“He has a tattoo of a pin up girl on his arm” I say.
Mum raises her eyebrow, remembering how happy I had been when my Gil Elvgren book on pin up art arrived… or her despair when I went out for Halloween as an army pin up girl.
“And it looks a bit like me…” I continue as I scroll Facebook on my blackberry to show her the blonde curly haired woman, with her hand on her hip and head titled in a standard “Jade pose” inked on his forearm.
“Must be an omen.” She says as she roles her eyes and takes another sip of her white wine spritzer.
An omen. I didn’t know if he would be good or evil but I knew he would be a significance.
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That was nearly 9 years ago. It has now been a year, since after 2 and a half years of no contact he liked my photo of Dusty on Instagram. I mean she is a beauty. It is a great photo. Maybe it is because of the Kings of Leon lyrics? Maybe it is because a guy is tagged in the post? Don’t think too much of it I tell myself…but it is lockdown and I am on furlough so my mind has space…and I am currently reading a romance novel called ‘The Versions of us’ which is all about two people and the “what-ifs” of their life.
He doesn’t like the next Dusty post I made the following day. He likes the one on the third day. A few days later, he likes a selfie. This is strange, he never liked my posts when we were …when we were… well whatever we were. But I do have that red lip thing in this one…
The following week or so after, I was challenging myself to wear a different pair of dinosaur socks everyday for a week. Yes, I was that bored and have that many dinosaur socks.
As the week ended, I posted my Saturday ‘Winosaurous’ socks, Jurassic World 2 on Netflix and I wrote “No more dinosaur posts. Promise” on stories.
I got reply to this story saying “Boo.”
He meant “Boo” as in sad/disappointed.
But I took it as the meaning of a cry aloud that ghosts make when they say “Boo”.
It is said that when a ghost is around, your temperature suddenly changes, goosebumps, you feel like you’re being watched and you suddenly feel weak.
Before I knew it, I was smiling while we “ping – pong” chatted away and he guessed right at what part of Jurassic World I just teared up at.
Trying to focus on the second half of the film was challenging as the Malbec started to warm up inside and my thoughts were disturbed by the poltergeist in my head throwing things around.
I’m sure he will still have his girlfriend the sane, alive side of me says.
Over the next few weeks, I continue being active on my stories and posting the odd selfie-most or maybe all are liked by him. Just what my confidence needs to be brought back to life.
After all this time, even without contact in so long, I get a high from him and forget the come down.
The last time I saw him was when we walked past each other behind the mall. Thank god I look good and have this outfit on I remember thinking to myself as I held my breath to make eye contact with him.
“Have you just been waiting here this whole time?” I say smiling, holding the eye contact as we walk past each other, exactly as we are. I say this because we had crossed that same path, the week before, on the same day at the same time.
“Yeah, I’ve just been walking up and down waiting” he laughs while waving his hand over the path. I glimpse that pin up tattoo but he has loads now.
I flick my hair and make an obvious “HA” noise. I keep walking and tell myself not to stop. As if it would be him waiting for me. I strut on and my neck and shoulders tense as I tell myself not to look back. I’m appearing so much more confident than I am.
He texts me later that evening. Obviously.
Two weeks after my “Boo” DM, I share my ‘First Date in Quarantine Blog’. I haven’t blogged in so long; people are loving it and I am on cloud 9. I have turned this negative pandemic into a positive for myself.
The temperature drops as I read a DM from him, “I was hoping for a happy ending.”
“Well, are we surprised?” I reply.
“I suppose not, no. Doesn’t mean it’s right though eh?”
“He has read it and apologised.” I say quickly as if defending Jay…or trying to make a point.
“Only because you shamed him. Shitebag.”
As if he wasn’t real, I write, “I have thought about writing about you. Would shaming you get an apology?”
He responds immediately. “I have thought about apologising to you in the past. But I would have been doing it to make myself feel better, which I don’t think is valid. But I know I didn’t treat you well at times. I am sorry for that.
I mean it.”
I wanted to scream but like when you see a ghost, I was paralysed. While frozen, I felt the wound that never healed open back up and ooze.
Over the last year, since then, we have innocently chatted on and off. And I’ve cried more times than I can count. Not because he’s not here but I cry remembering how tightly I held on to the hope of a life that could have lived. I cry because he still haunts all my “what-ifs.” I am haunted again because I didn’t accept it and release it the way they say you should.
Why does he still haunt me? Why did I allow it…
I never talk about him. I haven’t in years. So maybe I do need to talk about him…and my most cathartic activity, write.
‘Why haven’t I written about him?’ you might ask.
- It has been too hard to admit.
- The poltergeist has thrown all the thoughts in my head around and it’s messy.
- And finally, because I feel it would be another stroke to his ego that I don’t want to give.
He once asked if I do write about him to give him a sexy pseudonym but to be petty for not getting what I wanted for all those years, he’s not getting one.
“Ghosts are spirits that have not yet had closure with leaving.” Meghan Castro,