Subject line: Brave?

 

boise, idaho.

Fifteen almost 16 years ago, I meet a boy from Europe and fell head over heels in love. He was in the United States for a short time for work. He was amazing, adventurous, cute. He took me sky diving. Everyday I was with him was fun. He was the first man I ever loved and the first time sex was more than sex. I truly loved him.

He always had to go back to his country and I have never cried in an airport like I did when he left. We kept our relationship going for a year by phone and by letter in the days before texting, email, and Facebook. And then he came back to me to my city, and I met him at a bar after work and of course, we left together.

But the next day, I realized I wasn’t brave. I couldn’t do this overseas romance anymore. I called him, and I broke it off. I sobbed to him on the phone that I couldn’t take being left behind anymore. He got to leave, and go back to his life in his country, and I was left here. Alone. And to this day, I wonder why did I do that? I loved him!

He was here in my city, and I didn’t see him. I regretted my decision within a couple of months, but he was gone, back to his country, back to his home. So, I wrote him a long love letter apologizing, sent it, and didn’t hear from him.

A couple months after I wrote that letter, I started dating one of my best friends and we became serious very quickly. My mom came to visit and I excitedly introduced her to my new boyfriend. We all went out to dinner. When we got home, I was checking my messages there was my foreign love’s deep accented voice on my answering machine. He had gotten my letter and was in my city for work and wanted to see me. What should I do? Sadly, of course I didn’t see him. He called the next night and I had to tell him I was dating someone else. He told me that was a very lucky guy.

Life moves on. I married my boyfriend five years later, and a year and a half after that we had a son. When my son was 4 months old, I was checking Facebook and I had a message in my inbox. It was from my long ago, long distance boyfriend. I hadn’t heard from him in 8 years. Not since I told him I was dating the man, who was now my husband.

He had seen my name and was wondering, if I was the same girl, and asked me to send him a friend request if I was. I did and found out that he was traveling from Alaska to South America on his motorcycle. Adventurous as always.

He wanted to see me and get coffee when he came to my city. I agreed, but as the date I was going to see him got nearer I got more and more confused. Nervous. I loved my husband, but secretly I still felt something for this other man too. I talked to my friends and my mom and they all discouraged me from seeing him. My husband didn’t say no, but didn’t seem happy about it, so I called and told him I couldn’t see him. It didn’t feel right to do that to my husband.

I followed his journey on Facebook. It took him a year and a half before he made it to South America. He fell in love with a girl from Argentina and she followed him back to Europe. He deleted his Facebook account after his trip. So, I don’t know if he married that girl or where he is. And I wonder, every once in a while, would I make the same choices again? Am I brave?