When I met Ojitos, I was only a few months removed from a tough breakup.
For the first few months after the breakup, I stayed away from the ex. I needed that time away from him in order to start getting over how hurt and angry I felt. It wasn’t easy.
Less than six weeks after it set in that the break up was permanent, a close mutual friend died in a tragic accident. Many of my close friends, including the ex were greatly affected by this loss. In fact, the ex was the one who informed me of our friend’s death. In that process of grieving, I needed everyone close by.
I started hanging out again with the ex as platonic friends. One evening, we had dinner with his roommates and mutual friends at their apartment. Afterward, we played Guitar Hero (I won, of course) and caught up with work and life.
“Have you seen The King of Kong?”
“It’s a really good movie. You should check it out. You’d like it. We totally loved it.”
“Um… me and my friend Ojitos.”
“Who is Ojitos?”
I couldn’t hide my smile and I knew he suspected that Ojitos was more than a friend. So, I told him I was dating someone. The news didn’t seem to bother the ex. Instead, he just asked, “what will your new boyfriend think about you hanging out with me?”
“He’s not my boyfriend. Plus it doesn’t matter. We’re just friends. It’s not like we’re doing anything,” I responded with a veiled naiveté.
I went home a bit later, and things were cool. Well, at least for a week.
The following Sunday, I received a short email from the ex. He asked a question that angered me. Just as I began cursing him underneath my breath, I was interrupted by my cell phone and Ojitos’ assigned ring tone. I left my computer and walked to my bedroom to answer the phone.
Ojitos’ friendly voice melted away the anger I’d felt just a few seconds before. He confirmed our plans for dinner and a movie later that afternoon.
A few minutes later, I returned to my computer and tapped out a quick response to the ex’s email. I was no longer angry, just certain about my answer to his question.