In keeping with Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda’s theme of dating do-overs, Tima Maria Lacoba shares her biggest romantic regret as part of a Chicklit Plus Blog Tour promoting her new novel, Bloodpledge. Here…we…go…
Don’t we all wish we had the opportunity to go back in time to redress an iffy issue, take back a careless word, or like in the movie, Sliding Doors, reverse a split-second decision that took our lives in another direction?
Would we do it?
Perhaps, or forever remain wondering, what if….
I think everyone’s had one of those.
Many years ago—when in my early twenties—I had a mega-crush on a young man. He was tall, handsome and we were roughly the same age, and I knew he liked me. Whenever there was a church outing, he’d give me a lift in his car, and end up spending the day in my company more than with anyone else.
My friends were beginning to hint that we were becoming a couple, although we weren’t officially dating. I was waiting for him to make that first move.
When it came I didn’t recognise it and made the biggest mistake of my life.
We’d been the first to arrive at a Saturday afternoon church outing, at a secluded beach south of the city. Rather than step out of the car, we sat there for a few minutes in silence admiring the view. Actually, my insides were tied in knots just being in such close proximity to him, and I don’t think I even noticed the beauty of the place we were parked.
He turned toward me, placed one arm around my shoulders and with his other smoothed the hair from my forehead and said, ‘We’re all alone. What would you like to do?’
I’ll remember those words the rest of my life.
Being young, inexperienced and shockingly bashful, I couldn’t tell him how I felt, that I wanted him to kiss me.
His eyes were the deepest blue—I was lost, but instead of opening my mouth to say what was on my heart, I said, ‘I’d love to go for a jog!’
If idiocy had a name that day, it was surely mine. I had no idea where those dumb words came from, and I’ve regretted them ever since.
I’ll never forget the disappointed look in his eyes, and the slight groan that came from him. ‘You want to go for a jog?’ He pulled his arm back and just as I was about to say, ‘No, I didn’t mean that,’ our friends showed up, honking their car horns and parking right next to us.
The moment was over. I’d blown it.
I recall the rest of that day he was cooler toward me—probably thought I wasn’t interested. I could’ve cried.
He didn’t ring that night, as he sometimes did, and the following week he had a job transfer to another city (he was a structural engineer).
I never saw him again. Many years later I learnt he’d married and had several kids.
Every now and then I think, what if I’d said the right thing—what I really wanted to say, if shyness hadn’t held me back? How different would my life have been?
Guess I’ll never know.
Tima Maria Combs
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