The return of the ex…a story otherwise known as Christmas 2016

Dear xxxxxxx
Thanks for the reply! I feel like writing you because sometimes if I think I’m writing only to myself, I don’t write anything at all and I’ve been rolling around this story of Svenn (the ex who I accompanied to Yellowstone with this summer and then promptly left for a temporary work project in Germany. Then I promptly left Minneapolis to re-group and earn some cash).
The reason I’m thinking of it now is because the story is something I feel belongs in a book not in my life. Each event of our relationship seems like part of a plot and I wonder if that’s why I was attracted to him in the first place? Anyways, you might remember me saying to you that I was over him. Since talking to you, I realized that I don’t really get over people but I get more okay with them being not in my life. So I was still loving him through the fall but learning that I could live without him, and be happy.
Maybe two or three weeks after I lived in this space, Svenn called. He returned from Germany and wanted to meet for coffee. There was only one problem: he was in Minneapolis and I was with my parents in New Hampshire. Geography is so powerful. Coffee date did not happen, but his call sparked feelings which lead to me mailing him a letter that I’d never sent which declared my heartbreak to him before he left, him saying how much he missed me, and a flurry of discussions of starting up an internet business so we could travel the world together.
Long before this in August, before either of us spun out of orbit, we planned a road trip to the East coast for Christmas. Svenn is a rigorous planner, so of course his plan was still on. When I asked if he could come to New Hampshire, he said yes. Gilford was added to the itinerary.
He arrived at 2:45am Christmas eve. I waited up for him, and although my mother set up the spare mattress in the living room, I ragged it to my room at 2:30. I didn’t know if I wanted to sleep with him but I wanted him close to me. He texted me when he arrived on my little street, and I walked out to my driveway with my little dog who hates men. I hugged him when he stepped out. He’d been driving for 33 hours straight, but he didn’t look tired. He gathered his bags and we went inside. The night passed as a lovely dream does, and at one point around 7am, my mom opened my door “looking for the dog”. Was she really? I think she sensed my childhood bedroom had been robbed of its virginity.
By 3:30 that afternoon, before my family even sat down to dinner, Svenn was standing up from the couch, telling me it was time for him to leave. I asked him to help deflate the air mattress to buy myself some time with him. It was fun to jump on top of and look at my popcorn ceiling as we sunk down to the floor. In the driveway, I said “see you soon” and didn’t  wave goodbye. Svenn’s visit kept reminding me why I loved him, and making me incredibly sad because we both moved too fucking fast for each other and neither could pin the other one down.
That night, after he’d gone through Portland, Maine, and before he got to Boston, I called him. He was at a gas station filling up. I said, “I like you and I want to be in a relationship with you, but we can’t be if we live so far apart, and if you really like me you would have spent more than 12 hours at my house today. I’m moving in the coming year and if we decide to make a commitment to be closer to each other, then I can factor that into my decision. Svenn said, “If you move to Minneapolis, we can be together, but you have to do what makes you happy.”
So yeah. That’s the question of the hour. What makes me happy?
–Bethany
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