"you on your way, young man?"Indeed I was. I got into my car and headed south to spend a day with my ex-girlfriend and her mother. I have hung out with Lynn. And I have spent time with Andy. But never at the same time since the break up, almost two years ago ago.
When Lynn's car pulled up, Andy stepped out with a smile on her face.
"Hello, Mr. Frog."
A playful nickname she had give me back when I was in high school on account of my wide feet.
She walked around the car and gave me a hug. I hugged Lynn and she lead me into her new apartment.
Andy had driven down in a U Haul to bring Lynn all of her things. The living room was cluttered with plastic bins and boxes. 8 potted plants sat on the floor. Andy had packed some things for me to move into my new place as well as potting 4 plants for me.
We spent most of the afternoon lounging around the apartment talking until Lynn suggested we go to Ikea to look for more things for her move.
Andy, Lynn and I strolled down the aisles looking at things that Lynn might need. Andy kept insisting to buy me things for my new place and after telling her 100 times, "No, I'm fine! I promise! You've brought me too many things already", I eventually gave in and let her buy me a lamp and a snazzy cheese grater. With certain people, you learn it's just better not to fight these things.
I must admit that a peculiar feeling washed over me as Lynn and I walked side by side picking out items at Ikea.
"Geeze," I thought. "if Lynn and I were still together and everything went according to plan... her and I would be picking out things for our place. Weird how things turn out."
I physically shook this thought out of my head when Lynn asked me to help her pick out curtains for her room.
After about an hour in Ikea, I could sense an all too familiar feeling. Lynn did/has a tendency to get a little "crabby" when she hasn't eaten for awhile or when she is stressed. She had a midterm the next day and I knew that she was feeling overwhelmed with a day fighting the crowds in Ikea and playing host.
I'll admit that there's this instinct that's difficult to shake off. This powerful urge to make her laugh. Back when we were dating, I'd just ignore her gripes... pull her in, give her a kiss on the forehead or crack a lame joke or simply place a hand on her back and she's instantly snap out of her funk.
But, that wasn't my job anymore. Not my obligation. Even if I wanted to, I couldn't.
So I didn't. I just kind of her let do her thing and tried to sway the conversation to something else. Instead, I made the suggestion we skip straight to the register and get something to eat. Andy and I exchanged a secret smile, because we both were used to handling Lynn in her crabby mood.
We grabbed a meal at a bar/restaurant combo and being in Costa Mesa, the place was crawling with cookie-cutter girls who all looked the same. I excused myself to go to the bathroom and weaving in between tables, I gave quick glances at the girls I was surrounded by. Might as well have been paper chain figures.
Making my way back from the bathrooms, I quickly tapped our waiter and passed him my credit card. I knew that Andy would put up a fight to pay the bill.
I sat back down at the table and placed my napkin across my lap. Lynn flashed me a smile. It's difficult to really explain how frustrating it is to think that your ex is still the prettiest girl.
The check came (already paid) and Andy was a little upset at my trickery. But I smiled and told her that we were even for all the stuff she bought for me earlier.
After dinner we spent a few more hours back at Lynn's apartment chatting, there was never an awkward moment... it was just like old times. But eventually I had to head back for work the next day. Lynn and Andy helped me load my car with my new treats. I hugged Andy and promised I would see her when I was back home for Christmas.
"Oh! I almost forgot! I have some more music to give you!"
Lynn came running back with a cd. I gave her a hug and climbed into my car. I immediately put in the mix she made for me.
* * *
Now this next part is for those readers who might read this blog for that insight for what it's like to start over again.
A song that came on the mix instantly sent a wave of shivers up my spine and by the end I was covered in goosebumps. I'll paste the YouTube link below as well as the lyrics. Keep the song on in a window and listen to it while you browse other things. I believe it's the perfect song to sum up this post and my feelings thus far.
I hope it does the same for those of you who are still in the thick of things.
And for my fellow lyric fiends who are like me and have to read while listening:
Relient K "Up and Up" Acoustic version
Yesterday was not quite what it could've been
As were most of all the days before
But I swear today, with every breath I'm breathing in
I'll be trying to make it so much more
'Cause it seems I get so hung up on the history of what's gone wrong
And the hope of a new day is sometimes hard to see
But I'm finally catching on to it, yeah, the past is just a conduit
And the light, there at the end is where I'll be
'Cause I'm on the up and up, I'm on the up and up
And I haven't given up, given up on what I know I'm capable of
Yeah, I'm on the up and up and yeah, there's nothing left to prove
'Cause I'm just trying to be a better version of me for you
A better version of me for you
Now I have all that I could ever need
The confidence of knowing there's still time.
Time to make amends and try to build a better me
And to take the right steps as this road unwinds
You see I'm finally catching onto it, the past is just a conduit
And the light at the end is where I'll be
Never cease to supply me with what I need for a good life
So when I'm down, I'll hold my head up high
'Cause you're the reason why, yeah, you're why