What Could Have Been

Continued (page 3 of 3)

I had to catch a special supply plane to get out of that place one morning when I was still sick and could barely see. I told him I’d be back, but I never went back. For years I thought of myself as a coward. I missed him. Longed for him. Wrote long letters to his mother, begging her forgiveness. I could not marry her son. The dress she bought for me, the plans she was making, the money she was putting aside day by day, they should be saved for someone more worthy. Someone more brave. Reliable. Acclimated.

We did not marry and yet I consider that wedding, the wedding I never had, as one of the most pivotal moments in my life. Religion, culture, language, all of these I was willing to cross, but there were some things I could not let go. There were other realities that had to be considered. I wanted to love him every day for the rest of my life, but I could not pull the trigger. I could not do it.

Now he is a memory. I am with another man, the father of my child, the love of my life. But still this wedding, the wedding that did not come to pass, is the one that sticks. At times I wish I had taken the leap. At times, I realize what a wedding can mean. What a wedding can do. It can make you weep. Can make you change. Can make all your dreams of being with another come true. I have respect for weddings because of the one I didn’t have. I have not attempted it again, perhaps because I believe you only have one wedding per lifetime, and even though I missed mine, it was enough.

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