To Look Like “Me” Again

I broke my promise tonight.

I was looking for photos of Jessica Ennis’ baby, and I wondered what you were up to. So I looked.

You mentioned in a tweet that you’d had a date night with whom I’m supposing is your new girlfriend. She looks pretty. She looks like someone your mother would like. She looks like someone I would like. I hope she is.

I thought that when I finally saw a photo of who came next it would wind me; that I would be so painfully torn some part of me would feel ripped. In reality, I smiled.

You tweet about how much you love your life out there, across the pond, in this parallel universe to the one I’m living in. I hope that’s true. You sound like you.

I wonder what would happen if we were to come across one another on a train platform, in the street, at an airport. Would we even recognise each other? Would we speak? Or would we avoid eye contact, each of us pointedly looking past the other, both refusing to acknowledge that once upon a time we were best friends?

This new girl, it looks like she may not be athletic. I do so hope not. You have always been better with someone to tie you to the ground.

You used to promise that you would never fall in love out there, that you would never be tied down away from home. And now I’m the one who has run away from New York and you are the one spending your summers in Massachusetts.

I wonder if you’ve forgiven me now, or if that still even matters. I wonder if you would still scream at me that I ruined your life; that you’d have been better off never having known me. I remember our best last day, when we hid out at the aquarium and you bought me a cannoli. We watched seals fight and giant turtles glide by in silence, sitting side by side on that lone bench. I like to think that in that moment we were still friends. That somehow, through all the crap, you still saw me, I like to think.

Sometimes, I want to tell you what’s new with me. I want to tell you about my new flat and my new boy and my new life choices that are taking me ever further away from the hometown that we were always desperate to escape from. I want to tell you I’m still trying, I’m still doing it. But I don’t think you’d be interested.

And sometimes, I’m glad of that too.

I dyed my hair back brunette by the way. I look like me again. It feels strange.

I really do hope you’re happy, you know.

I’m happy too.

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