I Miss My Best Friend’s Ex Girlfriend
I miss my best friend’s ex-girlfriend. Like, a lot. Not in any romantic way, I’m not the Love Actually guy standing outside Kiera Knightly’s door with poster boards. But because this person was a part of my life for two years and then *poof* one day she’s gone for good.
A few years ago I moved to London for six months. To fill the emotional void I’d left (84% serious), my best friend and roommate at the time, got a girlfriend. By the time I got back, he’d moved in with her (100% serious).
She had a small dog and he had a big cat and they lived together in a 2 bedroom on Charles St. I spent more time there in two years than anywhere outside my home and my office. I’d spend Friday nights there smoking weed and watching movies and Saturday evenings drinking cocktails before going out. The three of us would grab Sunday brunch and she would come watch us play basketball in Hudson River Park. We did 4th of Julys, NYEs and Halloweens together. I dated one of her friends. I walked the dog. We all spent a weekend at the beach with our moms. I spent more time with her than any one girl I dated over that time.
Being around someone, on its own, isn’t remarkable. You can have a roommate whose girlfriend is alllllllways there but as if you’d ever write about it. It was her positivity, warmth and doting that I miss. Homegirl was a logophile for compliments and no one’s called me handsome as much as she did. This probably veers into “you’re being weird, dude” but whatever it’s true.
Then one day it started to crack and they were done within a few months. My best friend got a new apartment and hosted my birthday party while they were still trying to work it out and I wasn’t allowed to invite her and I was bummed and I haven’t spoken to her since.
My friend has had bad experiences with friends and ex-girlfriends. The specifics aren’t tawdry but they’re convoluted and boring but do provide justification for his stance: no continuing friendship with exes. Or communication. At all. Ever. “Are you fucking serious?” was the answer to my meekly-asked “can I like, send a goodbye text..?”
I’m not a narcissist. I know my quantum of loss is one-gabillionith of theirs. I didn’t lose someone I shared a bed with every night or was going to raise my kids. I wasn’t included in their plan to move back down South together. And I don’t carry the guilt of breaking her heart. Real suffering occurred and likely still does on some nights. But at the risk of embarrassing myself with self-pity, I also didn’t get to go through the breakup. I never got to say goodbye.
I’ve run this story past girl buds of mine and the clear consensus is, “fuck him, send her the text.” I know, it’s probably the right thing to do. And I hate this capitulation. She loved my character, thought I was super sweet to women. This you’re-dead-to-me treatment discredits that, I feel like a phony. Or who knows, maybe this is just a hot-air balloon and she never thought twice about it. But it’s not crazy that in the rubble of her sadness is a fleck of disappointment in his friend who was supposed to be better than that.
Putting things in context, it’s obviously not the end of the world. I’ll move on in a similar yet exponentially less painful way than the two of them will move on. At some point I’ll stop noticing when I’m at the West 4th stop where maybe she’ll get on and I can tell her all of this. At some point he’ll have a wife. But for now, gone is someone that became a significant and enriching part of my life through no fault or choice of either of ours.
Guess I’ll have to lean on my mom for my “you’re so handsome” ego boosts.