It’s a beautiful Saturday morning and I’m walking to a cafe in my neighborhood to meet up with my friend, Kate, for our morning coffee. The sun is shining. I’m wearing my new sunglasses. I feel invisible. I’m feeling myself. Then I turn the corner and it all comes crashing down.
I recognize him. That is the backside of the man I used to run up to and hug, the hair I used to run my fingers through. It’s my ex-boyfriend, Steve. I’ve dreaded this moment since our breakup.
Steve and I live in the same neighborhood. And so I knew I would run into him on the street, at a local bar or while waiting for the train. In this case, there he was steps away from my favorite coffee shop. Fidgeting in place, I stopped dead in my tracks. I pulled at my clothes unsure of what to do. I need to get away, I thought. So I walked in his opposite direction. Wait, I can’t let this guy control my actions, I thought. Besides, I have to go that way. Feeling silly, I turned around and walked toward him. Maybe he wouldn’t even see me.
He turns around. My world slows down.
“Oh, hey Christina!” he says when I walk past him. I blush. Dammit.
“Hey, Steve! How have you been?” I ask. We’re side by side. His hair blowing in the wind, his teeth so straight. What a perfect smile. I still have feelings for him.
“I’m doing well, you know, just working. What about you?” he continues. Oh not much, I just still think about you everyday, I fight the urge to say.
“Uh, I’m good, going to meet Kate now,” I said. Awkward silence.
Tall and built, he looks down at me. And we just awkwardly stare and smile at each other.
“Yeah, okay, well I’ll see you around,” I say, breaking the silence. We hug. He smells so good, the same. I used to see him naked. Ok, time to go. I walk away and don’t look back. Because bumping into an ex your still pining for is literally the worst.