Everyone says, “Don’t do it.” It’s wrong, you broke up for a reason, they aren’t good enough for you. (It almost feels like an insult, in a way, because that implies that this person who is now not up to your imagined standard was at one point a match for you — were you worse back then?) Your friends will take your hands in theirs and look you in the eye and get really, really serious. “Don’t you remember all the bad things? The way they made you feel?”
You do, of course, but it’s not the same kind of feeling they’re talking about. You remember feeling home with someone, feeling loved in a way you haven’t since the breakup, feeling electrified by the touch that had been missing for so long.
Maybe it’s that touch, anyway. You let someone touch you so many times that your body takes it for granted, it becomes numb the way your tongue does after too many sour candies. You forget the way it used to make you feel, the way you used to need it, the way you fell in love with it after the very first time. And then you lose it, for one reason or another, and it’s all you can think about. You can’t believe that you ever let it go, and getting it back is the most satisfying thing you’ve ever experienced.
It’s like stepping into a hot shower after standing naked in the cold for way too long.
Everyone wants an explanation, everyone wants to be part of this decision. They expect that every ex is the same, they are all the kind you feel guilty for sleeping with, the kind you try to hide away from the more relevant corners of your social life. You are supposed to have that one night of completely regrettable sex and then forget it ever happened, you’re not actually supposed to reignite everything.
But you have, and it’s lighting everything on fire. Everything in your life that was once scattered to every corner of the room from their abrupt departure is back in a certain kind of order, it’s making sense to the point where you can fall asleep at night without any sleeping pills or half a bottle of wine. Things are back to where they are supposed to be, and you feel good.
Your friends want so badly for things to work out for you, they don’t want you to get hurt again, they don’t want you to stay up at night and look at their pictures online. And you know, in some tiny part of you, that they might be right. Things didn’t work out a first time, why in the world would they work out a second? You both say that you are different, but do we ever really have enough perspective to say such a thing about ourselves? You don’t want to look your best friend in the eye when she tells you that you are making a mistake, and that this can only end badly. But then you look your ex in the eye and all you can see is a deep, personal need to have them be your partner again. It’s something that can’t be justified or explained away to concerned friends; none of it is going to make sense again.
And if you get hurt, that will be all your fault. There will be no one to blame but yourself. Your friends will look at you with a mix of pity and knowing disapproval. They would have warned you, and you will have ignored them.
Your ex pulls you in their arms they way they used to, makes you feel the way you haven’t in months and months. And suddenly you can’t even hear your friends’ warnings. Suddenly you can’t even hear yourself think. Suddenly, all you can feel is their arms. And all you can see is the two of you together again.