“I don’t know, I know I shouldn’t,” he said.
Here we were yet again. Almost every conversation boiled down to the same aching itch from his part. I’m not going to lie. It was tempting. He was tempting. But he was forbidden fruit and I would never forgive myself. Our actions would ruin everything we’d worked hard on to build up.
“But why?” I asked.
After all these years, he still hadn’t managed to answer my question. He breathed silently and looked away. Took a sip of his beer without looking at me. Then he spoke.
“It’s because, well, I guess you’re the one that got away.”
There it was. Boom. Out there. A response. I should have applauded it, ‘wohooed’ as we chimed our glasses together, asked the dj to put on that Katy Perry song. I couldn’t though. Concealed behind his words were years of regret and sadness. Stupidly, it had never crossed my mind that’s what he thought about me.
His words resonated with me long after we parted that evening. I had laughed it off, in all my nervousness, responding something about ‘that’s a great line for my speech at your wedding’. He had looked at me with frantic eyes and I quickly added that I was kidding. I was kidding, of course. I’m not a home wrecker nor do I aspire for a sudden career change. It was what it was. Yet to be someone’s love regret awoke an awkward feeling within. He had admitted it and that was brave of him. But what had he expected as a result?