One thing that I’ve learned in my meager but colorful dating history is that it’s never good to have an ex-boyfriend who’s too ordinary-looking. That average build, average height, average Joe with brown hair and the slightest hint of a receding hairline. No indeed, once it’s over you don’t want the person who incites in you a sense of sheer panic also be a person who looks like almost everyone on the subway.
I think maybe it’s for April’s sake, that I get so jumpy. I won’t even be thinking about him, and yet I’ll see him everywhere. And every time, I get that visceral punch in my gut, a twinge telling me to bolt.
It’s not that he’s dangerous, or mean, or anything like that. It’s just the way he left; he isn’t here at all. It’s like he erased himself from my life. I still wake up sometimes and reach over for him across the bed, expecting to find his scent buried in a pillow.
I never tell April, but I think she knows just the same. It’s amazing how much she perceives, how she can feel out my moods and can be so grown up as to comfort me. I don’t think I was that smart when I was her age! Perhaps I should have named her Athena. She’s already turning out to be stronger than her mother.