“So I guess this is it,” I muttered, staring down at his bed, watching my tears fall onto the comforter I knew so very well.
“I guess so,” he said back, clearing his throat and looking away. “You know, if I had met you in a few years, things would have been different.” I nodded, too afraid to speak. This was it, the end. After over a year of laughs, parties, and memories, it was all over. I pulled myself off of the bed, and he hesitantly did the same. I wiped my face, and finally glanced up at him.
Those eyes. That mouth. This room, this moment, this specific life with this specific person. Over.
He reached towards me, and we kissed. One last, bittersweet kiss filled with sadness, apologies, hopes, and lost dreams. I inhaled his scent and I felt him squeeze me like he didn’t want to let go. After a minute or a lifetime, I broke the embrace, gave him a nod, walked out of his door and out of his life.
If that isn’t the most cliché breakup story you’ve ever read, then you’re lying. But as familiar as it seems, it happened to me once-upon-a-time. And as it is with any romantic comedy, it was hard and painful and overwhelming. But I swore that this was it. I was moving on. And guess what? I did.
Fast forward almost two years later.
I was finally starting my senior year of college. The relationship I had when I was a freshman was long, long since out of my mind. I hate dated other guys since then. I had fallen in love and had my heart broken since then. The pain of deleting him on social media and avoiding him at events seemed like it happened to someone else. If I did think of him, I would smile to myself and remember the good times we had together. But I wasn’t in love with him. I hadn’t been bidding my time and stalking his every move. There were other people, other problems, more life in between our relationship. He was firmly in my past, and I was totally over him.
And then, something happened. Life, I guess, for lack of a less lame explanation. We both returned from our respected homes for the final year of school, unknowing of what was about to happen. I had just broken up with my current boyfriend. And he was still as single as he had been since we parted ways. We were back in our college town. It was the first semester of our last year.
We were going out.
But not together. We had since lost contact. Lost anything, really. I had no idea what was happening in his life, and he didn’t know about me. But that night we both decided to go to a bar. The same bar. At the same time. He was with his friends. I was with my mine. Five girls were sitting at a table, drinking vodka sodas and reminiscing about the past three years. We were all a little tearful, all a little excited. This was it! Our last year. We had to do it right. We laughed about boys, bad decisions, and “the future” that still sounded so far away, and agreed to make this our best year yet. We were sure of it. Just when I was heading up to grab another, stronger drink, it happened. That feeling. That something, or someone, was about to change everything. Time slowed down as I looked up, my heart beating in my ears. That’s when I saw him.
The guy who made me laugh harder than anyone, and who treated me with respect. The person who invited me into his life, and included me with his friends. The guy I had removed from my world years ago. That guy was at the same bar on the same night at the same time. And he was walking towards me. That thing we swore long ago, “If I had met you in a few years,” was happening. I pushed my hair behind my ear and smiled. He grinned back, and stopped right in front of me, eyeing me over his beer.
“Hey,” he said, with the deep voice I hadn’t heard in years.
“Hi,” I said back, watching his eyes light up as he looked at me.
We got back together three days later. What didn’t exactly fit when we were freshman, seemed to fit perfectly now. He had had his “wild college years” and I had had mine. I went on adventures, and he did all of the things he wanted to do. We loved each other when we said goodbye, but we said it nevertheless. And years later, after we completely let each other go, we came back. And it wasn’t because I Facebook stalked the shit out of him, and it wasn’t because we had been secretly talking the whole time. Maybe it was fate. Maybe it was alcohol. Maybe it was just life, working in a mysterious way.
They say don’t get back together with an ex. But I say what’s the point of living if you don’t break a few rules?
It wasn’t easy. We both had a past now. A gray area between when we were together the first time and being together now. You want to know what happened, but once you do, you wish you didn’t. It took some patience. Some understanding. Some letting go. But in the end, it was just a matter of falling back in love with each other. Not picking up where we left off, but building something new.
I’m not saying this because everyone should take their ex back. Hell, if it’s at the point where you “take him back” there was probably a good reason you got rid of him in the first place. You can’t build a relationship on something that’s broken. If he cheated, if he lied, if he hurt you in any way, cut your losses and cut him out of your life. Never, ever look back. But if time was against you, and life was pulling you in different directions, keep looking forward. Sometimes the thing you left in the past will be waiting for you in the future. A little older, a little wiser, and a little more ready for all that life has to offer. Maybe this is my happily-ever-after. Maybe it isn’t. Either way, I’m glad I broke the rules. I’m glad I said yes. I’m glad I got back together with my ex. Sometimes the thing that you need the most, was something you already had had.
And if not, there are plenty of other dicks in the sea. Or something like that..