel he has disproved and which I’m trying very hard to convince myself that I’m not on both accounts). He isn’t a bad person, he’s just really messed up when it comes to relationships.

The reality of all of this is that I don’t believe a word of what he says. I can’t trust him with my heart and I can’t allow myself to believe that anything he says and does means that he feels more for me than ‘dear friends’. He had his chance, he didn’t want it. End of.

I don’t know if I’m going to mention anything to my son. I need to think about it. But if I do, it will be because I will believe that Lost Soul is doing something kind for my son, and nothing else. I’ve got some thinking to do.


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