Have you ever had a regret or memory that followed you around like a ghost? If you’re over the age of ten, the answer is probably yes. Everyone has those “what ifs” and “if onlys.” When I was eleven, it was the fact that I left my favorite teddy bear on an airplane. Man, I MISSED that teddy bear. I tried calling the airport’s lost and found a couple of times, but who cares about putting a teddy bear in lost and found? No one, that’s who. It probably ended up in a trash bin somewhere.
Aw man, now I miss that bear again.
Anyway, as I’ve gotten older, my “if onlys” have gotten a lot more serious than a missing teddy bear. This past year, I’ve been haunted by the events of last summer (you can read a more detailed version of these events here). Specifically, the guy from Tokyo seems to keep popping up in my life. There are already enough regrets from that situation weighing on me. If emotions could be quantified in weight, I promise you that guilt and regret would both be heavy. Very heavy. It’s kind of like someone dropped a boulder on your chest and you were like, “Holy Crap! This thing is going to kill me! No, wait, it’s not going to kill me, but OWWWWWWWWWW SOMEONE GET IT OFF!! OW OW OW OW OW!” Yep, that’s basically what it’s like.
Here’s my issue – I’m trying hard enough to get over that situation without him continually appearing in my life. It was eleven months ago when I told him to stop contacting me and said (politely as possible?) that I never wanted to speak to him again. It was ten months ago when my husband (almost as politely as possible?) said some permutation of “Dude, for real, leave my wife alone.” Yet, even now, I’m still hearing from the guy. He’s texted me a couple of times even though his number is blocked in my phone (AT&T – WHAT DID I EVER DO TO YOU??) Just last week I got a Facebook message from him, and we’re not friends on Facebook. I didn’t even know you could do that! I don’t respond to any of these points of contact, so I don’t know why he’s still contacting me.
Issues of guilt and regret are compounded whenever I hear from this guy, which really is a bit ridiculous because I’m not contacting him. When I saw his name pop up in my Facebook messages, I actually thought I was going to throw up. I wanted to scream, “WHY ARE YOU HERE IN MY PHONE, AND WHY WON’T YOU JUST GO AWAY?!” But of course I can’t say that to him, because I’m not speaking to him. Shouldn’t my perpetual silence be sort of loud? What else am I supposed to do here?
Basically, the specters of last summer still haunt me. When I finally think I’ve moved on, that I’m ready to let go and get that boulder off my chest, it seems that somehow this guy knows that is the perfect time to try to show up in my life again. Then I’m suddenly angry and sad and nostalgic all at the same time, and emotions and memories whiz around my head like lottery balls in that crazy mixer. No wonder it makes me dizzy and nauseous. It brings all of the ghosts back into my mind when I finally thought I was rid of them. Sometimes I wonder if I’ll be haunted forever. Forever is a long time, y’all. I don’t know if I can handle that.
I need some comfort. Excuse me while I go get my favorite teddy bear.
OH WAIT, I LEFT HIM ON A PLANE SIXTEEN YEARS AGO.