I never expected to see you again, so the surprise you read on my face was authentic, as was the concern that followed. True, there were a lot of years between us saying goodbye and hello again, but there was also a lot of pain. We were kids playing by grown up rules pretending to be so confident, but confused about everything but our names, but not sure how to communicate that to one another. I needed to find my place in the world; you needed to rediscover how to survive on your own, so we needed to be apart.

The days, weeks, months and years that followed found me in a tailspin trying to recapture the feeling of seeing you for the first time. There were times when I thought I’d found it, only to recognize in the next instant, the feeling was counterfeit. I was still a boy dressed in man’s clothes, so instead of moving past the fake, I played with it, making it seem as real as possible, before letting go. In the process, more pain, more lies, more late-night texts and early morning walks to the car from unsuspecting women who didn’t know they were engaged in an epic battle against a myth.

I’ve done my best to tell them they didn’t compare to what I had with you, but you know at times women don’t listen too well or hear what they want to hear. That was a joke, but there’s some truth to it. I wasn’t exactly running from the comfort of the lifestyle I chose for myself either, but a piece of my heart awaited something more, something that it seems only you bring. So, there came time for a change, a time for me to do as best as I could at purging and facing the ugly truths about myself. As with anything else I do, it’s done in the most unconventional way and allows those that pretend to not understand an opportunity to pass judgment, but it is what it is.

I’m not proud of my what I’ve done, but I’m not ashamed either, because it’s all prepared me for this moment. That moment when I would come face-to-face with you again, even though I had no inkling that you would be there that day, I was ready. There were no excuses, an explanation, a few apologies, a couple of laughs, an audience of innocent bystanders, and you and me. But nothing has ever been easy for us, there are still a few hurdles to clear, but this time around we’re open about those issues.

I’m not running away this time in search of answers that are easier found with you in my life and you’re not out to identify yourself in anything else. So much has changed since the time after before I told you, I’m better now, more mature and the foolishness is out of my system (I pray). The word on the street is that you’ve done pretty good for yourself during our divide, our mutual friends kept me up to date on your endeavors, even though I repeatedly told them I had no interest, I listened anyway.

It’s funny you walked back into my life when you did, you had been on my mind for while, but I thought you were becoming a figment of my imagination or I had become Captain Ahab. This time I’m going to be real, this time I’m ready. I never expected to see you again, so the surprise you read on my face was authentic, as was the concern that followed. I know the pain of the previous attempts, but the possibility of this time is more than enough for me to ask, can I get a do over?

About the Writer

Al-Lateef Farmer

“The Bachelor’s Archive” is Plainfield, NJ native Al-Lateef Farmer’s online diary that examines his previous romantic interactions as he attempts to close one chapter of his life and begins to write the next with happier endings in mind. Through these weekly looks in the mirror, he attempts to be as transparent as ever and answer the question he asks himself most, “Do I want to be a bachelor forever?”

Between rhetoric and reality is where you’ll find The World According to Teef, social commentary rooted in independent thought that tackles everything from politics to pop culture, Reality Television to relationships, and is unfiltered, uncensored, unforgiving, but never unreal! Take a trip at http://worldaccording2teef.blogspot.com/