My heart is beating out of my chest. I look at the clock, it’s 6 pm. Just one more hour. I find myself pacing back and forth, unable to focus on what’s right in front of me.
Why? Because today is the day I meet an ex of mine. My first love, actually.
It’s been 4 years of no contact, and until today, we had never been in the same place. At our age, four years feels like a lifetime had passed. It was only now that he happened to be in town, so we agreed to meet for dinner.
As I walked over to the meeting point, I thought about how many times I have imagined this meeting. How many versions have played through my mind, and how each of them played out. That’s the thing about meeting exes, you always have these ideas of how it’s gonna be, but when it comes down to it, no amount of daydreaming could prepare me for this moment.
I spotted him across the street by the bounce of his steps, something I’ve forgotten yet still recognize somehow. This street looked a little different than the last time, reminding me how far away we are from the place where we first met. Yet soon enough, I felt like I was transported back in time.
I was just a sophomore in college. So lost in life and so far away from the reality that is life today. We were just kids, ones who happened to cross paths while on vacation, and that’s how it all began.
He finally found me. We said hi, laughed, and quickly made our way to dinner.
“How long has it been?” he asked.
“Four years.” We smiled.
We then talked about everything. Traveling, work, politics, more traveling, everything but us. And it went on for a while.
I mean, how are you supposed to really start this conversation? How do you bring up the past when it’s so long ago? I’m not so sure there’s a right way.
But a few hours and a few drinks later, it finally happened. We found ourselves looking over the skyline while reminiscing the past.
It became a whole lot of “Do you remember?” with many surprises and laughter along the way. And my mind was truly blown.
It was crazy to hear someone else recalled those memories, moments that used to mean the world to me. It felt like no time had passed, like being reunited with an old friend you used to know really well. I guess that’s kind of true, isn’t it? We were once that.
Talking to him reminded me how easy it used to be, dating that is. How he was the first person I’ve ever met and how we got together after only one date. That first date was all it took, to feel like he was it.
There were never any doubts about whether we should be together, despite the uncertainty and distance upon us. And we were really happy for a while. Call me naive, but I loved every second of it.
You know, it’s interesting how the older we get, the more difficult finding love seems to be. Nowadays, in the age of online dating, I would never get with anyone after just one date. There’s almost always that feeling that someone better is out there and the fear that it’s never going to work out.
And for the most part, dating and meeting someone has felt like a challenge. Like it’s an impossible task to find someone you are compatible enough to be with, and for them to want to be with you, too.
I remember how I used to think that after him, there’ll be many more people that I can be with, that it can only go up from there. But maybe Before Sunset was right. The thing about how when you are young, you tend to think that you’ll meet many people you’ll connect with. But later in life, you realize that it only truly happens a few times.
Or maybe, it was just the memory that made me feel that way. The reminiscing and thinking of old times, forgetting all the reasons it didn’t work out in the first place.
I sort of miss that feeling of naiveness, though. Having a strong belief that it’s gonna work out despite having no solid plans and making seemingly ridiculous choices. I miss taking risks to be with someone even when the odds are against us.
But again, that’s not real life, is it?
In real life, things don’t just line up perfectly. You don’t just beat the odds, and responsibilities and priorities exist.
And that’s okay too.
If not for what happened, I probably wouldn’t be who I am today, and I wouldn’t have met all the amazing people I found along the way. Heck, I definitely wouldn’t be here in this city in that parallel lifetime. I would be missing this life (and the people in it).
If anything, the best part of reconnecting was realizing that I wasn’t alone. I had always thought I must’ve gone mad for falling in love in such a short time. And for feeling absolutely horrible after it ended. But now, knowing that he was just in it as much as I was, was a huge sigh of relief. It was real, not just for me, but for him too.
So at the end of the day, I’m really glad we met. I’m really happy that we got to relive the memory in a clear state of mind, talked about the old times, and cherished the good run we had.
It was a great reminder of what love is all about. It was exactly what I needed to restore some faith in the love department, as cheesy as that sounds. There was no need for questioning compatibility, insecurity, or doubts then, and it reminds me that it should still be that way today, too.
Maybe I just haven’t met the one who made it feel easy again. Or maybe compatibility gets harder as you grow up. Maybe it’s both. But what’s the rush?
If I know anything about life, is that things always happen in a very unexpected way (I mean, here’s exhibit A).
So really, I’m just excited to see how everything turns out. I’m sure everything will work out just fine.