He respected me

“I didn’t try, because I knew that I wasn’t looking for the same thing that you were,” a former crush said to me more than eight years ago.

In contrast to all other rejections I had then, I smiled then. Because why go through the grief, the rejection, the games. He read what I was seeking and didn’t feel the need to use me to validate himself. And for me too, I accepted it as it was, not trying to change his mind. He had a slight crazy, ranting streak that I admired. But internally, I knew that it wasn’t for me—I was becoming more socially conservative, turning inward and staying in. Partying? A thing of my insecure early twenties!

For years afterwards, we kept in touch. Although five years ago, our communication completely faded into nothingness.

Then suddenly, a mutual friend mentioned that he was coming in town. Yesterday, we met again after more than five years of silence. He had become more disillusioned. I had grown past my wounds, which for some reason, he never rubbed. As the night ended, he said, “Let’s not make it five years.”

“Let’s not,” I said.

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