What if I’d never clicked ‘send’. What if I’d just deleted it, trashed it, never written it?
What if it had been just a little cooler that night, or the air conditioning had worked? What if I’d been able to sleep? Would I have written it at all?
What if I’d never gotten picked for that contest? You know... THAT CONTEST. The one where my words were splayed all over the internet to be analyzed and judged. What if they hadn’t picked me? Maybe I wouldn’t have been walking around that week in a fog needing the escape my fantasies brought. Maybe T wouldn’t have sent me that link to distract me – THE LINK that led to the story that inspired that e-mail.
What if? What if we were still sleeping…never knowing…never touching…never this happy?
What if I’d never gone up north with you that weekend five years ago? You know…THE WEEKEND. The one where we never left our hotel room. The one where I started to open up and try new things with you. The one that gave you hope and me courage and turned our marriage around.
What if I’d just stayed home, in bed like I had been for the three days prior? What if I’d just let the tears keep falling? I was dying inside – dying to give you what I know you needed and I couldn’t. What if you hadn’t walked in the room asking for the letters to take with you? What if you hadn’t been there searching for a reason to stay?
What if I hadn’t given it to you? What if I hadn’t asked you to take me too?
What if I’d left during that fall? You know... THE FALL. The one where you grew distant from us. The one where you talked more to strangers than your family. You weren’t happy with yourself back then – you’ve admitted that. But I didn’t know what to do. I had two little girls looking up to me, and I needed to take care of them.
So I nearly walked out the door.
What if I had? What if you’d let me go?
What if you weren’t waiting for me at the end of that aisle that hot July day nearly fifteen years ago? What if you walked away when I handed you the EPT?
What if you had left for the service? What if I had gone for that guy at the bookstore?
What if you never waited for me that summer? You know…THE SUMMER. What if you washed your hands of me and the immature drama and just walked away from it all? What if you never gave me that ‘third chance’?
What if you’d never responded to that message board post? You said you nearly didn’t – that you were already talking to enough girls and it was way too much money as it was. And what if J had never come home over college break? What if she'd never shown me e-mail and Prodigy and how you can talk to people through a computer?
What if you hadn’t sent that message? What if you'd passed right on by my post?
What if I never met you?