Tortoise Shell Moment

There was a time that I would have thrived on what I am about to describe, but that time has long passed. So, this is about my ex again. Because of course it is. It is going to take me time to fully process all the shit that went down.


I wondered for months after our break up, if he still thought of me. If there was still a spark, or he missed me. I was feel the pangs of grief and separation, and it would have been a balm for me to have known that he missed me too.

But, by all appearances, he had cut me cleanly out of his life. We were never friends on Facebook because he rarely used it, and since his divorce was pending, it seemed like the prudent thing to do. He did follow me, and I him, on Twitter, but he never tweeted. I on the other hand have verbal diarrhoea. Especially with someone I like talking to? Find it difficult to keep my trap shut. So I had no way of knowing whether any of my pining was being mirrored at all.

Then comes Whatsapp statuses. I was never really into them initially, because why? There’s Facebook, Twitter, and, my recent SM of choice, Instagram. Instagram stories are very much along the same lines of Whatsapp statuses, all of which I believe have been inspired by Snapchat. [I’m too old for Snapchat. I tried to use it and gave up in minutes.]

Side note: I couldn’t figure out the point of Instagram stories in the first place, as I’d rather have those memories permanently visible on my profile. So Whatsapp statuses were not a big deal.

Until I tried it out.


I did not know, going in, that there was this little eye icon next to every post. Clicking on the little eye icon shows you who has viewed your post. Again, not something I knew going in. Interesting.

Mostly, it was a bunch of my friends, and some characters who I am absolutely certain have no clue that the poster can see you’ve viewed their update. These are people who would never admit to being interested in my life, and would probably faint at the thought that this was all visible to me. Not that I minded, to be honest. My life isn’t all that interesting anyway, so go ahead.

Except, the latter category included the ex. Ha!

So I tried a little social experiment. I posted updates regularly, and watched for when his name appeared on the viewers’ list. Invariably, it was either almost immediately or about 10 minutes later. Every. Single. Time.

I even tried posting absolute tripe. Like pictures of flowers. Or an odd thought that passed through my brain. Still. Every time. Like clockwork. His name was on the list.

Two years ago, I would have been jumping for joy, wishing and hoping it all meant something. Now, I just wish he would stop keeping tabs on me. Because I realise that’s what is happening. He may not be a friend on Facebook or an approved Instagram follower, but his best friend is. A best friend, I might add, who is devoted to him, and thinks the sun shines out of his ass.

I realised all this in crashing terror today. Tubelight that I am. So I went about changing privacy settings every where. I even swapped out my profile picture on Whatsapp for one I took of a tree. I am still figuring out ways to limit his access to me online, but I am in full tortoise mode now.

The thing is: he told me he would do this. He told me that, if we ever split up, he would ensure that I was ok. That he would keep an eye on me. I forgot that nugget of information before, and assumed it no longer applied, like the many other promises he broke. But it was true. And I now realise that I may be over him, but he does not appear to be completely over me.

A truly terrifying thought.


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