When I met Peter, I was 17 and a senior in high school. I was visiting the military college Peter attended and we met briefly. What happened after is history. Boy meets girl, girl meets boy, they fall in love and get married, etc., etc., etc. Oh, did I mention girl was dating another boy (and boy was dating another girl)?
I dont often look back on my life and think about the folks I no longer run with. But, every now and again... My mind slips back to the "other boy". And I cant help but wonder...
He and I were good friends. Really good friends. And then, my junior year, it became something more. We dated, didnt date, and then senior year, dated again. We were pretty serious until I met Peter. Then, that relationship unraveled, I broke it off, married Peter, and the rest is my life.
I left things badly... I've always regretted that. I was young and in love (with Peter) and didnt think about his feelings. I'd never felt anything like I'd felt when I met Peter and in the "everyone else be damned" sort of way that teenagers have about them, I didnt care about the side effects. Or, more accurately, I didnt think about them. The last time he saw me, he shook his head and called me a bitch. We were sitting on my front porch. It was a week or two after our relationship had dissolved. I'd just told him that I was engaged. He was angry. He walked away. I never saw him again.
It's always haunted me.
Sort of like the first time he told me that he loved me. I dont remember if I told him that I loved him back. I did... In a different way, of course, than the instantaneous love that blindsided me with Peter. But it was a love nonetheless. And did I tell him that? I dont remember and, now that we are adults with children of our own, I dont suppose it matters.
When I joined facebook months ago, he sent me a message. Something brief. A how are you sort of thing. I responded and, perhaps foolishly, apologized for how things ended. He never responded... I know it shouldnt have bothered me, but, if I'm honest, it does. I had no plans to reconnect, but... I dont like cliffhangers either.
And then, last night. I dreamed of him. (Not like "that", you crazy people!) We were friends, like we used to be. Peter and Bobby and Maya were there... It was my life. Only, he was in it. While Peter and I were chatting during the kids' bathtime tonight, I told him about the dream and my regrets. That I miss him and the friendship we had. That I often wondered what would have happened had we ended on better terms (or never had a relationship to end, only a close friendship). Peter's response? It's never too late to reconnect.
Perhaps he's right. I dont know. But I'm willing to give it a shot. Is it possible to pick up a friendship that has had a 12 year hiatus where the last words spoken were in anger? Is it possible to let go of guilt and hurt and engage in a true friendship again? Or should we let those who know our innermost secrets flow away in the wind and work on building new friendships and telling new secrets?
I dont know... And I think it is the not knowing the answer that has me wondering "what if?"