After we broke up I used to see him everywhere. My initial reaction to a new meme or something I saw in the park was to snap a pic or shoot him a text. It always hit me so hard knowing I couldn’t, or shouldn’t, do that anymore. But plenty of time has passed, plenty of mistakes forgiven on both ends, and all is well with my soul. I can go to the park or scroll through some memes without having constant reminders of him anymore.
A few years ago we adopted a bird together (yes folks, a bird). And that little feathery baby was so keen on keeping us all bonding together anyway it could. The little guy came to me to play and him to cuddle and when it was sleepy it cooed until all three of us were together to put it to bed. Bird memes and videos quickly became a daily occurrence on our social media, and birds were always pointed out when we were outside no matter how apart we were because of school.
Seeing birds for the first time after we broke up was tougher than I expected. A baby seagull crying for food by the beach, a flock of tiny ducklings swimming frantically behind their mama, or even new sparrows moving into the bushes outside my front door – birds are everywhere. I couldn’t text him when a dove sat on the door of my car when I was watching the sunset by the river. And I certainly couldn’t text him about custody rights for the little conure we adopted together, although I did joke about it when we became friends again (he said no #rude).
We would stop at any cute little diner we could find to see what ones had the best sweet tea, fries, and grilled cheeses. As soon as I found a diner by my new apartment it took every ounce of my being not to text him asking to meet me there for lunch. But now, I see diners all the time, and I even try something new whenever I walk inside.
He was the first, and only, person my scaredy cat was comfortable around back when I first adopted him, and he was just as heartbroken as I was when he stopped coming around. The poor little guy eventually learned to trust and love me too, and he even went up to greet a total stranger the last time we had company.
The friends who stuck around after high school are proud of me for learning to let go of him, especially because they have their adventure buddy back full-time. Getting over him has even left my writing a little more chipper too.
Sure, I’m writing about him here, but only because I used to spend every moment of summer with him since high school and college used to take so much time away from us. And this summer, I feel the freedom surrounding me, embracing me, as I drive down to the beach to enjoy the birds again and get my summer back.
Featured Image via Pexels.