A few months ago, after dropping out, I was walking to grab coffee with my friends Andy and Izzy. It was one perfect spring morning—birds chirping, flowers blooming—when suddenly I heard my name: “Joanna Goddard.”
I looked up and there he was standing on the sidewalk: the guy I dated for five years in my twenties. He reached out for a hug, and time slowed to a crawl as I stocked up mentally from my clothes (JacketAnd JacketAnd Sweatpantsblarg) and rearranged my face into what I imagined was a neutral expression (below).
My exact expression.
“How is it going?” he asked, unfortunately looking cool with his windswept hair and gray jacket. “Very well,” I replied and introduced to my friends. Next, a man walked in with a fluffy dog, and I saw my escape hatch: I leaned over to pet the dog, smiled over my shoulder, and exclaimed, “Hmm…see you later!”
As we headed toward the coffee shop, Andy, Izzy, and I resumed our earlier conversation about kids, TV shows, and books, mentally congratulating myself on being so level-headed and, dare I say, personable during a possible potential encounter.
Obviously I wasn’t.
Later in the day, while on a break from work, I texted Andy and Izzy to let them in on my big secret. Here are the texts that followed:
Me: Guys, you know how we ran into that guy in the corner
We said hello and hugged him
This was my ex boyfriend!
At least I wasn’t sweating with wet hair and no makeup on
Oh right you are!
Andy: I guess that’s what it was!!
Izzy: I knew this was your ex!!!
I’ve previously written it!
Did you catch the reactions of the trapped animals?
Izzy: Yes 100%
me why??? how???
Wow guys you didn’t miss any moment
Izzy: This interaction can only mean one thing
Andy: For me that was his expression
And the way he said your first and last name
Izzy: yeah tbh his expression reads “We’ve definitely had sex before”
Oops, haha, I didn’t cheat anyone. as my friend Lena He says, “People are more transparent than they think.”
What about you? Where did the exes collide? Please tell me you were smoother than I was.
note 10 comments from readers on breakupsAnd Seeing my body with new eyes.