“I want to start over.”

J’adore do-overs. “Okay, cool. Where from?”

“Um, without you. Sorry.”

Thus begin the seven stages of relationship grief. Denial. Pleading. Stalking. Jealousy. Rage. Homicidal Fantasies. Bitter Acceptance.

It wasn’t the healthiest of relationships. We flashed on and off so often that epileptics couldn’t watch. Friends replaced the hearts around our initials with bio-hazard symbols.

During the pleading stage, I tried the “destiny” card. No go.

“I’m tired of the ups and downs.”

Me, I like the ups and downs. I’d rather ride the roller coaster than sit and watch it twist, climb and dive. Even if it’s a ride I’ve been on before. Sure, you know where the hills are, but your heart still ends up in your throat. Like being in love. The jolt at the end of the fall, the one that made you scream the first time, it still sneaks up on you. But now it makes you laugh.

Sometimes, coming out of a corkscrew, I find myself looking for him — alone in the crowd, holding a box of popcorn for us to share. Stupidly hoping destiny will put him back in the seat next to me. It’d be the best ride.