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The Non-Ex Ex

March 4, 2012

He wants to hang out, just the two of us.

“Like we used to,” he reminds me. He smiles and his eyes sparkle. His brown eyes which are so dark, I can’t see where the pupil ends and the iris starts.

We used to hang out but it led to us dating and that just led to awkward. He’s Indian and his parents expect him to marry an Indian. I am not Indian. We were silly to go down that road at all. Like a teenage boy trying to unhook a bra, we fumbled about with no clear idea what we were doing. We tried to be more than just friends but not willing or able to tell anyone we were.

We went to movies but didn’t hold hands in case we saw someone we knew. I was his ‘just a friend’ for dinner with his family where his mom asked if I knew any nice Indian girls I could set him up with. When we ran into my friend at a pub he was just my coworker and of course she could join us at our table.

I always knew that he planned to respect his parents’ wishes and marry an Indian girl. We always knew, and always told each other, that it couldn’t go anywhere. But still we flirted. Still we tried to be just friends. We tried to keep it casual. And we failed.

I will never be Indian no matter how many different dishes his mom teaches me to cook or how many saris his sisters loan me when I join them for Visakhi dinner. And he will never marry a white girl. We never broke up because we were never dating. We just stopped hanging out or texting each other. It was the Firefly of relationship ends but we never got a Serenity to wrap up the lose ends.

Now he wants to hangout as friends again.

I’ve missed him. I’ve missed his friendship. I’ve missed the ease of laughing with him. I’ve missed our intense discussion about Game of Thrones or Underworld or It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia. I’ve missed our after work beers on a sunny patio while we discuss what it’s like to be the offspring of immigrant parents: his from India, mine from Europe.

I want to accept his offer of an after work pint but I decline.

It’s been two years but still have a crush on him. I still glance over at his cubicle and think inappropriate thoughts. I still feel sadness when mutual friends joke about setting him up with someone. A part of me still wants to be that someone but I know that I can’t. And for that reason, I can’t be friends with him.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Maisie permalink
    March 5, 2012 2:16 pm

    Bah…lingering crushes are the worst. Especially when they can’t/won’t ever be reciprocated…

  2. March 20, 2012 9:55 pm

    Well, fuck, this sucks.

    If this were a movie, you guys would fall in love, he’d break up with you because of his parents, and then the parents would realize how much you mean to him and they’d plot to get you back together. The credits would roll as scenes from your wedding flash on the screen.

    I’m sorry you’re not in this movie. But I have hope that your best starring role as a leading lady is still to come.

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