Yes, we all have one of those... And regardless of how we may rationalize it, somewhere there is always that little pang of I-want-to-kick-myself whenever we think of them. When friends talked about them, I always thought it was about feeling regret that the relationship didn't work out. I now know how wrong I was.
It all started when Vinter said, ‘What?? I can’t believe you didn’t get the one you set your sights on – it never happens!” And the truth is, without meaning to sound too arrogant about it, I’ve always got my man. Whether he was the brooding and intense bad biker boy or the wise-cracking, family-loving, player of heartstrings on a guitar or the super-cute and inspiring SuperBoss – if I’ve wanted them (for whatever reason), they have gotten pulled into my gravitational field.
I’m grateful. But the havoc that was caused – usually by me – while trying to walk away from all those people was enough to make me swear off wanting someone. Don’t get me wrong, I have always and still do want ‘someone cute” or ‘someone who loves me’, but I’ve stopped looking at someONE and saying, ‘I want THAT”. The fallout is too unpretty.
It’s also the reason why, whenever I’ve been asked the question ‘Who’s the one who got away?” – my answer has always been – Nobody. Until now.
VJ walked into my life a couple of years ago. Honestly speaking, when he did walk in, I was too entrenched in my habit of not wanting someone specific to really see the possibilities of him. By the time I began to notice how much I liked him specifically, we’d already planted each other into cute little pigeon-holes. I hadn’t been available, and I soon learned, neither was he. And finally, three years later (Wow, has it been that long already?), I realized that he would never really be available to me.
So now I have a One Who Got Away. Along with that, I have a melancholy sense of regret. Maybe it wasn’t meant to be, maybe we would have sunk like the Titanic, but the regret lies not in not making a potentially wrong choice (again) or having tanked spectacularly, but having had that choice made for me.
I’m not much for an unending longing so, at a three-day music festival where musicians from around the country played songs about love and longing, I found him amidst thousands of people, hugged him tight and said goodbye to that chapter of my life.
The bittersweet ending? While I was hanging out with a friend of mine whom I’ve known and adored (as one can only adore a friend) for ages, I heard him tell his friend, when he thought I wasn’t listening, “She’s the one who got away.”
And yeah, I felt better.