By Debbie Gould
A second chance at love? Ever wondered what could have been? Was he the one? Did I just lose my chance at happiness? I did once. I was attending a party centuries ago, but the moment stands out today just as clear as it did that night.
I really hadn’t been dating anyone for a long time. The last guy I had broken up with had started out as a really good friend then we started dating, and it was great for a while, but I was young and infatuated with the bad boy type. (Damn, I loved those bad boys and their fast cars. I was seventeen, what do you want?)
So, I dumped a really good guy for the bad boy. Had a blast for a couple of weeks and realized that while my bad boy was exciting, he really didn’t have a heck of a lot of depth to him. And for my seventeen-year-old self to figure that out must have meant the guy really didn’t have much more than his car going for him. (Again, I was seventeen, what do you want?)
Anyway, flash forward six months later to the party. Tons of people in attendance. It was the classic get-together back then. Bonfire out in the woods, pick-up truck, tail-gates down, coolers full of beer and bottles of Riunite Lambrusco, my drink of choice back then, lol.
Most of my friends tended to be of the opposite sex. The girls where always more concerned with clicks and looks. I related much better to the male population, and whoever says guys and girls can’t have a platonic relationship is full shit. My best friends and confidants were male, and my best male friend from my teen years continues to be to this day.
So, everyone is having a great time, and who shows up but the ex. It’s not like I hadn’t seen him in six months. I had. And every time I saw him, I’d regretted breaking up with him. This night more than ever. Maybe it was the Riunite, maybe it was the two hours spent watching him talking with everyone, laughing, and just basically being the guy I fell in love with. But when I saw him walking out to his truck, alone, I jumped into action.
I ran down the dirt road and caught up with him just as he’d gotten to where he’d parked his car. As he opened his door, I called out his name. Slowly, he turned and faced me but didn’t say anything.
“I still love you. I never stopped.” Okay, so yes, I was a bit dramatic back then.
He looked at me, just stared for what seemed like hours, turned, opened his door and drove off. NOT ONE WORD did he say to me. I stood there watching him drive away until I couldn’t see the taillights any longer.
Well, fine! I guess I deserved that. Karma and all. After a few minutes, I went back to the party to finish getting drunk. One week later, I had a blowout on my Trans Am. (Damn, I loved that car.) I was pulled over on the side of the road trying to change the tire when the ex pulls in behind me.
Good guy that he was, he helped me change it, all the while making small talk like what I’d said that night never happened. He gets it fixed, walks back to his car, and says, “By the way. I still love you, too.” And he drove off. AGAIN!
We never did get back together. BUT, my Second Chance began the night of that party. I guess it was pretty apparent I’d been crying when I walked back to the party because this guy I barely knew came over and asked if I was okay. I said yes. I didn’t blurt out how heartbroken I was, but I think on some level he must have known.
We spent the rest of the night talking and became great friends. Twenty-eight years later we are still happily married. How’s that for a Second Chance?