Just before the weekend, I received an e-mail from an old flame from the university days.
Ours had been a romance that hasn’t got anywhere beyond going together to a few student parties, or to a few beers, and a lot of thinking and dreaming. When I was in love with him, he was reluctant, and then, when he seemed to be very interested in me, it was too late, I was already with the guy who was to become my husband. Ironical, as life always is.
We haven’t seen or even spoken to each other for many years – there were several thousand miles, physically, in between us, at some point, as there are even now. I’ve never since thought of him as a lover or anything remotely like that, although he has always been special to me. There is some sort of a connection there, a sympathy that goes beyond a regular friendship.
Then, five or six years ago, we discovered by chance that we where in the same town again and he paid us a visit. He knows my husband too, very well, because they were high-school classmates. After that, we kept in-touch occasionally, through e-mail mainly, exchanging news and pictures, not deeper thoughts. He’d moved far away, for work. There, he got married about two years ago and had a baby last fall.
Then, on Friday, he suddenly drops this semi-bomb. “I’ve wanted to tell you this for a long time. Seeing you again had an effect on me. On one hand, I was glad that you were doing fine and that you looked great, on the other, there was some melancholy… (If you don’t know why, ask me and I will tell you…)”
Of course, I knew why and, of course, I asked him.
“I was thinking we were a good match for each other,” he wrote back, “and about why it didn’t happen. You are very special to me.” He was probably right, we are both tall, and smart, and beautiful…
I admit I was a bit shaken, and flattered in a way, rather than upset, and I thought of him quite a lot during the weekend, entertaining thoughts of how a(nother) life together could’ve been. Strange how the mind works. Words are powerful, words can create or destroy worlds, as anyone knows, they can change perspectives, even whole lives.
What’s the point of this, especially now? Nothing will change.
Besides, Daniel is the only one with whom, were he to ask me, I would rise to my feet and leave this very second.