I stalked him on every Internet dating site each day for the first year, then once a month for the second year. After that, I occasionally went on an all night bender of him online, parsing the words in his updated profile, studying his aging face in his photos, and scoffing at the man he purported to be -- all the while feeling myself longing for him and hearing myself call his name in despair.
He telephoned me again after seven years. He called me monthly, then weekly, then daily. He had two successive relationships with Internet women over the next six months while we talked. Both women rejected him and he was drenched in misery. I commiserated and kept waiting for him to . . . you know, but he didn't.
Last summer, after a late-night telephone call from him in which he recapped the events of his day, I booted up my computer and fired off a one-sentence email, "I'm letting you go." I added a PS that read, "For all the reasons you may think I am doing this, I want you to know that every single one of them is correct." He telephoned, but I did not return the call.