New e-mail.

Huh.  It’s from Mr. X.  Don’t read it.  You got an ugly and unclear but ultimately clean break.  If he hadn’t disappeared on you, you’d still be entangled with him, and he is not the one you’re supposed to be with.  Just delete it.

But I want to know what it says.  DAMNIT.

He’s sorry he abruptly ceased communications.  He found someone he thought was the one, was trying to be respectful, things have been turbulent with her, a lot of breaking up and getting back together, it’s not going to work out, he’s doing better financially, he gave away his dog that you love to someone who can spend copious amounts of time with her, and he thinks of you a lot.

Yeah, I’ll bet you do, you drama magnet.  I’m intense, but I’m transparent and even-keeled.

Ok, now you know.  Delete it.

I have to answer.

There isn’t a single question in his e-mail.  There is nothing that requires a response.  Delete it.  Knock out the next thing on your long list of to-dos.  Oh, crap, you’re hitting “reply.”

So many more questions — what was her name,

when and where and how did you meet her, do you have a job now, did you end up getting evicted, what happened with your alcoholic, grieving roommate, why can’t you spend time with your sweet dog that we both adore to the point that you gave her away, why did being respectful to “the one” preclude you from telling me, “I’ve found someone else,” rather than not responding to my “Are you alive?” e-mails?

Each question is an entangler, offering another hook that will then have to be detached.  You’re a bottom line kind of girl, so find out the bottom line.

Sorry she wasn’t the one.  Sorrier about the dog.  What outcome are you looking for from me?

New e-mail.  That was quick.

He doesn’t expect anything from anyone anymore.  He enjoyed what we had, but had a hard time with the distance.  He feels guilty about how he ended things because he wouldn’t want someone to do the same to him, and his conscience dictates an apology.  Outcome is whatever you decide.

Ah, here it is, the attempt to get a tiny hook to land, the indication that he would like to start things up again with you:  whatever the outcome you decide, hurry, because he is pulling into your city, jk.

“Just kidding,” his favorite, passive-aggressive shield.

Buddy, if you’d bothered to tell me what was happening, there might be a sliver of a chance, but you didn’t. I worried about you.  A lot.  Because I was certain you respected me enough to tell me the truth if you wanted to end things.  I almost called hospitals and police stations to find out about you.   Then I figured out through some serious and humiliating internet stalking that you were totally fine. It turned out you didn’t have any respect for me at all and chose to do the cowardly, mean thing and drop off the face of the earth.  And that made me cry for days.  No.  You’re never going to see me in person again.

He could be sweet, though.  He taught you how to make great cocktails.  He cooked you delicious food.  He never expected or asked you to clean up after meals.  He made you laugh.  Your chemistry with him was amazing.  And you have all those unanswered questions.  You don’t have to be involved with him again to find these things out.  You could be friends.

Friends?  Are you serious?  Why?  He’s selfish, and he rarely takes responsibility for his actions.  If he weren’t hurt and… lonely, he would never have apologized.  Your friends are amazing:  thoughtful and compassionate and respectful and kind and hard-working and generous and loyal.  If you drew a Venn diagram, you would have to engage in some extreme rationalization to get him on the chart.

But I have all those questions about his residence and life and dog.

There are a lot of mysteries in life that will never be solved.  Best to add these to the list.  Close the door.  You’re about to embark on potentially the best or worst dating adventures of your life with the matchmaker.  Keep your slate clean, keep your eyes on the present, leave the past in the past, let sleeping dogs lie, insert whatever other cliche you want here as long as you let it go (hahahaha — I slipped in a reference to that damned song).

Also, he didn’t explicitly state an outcome he’s looking for.  You’re a lawyer — don’t answer any questions that he didn’t ask.

Ok.  Thank you for the apology.  I’m glad you’re doing ok.

Closure of a sort.  I still want to know.  I want to see what happens next for me more.

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