He left little things behind. Some I got rid of right away like contact solution, a toothbrush, deodorant in my bathroom. Some lasted a little longer like the smell of him on my sheets before I washed them, our text convo on my phone before I deleted it. Slow but steady he was erased out of my life.
It’s almost three years ago that we broke up and I really was broken for a while. But I got over it, as one does. It all unfolded as if my life was a bad rom-com. At first I was a ball of tears, but “totally ok” with meeting up for a drink two weeks post breakup. Prior to that drink I inhaled a cursed order of tikka masala which as we were awkwardly sipping on our whiskey gingers took over my body like a monster. Not even an hour later I threw up in front of him on the street. A week or so later I dyed my hair because that’s what you have to do when you’re heartbroken. We all know that. I also started to wear more leather and elevated my selfie game to what I would like to call the PG13 risque-category. About three weeks after it happened I met my rebound who also ticked all the boxes a good rebound should; musician, so so sooooo fucking hot, way taller than me, kept telling me I was an angel, still used Star Wars sheets. You know the type. Mature in his way of wanting me, immature in everything else. Every time he pushed me up against the wall and kissed me or told me I should stay for 30 minutes longer or sent me a photo of his roommate’s dog, he helped me to put my broken self back together piece by piece. After some months of that I took charge of my career, my friendships were thriving, it was spring and we were living. I was doing great. I had moved on. The soundtrack in the movie would be energetic and hopeful. Life was good again! And life has been good since. So good that we decided it’s not awkward at all for the both of us to join our friends on a trip later this summer when we haven’t seen each other, nor spoken, for three years.
Not once since booking the tickets have I thought this is a bad idea. I’ve been very chill about it and told everyone who’s asked me what the heck we’re doing that we’re cool, it’s all goooood, we’re friends and we always knew that this would happen. One day we would have to see each other again, hang out again. That’s how this would go and we knew that when we started going out. And I really believed it. I still do. But the other day, when I was at a café working, this song comes on. I swear I haven’t heard it since that one summer night in his room. We were smoking cigarettes on his stoop, I was sad about something and he had his hand between my thighs and told me he wanted only me. It was as if someone saw me sitting there in that café, writing away on my laptop, looking all happy and sunburned and relaxed, and thought: let’s fuck her up.
Truth is hearing that song and getting emotional about it, I too started to wonder what we’re doing going on this trip. Are we kidding ourselves, thinking this was a good idea? It got to my head. What if it will be weird between us? What if he can’t look me in the eye? What if I accidentally say something that’s going to make him uncomfortable? What if it’ll be so awkward that I’m going to have to get the hell out of there? But then I also realized that before we even kissed, we were friends. Friends who laughed and talked and joked and who liked hanging out together. We’re friends. And I’m sure all will go well and we’ll be cool and have fun and whatever. Still it is different (by different I mean worse) for me, as I was the one who got dumped. It just does things to a person and it shapes you as you move forward. And in this situation it makes me the underdog.
But shed no tears, because as we all know, in any bad rom-com the underdog always wins in the end and she always looks crazy hot when she does. I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t thought about which of my mediation apps will turn me into the coolest, most calm self or which of my revenge dresses will make me look closest to a mysterious Italiana. I’m gonna turn up there radiating like a piece of freaking sunshine and he won’t know what hit him.
Because sure, I threw his contact solution away, washed my sheets and deleted his texts from my phone, but no matter how much I want to I can’t deny the fact that he once broke me. And you know how it goes: you break, you pay.