I saw hands and I froze.
They looked like his hands. Big. Bigger than normal hands. The hands of a giant really. I couldn’t see the face from across the room but I could see his hands and my heart nearly short circuited.
It’s been two years since A and I officially ended things, two years since my heart was broken. But it’s only been a few months since I last saw him. Last kissed him. Last laid my head on his chest, breathing him in, feeling safe and warm and loved.
And at the same time … not safe. Not warm. Not loved.
I’ve glimpsed him only once in the past couple of months. While walking past his bar, I glanced inside and he looked right back at me and our eyes locked for just a second. No expressions. Just … a moment. We caught eyes and then I was gone, walking down the street littered with memories I’d shared with him. The ghosts of our affair.
To be honest, I don’t ache like I used to. I don’t think about him non-stop. Most days I don’t think about him at all. I’m focused on moving my life forward and it feels good. I feel really good. I have a great job I’m starting to really get the hang of. I have an incredible network of friends who I love. I don’t have a lot of anger like I used to. I don’t replay the moments and beat myself up like before. I don’t sit for hours on end and recount every good moment, every electric kiss and every time we’d stare into each others eyes and feel the weight of our connection. I don’t cry all the time this time. (It helps his social media accounts are private.) I accept where our story ended.
But still … still … my heart froze when I thought I saw his hands from across the room.
Why? Was it because I looked like a hot mess? (I did.) Was it because I’ve gained weight and don’t want him to see? (I have and I don’t.)
Am I terrified he’ll ignore me? Or am I more afraid that he won’t? And I wonder .. is this for always? Or just for now?
I wonder this because the year and a half we spent apart I had many moments like these. I’d see a tall guy with a full beard who resembled him from a distance and my stomach would flip like the way it does when you’re rounding the top of a hill on a rollercoaster and speeding down to the bottom. A mix of excitement, panic, fear and hope.