To the one who got away,
I was young and impressionable with ambitious goals and you were dreamy and achieving everything I hoped to one day become. Your smile was contagious and your words were beautifully spoken. What started out as a friendly mentor slowly became something more.
The chemistry was strong from the beginning. I know you felt it too. I tried to deny it for a while, but you caught on and started to show me that this passion between us was undeniable. You made me feel loved, cared for, and I knew we had something special; I knew I could happily spend my life with you. You had me awestruck, so absorbed that I could not see those subtle red flags—yes, those red flags that waved against the wind, screaming at me to look, to slow down and notice what was right in front of me. I became “that girl” who was too blind to see the obvious.
Sure, I had my suspicions. Then you would come around and convince me otherwise. We were us in the most beautiful of ways. Similar villains had broken us both. We were healing, and there was comfort in healing with one another, working together to understand the tragedies that we had gone through. And when we were together, we were both indisputably happy, and that was a feeling you could not hide.
However, as beautiful as our time together was, we never made us official. Sure, there was one thousand legitimate reasons why the time to officiate us was not right. But truth be told, if you really wanted there to be an “us,” you would not have let any one of those thousands of reasons stop you.
Love is blind, and love can cut you like a knife. I wore rose-colored glasses and blinded myself to those red flags, and you gradually slipped through my fingers. There was never an explanation. There was never any closure.
Leaving someone without closure may be one of the most selfish acts one can implement. It is comparable to leaving someone in a dark, cold, empty room full of unanswered questions and hope, when in reality there was never any real hope for us.
Despite everything, I still did not see the red flags in front of me. I kept making excuses for you. “It wasn’t like it could have worked out anyway. I was leaving town, I was moving 1,000 miles away! Sure, this was new news to both of us, but it was another 1,000 reasons why it couldn’t work out.” So I let you go and I pictured you as my prince charming that got away.
Then I met my true prince charming. I was love-struck, but I was also skeptical at first. I couldn’t believe something so perfect could actually be real. I was a firm believer in the, “if it seems too good to be true, then it probably is” mentality. For the first time, I felt confident and comfortable and loved 100% of the time. For the first time, my smile was contagious, and I couldn’t stop smiling. If I’m being honest, I didn’t think I deserved his kindness, his patience and acts of love. There were no red flags. There were no suspicions. I finally had my fairy tale ending.
Time passed and the seasons changed. I saw you too had found your person and had some pretty amazing additions to your family. You were the amazing husband and father that I always knew you would be. Life was good for both of us. I was glad.
You can imagine my surprise when I unexpectedly ran into you years later. What were the odds I would ever see you again? You aged, as had I. But your smile was still just as contagious. You asked how I’d been. So we stopped to catch up as old friends do. What was the harm in stopping to say hi to an old friend? Except you were more than just an old friend. You were my prince charming that got away, weren’t you?
Things were different now. You talked as charismatically as you always had, but now I could see the red flags I missed all those years ago. The rose-colored glasses were off. Now I could see you were never the prince charming I thought you were, and you and I were never going to be an “us.” You had me fooled then, but now I know what real love feels like. Now I know what true respect is. Now I thank god I didn’t get what I thought that I deserved all those years ago.
Then it hit me. As I sat there, listening to you talk, your voice faded into the distance and I started thinking how lucky I was to have this moment in time that so many others never get to have. I had closure. You gave me the closure that every person aches to have, the closure that every person deserves to have. So for that, I thank you. Thank you for finally giving me the closure to a long overdue ending.