There are times in life when there’s just no avoiding your ex. Times when whether you like it or not and fully made up or in baggy joggers, you are going to bump into them. It’s something I try to side-step like dog poo on the pavement, but sometimes its inevitable, and by inevitable I mean having an ex-boyfriend who goes to your University.
Today was one of those days. I turned up early for my lecture, looked through the glass in the door, and there he was. In the very same room I would be in in twenty minutes time was the very boy, who when I say was part of my worst break-up I've ever had, I am not exaggerating. Think Peter Andre and Katie Price… Minus the kids, plastic surgery and mansion. Okay, maybe that's exaggerating.
So, like any together-person would, I hid in the toilets. I just couldn’t deal with the polite awkward smile and slow-motion-feel walk-by that would happen when he left the class as I waited to go in. Don’t get me wrong, I think both of us are happily able to talk to each other now and all I want is the best for him, but after spending ten minutes trying to dry my tights with a hair dryer this morning - today just wasn’t the right day.
There have been many times that I have run into exes. There just seems to be someone out there making sure that somebody who broke my heart is in the same postcode as I am. It’s really starting to affect the guys I let myself (catastrophically) flirt with. He lives around the corner, then NO. He occasionally goes shopping in Zara, then NO. He catches trains, then NO. He’s currently serving in Afghanistan and his family live in Devon, okay, maybe.
You see, Lifeguard Boy is evidence of why you should never start seeing someone who works at your gym. Its inescapable that he is going to see you red-faced and running like a lunatic trying to burn off that KFC bargain bucket you ate all to yourself. And he will see you almost falling into the pool because you were trying to make sure you didn’t make any eye contact with him. Not that these things have ever happened to me.
The first time I saw Australia Boy again (when he was no longer Australia Boy) was my birthday and I was in a seedy nightclub back home. I was queuing for the bar with my friend and all of a sudden he was just there, right next to me. I couldn’t seem to string any kind of eloquent sentence together. All I was after was Vodka and Coke not a heart-breaking trip down memory lane. Even when he’s not in the area he seems to pop up out of the blue. Yesterday I had an interview and whilst I was on the train he thought it a good idea to send me a smiley face. Just a smiley face. Who does he think he is sending me a smiley face?!
One of the good things (if there is anything good) about Chef Boy is that I haven’t seen him since he broke up with me… on Valentines Day. The only guy that has ever done the dumping, and it was on Valentines Day. So it’s probably for the best that I never see him again to be honest. He moved back to home to be with his ex-girlfriend who he obviously liked bumping into.
Yet, there is something worse than bumping into your ex, and that is bumping into your exes Mum.
Two weeks ago I was happily sale shopping in a department store when I heard a familiar voice. Did you ever have a really strict teacher when you were younger whose voice you can still hear in your head telling you that “NO, YOU CANNOT GO TO THE TOILET. YOU SHOULD HAVE GONE AT BREAKTIME”? Well, it was like that. I looked up and I saw her and all I could think to do was run. I’ve written about her before and how horrible she was to me, so seeing her was worse than all my exes just being sat around in a circle watching me have my teeth pulled out with no anaesthetic.
I ran round the corner and told my Mum that this woman who’d made me cry on several occasions had been stood less than a metre away from me. Well, my Mum has her own similar opinions on this woman so we scuttled away to the shoe section. I think the worst thing was, was that this woman still made me scared to this day. It has been four years since I was with her son and she still made me anxious and shaky.
Half an hour later and we went to the coffee shop and I sorted out the drinks as my Mum sat down. And then SHE came round the corner. It was one of the worst moments of my adult life. There was no one else waiting in the queue behind me so there she was, standing so close I could hear her breathing. I ordered and tried my best to not look directly at her and pretend I was a complete stranger. Just as I picked up my tray, she uttered the words I had been dreading: “Oh Alice, how are you?”
I can’t really remember what happened next, apart from my Mum telling me that from afar I looked like I had been very polite. You know when something really scary happens and your brain seems to just wipe out your memories of it? I sat down with my tray and saw that I’d got a nervous rash on my chest. My body was quite literally petrified of this woman.
I think if my Mum hadn’t got a bad back she’d have stormed on over there.
Well today my attempted avoidance of my ex didn’t work. There’s only so long you can stand in the toilets without looking like a creep. I left thinking they’d have probably gone by then but they hadn’t, and as I arrived outside trying to zip up my faulty bag he walked past, and I didn’t have time to muster up the nerve to look up and smile. After finally having the courage to tell the worst woman I’ve ever met that I’m actually doing quite well for myself now, I didn’t even have the audacity to put together “Hi, you alright?”. I looked like an immature little girl.
It’s something I’m trying to work on.
Live. Laugh. Love.