I know you’re not meant to revisit the past, nor should one dwell in it. It’s a poisonous road, complex and constricting. But when it comes to my love life or lack thereof, I can’t help but revel in all that once was and more importantly what could or should have been. I can’t help but allow myself to wonder about all the boys who made such an impression. The ones were sparks flew, be it unrequited or mere friendship.
Could there have been more if I had sung a different tune?
What if things were different or had been different?
Would it have worked romantically?
Would we have ridden off into the sunset, happily ever after as I had spent much of my time daydreaming about?
What if my first memorable crush actually reciprocated those feelings? And if his friends were never mean to me to me in primary school, would I have possessed enough confidence? Would I have been brave enough to strike a humble friendship? But what if his awkwardness and shyness towards me equated to feelings requited? What if years later I responded to his Facebook message? What if he actually intended to send me those words? If I had just abjured my brains convincing theory that his message was intended for another, like my more relevant and attractive friend Angela. Imagine if it was not an error? If I hadn’t panicked crazily, halted acting like a bashful teenager and responded back, where would we be? Or what if I sporadically liked one of his photos or posts on Facebook? The ones he now rarely posts?
Would it make a shred of difference?
Would he even notice?
Then there was my first teenage crush. What if I made it known how I felt, would he have refrained from moving to a different country? Would a fourteen year old boy have had any say on the matter regardless? Could we have kept in touch, first via mail then online? Would we have eventually arranged to meet numerous times through travel? But did he even feel that way about me? Or had I been imagining it all?
And when all else felt lost another boy swiftly arrived to sweep me off my feet. All so seemingly perfect. Feelings made clear, at least on his part. What if friendships never got in the way? If I hadn’t let a supposed best friend meddle and complicate things would we have stood a chance? More importantly what if I gave him a chance? What if I ceased being so fearful of possibility and allowed us to bloom? What insane suggestions would we have conjured up and accomplished by now? Like my idea to have sex under a waterfall? Would we have actualised that one?
And what about Daniel. A compassionate and amusing German soul backpacking through Australia. I find myself thinking about him more and more each day. We worked for several months together and I always felt like there was an attraction but I could have been mistaken. And even though I had a boyfriend, I shamelessly flirted with him daily and I could have sworn he did the same. But what if I’d told that ex of mine to take a hike then and not years later? Could or would things have progressed between us? Would he have stayed and called this country home because of me?
Perhaps he already does call Australia home?
When one of my dearest friends came back into the picture, I saw him in a different light. No longer a boy but a handsome guy. Though he was always terribly good-looking. Same background, running with the same crowd, but most importantly a creative type. Could he have been the one all along? Could we be soulmates? What if I hadn’t staved his affections but embraced them? Indifferent to peoples opinions and ideals back then, could we have made it work? Would I be his muse and he mine? Would we be together still? Married, even?
And then there was that preppy blonde at a Connecticut rock ‘n’ roller bar who tried to chat me up. Had I not been so intoxicated and mentally incapacitated would I have been aware of his advances? What could have come from such a meet? A kiss? A springtime fling? Could he have been the son of some billionaire or the son of a multinational conglomerate? Would we have driven off into the sunset in his two seater Porsche? Living a life fuelled with Armand De Brignac and weekends away in the Mediterranean, abroad some obnoxiously glorious super yacht.
It is a dangerous game I play, frequenting the past as much as I do. As if by doing so I can somehow fuse myself back into time and repeat history, making those vital revisions, changing the direction of my life.
But are paths could cross once again. However could I remain calm and composed, lessons learned? Or would I revert to my old ways? Such as avoiding eye contact at all costs, pretending like I hadn’t noticed them traipsing over there. Would they even recognise me now?
Would they even dare to say hello?