I had dinner with the guy who broke my heart, and it was everything I didn’t want it to be. It had been a year since we had seen each other. A whole year of mending, meeting people, dating, and moving past our relationship. Or so I thought.
Two weeks prior, it was brought to my attention he was coming back from China to take care of some business and he would like to connect. My first word when I heard the news was, “Why?” I could barely hold it in. Why did he have to come back to my town? Irrational thinking, I know, but out-of-sight-out-of-mind was doing me well.
After our breakup, he wanted to stay in touch but I couldn’t. It was too hard. An email or text was a reminder of what never was. The feeling of rejection would overcome me and self-doubt and sadness would follow. After comprehending he was, in fact, coming back, I put on my big-girl pants to face my fears. I emailed him about meeting up and he responded in an instant. We were to meet for a “walk and talk” at the beach in Carpinteria. Seeing him would be the closure I needed. If anything, that’s what I needed the most.
We met a few days later, and it was nice. Small chat turned into discussions of our relationship and the inevitable breakup. It was genuine and kind. More than that, it was liberating to be on the “other side” of seeing him. The best part was the desire to be together was nonexistent. Had I done it? Am I over him?, I thought. As we went our separate ways, he asked to meet again before he left town, and I agreed. After all, now that we had seen each other, it would be fine. Just two people catching up on life. Simple as that. I ignored the little voice inside that knew otherwise.
Several days later, he came over for dinner. I wanted to show him my house and how much it had changed. I wanted to show him how much I had changed (though looking back, I was only trying to prove this to myself). As I prepared for dinner, I was confident and looking forward to it. This lasted a good 30 minutes. As he pulled up the driveway, my heart dropped to my feet. My throat tightened and the butterflies in my stomach were so strong it almost hurt. I was mad at myself for feeling this way. I thought you were over this?! I felt defeated.
He came inside and I began rambling, dropping things, and acting like a nervous fool. The worst part? I told him I was nervous. Hello, vulnerability! I was uncomfortable, and I was little weirded-out. As we chatted, my mind was racing. How could I still feel this way? I’m frustrated and exhausted from this emotional torment! The connection was apparent – and the worst part was the gut feeling I was alone in the sentiment. He wasn’t the same person I remembered, but I wasn’t either. The last time he was at my home, we were together. That was the difference. That’s why it wasn’t the same.
He said he was leaving the next day at 8 am to head back to China. I was happy and sad to hear the news, but I needed to get back to my “normal life” knowing he wouldn’t be around, as bad as that sounds. I walked him to the door and he turned to give me a big hug. “Let’s keep in touch,” he said. “Definitely,” I replied. In truth, I don’t think I can handle it yet.
Afterward, I cried twice. Once when I spoke to my mom and once to my sister. My sister made me feel better, as only a sister can. A good laugh out loud, drying of tears, and I felt my heart soften a bit. I just needed to cry it out one more time to finally move on. At least, I hope so.