The now unfamiliar ringtone of my Blackberry woke me up from my sleep. The melody was a distant tune that lingered somewhere far in my recollection.

Long ago, I designated that specific melody to someone, but I hadn’t heard it in quite some time and couldn’t remember who that someone was. Too tired to leap over my boyfriend, I ignored the roaring sound of the ringer.

It wasn’t long until the song came blasting in my ear once again. Who was calling me in the wee hours of the night? These were booty-call hours and my guy was already there with me.

Curious to learn who this mystery person was, I got my lazy behind up and saw the name Jos appear on the phone. The old hometown fling I had tried to say goodbye to over and over again, but never really had the courage to actually say goodbye to, was now blowing up my phone after a long hiatus.

Although I never had the courage to say goodbye, he always had the audacity to say hello again. I was used to him coming in and out of my life in the past, but it had been so long now.

After more than a year had passed, here he was again to make yet another grand appearance on the stage called my life and once more sneak away like a masked phantom.

Who did this guy think he was? It was so bold of him…so courageous of him. How dare he be so inconsiderate and think that he could get away with these late-night calls as he did in the past. The nerve he had, calling me at this hour, waking me up out of my sleep, and making me leap over my boyfriend who had somehow slept through this whole blasting phone ordeal.

He always did know when to call never when I was away for a long time and always when I was making my way back home. When I was coming home for Thanksgiving break he would call. When finals rolled around and Christmas break was a week away, there he was again, on the other side of the ringer. Unspoken but well-known, we were committed when I was home and single when I was away. And after so many years, I finally grew tired of playing house.

I didn’t know whether to be sketched out or flattered this time around, especially after such a long time. I was sure he had forgotten about me and had just pressed the wrong sixth letter in his phone, during his miserably failed attempt to call Charlotte, rather than Charlene.

Did I even have the courage to answer this phone call from a guy I had so long ago promised I would never let into my life again? So badly, I wanted to know what he had to say… so badly.

Maybe it was that he’d missed me and just wanted to hear my voice, or maybe it was that his nephew had finally taken his first step. All of these things were great, but did I want to be a part of his present, when I had wished him to be a permanent part of my past?

I looked at my boyfriend, lost in his dreamland of naked supermodels and booze, and then back at the ringing phone. I knew I could do one of two things: walk out of the room and speak to this now-stranger or press ignore and move on with my life. The phone stopped ringing, but I knew he would call back.

I had this guy from my past, who once meant so much to me, trying to rip the walls of my present down and become a part of my world once again; then I had the guy who I adored and considered my best friend, laying so serenely at the edge of my twin-sized bed.

Did I want to risk having this guy enter my life again and put my relationship in jeopardy due to this potential late-night conversation with an ex-lover?

Jos was a guy I’d shared so many memories with, and his friendship was once dear to my heart. That was worth something, right? I struggled with the situation, because the poor guy deserved at least for me to answer his calls… right?

Wrong. It wasn’t even worth considering. I made my way back into my guy’s arms as the last ring pierced my ears. I wouldn’t let this guy be a visitor in my life anymore. I was done playing house with this stranger.

Cooper is a member of the class of 2012.

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