It didn't really solve his problems. The fear, the anger, the angst were all there and had nothing to do with her but it wasn't really as if he needed to add up any more shit to the pile he had to deal with. Things would sort out on their own and at their own pace. Mostly, it happened so and in time he would even lower his guard and sand those sarcastic corners a bit.
However, years would pass and the ending between them of years before would weigh in his heart. He was haunted just as the proverbial house on the hill, only his haunting came from himself, his own conscience questioning and pointing fingers at him. What you need or what you can do is not always what you must do, seemed to be the theme. There is right and there is right. It did not bother him so often, though, but then again separation does help ignore those kind of problems, where the presence of other people is a constant reminder of your own shortcomings and failures.
He lived in a sort of lull concerning her, except for those sudden and abhorrable pangs of conscience when a smell, a sound or an image brought her to his mind. At least until she appeared again through one of those fucking coincidences where you wish the people who got you in contact again had fallen dead where they stood. Panic ensued, to be sure, and he sat on it for some days just to see how things fell. Finally, when the pressure of his conscience to make ammends with his past mixed with the curiosity and the need to vent the fear got to a critical mass, he resolved going ahead and apologising for his past behaviour, settling the matter once and for all.
The way she reacted was quite welcoming, which was no mistery, after all those years. However, there was something that did unsettle him, his own feelings, hopes and expectations. The fear that all could go awry once more if he let them unleashed and guided himself by the same naïve enthusiasm and that fraudster, nostalgia, with her whole array of nice past times that never were. He let it cool for a while, for his own sanity.
They saw each other a while later and, all of a sudden, the fear of his own feelings pulled out of the matter entirely. While a part of him had expected, hoped this for a long time, now a certain feeling of disappointment set in. He couldn't be sure if it was her, how she had changed, or if it had to do with him, something related to his own transformations. What he had expected didn't came to be: instead of finding somebody he could relate to, somebody who made him feel warm inside, he had in front of him someone who let him with a lukewarm sensation, just like when you get a coffee or tea cup that has been left on its own for too long and you taste it without agreeing with it at all. He could not exactly identify what to feel for her or concerning her: he didn't despise or hate her but he certainly didn't like the person he had in front of him. She was perky, young and smart, certainly, and her looks, if anything, had improved, but he felt as if the person he had known had been kidnapped and sent to a Guantanamo-like prison where she had been brainwashed with MTV shows 24/7.
He could not get to hate or despise her but he resented her perkiness and social grace as reminders of his own streaks of biterness and gruffness (the invisible scars of the past which he rarely let show out of manners, a habit which would probably cost him an ulcer), not that he was any worse socially that the next guy but her charm for being the centre of attention combined with her physical attractive made it easier to feel a breach, an insurmountable distance between both. On the other hand, he felt he had exorcised his ghosts: he had offered his apologies and these had been accepted, so he had closure. The present, however, didn't seem interesting or promising. Whatever bonds existed, they were now faint and barely visible and though she could outshine the moon at night, she simply brought too much baggage with her.