After a brief hiatus of not communicating, The Ex Fiancé and I started talking again.
Well, texting, anyway. I told him all about Q, who I’d been dating just over two months. He told me about a boy he’d briefly been involved with, but it only ended up lasting a week or two.
It was nice, getting to catch up. We were friends again, I told myself. It was OK that I was talking to him. Still, I didn’t tell Q. No need to freak him out unnecessarily.
He sensed it, all the same. Sensed that something is up. We spent less time together the week after I slept alone, and I was far away, distant. I was thinking about The Ex Fiancé.
I needed some time to think. I planned a trip back to Iowa for my birthday, mid-February, to visit my family. I hadn’t been back since moving to the city. I thought it would be nice for me to get back to my roots for a week or so, to clear my head.
A few days before, after dinner, I told Q I wanted to go back to my apartment alone: that I had writing to catch up on. But I’d already used that line on him, and he wasn’t going to be fooled twice.
“What’s going on?” he asked.
“Nothing’s going on. I need to finish some writing before going to Iowa.”
“We only have a few days together before you’re gone for a week, and you don’t want to spend them with me.”
“We just spent all day together.”
Q went into panic mode. “Are you breaking up with me?”
“I…” I couldn’t lie to him. “I don’t know. I need some time to figure myself out. I need some time to think.”
“You know what I think? I think you’re not over your ex fiancé.”
My heart stopped. “That’s ridiculous.”
“You still bring him up all the time. Like a poison that’s still in your system.”
“I…don’t know what to say.”
“So that’s it. We’re breaking up.”
We stood there a while, in silence. And, in silence, I finally left.
In one of my favorite songs by The Carpenters, “Rainy Days and Mondays,” Karen sings, “Funny, but it seems I always wind up here with you—nice to know somebody loves me.”
And so I did: I asked The Ex Fiancé if I could stay over at his apartment in Astoria the night before my trip, since it was so much closer to La Guardia.
When he opened his door, I said “I left Q,” and he kissed me. And I kissed him back.