As ex-boyfriends go, Elise has decent enough taste. After all, they were all her boyfriends once.
When I got home the other night, after a grueling 12-hour day at the office, I was met by Elise plus her most recent ex-boyfriend, who was visiting before he takes off for a semester in London.
Having never met this boy, he who had dated Elise for the year directly preceding our relationship, I spent my first fifteen minutes in the apartment satisfying my animalistic urge to mark my territory. I walked into all the rooms, picked up guitars, slid my fingers across my keyboard, and opened up a bunch of cabinets.
I felt like a bit of a gorilla.
It’s funny – meeting someone for the first time after having two and a half years and just one blurry snapshot to form your seemingly indelible mental image of them. He was smaller than I expected, and meeker, but quippier, and more charming. Half of me could see why they had been together in the ease of their interactions – movements around each other in the kitchen as if choreographed, subtle innuendo exchanged as if scripted.
Even as I witnessed this obvious synergy with half of myself, the other half wondered how it could have ever happened at all. After the quips had ended, their conversation seemed to drift into the room from somewhere far, far away as I sat quietly and played my guitar. Her personality seemed to expand to fill the room while his contracted into something more obscure. With all my introspection I perceive change in myself easily, but it took meeting this boy to see the changes in Elise, and that we have grown to complement each other.
I liked him, the ex-boyfriend, but hidden beneath our blithe conversation and my invitation for him to stay just a little longer I was ever so crushed. Crushed for snatching her away from him so quickly, and crushed that if we were ever to end I would be that boy, sitting on the same couch as her but never able to touch her again.