People You Might Know

When I friended my ex-girlfriend and her husband, the last thing on my mind was what I saw last night. I sat there, at my desk, chatting with a friend on Facebook. And there it was. Under the section called “People you might know” on the right side of the screen, was the name of her son.  
The ex-girlfriend and I have been broken up since 2003. We went through a couple of years of not talking. But, then we started talking every so often. Mostly about pizza. She worked down the street for a competitor. So, we tended to compare sales numbers. You know, lie. 
 
A couple of months ago, I friended her sister. And then about a week later, I saw a friend request from the ex-girlfriend herself. Followed shortly thereafter by her husband. It’s been a long time. We both figured, why not. I’ve always thought we would make better friends anyway. 
 
It was clear long before we broke up, that the relationship was over. I stayed longer than I should have. I stayed mostly indifference to her son. When we started dating, he was about 20 months old. The last time I saw him, he was nearly 5 years old. He was just starting to call me dad. My own father left when I was about 5 years old. 
 
That was incredibly hard to deal with. 
 
Yet, he’s not mine. No matter how hard it was to walk away, I had to keep reminding myself of that. 
 
Although that first year or so after the break up was hard, it has been a good number of years. When we broke up, I thought a time might come when he was older when he might hunt me down. But, back then, there wasn’t a Facebook. When I left, she told him that I moved back to California. That was probably for the best. But, at the time, we lived in the same area. I was fearful that I would run into them. I stayed away from grocery stores and restaurants they might frequent. 
 
Now, they’re living in the mountains. So, I’m less likely to run into them. I’m not sure what would happen if I did see him. Would he recognize me? I saw a picture of him on his mom’s facebook profile. As I’ve written before, he’s not the same kid he was back then. But, I can’t help but wonder if he hates me for leaving like I did after my own father left. Is there a void in his life? Did I create that void? Or did his birth father? I do know his step father. He’s a good guy. I’m sure he’s good to him. 
 
What would he say about what I’m doing with my life? How would I respond if he contacted me? Would he even remember me? Does he remember my name? Should I take down my Facebook profile picture? These are all questions I’ve been asking myself since I saw that last night.
 
Before I shut off the computer last night, I moved the mouse over to his name. I clicked. I saw his profile. Typical 13 year old. Prolific gamer. I smiled when I saw that he likes Jonathan Coulton’s music. Maybe some of my geekery rubbed off on him. 
 
I then returned to the previous page. I maneuvered the pointer over his name again. But, this time I moved it to the right a little. Just enough to expose a little “X”. I clicked it. One second the box was there. The next it was gone. 
 
I loved him like my own. And if he reaches out to me when he’s older, I’ll be here. But, not right now. It has to be his choice. When he’s older. 

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About Frogtosser

A former sailor and pizza maker who is done hiding from the world and is now living life to it's fullest extent. I'm a single speed bicycle commuter who enjoys writing and photography. I'm a voracious reader. And a huge geek!
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