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You were the one that got away but that’s ok

This story is brought to you by LunchClick and edited by PoachedMag. 

If we could predict the future, we like to think we would have avoided the silly, even destructive, decisions that seemed so right at that point in time.

But we want different things for different reasons at different times. There could be countless versions of “my future” based on a decision that I make now. Who’s to say that’s actually what the future me wants?

And what if you knew that everything you shared with your partner would soon fall apart? Would you still think to yourself, “This is special, this is us.” Would you decide to want a little less, or more, or want something else altogether?

I have to admit that I missed the signs. All of them. Because I insisted that this time was different.

It was intoxicating – the way we avoided labels; the way we looked at each other and how we would just know that we’d found something worth holding on to. We were young with a lot of time on our hands. Enough time for the imagination to run wild, in all the right and wrong ways – you were ‘Online’, the double ticks blue, yet the conversation was an exchange of silence. Paranoid, I checked your status: ‘Online’.

It wasn’t abrupt, the way things disintegrated. You were the one that got away, but not for the atypical reasons associated with the concept of “you had a good thing and you let it go”.

I realised that we had different reasons for sticking together. Two months after we had gotten to know each other, you said to me, “If you’d asked me to be yours, we’d be a couple by now.” It was Valentine’s Day. We were ambiguous. If I had ever asked for a sign from the stars, this was it. I just smiled.

I don’t remember what I had on my mind. But from then on, I assumed we had an understanding.


Then our meals got longer and longer, because we’d order more dishes to keep our mouths occupied so we didn’t have to say more than we had to, to each other.

You still told me how special I was. But it didn’t sound the same as it did when you said it before.

I pushed you to pursue your dreams, which I thought was what you wanted – an extra day to feel young and to have no responsibilities. But you would wince, as if in anticipation of the day that you regret being honest about what you really want.

We were good one thing together: wanting.

I think I wanted you to be someone else. And you wanted to be someone else.

Having your attention wasn’t enough. I wanted to do more with your heart than anyone who’d been there before me. To your sweet credit, you liked who I made you want to be. I think you loved the idea of it. But you realised, sooner than I did, how it was a skin that would never fit.

I, on the other hand, missed all the signs.

So you were the one that got away. But that’s because I never wanted you in the first place, I wanted a different you. It seems fair because you let yourself out. You showed yourself the way out and let me come to my own conclusions. By then, we were both so entrenched in our own beliefs that the separation came easily.

I woke up one morning and you were there. But it wasn’t you anymore.

And I wonder. Was this ever about love at all?

Are we supposed to recognise love at the moment it shows up decked in black mascara, a blue shirt and a mouthful of promises?

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