When I was sixteen, I got my heart broken for the first time.
I remember thinking–caught up in the belief I was so “in love”–that I would never get over that heart break. Of course, there was more to the story than that, dirty details I still deal with to this day. Looking back on it now, I don’t think I was so much in love with him as the idea of being “in love” or being loved. Even still, I remember it taking me a long time to deal with everything that happened. It wasn’t until I met Andrew, until he helped me heal, that I realized what real love felt like. Even still, the idea I could ever be friends with that boy, after everything that happened, seemed absurd. Whether or not I had loved him, he had broken me.
Cue six years later.
One of the funniest things from the night before Andrew and I broke up was I got drunk. Way drunk. After leaving my girlfriends, I curled up in bed–on my computer–and for the first time in a long time logged into my MSN. I don’t remember exactly what started the conversation, but High School Ex-Boyfriend sent me a message–I think after I changed my status to something telling–asking me if I was having a bad day. We’d chatted a few times, over the years, but this was the first time we started having a real conversation. Being that it was late, and I was angry and confused and drunk, I started spilling about the whole situation. This lead to chatting on the phone at three in the morning, and an invitation for me to come over to his place. I didn’t, of course. Although in my angry state of mind the thought did cross my mind, knowing exactly what it would have meant.
Over the last year or so, HSEB and I have chatted back and forth, but it wasn’t until this summer when I started my new job, that we really started talking regularly. You see, my manager and he are good friends, which is just one of those wow-this-is-a-small-world moments. One night, when I was staying home alone, I came home from working hoping a friend would come over and drink with me. When she bailed, I found myself slightly drunk on tequila and on MSN. HSEB and I started chatting, which lead to an invitation to hang out and drink together. So at 12:30am, I walked down to his place, and the two of us got smashed together. It was one of those funny, if-only-sixteen-year-old-me-could-see-me-now situations I couldn’t help but laugh at. Of course, I got a little too wasted, threw up, and ended up passing out at his place. Waking up the next morning, not only realizing what had happened the night before but that I was still there, I couldn’t help but laugh. Sometimes the world is a funny place. But the funniest part of all? It wasn’t weird or awkward. It was almost comfortable. The most comfortable morning after I had in a long, long time.
Since that night, we’ve hung out once more, and it’s kind of hit me that the two of us–as hilarious as it is–are friends. The irony of that fact–and yet I haven’t talked to Andrew in a year and a half, excluding exchanging some fairly angry messages via email–has not escaped me. Here I am hanging out ever so casually with the first boy who ever really broke me, and yet the boy that put my pieces back together? He’s out in the world somewhere, but not part of mine. But it makes you think I guess. Who knows, maybe seven years down the line, it will be Andrew who I run into, and we can chat as though nothing ever happened as all. Hell, maybe even be…. friends.
Guess that’s called growing up.