Just Somebody That I Used to Know


Photo by Tyler McRobert, downloaded from http://www.unsplash.com

Gotye was on the radio when I was in the car earlier and his song got me thinking.  I work at a hospital and recently saw an ex-boyfriend of mine in the hallway in front of a vending machine getting a snack for his young son.  I knew from seeing a friend of mine comment on his feed on Facebook (I am not Facebook friends with him) that his wife just had a second child.

From down the hall I couldn’t tell, but I didn’t think it registered with him who I was.  Perhaps he did recognize me but his face did not betray it.  I wouldn’t hold it against him if he didn’t know it was me.  When we dated I had long curly hair and now have a short straight pixie.  At that time I also weighed about 20 pounds less than I do now.  It has been about eight and a half years since then, so he could have legitimately not known the stranger walking down the hall was me.  Or, he could have just felt awkward about a potential meeting and used not having enough quarters for the machine as a cover and turned away before I reached the cafeteria.  And I wouldn’t blame him.

He was the last guy that I dated that I really liked before I met my husband.  We had opposite work schedules, opposing religious views, and didn’t get to see each other a lot, but when we did we got along famously.  Everything was great, or so I thought.  I was quite blindsided when he came over to my apartment one night and ended our relationship.  It was the most horrible and embarrassing breakup I have ever had.

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He came over one night after I got off of work.  I was happy to see him because we hadn’t gotten to hang out for a few days and I had gotten him a gift that I was excited to watch him open.  He opened the gift and liked it.  I opened a bottle of wine and served cheese with crackers, but hadn’t had any supper beforehand.  Big mistake.  On our second bottle of wine he broke the news that he was breaking up with me.  I tried to remain stoic, something hard to do when you are very wine buzzed and teeming with emotion. I wanted to present my side of things and give what I thought were very valid reasons not to break up.  We talked a little bit more and all of a sudden I felt the urge to be sick.  I ran from the living room to the kitchen on my way to the bathroom.  He followed, probably alarmed by my rapid bolt from the room.  I didn’t make it to the bathroom and puked Merlot in the kitchen sink.  I then ran to the bathroom and could not get the toilet lid open quick enough before feeling my stomach begin to heave again, so I leaned over and puked in the bathtub, more than once.  He saw that too.  After I finished I walked down the hall to lay in my bed and he left.  We never talked again;  I was so mortified then at what happened that I never tried to contact him.  The memory is still embarrassing to this day.

The world turns, people move on and meet other people, become happy.  My little family is so wonderful and I wouldn’t trade it for anything else in the world.  I am so lucky to have my fabulous husband and sweet child.

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It”s weird.  Why is it that breakups are always so awkward, even so long after, even when you are over it?   Why couldn’t I walk a little faster down the hallway and say, “Hey…”?  Why is it so hard to be able to walk up to someone and say, “You have such a cute family, congratulations!”?  I don’t know.



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