I like to live my life without regrets. I own my mistakes and when questioned in a bar I most definitely would say I have no regrets. But yesterday I was reminded of my past and I realise I have regrets.
In my early twenties I had a girlfriend. It was only a short relationship of a few months but we connected and had an amazing time together. Alas we were seperated by our situations. I was training in a trade in our little town and she was set for bigger things at University. We tried the long distance thing but, and I understand her feelings, she didn’t want me holding her experience back. She was young, first time away from home, and having that commitment would make life difficult.
She returned one weekend and we went out to the pub, she was cold and distant. I am a pretty relaxed person so I didn’t worry about it. She wanted to see her friends and I was happy to wait. But people noted something was wrong even if I didn’t. Walking her home she explained that she wanted to end the relationship. I was very business like “that’s OK. I understand. It’s inevitable really”
She cried. She wanted more from me but I didn’t really have anything to give. I didn’t feel like crying and didn’t see the point in fighting for her. I think the statement “if you love something set it free” best describes what happened. I still remember our parting hug. Cold, awkward, I could feel her bones within her body. As I wandered home to my flat I tried to feel the emotions of the situations. I didn’t feel anything.
She returned about half a year later and we met up for old times sake. She was still beautiful. By this time I had been trying to date at least two other woman and, although there was nothing official, I was close to beginning a new relationship with one of them. She wanted to get back together. It was a choice between something that was easy, and something that was hard. The easy option would be to fall back with her, have some great times, perhaps it would pan out, perhaps it would burn out in a few months. Or the hard option and press on with my efforts elsewhere. I chose the hard option. Perhaps I made a poor decision. Hindsight is 20-20
I do believe I loved her. I still dream about her from time to time. Nothing sexual although perhaps I feel that sort of thrill. Just hanging out and doing things.
So there I was, on lunch, cruising down the escalator in my local Mall, when I see a beautiful woman coming the other direction. I am not shy about checking someone out and I only apologies to people who are repulsed by me, but I was nervous to catch her eye. She looked at me, I looked at her and something sparked in my head. I knew her, but where from? It was the eyes that gave it away. Oh her eyes. Time had made her more beautiful, the feint lines appearing across her thin pale skin and now a cascade of red hair in place of her cropped brown hair when we used to date. I am sure if I posted a photo most people would see her as underwhelming but to me it was perfection. What cut deepest was her young child. I have wanted children since I was one myself. To be able to teach someone, show them the world would be amazing. But this isn’t going to happen for me and that’s now out of my hands.
It was a glimpse into a life I could have lived. I now feel like I am in some sort of movie where I am living two lives. Wishing I could leave one behind and take my place in another. It’s not that I hate my life but I am halfway to the finish line. I just simply want more from my life and perhaps that is selfish. But you only get one life and I feel perhaps I should be doing more with it