Her name is Robin. She was a girlfriend, eleven-odd years ago. In fact, she lived with us, when we first moved to Tampa.
Things ended badly, in no small part because of my own insecurities. At the time, I had this idea that I was somehow magically immune to jealousy; when I started feeling insecure in my relationship with her, I didn't recognize the feelings for what they were, and as a result I was very cruel to her.
Our relationship disintegrated over a period of six very painful months. The repercussions of that failure helped shape many of the rules and structures of my relationship with kellyasmith, structures which have been in place until the last year or so.
A great number of my personal philosophies about relationships, communication, and conflict management came from the ruins of my relationship with Robin. It's safe to say that in some fundamental ways, I wouldn't be the person I am had things with her not gone the way they did. My own regret over the way I treated her has been a part of my psychological background for the last eleven years.
After our breakup, she married and moved to Wisconsin. I had made a few attempts in the years after our relationship ended to get back in touch with her, and let her know that I regret the things i said and did that hurt her. Hurt both of us, really. All for nothing; she refuses to speak to me, and it's hard to blame her, really.
Fast-forward to earlier this week. kellyasmith and I went into a local diner where we eat lunch often...
...and there they were, Robin and her husband, sitting in a booth right by the door.
It's amazing how eleven years of distance doesn't seem to make a damn bit of difference to emotional pain.
kellyasmith is very fortunate; she's never had her heart broken. Even after more than a decade, it still sucks.