It's the season for ex-boyfriends. More specifically, mine. Golfer Ex was in town a couple of weeks ago, and we met and bonded most prettily, much to the amazement of everyone else there. "It's so nice that you and your ex are such good friends!" one of them said to me and I smiled, trying to look like I had always been super mature and super smart about these things. Which, of course, I haven't been. Even with Golfer Ex, we're talking about one rebound hookup with another boy (Emotional Scarring Type Damage); several drunken phone calls (Serious Ego Deflating Damage) and of course, ahem, the night, many years later when the two of us also got it on (No real damage, not that I can tell). And he's the only ex I have who's made the transisition between boyfriend and friend. (And by ex, here I mean people I was actually dating, not random hookups, because I remain friends with many people I have played tonsil hockey with).
K.? Not so much. We've tried, several times, but I think being in love with someone for so many years, means they still have the ability to get under your skin. And vice versa. We just don't seem to be able to get along, even though somewhere at the back of my mind, I really, desperately want us to go back to what we were right before we were dating. But he was my best friend, I sniffle, but he's so DUMB for not realising that we'd still make such awesome buddies. Not that I want to get back with him, not at all. Or do I?
While Golfer Ex appears in my physical plane, K appears in my dreams more and more of late. And it's always the same dream. I'm back three years ago, we're just about to but haven't yet broken up, except since I'm from the future, I know what's going to happen to both of us. And I tell him we can't end it, because we're NEVER going to get back together and three years later, our lives are so completely different and separate from each other in ways we had so not imagined when we ended it. And so we try to make it work and we do. End of dream.
And since my physical and subconcious planes are so easily taken over by ghosts of the past, it's no surprise that the internet follows quite closely. I got a message on Facebook from my very first boyfriend, Neel, the other day. Well, I had a boyfriend before him as well, but that one didn't count because I was twelve and he was nineteen and all we did was walk around Khan Market. Neel was the boyfriend I had when I was seventeen, my first kiss, my first making out session (though since I was still a "good girl" in those days, nothing below the waist) my first Valentine's Day with presents, my first movie date and hand holding surreptitiously. So many firsts. I met him when I had the hots for another boy, his friend in fact, and I sneaked out to attend the farewell party of the other boy's school, and Neel happened to be there and we exchanged numbers and spoke on the phone for like a week before he asked me out.
We dated for four months, which was fun in the beginning but rapidly became boring. I was tired of him after a while, not so much attracted to him as I had been in the beginning and finally at another party, this very swish one on Prithviraj Road, the eve of his birthday, I ended it rather tactlessly, just letting the words blurt out. He was so pissed and I was so guilty, because it was his birthday after all and in retaliation he started dating this girl who was a sort of friend of mine because the other boy I had the hots for was dating her. Seriously, my life in Delhi is like The Bold And The Beautiful. Except less bold. And only marginally beautiful. I do remember though the feeling of immense relief I had when it ended, I slept like I hadn't slept for weeks, and didn't bother to call him for ages after that. Maybe bad relationships now are a result of bad karma from that one. But seriously, how long can my bad karma last? One seventeen-year-old mistake? Universe, it's time to cut me some slack already.
I don't know how to respond to his Facebook message. Long time, he says, what's been up? Erm, about nine years, that's what.
Exes are a funny sort of relationship to have. Are you friends? Not really, right, because you've been intimate in a way you'd rather your friends not see. And then of course, if they're YOUR ex, you must be theirs and I find it so hard to think of myself as an exgirlfriend. It doesn't sound like me at all.