Posted on | April 28, 2012 | No Comments
I was home alone when he knocked. How he got the address, I had no idea – I have, after all, moved twice since we last saw each other.
I don’t remember what I said about me. I gave him a tour of the apartment. I even let him peek into my roommates’ bedrooms. Then, I smoothed my hand over our black faux leather living room sofa and invited him to share what he’d been up since we last saw each other almost six years ago.
I already knew some of the bits. Where he was living, what he was doing. Through Facebook, mutual friends, and a newsletter he regularly sends out which he subscribed me to (and from which I haven’t had the heart to ‘unsubscribe’). His adult accomplishments flashed up behind him like a slideshow as he talked. I braced myself for the reveal of the ‘marriage’ milestone he hit two years ago, making a point of oops, ha ha ‘not noticing’ his left hand until he mentioned his wife. I reacted with surprise and supportive congratulations.
As he wrapped up, a final slide flashed in the background. It was a teaser into his future. ‘2013: KIDS,’ it said. It lingered there, large and matter-of-fact, muting out all the words he was speaking.
At that moment I knew I had to get him out of the house as quickly and hospitably as possible so I could be alone and hyperventilate in peace.
I know it’s cliché to say “then I woke up” but is it still cliché if it’s true?
The last time he visited me, I wasn’t home. I was seven blocks away at a coffee shop. Reading and journaling and drinking tea and eating red velvet cake.
Probably listening to The Blow and probably my phone was on silent – which is why I missed the call from my roommate telling me he stopped by. At that point, we no longer had each other’s numbers. The event was a foregone conclusion.
When we were still together and before I thought I had maternal instincts whatsoever, he told me I would be a good mother. I looked at him like he was crazy. You’ve never seen how I am with kids because I don’t like to put myself in situations where I have to be around kids, so what do you know? my twenty-three year old self demanded. But because I was vain and he was incredibly good looking, I also secretly thought if he wants to unleash our beautiful Eurasian babies on the world, so be it.
And yes, I thought he would be a good father.
Even after we broke up, he persisted. “If you’re thirty and single and you want kids, my offer stands,” he said. It sounded like a line from a cheesy romantic comedy except the roles were reversed. I might have even said so.
“I’d still the father of your children. I could still see having a family with you,” he said. “I’m serious.”
I am twenty-nine now and you are married, I want to say to his younger self.
I am twenty-nine now and you are married.
Your argument is invalid.