Dear Ex-Fill-In-the-Blank, by Me

Dear Ex-Fill-in-the-Blank,

I don’t know why I did that internet search the other day on your name. At first, it was just a whim type of thing, searching for people I remembered from high school and college, friends I’d lost touch with. I guess most of us do that at some point or another, right? So when I entered your name into Facebook, I was surprised when your name came up, because it’s such an unusual name. I remembered thinking, “There’s no way there’s two of them…”

But there was your picture. There was no mistaking it was you. My heart skipped a beat. Then it fluttered, then it sped up and I sighed.

You were my best friend. You were my lover. You were, for that time in my life, my everything, and then, one day, you were gone. And for the past twelve years, you have been nothing more than a distant memory. Until yesterday, when you were larger than life.

And you were only one click away. Just one click. Just a little click on the ‘send’ button, and I could reconnect to… what? To you? To my past? To a different life?

I wrote the email I wanted to send, then I wrote it again, then I wrote it again. And then I wrote this. And then I wrote this again. I deleted, wrote, rewrote.

In the end, I left the letter unsent.

I figure sometimes it’s best to leave the past in the past. But I scoured your profile. I’m almost ashamed to say that. I mean, what did I hope to find? I was torn between wanting to think you were happy and being happy for you and then being angry that you were so able to move on with your life and be happy when I had been so hurt by your loss for so long. It was unfair you were happy when I was, once again, so unhappy.

But then, I don’t know much about your life. Facebook and social network sites like them are great, but you can’t see anything more than what a person wants to show the world. I found I felt guilty thinking that maybe you were not happy. Maybe the Facebook stuff was all a façade.

But I saw the pictures of the two of you together. I saw the smiles, the kisses, the holding hands, the family things. The things I always wanted to have with you, do with you, be with you. Things I would never share with you, probably not ever, and that stung.

I then wrote another email to you, telling you how wonderful my life was, how great things had been, casual and easy, I said how good stuff was going for me, and how great my life has been since you were gone. I only included small digs at you, little mini-accusations that my life was good in spite of your having been in it.

Why did I want to hurt you? Because, maybe, you hurt me. But you know that. You know we both hurt. So how is it that it was so easy for you to walk away and be happy and post all these pictures of your life, your happy little life, on the internet. And here I sit, miserable, alone, unhappy, watching my past anonymously through a computer monitor.

Eventually, I had to click off your profile. I knew I would never send the letters I wrote, but they did somehow make me feel better. AT least I was able to purge some of the emotion.

I suppose, eventually, I will probably click on the ‘add friend’ button, maybe a short and sweet message, “Hey, great to see you again! Hope all is well!”

But I’m not ready for that yet. Maybe I never will be.

Social networking is a funny thing. We are both at once more connected and more separate from one another than we ever have been as a society, as human beings, as friends.

And still… it was good to ‘see’ you.


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9 Responses to “Dear Ex-Fill-In-the-Blank, by Me”

  1. Rissa says:

    A wise choice. Sometimes it is best to leave the past in the past.

  2. Ohhhh this is a good one. Well done.

  3. Patricia C says:

    I found my ex, the one I thought was “the one.” No picture, but where he worked and the city, so I could easily find his #. And I started to look it up, but knew I would never call.

  4. Charlotte Piggush says:

    Very well done.. I’m sure a lot of people can identify with this.

  5. mannequin says:

    Social networking makes it so easy (too easy) to say things we wouldn’t dream of saying at a real “social”. I think you made the right choice, for now.

  6. Kimberley says:

    This is something that I can totally relate too. Beautifully done!

  7. What a great piece. Sometimes the grass always looks greener on the outside. Best wishes to you.

  8. Lyn Lomasi says:

    Sometimes it’s just best to leave the past in the past. Great letter.

  9. Mayatot says:

    Maybe, u nid a closure and acceptance.

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