Memory is a fickle thing. At times it is our friend, either the keeper of treasured times or the dismisser of those things that are best lost in the mists. Or even outright tossed out with the garbage. A perfect moment, or words best forgotten. The look in his eyes, or the way she walked away. At other times, it can lose those things that should have been kept, allowing to go blurry and shapeless things we long to keep, misplacing faces, names and words that should be retained for one reason or another. A face of a lost loved one, or that word that is on the tip of our tongue.
At these times when memory fails us, disaster can take hold.
These were the thoughts she had as she stared at the screen before her. It had seemed like a simple enough notion, to find a few people to talk with, have some exchanges and meet those who she might not otherwise encounter. Other people had done it, other people had achieved success. Perhaps she would in the end also. But this, oh this was far from that.
At first she had been all too certain that memory had failed her in a rather embarrassing way. In the course of an exchange, the revelation was shared: He knew her. She, on the other hand, did not remember him. It was awkward, but she dismissed it as inconsequential. He gave her no cause for concern. Yes, there could be those people forgotten. It was possible. Something about the face seemed familiar, and yet she could not quite be sure of anything else.
Then, the true reveal. The trick, as it were. A mention of more than merely meeting. They had dated. Had they? She remembered everyone who fit in that category. Couldn't be. He was none of them. Perhaps a difference of definition. He laughed it off, he continued to hint and compliment.
Truth revealed. A dirty trick indeed. A lie continued, the same one he had spouted before. It had fooled her then, until his confession; it fooled her again until she spotted it. Then memories returned, met up with the current situation. Lies, neuroses, and lying under him, hoping he would finish as she considered doing laundry. Ah yes, memories that had been there. It had been the face that confused her, and the lack of information he had provided. Perhaps she had forgotten much about him, or perhaps she had never really known all that much. Memory had failed.
So she said good-bye. Again. And prayed it would actually be final this time. No more having him crop up in her life again, no more reprisals of his little brand of insanity. No more games in which he knew her but she did not know him.
An ex should remain an ex and have the good graces to stay in the past, allowed to be forgotten when the memories are not sweet.