It had only been a week and two days and there he was, only three feet away from me in a room full of people and to make matters worse, the clock had just struck 12 on New Years Eve. Out of all the parties in NYC we had to end up at the same one. I had no idea what my reaction was. Sometimes a facial expression gives it all away without you having to say a word. I just couldn’t believe he was right there and instead of confirming his presence in that moment, I looked away as if it wasn’t happening. Our eyes hadn’t met so technically I could’ve still disappeared in the crowd and avoided being seen, so as to let it be known that only I had made the discovery and he wouldn’t have even known I was in the room. But of course that would’ve been too easy.
As I made my way towards the ladies room, I ran into one of his friends I met when I visited him down in Atlanta. Great. How do I escape this time? I couldn’t, and because I’m too friendly for my own good, we talked, we laughed. After all, I had nothing against her so there was no need for me to make things weird. After surviving that encounter, I figured maybe things wouldn't turn out to be so bad afterall. But it all just continued to unfold. Two minutes later, my phone spazzed out in texts from my girls and my sister with “He’s here!” “I think we’re standing next to him!” No name was necessary, I already knew who they were talking about. My heart fell into my stomach. It was real. The confirmation.
I only faced the situation to the point of necessity. I saw him and he saw me. Now we both knew we were there. That’s all that had to be done. But I wasn’t ready. I was soooo not ready it wasn’t even funny. I was still in the “I hate him” phase and creeping my way to the “eventually, you’re going to get over it” phase but this was too soon. I felt like I took one giant emotional step back and I was back to where I was a week and two days ago.
He looked great. He always looked great. And I looked great. Here were two great looking people in their best on NYE who were once emotionally connected pretending as if each other wasn’t in the room. Don’t get me wrong. It was NYE/a birthday celebration and my girls had all made the trip from Connecticut and Pennsylvania and we were having a blast; but intermittent reminders of him being in the room wouldn’t allow me to completely forget.
At the end of the night, I ran into one of his best friends whom I had previously had friendly conversations with. I thoroughly enjoyed her so she and I talked for several minutes, hugged, fixed each other’s hair, the usual girly stuff and then ended it there. But the whole situation hurt. Here I was enjoying a conversation with one of the most important people in his life and he and I hadn’t uttered a word to each other. All fun was had and the night had come to a close. As everyone made their way out, my mind had moved from burning that hole in the middle of the dance floor to WTF just happened. I was so unprepared. We hadn’t talked but I had to say something or else I wouldn’t have made it through the night. An hour after the party, I texted him “I wasn’t ready to see you.” He replied, “I know. I understand. That’s why I kept my distance. Happy New Year anyway though.”