I dreamed a few months ago that he was trying to get in touch with me. This dream felt so random, since it had been a while since I last saw him, let alone thought of him. I would be lying if I said I didn’t harbor some level of pettiness inside of me where I wished he realized what a mistake he made, and came crawling back to me just as distraught and hurt as I was back when things ended. Back to the dream. I was sitting at a table in what looked like a break room, and this woman I’ve never seen before, walked over to me and said,

“He is trying to get in touch with you.”

To which I replied,

“Well, even if I did want to get in touch with him, I don’t have his number anymore.”

I woke up thinking how strange that was since in my dream I was so calm about the whole situation, but then I became angry the more I thought about it. The reality is, it wouldn’t have been hard for him to get in touch with me if he took the time to get to know specifics about me beyond the bedroom antics, like my last name, where I lived, or where I worked. Instead, he chose to know of these things on a very superficial basis. Like he knew I lived south, but not my address. He knew I worked in a hospital, but not which one or what group or what specialty. I know I told him my last name, but I doubt he even put it in his phone.

Because of all of these reasons, why in the world should I care if he wanted to get in touch with me now? I hoped he was miserable and sleepless, thinking how foolish he was to keep me at arm’s length when he knew I wanted nothing more than to be closer to him, but accepted the crumbs of him that he meagerly offered me. In my revenge fantasy, he would be throwing his hands up, asking “Why?!” with whatever hair he had left all akimbo, and with a 5 o’clock shadow since I knew he hated beards.

What would be the point of him reaching out to me? That he made a mistake? That he felt bad for how he treated me when we were together? That he’s open to relationships now? That he wanted to say sorry for how things ended, and wanted another chance with me? Forget that! The relationship didn’t serve me then, and I highly doubted it would serve me now–even with his revelation that I somehow added to his life instead of subtracting from it. I was incredulous as I tucked those thoughts away in a box, and stuffed them deep into the recesses of my brain.

Well, I was able to unpack those thoughts again yesterday without feeling angry, and decided to check out his Facebook page. I started from the point we broke up about a year ago and worked my way up. I didn’t recognize the person he is now. His whole outlook on life is different. He talked about “going into 2020 with positivity”… really?!?!? I thought for a second he was fronting, but then I saw them. Once an avid photographer of still life of buildings or natural landscapes from far away, I was surprised to see he now took a more photo-journalistic approach to his subjects. Many of his pictures now are closeup, vibrant with colors, full of life and curiosity, and… people?! Who the world is this person? Why is he now the person I longed for? It upset me knowing that it took me leaving him to realize how amazing life could be.

Interestingly enough, my Facebook stalking came upon some random pictures from around his house showing he kept the two gifts that I gave him when we were together–a hand knit throw blanket I made him that still sits on the back of his love seat, and the stainless steel kettle that sits on his stove as it is not only beautiful but obviously functional. Why did he keep those? Does he think of me when he sees them? If so, what does he feel like? Loss, fondness, nostalgia, indifference, practicality?

Someone once told me that sometimes we don’t know the impact we have on people even if it’s under the guise of heartbreak. The interesting thing is how we both rose from the ashes of a broken relationship, stronger and wiser. He’s able to live his life a little more open to love now, and I’m able to stand in my truth of what I’m willing to stand for and accept in a relationship. It’s a tough lesson, but one that I understand now.

I honestly wish him all the happiness I wish for myself, and that is a hell of a whole lot.