The One That Got Away: An Ode To Almost Love
Throughout the course of our lives most of us have relationships that run the full gamut between success and failure. We have relationships where we end up breaking hearts and relationships where our hearts end up broken. We have relationships that end in disappointment and then we have relationships that are life fulfilling answers to everything we’ve ever prayed for. In today’s post, I want to explore another kind of relationship. Today I want to explore the relationship that just ends. It doesn’t end because someone cheated or lost interest and it doesn’t end because of some great misdeed. Sometimes the universe just conspires against a relationship never allowing it to reach its full potential despite every feeling we have that leads us to believe it should be the contrary.
My freshman year in college I met girl. I noticed her walking from our quad to class and when I got to class, she was there. I didn’t sit next to her because you don’t want to come off too thirsty in these situations. But, upon leaving class I did make it a point to introduce myself and walk with her back to the quad. The chemistry was immediate. I was the extroverted-know-it-all-comfortable-being silly-yin to her introverted-but-sure-of-herself-while-still-humorously-quick-witted-yang. We got back to the quad exchanged phone #’s and agreed to hang out later. Later came we hung out and it felt right. In the coming months we spent so much time together that I began to forget what I did with my free time before knowing her.
She had a boyfriend back home in Queens – her first everything. It was your typical freshman year story. Smart girl from inner-city goes off to college leaving behind a bum a** boyfriend who wasn’t doing anything with his life. He goes through separation anxiety – realizing her new experiences and environment were loosening his once unshakeable hold over her. (Ok, in all fairness, maybe he wasn’t really a bum but just seemed that way to me.) At first, the fact that she had a boyfriend didn’t slow down our burgeoning friendship, in fact, it enhanced the foundation for something great because I was too much of a gentleman to really make a move on someone who already had a man, so instead, we just got to know each other.
The beautiful innocence of it was intoxicating and addictive. We talked all the time, walked each other to and from class, ate lunch in the cafeteria together and fell asleep watching Love Jones and Boomerang in each other’s dorm rooms. Eventually we both wanted more. I decided to fall back to let her work out her situation with her boyfriend – not wanting to be the wedge that broke them up. We still hung out, just not nearly as much. I figured, worst case scenario, she’ll go home for winter break see him through new eyes, realize just how much bigger the world was and we could explore each other more when we got back to school.
But alas – fate was not on our side. As the semester began to wind down, she dropped a bomb on me. Her parents were moving … to Virginia. She would be transferring and not returning. As the semester came to a close, things just weren’t the same; the clouds of the inevitability of permanent separation loomed over what it seemed should have been beautiful, bright, sunny days together in the coming spring. I think we both felt defeated – like – it just wasn’t meant to be. These new cancerously debilitating molecules threw off our previously perfect chemistry and our good bye ended up being nothing more than a simple, short, hug and kiss on the cheek – and that was that.
I never spoke to her again and have never found out what became of her. At that age, your memory is short, you move on quick, plus, there were plenty of fish in the sea of my campus. Now that I’m happily married, far removed from college life and able to look back objectively at all the women I’ve known and all the relationships I’ve had, that one stands out. I guess it holds a special place because of how perfect it was for a time, how perfect it seemed like it could have been, and how quick but subtle our transition from kindred spirit to fading memory turned out to be. We had barely any mutual friends while in school, no pictures of us together were ever taken, and I’m not even sure either of us correctly remembers each others last name. What we had – whatever it was – sits in a little box in my mind as a brief but memorable encounter with perfection. Every so often she’ll pop into my head and I’ll send warm wishes and good tidings up into the universe that so deftly conspired against us, hoping they’ll land on her, where ever she might be. Somewhere out there she lives, hopefully as happy and blissfully content with her life as I am with mine and hopefully holding the same fond memories of her time with me as I hold of my time with her. She’s the one that got away… and I’m o.k. with that.
So what about y’all? Have you all ever had a relationship that seemed so equally perfect and doomed at the same time? Has fate, time and circumstance ever hated on you something awful? Ever met an amazing someone in a coffee shop, exchanged numbers only to lose the number before you had a chance to make the call, never to see the person again? Do you have a person that stands out in your mind as the one who got away? Feel free to share your stories in the comments.
See y’all in 2 Fridays. Till then:
Stay Low and Keep Firing.