1. Oh SHIT.
The first stage is sheer panic. No trace of cohesive thought, just panic.
2. *re-evaluates entire appearance*
Why does this always happen when you have “a skin thing?”
3. Why are they here? This is MY place.
This is MY overpriced organic supermarket/hipster coffee place/patch of pavement, they simply cannot be here.
4. Is it too late to pretend I haven’t seen them?
Maybe if I stare at the floor for the next seventeen minutes whilst power walking off the edge of the earth I won’t have to engage.
6. How do I even greet them? I HATE them.
Is throwing fresh veg appropriate in Sainsburys?
7. Okay, remember that quote from Singin’ In The Rain. “Dignity. Always dignity.”
They can’t faze you. They’re NOTHING to you.
8. Time to put a brave face on it…
“Oh, hi there! It has been a long time. I definitely haven’t been hoping you sustain a painful but ultimately not fatal injury all this time.”
9. Small talk. Jolly good.
How long until I can leave this conversation?
10. Great, they’re trying to make their life sound like it’s going REALLY well now that I’m not in it.
Yes, please tell me more about your plans to teach English in Indonesia.
11. Jesus H Christ, this is hard work.
This had better not become a regular thing, I hope really hope they move soon.
12. “How am I doing? Really good. Really, REALLY good.”
*exaggerates entire life to sound busy and interesting*
13. “You look well.” YES, YES I DO.
Self confidence restored. They want me back, I know it.
14. I can’t believe we used to go out.
Was I drunk the entire time?
15. I can’t believe we’re having a conversation like we haven’t seen each other naked a hundred times.
The tension is so palpable you could spread it on toast.
16. Oh no, you have to go?
Thank the Lord. I was considering a well-timed asthma attack.
17. The awkward goodbye.
Do we hug? Do we do a weird we’re-standing-two-feet-apart wave?