For the past few nights I have been dreaming of a boy who once upon a time impossibly kept me together when my mind was threatening to tear itself apart. I haven’t thought about this boy in quite a while, and yet there he is, popping into my subconscious and apparently not intending to leave. Interestingly enough these dreams do not consist of the past or ideas of what could have been, but instead they are of long-overdue reconciliation. I’m not dreaming of a past boyfriend. No, this boy is much more special than that. This boy is, in my opinion, The One Who Got Away. The first, in any case.
Everyone has or will have one (or several) of these lovely people spring up in their lifetime. Perhaps this person was a long-time love interest who just managed to slip your trap, or maybe you two were once in love and then parted ways. Or, in my case, you were too blind to see this person. Either way, this person will most likely forever haunt you. In a few years (or even now) you will be happily married with a few kids and a nice life, only to be interrupted by the fleeting thought of another life that could have occurred, had a few decisions been re-evaluated. And when this thought enters your mind, hopefully you are to the point where you can sigh and smile and move about your day. For me, however, I am not at that point yet.
Instead, I am dreaming about reconciling with this boy, even though it has been over 3 years since the incident that ended our relationship.
This whole story is like a romantic drama; boy meets girl, they form a friendship. Girl gets swept away by another boy, and this other boy is not good for Girl. Boy is there through Girl’s good days and bad days. Boy goes out of his way for Girl, all while the Girl is drowning in tears caused by the other boy. Girl’s sights are blurred by the tears and are unable to see Boy’s feelings towards Girl, but Boy isn’t bothered by this. Instead, Boy stays by her side and keeps her together.
This is the part in the story where Girl is supposed to realize the other boy is not good, and Boy suddenly steps out of the blurriness and Girl falls for the Boy she was supposed to fall for. But in my story, this doesn’t happen until much later, when Boy has given up. You see, Girl’s heart was so tattered by the other boy, it took 9 months for the blurriness to go away from Girl’s eyes. And by that time, Boy was gone.
I spent months after that trying to win back his affections, and I was a fool to do so. It hadn’t occurred to me before, but I had hurt him, and he couldn’t forgive me. Not fully, anyway. We still talk to each other on occasion, meeting up again for lunch with friends after long breaks away, and we only ever talk to each other during those times. Sometimes, during those lunches, we accidentally slip back into our old friendship and I wince, but I doubt he notices those faint familiarities. And then when we part ways, I go to my car and cry.
It’s no wonder I’m still having dreams about him. Months after he gave up and I finally fell for the boy I was supposed to fall for, we tried to talk things out once or twice. The talks didn’t end well, and the wounds were still fresh. We went from talking everyday to avoiding eye contact, and it remained that way for a few years until we first met up for lunch last year. By that point, he has his own The One Who Got Away. That’s how it works, isn’t it? I still have dreams about him, and he probably dreams about her. I doubt I cross his mind, and that’s okay. I suppose that is how it is supposed to be when you don’t get closure. Either you can’t forget or you make yourself forget.
I seriously doubt I will try and reconnect with him, though my dreams are telling me to and the thought has crossed my mind more than once. I picture myself picking up my phone and typing out a quick “Hey, how’s it going? Haven’t talked in a while.” and hurriedly hitting the ‘send’ button before I change my mind. But I won’t do it, because that’s not how real life works most of the time. It won’t be a cheerful reunion. We will have to talk about what happened, and I won’t put him through that after so many years of ignoring it. Instead, I will continue to ignore the dreams and wait for that point of just sighing and smiling and going about my day.