The boy I didn’t marry

He’s simple, courageous and knows when to laugh and when to be serious.

He is the boy I spent my time studying with in school. He is the one that spun around on a chair with a poodle on his lap whilst I lazed on a bed. He is the kind that never talked about sadness because he always had hope in something more.

I remembered his family, 2 dogs, his roommate and how he listened to songs but never cared about the lyrics. I forgot his innate drive to something greater, his simplicity in nature and his openness of heart. I spent 5 years learning who he was, but spent the last 3 years forgetting.

We never meant to walk away, but we meant to walk different paths. When you meet a long lost friend, a wave of nostalgia is inevitable, and a million imaginary outcomes play out in my mind. What if we gave each other a little more time? What if I had just let go of my wild dream and compromised? What if I was a little more selfless and giving?

So much has evolved since, the ‘what ifs’ don’t even stand a chance against the snow storm of change. The shop tenants are a mix of familiar and new, the air has shifted, and we even travel home differently now. Perhaps it is a blessing to have walked such different paths for so long before we finally met again. I raced back to the boy I once knew, and struggle to reconcile that with the same man sitting across me now.

Listening to all the milestones in his life, I wondered briefly what I would have said if we were still together. My impatience, my lack of understanding and.. Suddenly, I’m hurled back into reality and feeling the gravity of every single decision I have made since then. Every single step I took, though somewhat fluid and automatic, was every bit intentional in the path I desired to walk. The reason we broke up, the reason I got together with Shaun, the reason why I run to the church, the reason why I said ‘okay’.

Somehow, narrating my milestones and choices in life to the man who once walked alongside me, gave perspective to choices with the man whom I will journey with till I die.

To the boy I did not marry, thank you for sharing a love that allows me to love the man I will. He’s simple, courageous and knows when to laugh and when to be serious.

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