When I broke up with Jason, I felt physical pain. I sat on the floor crying my heart out but also feeling like I could feel it breaking into tiny pieces. I had never loved anyone like that before. He had been my cheerleader, friend and lover. Everything reminded me of him. It took me two weeks to tell anyone we had broken up since I still hoped we would get back together. We didn’t.
I knew we had been on different pages for about two months. We barely spent time together. The other time was spent arguing about emotional neglect on messages. We had stopped calling each other. I wanted to mend the issue, but the effort was one-sided. Yet, despite knowing all this, I still mourned our relationship. I didn’t think I would find someone else who could make me as happy as Jason did when we were on good terms.
A year later, he reached out to me. I was surprised. A small part of me was excited since I wasn’t totally over him, but I mostly responded out of curiosity. We asked each other how we were doing and whatnot and left it at that. Perhaps my response encouraged him to keep communicating because he texted me a few days later. We talked about trending topics, music and anything else that came up but our personal lives. It was like we were building our friendship all over again.
After chatting daily for three weeks, he decided to push the envelope slightly further.
“You know my birthday is next week?” Jason asked.
“Yes, I remember,” I said.
“I was wondering if I could invite you out,” said Jason.
“Are you having a celebration?” I asked him.
“Not exactly. I want something lowkey this year,” Jason responded.
“A few friends?” I asked.
“No, I’m going to be real with you. I have accomplished so much this year and I only want to celebrate that with you,” said Jason.
I got goosebumps. I instantly knew I had no chance of resisting him. I agreed. Although I was excited, I was also cautious. Once your heart is broken, it takes a while to put down your walls. We met for his birthday and went for dinner, then returned to his place and talked. It was the first time we spoke about our break-up.
“I don’t know how to explain it to you. Let me play you a track that sums up what I was feeling,” said Jason.
He played Runaway by J. Cole. The song talked about a guy loving a woman but feeling too young to settle down, although he knew the woman was good for him.
“So you just wanted to be in the streets?” I asked him.
“I’m not going to lie to you that I wasn’t, but it was more not wanting commitment at that time,” Jason responded.
“Did you date anyone after we broke up?” I asked him.
“Nothing meaningful. I didn’t want to commit to anyone but I began feeling like I want something meaningful three months ago,” said Jason.
“So why did you reach out?” I asked.
“We had something good going and I missed you. I missed us,” he said.
“We did and I missed you too but we can’t pick up where we left,” I said.
“I know hun. I will win you back, step by step,” said Jason.
In many ways, it felt like we hadn’t broken up for a year, but it was also different. Shortly after, we planned to go on a weekend getaway out of town. This was the first time after the break up that we would be intimate. I was excited, but when it got down to it, I began imagining him with other women. I looked at him and felt disgusted. It was such a confusing feeling because I had been so excited to be with him.
I excused myself suddenly to use the bathroom and took too long in there, so it ruined the mood. We decided to go for a walk and grab something to eat and drink first. While on the walk, as we were having a casual conversation, I mentioned wanting to change my look.
“You should start doing red lipstick,” said Jason. It took me aback because he had always shown disapproval when I had put on red lipstick before. He was now praising it. I couldn’t help but think this was something he had picked up from the women he had been with during our break-up. I picked up a few more things that he recommended.
At night, we went to bed, and I made sure to take some alcohol shots just in case I got that feeling again. For a few seconds, I wanted him, and then the feeling of disgust resurfaced again. I couldn’t hide that something was wrong this time. He pestered me until I told him how I felt. I could see I had hurt him by the look in his eyes. I also mentioned his recommendations earlier, and he didn’t need to confirm that those were things he had liked in other women.
Our visit was cut short, and we left early in the morning. It was clear that we couldn’t get past it. We were good friends and hoped we could maintain the friendship, but the line kept getting blurred. Additionally, it became difficult to keep talking when we were pursuing other people. Eventually, we stopped talking to each other.
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