To all the plans that will never be: I hope in a parallel universe they’re unfolding happily, without ever having to realize they never were. Each entitled to their own misfortunes and misgivings, neither better nor worse off than our reality.
When I broke up with my ex-boyfriend, the words that were exchanged were terse. But after I coolly delivered the severing blow and the words exited my knotted gut, at first he didn’t say a thing. Then, his voice broke as the words slice through the silence: “We had plans.”
I once heard that when you break up with someone, it’s not just everything that transpired that you lose, it’s everything that will never be. It’s all those things you said you’d do, that white patio you want for your first house, how you want your first kid to play the piano. Dreams and promises that once felt so tangible that suddenly becomes an impossibility, almost an absurdity.
When my father died, often what sent me into shaking fits of tears was the thought of all the things we wouldn’t do. That he wouldn’t walk me down the aisle or make silly faces at his grandkid. In those moments the visions feel as clear and real as things that have passed.
But it’s not just things that have been discontinued—what of my current boyfriend’s flippant thoughts (let’s go on a midnight picnic tonight!) that send my mind racing with images and anticipation, only to be rudely replaced by a different reality (Nah, I’m too tired).
There is no moment like the one that just passed, and I’d like to think that in that moment, our realities diverged and we’re happily perched on a blanket under the hazy moonlight.
And so perhaps in a futile attempt at consolation, I want to believe that all the things that will never be will congregate in another space and time, like the little land of lost objects in Cecelia Ahern’s A Place Called Here or the wishes we make upon a star, eyelash or penny all coexisting within a wish world, one that, like our dreams, could very well be as real as our reality.
To quote the most respected authority on wishful thinking in the world:
Harry Potter: “Is this real? Or has this been happening inside my head?”
Dumbledore: “Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?”