Sometimes when you go through a rough phase in your life, something happens to show you that the phase has ended and you’ve moved on. I’ve just had this experience and am overjoyed to realize that my crappy phase is behind me.
Yesterday, I ran into my ex-boyfriend, JR. Around six months ago, we went through a major breakup. We hadn’t seen each other since I showed up crying on his doorstep a week after we broke up. I was angry and upset about the situation for a long time and it was difficult for me to get past the breakup.
JR and I live three blocks away from each other and go to many of the same places. I had feared this run-in for some time; it was bound to happen eventually. When we first broke up, every time I left my house I was afraid I would see him. When I started dating other people and going with my dates to bars in our neighborhood, I was terrified that JR would show up. In my paranoid mind, this scenario always had him appear at the bar with his own, completely beautiful, brilliant date that he was obviously completely in love with.
As time passed and I didn’t run into JR, I began to relax a little. I went to all the restaurants, bars, and events he would typically be at, but he wasn’t at any of them. I was forced to drive past his house every day, but I never saw him going in or out. I started to believe that he had handed over our neighborhood to me. That he’d vanished from the usual places.
Although I still looked at JR’s house every time I drove by, it started to fall off my radar that he could be anywhere at any time. Even though I knew he was still lurking about my neighborhood, I didn’t think about it as often. I began to go about my business without anxiety of an encounter.
Then I spotted JR at a subway station. It was early in the morning. I was on my way to a class, he was on his way to work. I was standing on the platform when I saw him coming toward me. There was no expression on his face, but he had seen me and was headed my way. I stayed relatively calm as he got closer, my heart was only beating a little faster.
We opened our conversation with an update on his work and had an awkward hug. JR told me how he wasn’t completely happy with his new job and that he worked a ton. He told me that his brother and sister-in-law had had their baby. I told him I was no longer at the same job because I’d gotten laid off. We had further “catch-up style” small talk. When the subway arrived, it surprised me because I had forgotten we were waiting for a train. We got on the crowded subway and there were no seats available, so we stood and continued talking.
JR inquired about my friends and how they were doing. I asked about his family and his friends. I had liked his family a lot and missed them after we broke up, so I was particularly curious about their wellbeing. He explained that his family was doing well, but he hadn’t seen much of his friends. We reminisced about a vacation we had taken that had gone all wrong. He told me he’d thought of sending me a note on my birthday.