Everyone has one. One person in their past that the unfathomable “What If” surrounds their memories and their name. The one that got away.
Mine was Jonathan. I saw him in a play at my church, he was in a college drama group. My heart melted Later that same year I went to an event with my friend and I saw him across the room. My heart floated.
The next year, not even thinking of him, I transferred universities. And he ended up in one of my classes. Turned out he was friends of a mutual friend so we would see each other outside of class as well. Oh how I liked him. Sometimes we would say hello, other times have light conversation. We hung out as friends a few times. And I was falling in love.
I think the clencher for me was when we left English class one cold winter day. I had a bit of a cold. Either he told a joke or I attempted one…I laughed. HARD. And blew a snot bubble. Let me say it louder for the people in the back. I BLEW A SNOT BUBBLE IN FRONT OF THE GUY I WAS SECRETLY IN LOVE WITH.
And he simply looked away while I fumbled to clean my nose. We kept walking and he kept conversation going.
A few months later we were officially in a relationship. We dated for a year or two, and breaking up was hard for both of us. I don’t really remember why we broke up. I transferred schools again. He left to go home for the summer. He was graduating and not sure of his life course. A combination of all or none of these.
It was over. We talked maybe two or three times after that. We moved on. I got married. My marriage was an unhappy one riddled with infidelity, identity theft and dishonesty (read all about red flags here), and I remember wondering what my life would have been if only Jonathan and I had connected or tried harder.
Then my divorce happened and the healing started. I reached out to him again, in a professional manner, to get help with a small project at my work. I hoped it would develop into something else, but I think he was seeing someone. I remember talking to him a few more times, then social media became a thing, so there was no need for a yearly-catch-up-phone-call.
He was always the one that got away. My what if.
But now almost 20 years later, I am grateful for the time we shared, but have more gratitude that that was it. Only time we shared, not a life. I’m grateful we were not meant to be intertwined nor one.
Had we taken a different path, we would both be different people. I would not have met the people that I have nor be the woman that I am. I would not be me.
I do not think about him anymore. Do not wish for a different past or present. I am only full of gratitude that our paths crossed and continued separately.
I am sure he is a wonderful man, wonderful husband, wonderful person.
And that is my message in this article. I can’t put into words the deep feelings I had for this man. Only that with all the joy that was in that relationship and friendship I have so much more joy and gratitude that it ended.
I think everyone has a person. That someone. That ‘if’. But give it time and eventually you will be glad that you went your own way as well.
Does anyone else feel this way?