Once, I dated a guy who wasn't so great. An example of his not-greatness is that if you Google his name, his Megan's Law sex offender profile is the third thing that comes up in the results (for more than one offense.) And that doesn't even count what he did to me, because I never reported.
It's been eight years since I've spoken to him or seen him, and in those eight years, I've done a lot of capital-P Processing. Like: running out of clubs crying, talking to therapists, writing truly terrible, thinly-veiled short stories about My Worst Ex. And for the most part, now, I don't think about him that much. At least, I don't think about him as much as I used to -- which was a lot.
Sometimes, though, like today, I dream about him, and I wake up with a feeling that lasts with me all day -- a deep, sad feeling, down to the skeleton.
And I think things like, He gave really great hugs. Not too tight. Very gentle. Embraces, really.
Oh, of course he had a temper, too. Obviously. But those hugs.
Well, I tell myself, don't dwell. It's been so many years. Both of you are such different people now. You're happy; he seems all right. But the sorrow is hard to ease out of, like a grimy skin that can't be shed.
Then I move on. I go to sleep. I dream about something else.