It was late Thursday evening and I was on the way back from showing a house to someone in the county south of Birmingham. On the way back, a traffic problem on I-65 meant I was routed through a suburb where I haven’t been in years. I found myself just a few blocks from the home of a woman I once dated — and I spent the next hour or so thinking about the past again.
I found myself wondering what I’d say to her if I ran into this woman in her neighborhood. What do you say to someone who you used to know intimately and then the relationship ends with an ugly screaming halt, leaving two people strangers in the future?
I hadn’t thought seriously about her in years, but I realized tonight that I wouldn’t want to rehash the past if I talked with her. I was very unhappy with the way our relationship ended, but I had given her reasons to be unhappy with me. I’ve blamed her for how things ended, but where do you draw the line? Do you mark the fault at how she handled things at the end? Or do you go back to my mistakes and blame me for creating the problems?
I suddenly realized it didn’t matter. I was grateful that she once loved me, but I was equally grateful that the relationship ended. Some relationships between two decent people need to end — and this had been one of them.