One More Chance

by Jane Moneypenny

We barely looked at each other last night. Other than a sentence or two, there was little interaction although our chairs were brushing each other for two hours. I had a head full of conversations and stories to tell him (let’s call him Mr. Adventure), but with the arrival of his newly moved-in girlfriend, my mouth remained shut. No matter how many times his best friends had warned me he was different around the girlfriend, I held out hope once we hung out again, things would fall into place and rapport would flow like it always did.

We had probably 4 short conversations:

1) Obligatory greeting: “Welcome back, Jane!”

2) Confusion about my return:

Him: “When did you get back from Europe?”
Me: “Three weeks ago.”
Him: “Wait, what? Really?!”
Me: “I haven’t been in STL* for 3 weeks, dummy. I clearly would have called if I was back.”
Him: “Oh, yeah. Right. I was going to say…”

3) “What, you’re just drinking water?” Disappointment on his face because he knows around certain people, I feel a little more comfortable drinking a little and he’s one of them.

4) Later on, in a weird moment of syncing deja vu, we spoke at the same time and finished the others’ sentence. I get I’m analyzing too much, but this is the way we’ve always interacted. His girlfriend had a look on her face that occured any time we conversed (those tiny 3 times), so I changed the subject. We were like strangers and it made me question this chemistry I swore existed.

Like I’ve said before, I don’t want to be that girl in someone’s boyfriend’s life. Having so many close guy friends, it often happens and I get filtered out of the guy’s life until the relationship ends. I was meeting this girl for the first time and the last thing I wanted to do was make her insecure, even if all of his family and friends don’t like her. It’s not my job to owe her anything, of course, but he’s convinced himself this is functional (he was about to break up with her when she surprised him by moving here). The entire time we sat there, all I could think was, “I miss ‘single’ Mr. Adventure, the one always up for anything.”

When everyone parted ways that night, his best friend (seemingly former best friend nowadays) and I went to a late night diner and I spilled out my frustrations. He, too, misses Mr. Adventure and has made his feelings well known about his dislike for this new situation and intrusive girlfriend.

But it is what it is, right? People come and go and he came into my life in May when I unkwowingly needed it. Smallbone and I stood in our friend’s wedding this weekend and watched her also slip out of our lives. Of course, the argument can be made about “You husband is your new best friend. He’s your #1,” but watching her completely cut off her friends and become subservient to her new husband is frustrating. It hurts to let go of people and friendships and relationships that have played such an impact and realize it’s at the end. Some friends, you can pick up where you left off, but others, it just seems tiring to wait around and continually get hurt. Is this what growing up is about? Knowing when to count your losses and go or stay and risk it out? Are these choices supposed to be easier with age?

*I will say this: returning here has confirmed I made the right choice moving.