You know I saw you twice last week? You walked past me while I was in the school yard with my new girlfriend and her daughter. You looked at me didn’t you? I looked at you, but I wasn’t sure it really was you. I realised it really was you when someone called out Your name. Then I knew. Then once again last Saturday. I’ll tell you more about last Saturday later.
I haven’t seen you since I acted like nothing, said something non-important and closed the door behind me for the last time. You stood there non the wiser with your mothers arms on your shoulders. Your mom knew I wouldn’t see you again, you didn’t know and wasn’t told. Not until I was gone and your mom could tell you anything she wanted. In private. Without me to tell my side of things. Maybe your mom was nice about it and said we broke up because she didn’t want any more children, and explained how I wanted children – which obviously does not add up that well together. Perhaps that was it? I asked her how you took it. She just said you nodded and told her it was alright. Like it was no big deal. Maybe that’s the truth you know. But what if it’s not? Maybe you feel like I do, because I really miss you sometimes. Is there a chance that since I miss you, you also miss me? Do you know that last time I was with you for breakfast? How I knew it was the last time we had breakfast together and my eyes were all swelled up and I struggled so badly not to cry? I knew it was the last time we spent time together. Your mom didn’t even get it.
I am terribly sorry for coming into your life and then disappearing without a trace or a word. I gave you good night hugs, played video games with you, watched TV with you. And then it was no more. You will come to realize this later on, when boyfriends pop into your life, that they will mostly disappear again. Just as you will do with your boyfriends when they disappear, I don’t really think much about your mom any longer. But it’s different with you. I often think about you. I walk past your dads house with my dog, and I always hope to catch a glimpse of you. To wave or say hello.
Do you remember that time when I basically begged your mom to look after you while she was at work? When we went to the movies, ate candy and sent your mom funny Snapchat photos? Do you know that taking you the movies opened up a world to me that I had never been in before? I could finally get a sense of how its like to be a father and take a 10 year old to the movies. We met an old acquaintance of mine, do you remember? He looked at you. He was probably wondering if you were my daughter or not. I didn’t correct or inform him about you. I liked how his mind most likely wandered to “wow, I didn’t know he had a daughter”. For him, perhaps he concluded that you were my daughter. I was so proud. I felt proud. I was proud that you wanted to go to the movies with me. Trusted me in your company. Proud that I was an adult taking a little girl to the movies. It was as exciting for me as my first movie date with a girl back when I was 11 years old. That is how much it meant to me. Maybe above all things, I felt normal.
You know, I’ll tell you in my words why I’m not around any longer. Your mother changed her mind. She didn’t tell you that didn’t she? How she with such emotion and care told me she wanted another child, and that it would be with me. How we both cried out of happiness that we had decided on an important issue. It wasn’t about trying for a baby at once. It was just a general agreement that this would be part of the deal if we stayed together. Maybe in a year, maybe in two, or maybe in three. Its something you will discover when you get older. Its an issue all adults discuss at some point sooner or later. But two months later she changed her mind. She changed her mind about a very, very important issue. Online, if you read American articles about it, they call it a “dealbreaker”. She changed her mind. It put me in a horrible decision where I had to choose between her and you, or a potential future with my own children. It’s such a huge gamble to take, but I had to follow what I thought was right. I was right to leave your mother, but I feel very bad for her still. I am so sorry she went through so much in the past. Your mother is very strong. Hopefully you will understand what she’s been through once you get older. When thats said, I can’t forgive her easily for how she messed up my world just when I was coming to grips with it. I have been so mad at her for it. So frustrated. So pissed off. So angry at how she accused me of things, calling me things. It was such shocking behavior. I wasn’t used to it. I am still frustrated about it. What she might tell her friends, her family or new boyfriends about me. I wish I could tell you my side of things. You would understand.
And then came last Saturday. I was not far from you. You didn’t see me inside the building. I saw you leave though. My girlfriend was talking to her ex. Isn’t that funny? I didn’t like it that much. I often feel a bit left out in these situations. Her ex got two children. Even adults compare themselves to others you see. I do too. And so I feel left out and bummed out because I compare myself to him, that damn ex. I feel lonely even. Imagine that, lonely even with so many friends, family and even a girlfriend that cares so much for me. I was standing there, feeling exactly those things when you walked past heading for the exit. You, the first girl I ever had any parental feelings for so close to where I was standing. With my new family all occupied talking with this ex-boyfriend, I decided to walk after you and say hello to you. Reach out to you. If you were far away, I would shot out your name and make you stop. Ask how you’d been. How school is. How your mother is (thats just for politness you know). Tell you how I often stay just two houses away from your dad or ask if you remember when we went to the movies.
I hurried out the door and turned right – around the corner. I saw you walking down the street. Just 40 meters away.
I chickened out. I didn’t shout your name or do any of those Things I wanted. I just saw you leave.
I wonder how long it will take until I will see you again somewhere and maybe muster enough confidence to say hello.
Afterwards, my girlfriends seven year old daughter said she liked my girlfriends ex better than me. I know she’s just trying to annoy me and seek attention, but my legs were all shaky and I felt really bad. Mostly because I so badly wanted to say hello to you.
Maybe next time?
I miss you.