He suspected you could work yourself some good in calming your mind by thinking forward to what great pleasure it would be to hold your grandchild on your knee. But to believe such an event might actually happen required deep faith in right order. How would you go about getting it when it was in such short supply?
— from Cold Mountain, by Charles Frazier
I feel like my life, relationship-wise, is a series of missed opportunities. After J and I broke up, as I’ve told you, we danced around each other a handful of times over the years, but for one reason or another, our timing was never quite right. I lost P, as you know, because when I could have been with him, I was too afraid, and when I finally wasn’t afraid anymore, it was too late. The Good Kisser told me it was timing, too – he didn’t want to be distracted from doing well in school – even if that turned out not to be true. The Dentist? I worked up the courage to ask him out, but he told me he’s seeing someone.
And now, this guy (he needs a name, but I suck at making them up) . . . he was single for SEVEN years before he met her, and they were only together on and off for about 6 months before we met. I couldn’t have met him when he was “off” with her? The universe couldn’t have kept him single for 6 more months after SEVEN years? You’ve got to be kidding me.
This kind of thing, the what-if of it all, makes me crazy. I think of myself as the kind of person who believes that things generally happen the way they’re meant to, but sometimes I wonder how that’s possible. I mean, what are the odds that you are right for the person who is right for you, that you actually manage to meet that person at some point, that you’re both single, both interested in each other at the same time – I mean, it seems like an astronomical impossibility, doesn’t it?
I suppose, though, that you can’t see how it’s all going to work out when you’re IN it, like I am now. Right now I feel like I lost something really big (and I’m not even going to listen to someone who says, “But you didn’t even have anything to lose,” because I did), something that had potential to be a good thing for me, even if it was complicated and difficult in the beginning. And because I’m not good at meeting people, the loss of the possibility of something more with someone I feel so connected to is that much larger and harder to take. I’m not the girl that can just walk away thinking, “Well, if he doesn’t want to be with me, it’s his loss; there are other fish in the sea.” I can’t. I have to let myself feel what I feel; there’s no way over it but through it for me.
But years from now, when things are different for me (please, god, let them end up different for me), I’ll probably be able to look back at this time in my life and realize that he was just Part 5.