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EX-FACTOR

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EX-FACTOR
by Trish Sebastian
 
So that’s what’s it like. Seeing him by accident after a long, long time. The dreaded, but in my opinion, inevitable meeting again with that somebody who made up a big chunk of your past and left an ugly taste in your mouth. Your ex-boyfriend.
 
It’s been almost a year and after the breakup, I have always (secretly) imagined how we’d bump into each other in the mall, or by the door of some café, him going out me going in, or some pedestrian crossing in Ayala, or somewhere less likely and far flung like in Cebu on one of those rare out-of-town assignments. Sometimes, I get that odd but strong feeling that I would finally run into him during the day I would be looking as gorgeous as ever – perfect outfit, perfect hair, perfect make up, perfect, successful life to boast about. He’d look the same, though. No new girlfriend, grubby clothes, same old, same old.
But it never happens.
Not until today. Eleven months after “The End”.
I didn’t even get that “strong but odd” feeling when I woke up this morning. No signs at all. No forewarning whatsoever. But it happened I was having a fun conversation with friends I haven’t seen in a long time on a normal Friday afternoon when he appeared out of nowhere – and sat two tables behind me. One of my friends nudged me to look and I did. Our eyes met for a millisecond. Eleven months later. It was so brief but I don’t think I was able to conceal my pain, my fear and my acceptance that things are never going to be the way they were. Then it’s over. Like our relationship. Long gone. Over.
I felt giddy in an unpleasant way. I swear I started to shake, but of course I can’t let my friends see that. I have already succeeded in convincing everyone, maybe even myself, that I’m over him, over it, over the pain. My brain felt like it shut down on its own and I was babbling incoherently, jumping from one topic to another. There was nothing in the world I wanted more at that time than for the moment to be over. I wanted to bolt.
A crazy part of me wanted to catch up and hope to find beneath the rubble that there’s still something worth going back to.
But in that millisecond, he’s just a stranger now with a silly hat and facial hair. I don’t  care if he has a new girlfriend now or if he was indeed wearing grubby clothes. He’s somebody I don’t know anymore and I’m someone changed as well. I know for a fact now that whoever said  love never dies doesn’t know what he was talking about. Love fades. Love withers and I am  witness to it.
So I put my hands in my pocket and quietly walk away, smiling. And I have this strong feeling I will never look back.
 
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Categories: Ideas and Philosophy
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