Sunday, March 21, 2010

What If I Had Said Yes?

Summer 2003.

The four of us had planned a night out starting with dinner at Hickory Park in Ames before heading to Des Moines for dancing at Crush. That was how we often spent our weekend nights back then.

But it turns out this night would be different.

I can no longer recall all of the details about that night, but bits and pieces are still so clear, including the last words we spoke to one another.

"Can I go with you?" he asked.
"I'm not that kind of girl," I replied.
"I can respect that. I'll call you the next time I'm in town," he said and kissed me on the forehead before I stood up to leave.


A few hours earlier we were finishing up dinner when one of the girls with us said she wasn't feeling well and wanted to head home. Elli and I often went to Crush but we had specifically planned to go that night because our friend wanted to go. We decided to stay in Ames instead of going without her. Our other friend mentioned her fiancee and his friends were at a bar in campustown. We headed in that direction and ended up at Paddy's. We walked in and I began introducing myself to the people in the group. After a few short conversations with others, I introduced myself to him.

Most of the rest of that evening is a blur. I don't recall all of the conversation, but I do remember we never ran out of things to say. Elli would later tell me that she had tried to get my attention more than once that night and I had been completely oblivious to all around me.

All too soon the bar was closing and the group of us decided to go back to our friend's apartment for after hours. The conversation continued and soon it was 4 am.

Elli and I decided we should leave. I told him goodbye and he asked for my number before asking the question I have never forgotten.

"Can I go with you?"

I still clearly remember arriving home and walking in as the sun was coming up. I climbed into bed feeling happy and a bit sad. I laid there with his question still echoing in my mind:

"Can I go with you?"

Why hadn't I just said yes? I hadn't wanted to leave, yet I had just met him and wasn't sure I should agree. What if he had come with me? Would we have had enough in common to have had something that would last?

We texted back and forth a few times after that night, but never actually talked again. A few months later I heard through my friend's fiancee that he had started dating someone else. I stopped communicating with him and it wasn't until my friend's wedding two years later that I saw him again. I literally ran into his fiancee coming around a corner and couldn't bring myself to go over later in the night and introduce myself.

I can never get that moment back and I am a believer in the everything happens for a reason theory, but I have to admit that I've often wondered what would have happened had I said yes to him that night.

"And the trouble is, if you don't risk anything, you risk even more."
- Erica Jong

1 comment:

Andrea-Memories As A Mom said...

I know what that is like to wonder the "what ifs" but you are right, it doesn't sound like it was meant to be. You've had some great opportunities since then that could only happen as a single woman! Timing is everything, so I bet when the time is right you will find the right one! :-)