Written by Amanda from The Wink
I'm a romantic. A sucker for chick flicks and the touch the feel of cotton commercials, I've never met a TLC's baby show that didn't make me weep happy tears. Can't get enough. I am not, however, a radio romantic. I never called in a request, never wrote to Casey Kasem, and never had a song spur me to contact a lost love. I'm not that kind of romantic.
Most people have done it at some point or another. You're cruising along in your car and a song comes on, maybe it's the Garth Brooks song about unanswered prayers, or maybe it's Kelly Clarkson ranting about life "Since You Been Gone," and you find yourself thinking back to another time, another person. Another life entirely. I'll admit to having done it, but never enjoying it.
The closet holding my what if's is a dark, spare place, a hole really. The edges are jagged and the inside dank. Just thinking of placing my hand on the door sends a chill down my spine, and I can almost hear the whispering again--
What a shame.
You think she knows?
It's going to be a long wait.
Not my girlfriend.
The closet taught me about loathing and cruelty, loneliness and regret. It introduced me to estrangement and isolation. The closet was not a nice place.
So when I hear the songs of longing for romances of day's gone by I change the channel. The stories of drunken calls to exes? I can't begin to relate.
When I think of what if I think about a silent ride. I think about smokey bars, fast cars and waiting. Always waiting for the phone to ring. Waiting for the words not to pierce me. Waiting for the hate to pass. What if is a dodged bullet in ways that make me tremble.
Living a life now filled with princesses and faeries, when what if does come haunting I imagine missing the fairy tale. The reality is the path that I didn't take was in all likelihood a very short path. There would have been no wedding, mine or my children's. There would have been no honeymoon hikes on sunny mountains, no breathless midnight declarations of a baby on the way. If I'd not taken the leap, there would have been no Sean. No best friend and lover, and never father of beautiful girls. Our Briar and Avery would be but unrealized magic.
The path I didn't take is my greatest joy. Not taking it delivered me to the life I was meant to live, my fairy tale.