Maybe some paths are meant to be untraveled. But for every beckoning horizon unheeded, another destination is reached. ~from Reunion
“I know I can’t make you mine. I just wonder how it feels to be loved by you.”
You wrote this to me, in that letter that came out of the blue and took me by surprise. You said you were thinking about our almost-love story, the one that ended before it began, ended because I needed to be free. You remember letting me go. I remember, too. Of course I remember.
I smiled as I thought of how far we’ve come — from that agonizing, bittersweet connection to this comfortable friendship between two people who have loved each other in so many different ways. As I typed out my reply to you, I took a risk and said, “I’ve been wondering, too.”
When I wrote that, I was thinking of the boy you were and the girl I was, two mere children who had never known real heartbreak. Sure, we talked about it, we even wrote songs and poetry about it, but our hearts were whole. Not any longer. We’re not that boy and girl anymore, we’ve learned something, if not everything, about the fragility of joy and the riskiness of trust. And so now I wonder: How would it be between us today, between the people that we have become? Will we end up hurting each other with the defenses that we have built? Or will it be a healing bond, a return to the innocence that we lost? The possibilities are beautiful and dangerous at the same time.
You wrote something else in that letter, something about imagining the two of us together for a day. It’s a captivating image — just one day, 24 perfect hours. One chance to finally open that yellowed envelope of our might-have-been, to find out how the unwritten part of our story ends. It’s tempting.
But we both know we won’t do it. We are too aware of each other’s grief to play games with our hearts like that. It would be a mistake, and I don’t want any part of our story to be a mistake. So in the end, despite the sweetness of the possibilities, we both know that this will be another chance not taken, another page left blank because it’s too late now to change the plot. But in my mind, I’ll live those 24 hours with you, and when I return to reality, you’ll also be there, in a friendship that’s better than any daydream.
I’ve never told you this before, but I know that this time it won’t confuse us both:
I love you. You have to know that by now.