I’ve finally seen my ex-fiance after a year apart – and it’s brought up unexpected emotion


The ex-fiance and I started texting occasionally. We send jokes, silly news stories, we ask each other how we are doing – although I’m not sure either of us really wants to know. He tells me he still reads everything I write, but doesn’t mention the things I’ve written about him.

I wonder if the texts will turn romantic – but they don’t and I’m relieved. He tells me he is seeing someone else and I’m surprised how it stings. I don’t mention Alex.

Finally, after a year of negotiation, we come to an agreement over the dog. I can see her for a fortnight if I drive to the Peak District to collect her from his parent’s house. He won’t be there as he’s working in London, but she’ll be waiting with a box of my clothes. I hope they’re jumpers – the van is getting Arctic.

It’s not cold but I’m shivering when I arrive at his parents’. I remember when he first brought me here to meet them and we sat up all night drinking champagne, his mum and I giggling as she teased me that I swore like a sailor then mouthed, ‘Marry her,’ at him behind my back.

He proposed to me here at Christmas. And I told him to ask me again in the morning because he was drunk – and he did.

My ex’s father is standing in the driveway. He gives me a hug but I don’t cry because Alex is waiting in the car. From the garden the woofing begins, becoming frantic as a black fur ball bounds out, wiggling wildly, jumping over my head, licking my face for the first time in a year.

Stringerbelle and I spend a fortnight snuggled in the country. I am angry she hasn’t been flea treated, despite asking the ex to do it before I picked her up. She gets a tic and I have to take her to the vet, swearing about the ex in my head. I’m swearing at him again as I head into London frustrated that I have to do all the travelling.

While I’m on the train, my friend Martin texts: ‘What you doing?’ ‘Heading to London to return the dog,’ I reply. ‘What! Are you OK?’ he worries. I tell him I’m fine. Although I hadn’t quite clocked that this is the first time I’ll see my ex in person since I left him a year ago.

‘You can’t go alone,’ insists Martin. Then stops texting because he is running to the station.

‘Ridiculous!’ I think. I’ll just hand Stringerbelle over, say hi to my ex-fiancé, and won’t think about when we first picked her up and he said, “Now we’re a family.” Or how I spent six years of mornings with my nose squashed to her velvet ears, our heads pressed against his chest.

As the train pulls into Paddington my anxiety becomes real. A feeling, not of wanting him back, but knowing that seeing him will cement the reality of the life I’ve built without him.

I see him at the gate and suddenly know I can’t look him in the eye, so I stare down at Stringerbelle, panicking. My stomach is jelly. Nothing feels right to say. Everything is blurring and then suddenly there are strong arms around me, holding me, and it’s Martin walking me to a bar.

Hungover, back at the van in Somerset, I open the box of clothes. It is not jumpers, but outfits from all the festivals the ex and I would go to. L and I pull out the sequin kaftans, glitter bomber jackets and tassel skirts, then turn up the stereo and dance around the fire.

You can read Katie Glass’s column, What Katie did next, every Saturday from 6am on telegraph.co.uk

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