‘Hey’, I said, after five seconds of staring at him, gaped mouth.
‘Hey!’, he replied with a wide grin.
‘How’ve you been?’, I asked him, holding my hand out. At this point, my voice was shaky but I’d managed to clear my shocked expression. I’m pretty sure a few seconds ago it had looked like I had seen a ghost.
Well, if you think about it, he was a ghost. Ghost of boyfriends past. The same one I had left behind half a decade ago.
Our story started as two scrawny teenagers, giggling at the back of our 9th-grade class. We met through our close-knit group of friends and had an instant connection. We bonded over our common love for Domino's Spicy Chicken Pizza and quoting Friends dialogues but we only started dating after we both graduated from college. Honestly, our relationship began because we were bored. We were the only two people out of our group of friends who were stuck in their hometown - one drunken hook-up turned into a three-year romance. Throughout it, I felt like I was dating my best friend, who I just happen to have mind-blowing sex with.
Why did we break up? He moved abroad for his Master’s. We wanted to try our hand at a long distance relationship but quickly realised we were terrible at it. It felt like a job that none of us wanted and would be (very) glad if we were fired. We parted ways amicably enough.
Last I had heard, he was dating a series of girls. Okay fine! I had kept a close tab on every one of his social media accounts. Every girl he was snapped with, was so damn hot.
Coming back to present day…
I’d held out my hand to greet him and he was staring at it in confusion. Within a second he had scooped me in for a warm hug. Clearly, he didn’t need time to get over the fact that he was seeing me after five years. After that, there was no stopping him - he got us both drinks and was chatting about his life non-stop. It took me 30 minutes to get over the shock of seeing him but three drinks later I felt like myself again. We were at a common friend’s wedding but had eyes only for each other. Even if we’d separate for 15 minutes, he’d somehow find his way to me. In that huge farmhouse, I could sense that he was constantly keeping a track of me. The fact that I knew that, I was clearly doing the same.
The party ended at 3 AM but we were not done with the night. After consuming an unmentionable amount of alcohol, I finally had the courage to slip my hand around his waist. It was then that he stopped talking. Finally.
He pulled me closer and bent down for a slow, sweet kiss.
Turns out, he was back in town for good and the reason he wasn’t surprised to see me was that he knew I’d be there all along. He later confessed that he had been playing mock conversations in his head about everything that he had to tell me and everything that he wanted to ask me about.
We didn’t pick up where we left off.
Since we already knew everything about each other - this time, the relationship was much more intense. Before the end of the month, he was down on one knee confessing that he had always hoped that we would spend the rest of our lives together.
As best friends, and lovers.