When you still have feelings for each other, remaining friends with an ex can be tricky — as I discovered time and again with California native Mark (a.k.a. Sparky).
Nearly two years after we broke up in 1995, I was crushed when a dinner encounter in NYC failed to produce those three little words from him. Oddly, I’d grown accustomed to hearing it in our post-breakup relationship. I soon found out the reason Sparky was tight lipped. I now Open The Vault and take you back to the spring of ‘97.…
April 4th, 1997
New York, NY
Sparky called me today. I knew he’d eventually call, but didn’t expect to hear his voice at work this afternoon. I could feel my heart beating rapidly and the effort it took not to be tongue tied.
As if he’d read my mind, he told me what was going through his Monday night.
“I didn’t want to get too crazy,” he said.
“Meaning what?” I asked, wanting him to spell it out.
“I didn’t want to make it any harder than it had to be since I knew my visit was going to be short,” he said.
I told him I was surprised he’d been in such a hurry to leave, and wondered if it was because of me. Sparky insisted he was tired from his journey — and that he’d held back because “there’s a lot of etiquette” to our relationship.
“I didn’t want to degrade what we have,” he said firmly.
Sparky admitted that he thought about asking me to come back with him to his hotel.
“It wasn’t that I didn’t want you to,” he told me, to which I responded that I had considered asking him to spend the night.
“I miss you,” I said finally.
“I miss you too,” he said — in that warm tone of voice that indicates he thinks of me often.
It meant so much that he called just to tell me, albeit without those three little words, that his feelings haven’t changed. All my doubts were laid to rest — our love is still alive.
We’ve spent more time being officially split up than we have as a couple and yet, we can’t seem to let go. Is it so wrong to hope that, someday, all of this what if-ing will lead us to a second chance together?
* * *
Though Sparky and I remained connected, we also continued to move forward in our separate lives. An unexpected twist of fate in his life would force us to do what we had been unable to when I first walked away.