Monday, August 18, 2008

You, me and a coffee table.

I ran into my ex. Carrying a coffee table. At midnight. Last Thursday. Wearing the one shirt which he bought me.

Life's funny, isn't it?

A little background info. You can also read about him here. And here.

So after we parted ways last June, Almond and I haven't talked. It's not so much that I hated him or anything -- I'm not a hateful person, and can't really imagine myself hating anyone. Much less him. I was just really disappointed. I needed my space.

He's pretty much left me alone since, and didn't try to push the "friendship" thing any further. At least, he knew where I stood on that matter.

This February, I sent him an email wishing him a happy birthday. (Facebook birthday wishes are so impersonal.) It went something like this.

Hey Almond,

Just wanted to wish you a happy birthday, or as you like to call it - HDay! What are you up to lately? I hope everything is going well for you and your family, and Candy*, too. :)

Take care.

All the best,

* Candy is Almond's family poodle. She's getting quite old now -- she was 14 last time I saw her. She's adorable.

His response was the following.

Hi Des,

Thanks for the HDay wishes! I've been working as an engineering consultant, actually started not to long ago and ended up working in Toronto.

What have u been up to? u decided to do a masters or join the work force? I hope school is going well, enjoy it while it lasts.

It would be nice to see/meet you over hot chocolate (i don't like coffee) some time if you feel comfortable, otherwise don't worry about it.

Kind Regards,

We e-mailed a little back and forth. It was really nice to just catch up on his life for the past little while. We never got a chance to meet up before I left for my graduation trip, and figured we'd meet up after that. He told me he starting working not too long ago -- this February.

He is working in Toronto, and doing general computer consulting. He also just bought a house, and was moving in June. Just so happens that his house is really close to where my new job would be. Life's crazy like that, isn't it?

Anyway, after I came back from my graduation trip, I suddenly had a change of mind. I was really happy where I was in my life. In a way, I was afraid that if I met up with Almond, it might some how mess up the balance I had worked so hard to achieve in my life. So, I just told him that I wasn't ready for it.

Hi Almond,

Hope all is going well for you.

I just started work a couple of weeks ago, and it's been so far so good. I'm really liking what I'm doing and the people who I work with are amazing.

Anyway, right now I am thinking it's best not to meet up, but I hope your summer is going well.


His response.

Hi Des,

I'm fine. Sound like you are doing well.

Glad to hear work is good at that you enjoyed your trip for the most part.


So that was when we last corresponded. In July sometime -- so, not too long ago. Since I knew that he was living in the same area that I was, I wasn't expecting to run into him, but wouldn't be too surprised if I did. I thought about the different possible situations that may occur.

1) At the mall
2) On the subway (on the way to or back from soccer)
3) On one of my walks or runs around my neighborhood

Little did I know that last Thursday was going to happen a little differently. I have been looking into buying furniture for my new apartment. My friend suggested I try Craigslist for some gently used furniture. So far, it's been pretty good.

I went to see this musical after work with some friends from work. It was hilarious, by the way. I highly recommend it. Never have I seen so many guys at a musical audience, before.

So after the show ended -- about 10PM -- my friend, Y. and I went to pick up a coffee table on our way back to the subway. It was a gently used IKEA coffee table. $30. Awesome.

So we took it apart and took the bus back to the subway where her car was parked. I was also supposed to look at one of my old colleague's sofa (he was just trying to get rid of it) since he was showing people the next day, he told me to just come later Thursday night (after my musical) to see it.

Here is the fun part. Y. and I lugging my coffee table from the bus to her car. It wasn't too heavy, but bulky it was. After getting through the doors, we head towards the elevator. Then I hear a husky voice call my name. I thought it was Y.

Almond: Des??
me: What, Y.?!

I stop and turn around.

Y.: I didn't say anything.

I look up. It's Almond. I thought we just looked at each other, but according to Y., we were just staring at each other for a while. I finally found my voice.

me: Hi! How are you doing?
Almond: Hi. I'm good. How are you?
me: I'm good.

Awkward silence.

inner monologue: Oh. My. God. I'm carrying a coffee table. Hmm. And I'm wearing the ONE shirt he gave me. Shit. Hmm. Do I look good? I think so. My hair behaved today, and I have my contacts in. Oh. Should I introduce Y.?

me: By the way, this is my friend, Y. Y., this is Almond.

They exchange awkward hello's.

me: Sorry. I have to go. We're supposed to supposed to be somewhere right now.
Almond: Sure.
me: It was nice seeing you. Take care.
Almond: You, too.

We make it to Y.'s car. On the drive, I tell Y. that was my ex.

Y.: So that's why it was so awkward.
me: Yuppers.
Y.: That's funny. You have so many adventures. First we're looking at a coffee table and taking the bus with the said coffee table at 11PM at night! AND we run into your ex.
me: That's my life. Full of adventures. Just dandy.

I figured Almond was probably wondering where the heck I had to be at midnight that I couldn't even stop and chat. And carrying a coffee table. I felt a little bad for brushing him off. I didn't mean to. So, I figured I'd clear the air.

Hi Almond,

It was nice bumping into you last night -- as brief as it was. (Though, I hope you don't usually work this late. :P)

I know we haven't seen each other in a while, and it would have been nice to chat a bit. I didn't mean to brush you off -- sorry about that.

I was actually running super late meeting a friend I was going to buy some furniture off of. I'm just starting to furnish my new apartment that I'll be moving into in September (as you could probably tell with the coffee table).

Anyway, I hope you have a great weekend.

- Des

His response.

Hi Des,

It was nice running into you to. No need to apologize. I realized you were busy when I saw you walking at a fast pace carrying your things.

I hope you had a great weekend,

So. I think things are cool between us. We're grown ups.

I guess the thing I was most afraid of when facing him was that it would mess me up. That my emotions would just end up in a big mess, and all the work I've done would be gone. Funny enough. That's not what happened.

It was nice seeing him. But that was it. I no longer had a longing for him. It was almost like seeing an old friend. Almost.

I watched a movie a few nights ago with my sister created by WongFu Productions called "A Moment with You." Beautiful movie. Heartfelt. Touching. Realistic. Relatable. The quote that came to mind when I look back on that oh-so-awkward-run-in is this.

I think about all the moments that pass us by and only certain ones stay with us.

The moments between Almond and I. They will always stay with me. They will always be a part of my memory. They will forever be a part of me. He will always be a very special person to me. I will forever be thankful for all the beautiful and sad moments we shared. But our moment has passed. The realization is both sad and happy. It's like taking a step forward -- knowing that I can never go back.


Anonymous said...

running into exs can sometimes be incredibly awkward...other times it can be real casual and easy going. Im glad it wasnt too hard for you. But it is important to keep looking foward.

Andy said...

Damned Murphy's law. That's all I can say.

Des said...

Gunnar: Thanks! I'll keep that in mind. I have to admit, it's a lot easier looking forward now, than a year ago.

Andy: Murphy's Law. Going to Wikipedia it now.