I never knew what to do about friends’ ex-boyfriends. I mean, I knew not to have sex with them, have private conversations about your friend with them and all that obvious stuff. The idea started as she and I shared drinks over the finely lacquered black table, nearly invisible by the dim lighting.
“I didn’t love him in the end,” she said and I nodded awkwardly. We used to come here with him all the time. There was no way to alter the conversation without uttering his name or an implication of him. I didn’t even understand why we were here to begin with. I was probably breaking so many rules in that moment.
He was a figment like so many figments I had in my life. It was strange to think so because the figments I had were ones who used to be attached to me and only me. He was hers. Only hers. I stared into the crowd at the bar. Then I knew. Like a string of rivers, she and I knew many. Once one runs dry, it’s gone. In that moment, he became inhuman to me.

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