Oh yes, to say I was excited for this moment would be an understatement. I was writhing in the taxi that took me to my meeting point with my old lover.
Butterflies, oh butterflies. I hadn’t felt that in a while. I had drawn so distant and detached from anything similar to this, that I had forgotten how to feel. Now, just the thought of meeting him again, breathing the same pocket of air as he — oh, it was too much to bear. I gripped my bag tightly as I anticipated the pinnacle of the moment when our eyes would meet.
The taxi stopped outside the restaurant and I literally tumbled out, my legs not able to move as fast as my mind was commanding them to.
I asked for his name at the door, and the hostess said, “Ah, yes miss. He is already here.” Oh my!
The hostess took me all the way to the back of the restaurant, where he was seated. He had always loved private, quiet corners. They served for intimate moments of conversational exchange and plenty of time to melt in each other’s gaze. It had been six months since our parting, but I did not forget the little intricate details of how he was on our dates.
We turned the corner and passed a standing Oriental screen. The scent hit me first — Hugo Boss, that familiar whiff. A broad back faced me — wide, definitely threatening to burst out of the tailored tuxedo thanks to hours of bench presses in the gym. His hair was coiffed and combed back, as it always had been before.
Then, the head turned.
And our eyes met.
It was a second suspended in time as we stood still in that moment.
“How are you?” His voice found my ears — warm, lyrical, comforting — like wax engulfing my skin. “Very fine,” I responded immediately, confidently, “And yourself?”
He summoned the first course and we settled into our seats as conversation began. It was just like old times. I was comfortable. I knew every step to take to move forward, although a little rusty, but I knew nonetheless. This was familiar ground for me. And he responded likewise.
It was everything that I’d hoped it would be, except.
I felt nothing.
The fireworks that had threatened to explode prematurely in the taxi — now, they were not even going off in as much as a tiny spark.
And while I’d spent so much time alone thinking that the hours would go by in seconds during my time with him — this time, I found myself looking at my watch. When would it be dessert already?!?!?!
Goodbyes were usually painful and prolonging, but this time, I did not have much of a choice. “I have another appointment, sorry,” I mumbled as the waitress cleared the last of our plates from the table, “And my Grab driver is here.” No, he was not. I hadn’t made any car bookings. But I was just doing so, right then. It was more than time to go. It was high time I got out of there.
He leaned forward to embrace me and give me a kiss on the cheek — dangerously close to my lips — as if to tease me, tempt me, make me want him again. It hardly stirred me.
I smiled rigidly. “Goodbye. It was nice seeing you.”
And as I got into my car and settled in, I paid close attention to the emotions going on inside of me. There were hardly any, but only placidity.
I had braced myself to feel the most exhilarating and intense peaks of infatuation, but reality proved that it was not going to happen. Not with him.
I hadn’t tried very hard, but it was quite clear that I had moved on from my old love.