Friday, May 11, 2012

What if?

"For that moment;
Wished we'd missed?

Bear it meaning?
We'll never know.

I guess we'll never know."

Rhiannon thought she had it all. Callum was everything she wanted, and then some. She had been madly infatuated with him for five years; even when she was dating other guys, it was never real for her, because she still always had Callum at the back of her mind. Crazy as it seems, she actually believed that if she wished hard enough, things might actually fall into place and something might blossom from this massive crush.

It seems the cosmic forces thought that something should. Four years into her infatuation, to her surprise and pleasure, Callum started acting differently towards her. More engaging, more caring, than he had ever been for all the previous years of platonic (on his end anyway) friendship.

And then it happened: Callum asked her out one day to be his date for a corporate social event. Rhiannon had suspected that they were now more than friends, but here was concrete, indisputable proof of Callum's changed intentions. Imagine her excitement!

She imagined all her girlish fantasies come to life that day. Callum would pick her up in his car, present her with a corsage (that matched her dress because she told him what colour she was wearing), they would talk and laugh and flirt throughout the night, and she'd stumble through the door breathless and reeling from the zeal of their first shared kiss at the end of it all. The night was the culmination of years' worth of daydreams and secret hopes, and she was determined to thoroughly enjoy herself throughout it.

She never got the chance.

Throughout the night, Callum barely paid any attention towards her. Although they sat together, there was no magical bubble of unsuppressed emotions that tended to surround newborn couples at any given moment. They had certain small moments of pure frizzion where she truly believed he had frisked her very soul, but they all amounted to the same thing: Zilch. Nada. Zen.

Rhiannon was dumped not long after that night. Unsurprisingly, Callum had distanced himself from her in the weeks that followed. To her disgust in hindsight, Rhiannon realised that she had carried out the cliché response of holding on tighter the more he tried to let go, refusing to believe that her four years worth of infatuations were coming to an end after barely a month of reciprocation.

She exhausted herself by trying every possible way to fix them. Nothing worked. Callum remained resolute in his decision to leave.

Rhiannon cried herself to sleep in the month that followed. And was temporarily abandoned by all her friends, who had long grown sick of her repeated sob stories and her aura of depressing energy. Notably, temptingly, some friends had even offered to give Callum a light bashing for toying with her emotions.

Soon afterwards, Callum was up and about, chasing after the next pretty young thing.

Rhiannon slipped ever further into her coma of depression and self-loathing. She stopped talking about Callum, and managed to put a brave face on in public, but never went to sleep with a smile on her face for the next few months.

Then along came Austin. He fell immediately in love with Rhiannon. His meticulous, unrelenting pursuance finally melted her frozen heart, and treated her exactly like how Callum should have.

But it wasn't to last, for Rhiannon did not love Austin. She merely loved the endless attention and care he gave her, that she never got from Callum. They parted ways, and Rhiannon promised to never let herself be reeled in by anything but true love ever again.

You should know, if you've made it thus far, that Rhiannon and Callum never left each others' lives completely. They still saw each other at social events and generally got along swimmingly. They'd laugh, talk about how each other's life was going, and perhaps joke about old times.

Sometimes, Rhiannon and Callum would find themselves alone. It sometimes felt awkward, but when conversation kicked in, things would just fall into place, and it would feel like it was just them against the world, like what they'd both once wanted.

Callum sometimes wondered what he'd left behind by leaving so easily, after being entangled so deeply. When there were moments of frizzion, both imagined what would have transpired if they had managed to stay together all that time ago. Fleeting feelings of regret and loss would fill them, then leave as soon as they arrived.

For there was too much stilted history and repressed emotions between them. Things that neither Rhiannon nor Callum wanted to take the effort to sort out, as there was no guarantee of a happy ending.

The temptation remained to discover the journey they would have made together if only they had tried. The moments they would have shared if only they hadn't given up. The possibility of them still being together and continuing to share their lives together.

But they both refused to try to start over.

And so they chose to live forever with the repressed regret and curiosity of what might have been.


Moving forward is never easy. But living in the past, refusing to let go of old hopes and dreams, would only be counter-productive and draw one into the soul-draining void of self-loathing and non-existent self esteem.

Rhiannon has new dreams now. They are so intangible that she doesn't even know what they are yet, but she knows where they are taking her: forward and upwards. She will always have a soft spot for Callum, but she understands that her feelings for him will no longer hold her back.

Where once two hearts had beat as one, they will always recognise their old harmonies when they cross paths. But there are now new songs to sing, greater melodies to discover, and a beautiful life ahead.

And Rhiannon is embracing it all.

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