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August before last my friend and I were discussing with my then sixteen year old daughter good guys that we hurt when we were young, intentionally or not. Those guys that you look back and realize you’d screwed them up royally or that did or would’ve really loved you had you given them the chance. Maybe not the one that got away so much as the one you pushed away, out of a moving car, without warning or safety gear. The guys that you threw over always for some jerk whom ended up breaking your heart. That’s the karma of it all. You casually, or even not so casually, break the heart of someone else in your pursuit of another and that individual ends up breaking your heart, casually or not.

I had one. He loved me. I mean really loved me. In that intense world altering kind of way that can be just as overwhelming as it is comforting. I was fifteen; he was sixteen. Too young for a love that burned that hot and so we hurt each other but I was the one that walked away. The reasons aren’t important now, that was some eighteen/nineteen years ago and the past is what it is. You can change your present, you can change your future but you’re stuck with your past. It’s best to learn from it and go on rather than linger on it. “What if?” is the credo of the unimaginative and they are destined to the misery of repeating past mistakes.

We lost track of one another as time passed, as life is want to get in the way of better intentions. Perhaps on some level it was deliberate; a defense of sorts. If we weren’t in each other’s lives we couldn’t break each other’s hearts. Our maybe we were just both so selfishly absorbed in our many little dramas that we put each other in the column of childish infatuation. I’ve had children; a marriage; a divorce; earned degrees; bought a home; lost a home; crashed a car; etcetera. I’ve done a lot, stuff that moves you, emotionally, miles away from the child he knew but always without fail a song, a smell, a stranger’s smile, something would serve to remind me of the boy that loved me oh so much.


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