When I first met him I decided that he was ‘it’, ‘the one’. A bold statement for a girl who had just come of age. 6’1’’, mesmerising brown eyes, short brown hair that evolved with sprinkles of grey highlights as he aged, further adding to his charisma.
One slight obstacle—he did not share the same crush. He was a ladies’ man equipped with a list of admirers. Alas, commitment and confidence were my strong suit, and I had a firm belief that with time he would swing to my way of thinking.
On one of our many summer holidays we were giggling like Gertie’s as he impressed me with his ridiculously entertaining diving technique, which saw him glide into a pin drop mid-dive. As he came up for air with a breath full of laughter, he swam towards me, pushed me playfully and cheekily smacked one on me.
Huh, what?!? I had waited years for this moment and yet I wasn’t ready. Thankfully, I was given a moment to compose myself and allow my brain to catch up as the weight of the water pushed me backwards. He reached out and kissed me again. This time I was ready and I kissed back.
In a blink, our lives transformed as we crossed the line of no return.
It was easy for us to drift into couple-ville, already so intertwined. It was only a matter of where we lay our heads at night. How lucky we were to have an almost perfect relationship.
As we moved out of the loved-up phase and into the ‘this is it’ phase, his old, familiar late night antics started to make guest appearances. You know the ones; spontaneous, spur-of-the-moment, damn the consequence antics. Four a.m., his pillow cold. It left me with night sweats. A woman is instilled with the ability to know before she knows, and I was no exception.
The antics became regular guests and without realising it, we had been transformed once again—another line of no return.
As I packed, broken and disheartened, survival did not look promising. He was the one. My heart carried only sorrow; the picture of my future had been destroyed, just a dream filled with thwarted intentions. I spent our sixth year with stained cheeks, they remained that way for some time.
I eventually graduated to acceptance, with a comprehension that there would always be a missing part of me, never to be reclaimed. At night he continued to torment my dreams. Though I sought out others there was a secret comparison against my disillusioned measuring stick.
Then it happened. I saw him. I was out with the girls and before I could caution it, my heart exploded with joy at seeing its missing piece. The laughter was reminiscent of our time together—he felt like home and it was all I would allow myself to see.
The apology that was long overdue finally came and the night progressed with happiness until the traitorous clock ticked four.
His phone rang.
‘Hello, will you be home soon?’
‘Sure honey, I will be there soon’.
I smiled as he hung up the phone to the woman waiting in his bed that was once me.
We walked from the club into the fresh smell of morning and a new day I hadn’t expected. As my eyes adjusted to the light, it felt like it took a lifetime for my vision to be restored.
Is there such a thing as the one that got away? I know one thing for absolute certain; at the time, we can never comprehend the anguish of a relationship breakdown, especially when we believe the other to be our destiny. Sometimes life has other plans; people that we need to meet, places that we need to discover, in order for us to become the people we need to be.