So I see she unfriended me. She did it recently, too. Somewhere in the last week, perhaps. I know because every time I went on Facebook I did my best to ever hide or disable the chat pane, which is the only place (besides the fucking group pane) where her name would show up. Now, when I used Tinder, I recognized a friend of hers, and the mutual friend counter sat at zero. I searched for my ex in my friends list, she wasn’t there. With growing trepidation I visited her profile. ‘Add Friend’. She did unfriend me.
The first thing that I felt was the familiar pain of rejection. It blossomed behind my sternum and radiated waves of despair. Then, the rational defense mechanisms kicked in. She doesn’t matter, she’s not special, you neither want nor need anything to do with her, seriously who gives a shit etc etc. It didn’t help much.
I was outside when it happened. It was already dark. I was on campus, smoking on a cement bench under the trees where there’s wifi, having left the rest of my things inside on the desk. I was about halfway through my rolley when I realized what had transpired. I stood up and started walking. I took longer drags, sucked it in deeper, and held it in longer. High levels of nicotine have a sedative effect. I finished it quickly, threw it on the ground, snuffed it, and kept walking. I could feel the numbing sensation kicking in, but it couldn’t come soon enough. I had to stop and put my hands on my knees to steady myself. When I feel things, I feel them. For better or worse. Or perhaps I’m so far in the deep end of social isolation that my psyche has no choice but to kick my ass for every social loss I accrue. Humans are herd animals, and my evolutionary instincts are going apeshit to compel me to just fucking find someone.
After I came back inside and sat my desk I tried my best to stem the tide of pain and angst. I urgently needed to think up a way out.
I could message her asking what prompted the unfriending. No, moron, it doesn’t work that way. She did it because she doesn’t want to have contact with you. Or has she got a new, jealous, paranoid boyfriend who demands that she erase any connections to past lovers? Who knows. Does it matter? Fuck no.
I could just focus on my work since I’m writing a fucking bioinformatics test tomorrow. The most reasonable option. I’d just started really getting into it, too. But feelings like these don’t just go away (well, at least not at first) just because I’m reading something interesting.
Ask myself why the fuck this is still a big deal. Yes.
I don’t have anyone else, that’s why. Nowadays I average about 10 minutes of conversation a day with other, real corporeal human beings. The chickenshit internet pen-pal correspondence I do with chicks I meet off of OkCupid doesn’t work. I think about my ex every day and dream of her often. For nearly two years she was the one and only person who offered an escape from this loneliness, so my mind is still convinced that I should try and find a way back to her. Except, as I rationally know, anything that can or will be is dead and gone. Forever. As soon as I find someone else, I’ll be hard-pressed to give an ounce of fuck about her.
The thing is, after the trauma of the break-up over a year ago, I went through the most painful period of my life. For six months thereafter I was an emotionally crippled wreck. Thoughts of the first girl I fell in love with dominated my mind and inundated my days with despair. Even now, she still carries heavy symbolic meaning of who I once was and what I once loved and valued. For months I sat trying to construct a reason to live, with images of her perpetually perched at the top of my mind, looking down on my every thought. Petty shit like Facebook unfriending feels like a sledgehammer to the chest because I want to believe that she’s special, that she has meaning, that there’s a reason she’s the harbinger of suffering and pain.
If I were to meet her for the first time now, I’d quickly dismiss her as a boring, average 19-year-old girl who is not remarkable in any particular regard. But, my heart still wants to believe otherwise. It wants to believe that she is worth more than my indifference, that she still has some emotional relevance, that her unfriending me should elicit more than a simple shrug. And that’s understandable. I loved this girl. And she dumped me. I can’t just wipe all of that history under the rug.
Or can I? I’m confronted with a choice.
I can either keep believing that she’s special, that despite the fucktons of incompatibility there’s still something I like about her, that remaining on good terms with her is requisite for my happiness, and that until the day I fucking die my heart is supposed to skip a beat every time I hear her name.
Or, I can recognize the fact that love is not a phenomenon the significance of which transcends the material plane. I can recognize that having a past romantic and sexual history with someone does not make them larger-than-life. I can recognize that there was a time that she was special and that I rightfully cared about her, and that that time passed a long time ago, and it will never come again. And that doesn’t matter, because I’ll find someone else to love and care about, and if, necessary, another one after her, and another one after her.
After each ending I’ll carefully untie my heartstrings from the thoughts and memories and calmly walk away. There’s more just over the horizon.
Then again, she could’ve dropped out of med school, and unfriended me to stop me seeing it. Lel. Maybe I’ll find out someday.