THE NEW VERSION

Anna Bradley-Smith

Wikipedia the world’s fountain of knowledge had to tell me my ex-boyfriend’s birthdate today.

I wanted to wish him a happy 29th or 30th, I also needed to check which it was. Things blur quickly with change. I try to end relationships on good terms, often boiling down to an annual birthday well wish.

Scrolling through the brief bio section I got what I needed and what I’d seen so many times over – when we first starting talking I would Google him incessantly with nerves. But I also got some news.

Through Wikipedia I found out a relationship section had been added to his profile and that a woman with her own Wikipedia page was now his partner.

It’s been more than a year since we were together, 13 months actually. I’ve thought of him as anyone thinks of an ex living on the other side of the world…I wonder if he remembers how I said T-Pain would make a comeback this year, has he found cornbread as good as what we had in Chicago, was he upset Kyrie Irving went Boston?

But I hadn’t pictured him with another girlfriend.

I clicked on her Wikipedia page and was greeted by a smart, ambitious, compassionate-sounding and beautiful stranger. The country’s first refugee MP, a young Iranian woman standing for the Green Party.

For the majority of our relationship I lived in New York and him in Auckland. We were equally bad at setting a routine for talking and we hardly had corresponding holidays. I was trying to make it as a writer in the big city (still am), he was a comedian and social commentator very much based in New Zealand (still is). After a while I realized I didn’t want to go back and told him; it ended.

Looking at her, this new part of his life, I felt strange – not jealous or like I regretted anything, but like there was some finality to the end of another relationship. Like one more person I knew had moved on, and I’d been pushed out properly. It sounds really selfish to write it down, and maybe it shows selfish motives for staying in touch. But the people I’ve dated I’ve loved, and why would I completely want to lose loved ones.

I still sent my one month late, probably unappreciated birthday email. I won’t be surprised if I don’t get a response, and I won’t hold it against him either.

His new girlfriend is amazing. He deserves her, I’m sure she deserves him.

And I’m happy here; but it still feels strange.

 

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