I was barely sixteen when I met him.
He was beautiful and he had the kindest eyes I have ever looked in to.
The first time he kissed me, he was so gentle, i cried.
Over the years infatuation turned in to love and I would have died for him.
We swore we’d be together forever.
Forever lasted 6 years.
We grew up, he moved away and I refused to join him.
“Let’s stay friends” I said.
“Always” he said.
We remained as close as ever. Constantly in touch. Keeping up with each other through universities, new relationships, heartbreaks, moves & jobs etc.
I even visited him while on holiday.
But he never came back to Sri Lanka. Until now.
Last night I met him. For a little longer than the usual rushed coffee.
And as always, I half heartedly expect a rush of feeling when he takes my hand.
But no, nothing.
He smokes. Lights up one cigarette after the other. And I wonder if he’s nervous. He always said that I intimidated him just a bit.
As the night goes on we talk sense, nonsense and everything in between.
I ask him about his family. His mother, who I loved like my own. Apparently she still cries when someone mentions my name. His sisters, who stood by me and dried my tears through our breakup.
He tells me about our old friends. Now scattered all over the world. Some who have been out of touch assume that we are still together. The perfect couple.
I tell him about my work and he smiles at wry descriptions of my clients.
He tries to explain implications of the recession and I make fun of his high flown financial lingo.
After a while I begin to feel drowsy. He notices immediately and offers to take me home.
But I detect the hurt in his voice as he lightly asks “am I boring you?”
Kick myself for being so insensitive.
So I insist on ordering more drinks and the conversation resumes.
He talks incessantly. As I stare at him amused, I wonder how and when he changed. He used to be so quiet while I was always the chatterbox.
Then he stops talking and says “why don’t you tell me about your life, your friends”
I think for a moment and realize that there would be no point. He doesn’t know any of my friends.
It strikes me then, what a good job I have done at moving on. Although I have stayed in touch with him, I had cut him off completely from the rest of my life. The life I built after him has barely been touched by him.
But somehow, his life has remained the same. I know everyone in his life and they know me. And I’m still a huge part of him.
Suddenly it’s clear why he hasn’t completely gotten over me.
The difference between us is that looking back, he sees how perfect we were but I can only see how wrong we were. In my opinion, divided we are good for each other but together we will always fail.
I’m not even surprised when I feel nothing for him.
It makes me sad. But there’s nothing I can do about it.
I’m over him.
When it’s time to go home, I’m almost glad.