Of course, the story of “….and Then There Was Simon…” does not just end at Happily Never After.
I began writing Happily Never After about four months after Simon and I called things off. By that time, I had kind of just brushed everything off as a fling. We really only knew each other for a few months, I figured he was just a good distraction from all the turmoil that occurred with Kent, and everything that happened between us was just magnified in my over-emotional girl brain.
When I initially began writing, the book was going to be all about Kent. But, as I sifted through some old journal entries and text messages, I realized there was no way I could NOT include Simon; he was so central to the story as well, and so much of what I went through with Simon were the same exact things I went through with Kent–what I think is the true gem of the book—how could I not ignore the fact that both dumped me over the phone?…(but, I have to give Simon some credit, because he did live states away, and I am inclined to think he would have done it in person if he could have).
In order to write this section of the book, I had to put myself back in that time period. I unlocked our text message conversations to each other, dug up my diary entries about him, listened to our playlist, reminded myself of my favorite memories together. This was perhaps my favorite part of the book to write, because, despite the current circumstances, Simon was SO GOOD for me. If anything, we became great friends, and I had SO much fun with him. He distracted me from Kent when I could have been an even more emotional mess. He treated me like a princess. He respected me, made me realize my worth, unlocked some truly Britany-traits, and forever altered the way I view the world and myself.
At the time that I wrote the story, no, we had not talked since “that dreaded phone call”. Initially, I was a little disappointed that he never called me back. When he told me he didn’t think we should be together anymore, I told him, if he was going to be there, and I was going to be here, and we weren’t ever going to see each other, I didn’t see the point in talking. At the time, I had hoped that this would have changed his decision, and he would immediately decide he made a mistake (how attention seeking of me), but that did not work out the way I intended, and he actually never really contacted me.
But, as I began sifting through our conversations, putting myself back into our time together, I began realizing just how real those feelings really were, and that he most certainly was not just a fling. Waltzing around at Christmas? Flying out to visit him? Skiing down the blues in Vail? All real things. I realized that, in my telling him “we just shouldn’t talk”, I was actually giving him an ultimatum (one of those dysfunctional tendencies I learned from being a product of divorce), which is super unhealthy, and unfair to him if he truly did like me, and I started feeling real guilty. Because, at the end of the day, I got defensive because, while I thought I was doing an excellent job of living without Kent, Simon was sensing that I was actually still quite broken, and that I needed some more time (which, in retrospect, he was absolutely correct, and I just smashed all over his correct-ness), and I didn’t want to hear that. I debated for about a month whether I should apologize to him or not. On one hand, I didn’t want him to feel bad about the situation, since it was kind of my fault for being such an emotional mess, but on the other hand, I didn’t want to interrupt his life if he had moved on. I honestly started making myself sick from ruminating about it, so one night, I decided to just call him and apologize. Of course, he answered. We had a nice chat, I owned up to my faults, he accepted my apology, and that was that. Since then, we maybe conversed via text message a few times, but nothing substantial (which, since you know me so well by now, is kind of the way I go–I tend to ‘cut ties’ and ‘trim the fat’ when people aren’t serving me in some kind of way, usually (a) by making me laugh, or (b) doting me with compliments about what a pretty princess I am).
If he scaled the walls of my house, climbed onto the roof, popped into my bedroom in the middle of night, awoke me from my slumber, and told me he made a mistake and wanted me back, I honestly could not tell you how I would respond. I personally have changed so much since we met that it could turn out that we weren’t even compatible anymore. I am much more outspoken, more assertive, more confident in my beliefs, and those could very well not line up with his. Or, since we really only dated for a short period of time, there were many things about each other we never actually discovered, and it could actually turn out that we never would have worked out in the first place. I could have found out that he has really stinky feet, or that he didn’t like the fact that I choose yoga over everything else 99% of the time. Or, he could show up, I could gaze into his eyes, and we would fall madly in love with each other. Since him showing up in my window frame is not a reality right now, I can’t really waste my time pondering the “what if’s”, because the “what if’s” are too extensive, too uncertain, too improbable. What I know at this very moment is that (a) if I ever saw Kent again, I would probably run, scream, and hide under a table and (b) Simon and I do not talk, we have not for some time now, and based on that information, I shall live my life accordingly: as a single-ite. If that status changes, and I find him somehow crouched below my princess bed, then I will address the situation, but not until I am officially in that position (or he is in that position–but I am hoping the German Shepherd would at least warn me first).
Have I dated anyone since Simon?
No. Well, not “seriously” anyways. There have been a few eligible bachelors that have caught my eye, I might have conversed with a few times, hung out with, but no one whose lasted a substantial amount of time. And, that is fine. For whatever reason, no one else has blossomed into anything significant, but it really means nothing. I truly think I needed to spend some time, navigating as a single-ite, before “Prince Charming” came, and I am very happy with the place I am now. Had any of those other options ever worked out, I would not have traveled to Paris, I would not have seen a play at the Globe Theater, and I most certainly would not have written Happily Never After.
Everything has happened exactly the way it was supposed to, and as Luke Bryan sings, “I’m just doin’ my thin, just doin’ my thing, don’t ya worry ’bout me!”.