Twenty five years ago, I broke a nice girl's heart. She was wonderful and honestly loved me. I loved her too, but I was young and stupid and male. Those last two are redundant, right? Anyway, not long after I fucked it up, I realized my idiocy and tried for years to win her back but it was too late. 25 years of hindsight allows me just enough wisdom to know that we never would have made it long term, but that doesn't excuse my behavior, which I'll always regret.
She ended up marrying a guy who I knew to be a dick and ended up proving me right. He ended up being a ten year train wreck in her life. Doing more damage than even I had. I eventually lost track of her and moved on with my life. I had other relationships and eventually got married. I often thought about her though. Not in a "I'd like to get back together" way. I really just wanted to know if she was okay. If she was happy and healthy and had found herself a life. What can I say? Some people just make a bigger impact than others and are hard to forget. Occasionally I'd google her and come up empty. She has almost no internet footprint and isn't on facebook.
So about a year ago, I was stuck in accident traffic on North Decatur Rd. and turned off on surface streets to try and find a different route to Clairmont Rd. I didn't know the neighborhood and got lost. I turned a corner and spotted a woman taking her garbage can from the street down her driveway and rolled down my window. I was a split second from saying "Pardon me Miss." when I realized it was her and drove away fast in a panic. As far as I knew, she still (quite rightfully) hates me, so I bolted.
So now I suddenly knew where she lived and couldn't get it out of my head. I told my best friend who remembers her well. He asked if I was harboring fantasies about her and I told him no. All I wanted was to know if she was okay. He said that if that was true, then I should pull my head out of my ass and go knock on her door. The thought of it petrified me and for a year I've been suppressing the thought.
Then a couple of months ago, my Mom learned that her ex husband had passed away. My Mom felt that she'd owed the man many apologies owing to her past behavior and was upset that she'd never gotten around to making them and now it was too late. She told me that if I had anyone like that in my life, I should make my amends before I found myself in her shoes. I made a silent vow to take her advice but still kept avoiding the subject.
I've been feeling glum and lonely this week and tonight, for no particular reason, climbed into my car and drove to her house. I walked up to her door upon icy, trembling legs and did something that truly terrified me.
Two hours of mutually nervous conversation later, I left her, feeling that I'd somehow managed to do some good and mend some wounds for a good woman who I'll never not love and respect.
Turns out that she's just fine. Thinking that a woman like her could be ruined by a douche like me is just insulting.
I feel good about myself for taking the chance though.