“So we never really talked about why we broke up.”
We’re sitting outside the coffee shop, cradling our usual drinks on a breezy weekend afternoon. A pack of cigarettes shared between us is already half empty and I reach for the lighter he has in his hand, for the cigarette that he never really bothered to light. Truthfully, I don’t know why I brought it up – this discussion of the past. It’s not like we never really had our closure. I mean that’s why, after half a decade we could still remain friends – the best of friends actually. Maybe it was because we had just spent the past hour talking about my recent relationship fiasco and why THAT obviously would never have worked out for the long term.
His eyebrow arches, the way it usually does when a question catches him out of the blue and when he doesn’t have an answer prepared. He waits for me to finish lighting my stick before taking the lighter back and finally lighting his. After the initial puff, he leans back in his chair and asks the obligatory question.
“Are we talking about the first time or the second time we broke up?”
I laugh and roll my eyes at him. “The second time, of course.”
“Haven’t we established years ago that it was because I wasn’t there for you at all during our brief stint together?”
“No really.” I keep on laughing, as he moves his mug around angling the green mermaid away from him. “What was it? It can’t have been just that. Surely there must have been a solid reason for the fallout.”
“A lot of things I guess.” he murmurs, sipping from his mug. “It’s not like we can quantify where a relationship starts to fall apart. We were young and idealistic. We held each other to a different set of standards back then. For example, you harboured the crazy notion that I could write.”
“You can.” I say, “You write beautifully.”
“Or so you’re inclined to believe.”
“You’re a Lit major for crying out loud.”
“A fluke of nature.”
“Bull.” I counter, “I still have your poetry stashed somewhere at home.”
“Which you should burn.”
“Which I will not.” I stick my tongue out rebelliously. “Get back to the point.”
“Well, college I guess.” he admits. “You were starting your life as a freshman in a school miles away from me. I was a Sophomore and juggling school, parties and gaming. You had a new group of friends that you were getting along with. We didn’t really have much time for each other.”
“And then there was that one thing.” he goes on to say.
“What one thing?”
“I guess I was always so sure that you weren’t going anywhere, that we were meant to be together forever that it never really crossed my mind that I could lose you. That you might leave me because I didn’t have time for you. I was just so sure you would always be around that I took your presence for granted.”
We both stare at each other, sharing a smile only two people who used to share a romantic past would do. The kind of smile that makes you happy and sad all at once. Happy to have made it so far with someone you consider so crucial in your life and saddened because you both know that you were both to blame when the relationship fell apart.
“So… time huh?”
“Yup.” he says, disposing of the ash at the end of his stick.
“It’s been a long time, hasn’t it?” I smile at him.
“Still feels like yesterday to me.”
He reaches for my hand and squeezes it softly.
“All the time my dear.”
18 May 2015 Leave a comment