You texted me last night. I’d say I’m not sure why, but I expect that the looming valentine’s day probably has something to do with it.
You kept it brief and tentative – a simple ‘how are you?’ – both non committal and casual, whilst sounding more like an ‘I’d like to see you’.
I don’t take the bait, and reply with an equally non committal and casual response that doesn’t read as ‘great without you!’ or ‘dying because you’re not here..’.
When I said that we’re better off as friends, it felt cliche and it sounded it too. You said you didn’t believe me and I don’t blame you – I had been hesitant and deliberately non-rushy for the couple of months that we saw each other. It wasn’t because you’re older than me, it wasn’t for how you look or talk or that you have a son already. I wasn’t even sure of my uncertainty at the time. It was like something had my attention out the corner of my eye, but I couldn’t quite see it.
When we first met – at work – we got on so well, and understood words unspoken that lay between the lines. Jokes were shared across a quiet office by a fleeting glance and raising of the eyebrows. It only felt natural to ask you out for a drink.
Intimacy felt strange. You always look great, but I struggled to see you in an intimate way. I think, somewhat selfishly, that I pursued the idea of the relationship more than I pursued you. You could amble around for years and think that single life is just the way it is. To find someone who sees you in a way more than that is amazing, but I’m sorry that I didn’t see you in a way more than that.
When I realised, I felt immensely guilty and felt a compulsion to stop before we took things any further. We never slept together and for that I’m glad – it would’ve made it harder to leave without appearing that all I was aiming for was your bed.
I was being genuine when I said that I preferred for us to remain as friends. I understand how it must’ve hurt you. I don’t regret the time we spent, as I had fun – you’re a great person to be with.
I hoped you’d find your prince, but your getting in touch tells me you haven’t.
If you send me further texts, I will reply – it would be rude not to – but please don’t expect us to meet. You would gently pursue this and so I would ask you not to text me.
We no longer work in the same office, though not as a result of our relationship, so at least there’s no awkwardness – which there would have been it we remained in the same room.
I will be alone this valentine’s day, but I will be content.
If you are too, I hope you won’t feel lonely.