What if? What if it could have been love, but it wasn’t? When you find the right person but the timing is always wrong, or something always gets in the way, or the conditions were never enough to bring you together? How many times in one lifetime can you fall in love, the kind of love that’s meant to last a lifetime?
You might never believe in love at first sight, but it does happen. That lovely moment when you first lay eyes on a person and not know a thing about him, only that he was meant to come into your life. And you can’t help but wish or wonder if maybe he would stay.
You can’t forget the first time you ever saw him. The sparkle in his eyes, the smile on his face. The cute jump of his nose or the way he’s left handed. Odd things that you might never have noticed at all, until he wriggled under your skin and into your heart. Now everything about him matters. And everything about him seems so endearing.
It’s strange how life brought you together when you were both vulnerable. You fought your feelings because you thought that maybe it was your loneliness that drew you to him, and you knew one day it would end. But days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months and months turned into years, and eight years later you are as smitten, as in love with him, as you had been from that first moment you laid eyes on him.
But you were never together. You blamed your feelings for him on vulnerability and kept him at arm’s length. You convinced yourself that you had fallen for another, and eventually he found someone else, too. But he was always still there, and you felt things you tried so hard to ignore. You knew you loved him, and he, you, but why was that never enough? How many years were wasted on knowing you were in love but never doing anything about it? Why did you never do anything about it?
You remember how you fell in love with the way he valued even the smallest things in his life. You remember that night when you lay down together, and looking at you with sleepy eyes, he told you that he wanted a future with you. He wanted to marry you and have kids with you, and that quiet moment only made you love him more. Even if you weren’t together. Even if that moment was a chance upon years of friendship when you both finally admitted how you felt. Even if it was a moment that was lost forever, because it wasn’t enough to bring you together. Eight years. Why was it never enough?
Finally, finally. You got your chance. You were ready to be with him. You were ready to tell him, and you knew he was waiting. But he came up to you first.
And told you he was leaving. Leaving the city, leaving the country, leaving you. Leaving for good. And you wanted to beg him to stay, and maybe he would have. Maybe he wanted you to beg him to stay. But you didn’t ask. You couldn’t bring yourself to ask. Because you were scared he wouldn’t stay.
Maybe he would have. Maybe he could have. But he didn’t. And now it’s too late. He left. He’s gone. Because you didn’t ask him to stay. Why didn’t you ask him to stay?
And now all you have are memories of a person you can’t ever forget. Memories of a time you will always remember. A time you had fallen in love with someone who was never yours. A time when you were loved by someone who never had the chance you call you his. All you can do now is remember. Remember and try to forget. Remember and love him as you always have, love him from afar.
Maybe this is what was always meant to happen. Maybe that is enough. It should be enough. To know that somewhere on this earth walks the man who was made for you, but a man who was never meant to be yours. This is the kind of love that is meant to last a lifetime.
And should you ever fall in love with another, and he with someone else, you will know that once upon a time, you had each other. And that once upon a time is all you will ever have.