Sorting back through a past of almost loves always seems to leave me feeling a little broken, kind of exhausted. All the scrapes and bruises have healed over, and the scar tissue left behind has faded to white, so it doesn’t really hurt me anymore. Not like it did. Still, revisiting old wounds puts a dull ache in my heart again, the same way winter always tries to weigh me down. I never did fare too well in the cold.
And yet, I sift through my could-have-beens and pick out a few to hold on to. Who says almost lovers can’t be friends? Okay, lots of people say that. But hey, I’m not new to this. I can handle drunken chats about how close we came and how awesome or horrible or strange it all might have been. I can deal with everyone knowing how we used to flirt. I don’t mind their suspicious eyes on me when I hug you hello. None of it matters anymore because I know we’re never going back there. We passed that opportunity up and took this platonic detour that’s actually been a really wonderful ride.
Being an almost isn’t all bad. Each one left a very permanent mark on me, and I’ve used those to get me to where I am today. They’ve probably done the same. I can only hope they think fondly of me every once in a while, and realize that everything we weren’t was never a loss. It wasn’t a missed opportunity, but just a point where we had to take different paths. I’m thankful that I’m not walking someone else’s road right now. If I was, I never would have met the heart of gold who was waiting for me on mine.
So yeah, my almosts and could-have-beens still cross my mind. And it still hurts a little bit sometimes to remember feeling unwanted or unworthy. It’s hard to forget being almost good enough, almost as pretty as her, almost girlfriend material. But time always puts things into perspective, and finding someone who’s all-in is worth every struggle along the way.