Saying Hello to an Old Friend

Monday, September 2, 2019


I hear my name.  I’m walking down the hill, with my Air Pods in, listening to the movie Dumplin’ playing on Netflix.  If you start a Netflix show, lock your phone and then tap the home button, it gives you the option to play just the sound. I’ve seen Dumplin’ a time or two and read the novel; I know the scenes well enough to enjoy the dialogue.  Plus, it was the start of a Dumpster Fire week and when those weeks start, I’m not fit for music.

I look ahead and behind me before gazing at the line of cars congested at the light. With his window down, my ex’s friend – formerly someone I called my own friend – smiled at me across the street.  I pulled my right Air Pod out.  “Hey!” I eagerly shout back, genuinely ecstatic to see him. We smile at each other for a beat.  I don’t know what to say.  I know he saw my Snapchat I posted on Sunday which clearly showed I'm out in the world dating.  He knows, and he still shouted hello.

“Have a fun ride home,” I shout back before waving and walking away because the excitement of seeing him after so long is starting to be replaced with the very real loss of our friendship.
He waves back and I continue down the street. 

I’m happy and sad at the same time.  I think about last year’s holiday party and how I restrained myself from fighting the girl I thought was messing with his heart.  On the car ride home, I told him how much I cared about him and I hated seeing this girl toying with him.  I think about the last car ride when he was dropping me off after dinner and a comedy special at a mutual friend’s house. He passed my apartment building – he was heading for my old place I shared with my ex.  I course corrected him and he apologized.

I look back up the street, but he’s already gone through the light.  A break up is really a thousand tiny deaths. When you spend a few years with someone, your lives intertwine.  When your time together ends, the entangling isn’t as easy as untwisting the lines you’ve lain together.  Sometimes, those lines have to snap and break themselves.

Moving into the city, I didn’t have many friends in the area.  I quickly became a part of my ex’s friend group and developed solid friendships. When our relationship ended, he reiterated he didn’t want me to pull away from his friends, but how was that fair to them? The memories you make together involve you being a part of a specific couple.  The dynamics change when you end things.  We both needed separate friends to move through the stages of grief to listen to us cry, get angry, and eventually forgive the other person. 

Breakups don’t just involve two partners.  It involves the entire extended network you’ve knitted together in your time together.  All you can do is be grateful you were able to connect for a brief time because the other option is to be bitter and I don't think that really honors the friendships you created.

I text my ex’s friend that night.  I thank him for saying hello to me and that I missed him.  He responded and told me I’d always be a friend.  I’m probably never going to share a meal with him again and dissect the signs the latest girl he’s dating is sending.  But, we’ll have happy hellos when we pass each other on the street and I know I can always use more of those.

3 comments

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  2. I NEED A LOVE SPELL THAT WILL MANIFEST WITHIN 24 HOURS CONTACT (DR JUMBA ) HE HIS THE BEST LOVE SPELL CASTER WHO HELPED ME RESTORE HAPPINESS BACK TO MY RELATIONSHIP 
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