Man apologizes to ex-girlfriend for leaving her until she reminds him she was the one who left

Tracey Folly

*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events I experienced firsthand; used with permission.

I recently had an opportunity to chat with one of my ex-boyfriends. I use the word "opportunity" loosely. It was a conversation I neither expected nor wanted to have. Nonetheless, my ex and I had a nearly 90-minute telephone conversation during which he revealed something interesting: he thought he was the one who broke up with me.

Nothing could have been further from the truth.

Halfway through our conversation, he asked me if I was angry that he left me. He actually said it quite clearly, so I know I didn't misunderstand him.

"Are you angry because I left you?" he asked. "I'm sorry I did that. I regret it every day."

"Excuse me," I replied. I was flabbergasted. "I don't know what you're talking about because I'm the one who broke up with you."

In order to refresh his memory, I explained moment by moment the events that led up to our breakup. When I was finished, he agreed that he did have a vague memory of the events I described but still felt uncertain about who broke up with whom.

I have no such uncertainty; I also have witnesses. Well, I have one witness, my mother. I thought about calling her to the stand (i.e. telephone), but I decided against it. She's never been a fan of my ex, and I can't say I blame her. I'm not a fan either.

Now, maybe it was hard for him to remember who left whom because we never lived together. So there wasn't any physical leaving involved. There was no packing of bags or divvying up the dishes. Even so, you'd think he'd remember I was the one who told him never to contact me again, not that he listened.

I spent a few minutes trying to convince him that he wasn't the one who ended the relationship before I realized the point was moot. The important thing wasn't who left whom. The important thing was that the relationship was long, long over. I told him so.

"You know what?" I said. "It doesn't even matter. So I'm not going to argue about it. I don't care if you thought you were the one who broke up with me."

The only problem is that I did care, just a little bit. If anything, I wanted credit where credit was due, but I restrained myself from telling him that. He wouldn't have believed me anyhow.

In the end, we agreed to drop the topic of who initiated the breakup, even though we all know it was me. Letting it go was my final parting gift to my ex, not that he deserved it.

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