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The girl of my dreams is thousands and thousands of miles away from me.
I believe there is a perfect person for everyone; that certain special someone. The person they are supposed to be with for eternity, forever. I believe in the meant to be. I believe in the soul mate.
I met my soul mate at eighteen years old.
The summer before college I fell in love. It wasn’t superficial, it wasn’t stupid, we didn’t have to struggle. It was all there, set up for us, all we needed to do was find each other. From the first date, it was like that feeling you get when you see a pretty girl from across the room. It was instant. Instantly, I was in love. Instantly, was she everything I wanted and had been looking for. Instantly, it was perfect. Never once did I think I love her but there’s more than this. That love was this. What you see in movies, the reason why people wanna be in love, it all comes down to this. This love, that summer, those moments when we were together-that’s what love is, that’s what supposed to last forever.
I still believe we are supposed to be together. But it’s ironic how fate has one idea, you have one idea, but time and distance change those ideas and you’re set a new plan. I have this life in my head that we have a beach house in LA, with two kids, lots of dogs, that she writes plays that I star in, and we take exotic vacations and go abroad to bring aid to foreign countries. It was all planned in our heads, how it should be, but time, distance, life gave me something else entirely.
And it wasn’t that she had sex with someone else after we broke up, it wasn’t that she took sex lightly with other guys and with me it was so much more, just like she said. And just like I said it ruined it, it didn’t really. The reason was she moved away. It was that she had to go to college far away and I stayed in Los Angeles cause I wanted to be an actor and she wanted the outside world. It was too late or too soon, I can never tell, it just wasn’t how it was supposed to be.
I lost the man of my dreams.
We all make decisions that lead us to where we are now. The decisions I made just led me to be far away from him, to be without him. I had my career in mind, my ambition driving to make certain choices to benefit my career. Those certain choices I chose, they gave me a life without him. Willingly, knowingly, I chose a life without him.
It could be said that I made certain mistakes my freshman year of college.
My first mistake was deciding to go far from home for college and thinking I’d be okay. I wouldn’t change where I went to school, I love New York, but I missed Los Angeles all four years I was there. I missed him.
Every single day, all I could think about, dream about was that summer with him. And how if I just didn’t get on that plane and stayed with him what my life would’ve been like. Or if he just came to New York with me, if we were just together, how we would have been together, for not just a year, or four, but for the rest of our lives, how we’d be together.
My second mistake was sleeping with another man so soon. I didn’t move on, I wasn’t even trying to. I just hooked up casually, like it was understood to happen, but it was so quickly and thoughtlessly done, that it made it even more unexpected and horrible for us both. Right after we decided we were on a break, that I would come home to him eventually and we would be together, I took the first boy who noticed me and made a move, I took him back to my dorm and in my insecure state, I had sex with him. Because he wanted it, because I could, because I thought I wanted it too.
But he was all I ever wanted. I’ve seen the world now. I’ve lived in exotic places. I’ve tried so many different and new things. I’ve loved other men, been in love with many other men, but all the while he was in the back of my mind, beating at the back of my brain that I should finally come home.
We started college. We were on two different coasts, but we were still in love. No distance could change that. She wasn’t my girlfriend anymore, but she would be when she would come home in December. It was all planned, eventually we would be together again. But she couldn’t wait for my touch. Another man distracted her from our dreams and she took the chance to be with him. I hadn’t seen her in a month and she could care less it seemed. She was far away f*ing someone else. She cried into the phone that she was desperately sorry and it was just a meaningless fling. But nothing she could say would change my mind. She left and she would be with other guys. It wasn’t real to think that she would be mine eventually.
I didn’t mean to.
I wanted his love, I didn’t want to betray him.
But he wasn’t with me, he wasn’t around. So when another guy flirted with me, I went with it. I was lonely. And when he kissed me, touched me, I was no longer alone; I had someone.
He stopped talking to me, both of them did. I was used and heartbroken. But I wouldn’t be an idiot, I would learn. The months until December, I said no to every guy who came my way. I didn’t want anyone else but him, I’d go to him in LA, show him how I’ve changed, and things would be how they were again that summer. We would relive that summer.
Before I left for winter break, I called him and we talked for the longest time about our new lives, and how we missed each other. He still loved me, I could be with him again. He was going to be mine when I was home! Just like we planned it before. He wanted to meet me, he wanted to see me. My hopes were alive, my dreams of us were right there in my grasp.
I was going to see her. I didn’t know how to tell her. She was so happy when I talked to her. I was so happy when I talked to her, I questioned what I was doing.
We met for coffee on Cahuenga, the second day I was home. We talked for what felt like hours, I lost track of time. And in the beauty of reunited lovers, I gently touched his hand. He looked at the touch and froze, uncertainty and desire tangled in his eyes. He made up his mind to pull away. And with a puzzled expression on my face, that is when he finally decided to tell me.
I had the worst winter that year. He met someone. They had been dating for a month and he made her his girlfriend two weeks before I called him.
My heart dropped, my eyes went to the window. I was too in shock to sprout tears, I just sat there, dumbfounded.
“But, but, aren’t you still in love with me?”
He took that question and played with it in his head for what must have been forever. He came back with a dreaded answer.
“No. I’ve moved on.”
I was a very stupid eighteen year old boy. She broke my heart and I whined about how could she do what she had every right to do. I had to move on, I kept telling myself, so I stumbled upon a pretty girl of interest.
I liked her a lot, I really did. But I saw her in December and she was so beautiful still. But I wouldn’t let myself have her. I didn’t love her, I was convinced. And I had moved on, I was convinced. She wasn’t coming home, she wasn’t in LA. So what did it matter? What was the point? I couldn’t be stuck in the past, hold on to a fantasy, when she wasn’t around to make my dreams reality.
I came back for spring semester with a different outlook. Every man that wanted me, I let them have me and have their way with me too. What did it matter? What was the point? He didn’t love me, so I could love whomever I wanted and I did.
I told her she shouldn’t let men take advantage of her, but even though we didn’t talk, something told me she was letting them use her anyway.
They broke up as I came home for summer, but I didn’t care. At the time, he wasn’t worth my time. I didn’t need the heartache. If he wanted to see me, if he wanted to talk to me, he could call me. I didn’t have a reason to dial his number.
I broke up with her as the spring semester ended. She was great, but maybe there was something missing, something that didn’t fit.
She was home. For three months she would be home. I expected her to call, but a month passed and nothing. I thought of calling her, but maybe she didn’t want to see me, maybe she was still mad at me. By the end of the summer and no sign of her, I figured she didn’t want me in her life and I should accept her decision.
My sleeping around sleezy attitude changed Sophomore year. I met someone. I fell in love. We spent seven months together and we were in love and happy.
He started talking to me again. And we were friends that year. Things were okay, until the end of the year came along and my boyfriend made his choice. He loved me, but like me, he met his soul mate before he came to New York. He chose love, finally. He realized he was still in love with his ex girlfriend and despite the distance, he would be with her.
I was crazy with heartbreak. I drank a lot and cried about how could he go back to her, why would he even try to make things work, when my ex boyfriend and I wouldn’t even make the effort.
Why was that then? Why were they willing and we were not? The only answer I could come up with is that we decided to put ourselves above our love.
Years went on and we were friends on and off. By Senior year, all she would talk about was grad programs with the Peace Corps. She wanted to get out of New York, but she didn’t want to come home.
Somehow Fate forced her back. She didn’t get into grad school, she didn’t get into the Peace Corps. She had nothing else, she was forced back to Los Angeles.
With nothing else, I had to go home, I had to go back to LA. He was in LA, I was in LA. We could be together, and we did. We fell in love all over again and the dreams of us began to envision themselves again. We got an apartment together and I worked as a waitress in a café by day and at night wrote my heart out. We were happy, but unexpectedly I was offered a job. I went away on an assignment in Australia with the Dolphin Conservation Society. I promised to return, but I failed that promise, just like I failed every promise I made to him.
We lived together in my apartment for three months, everything was perfect. I was an actor, she was a writer. I could see our future clearly. And she too quickly wanted it.
She asked me to marry her. I stood there with every lifelong dream before me. But what was I supposed to say? I was a twenty-two year old boy and I didn’t want to get married yet. I had her with me now, we could wait. But I was caught in between having her for the rest of my life or taking the chance that she could again slip through my fingers and leave once more.
She did leave. A week after she said ‘Marry me’, she was offered a job. The Dolphin Conservation Society asked her to be part of their three month campaign. Their campaign in Sydney, Australia. She promised she’d come back, that after three months she’d be back in LA with me. But three months passed and I waited. And another job came up for her.
She went from Australia to London to work for GreenPeace International, where she wanted to be. Her dream career was playing out as I made it to the television screen; our dreams were coming true. She went to San Francisco and became one of the wildlife campaign directors for GreenPeace USA. And it was eight years since I had seen her last. I should’ve taken that proposal and said yes. That yes I want you, I want you to be my wife! Because maybe if I said yes, she would’ve stayed. But I didn’t because I didn’t think at the time, she’d go away again.
It grew on me that she wasn’t coming home, so I moved on. You fall in love with other people and hope that the one you truly want comes back to you, even if it’s too late. I fell in love with someone else and that someone else became my wife.
Three years with a woman I loved so dearly, and I almost forgot about her. It was summer again and I walked to the nearest coffeehouse, stood behind a beautiful woman with long hair who was ordering chai tea. As the woman turned around, I recognized the face. It was her.
I finally came home. I was staying in Los Angeles this time. The moment my eyes lay on his, I felt reawakened. Yes, he was married but I forgot about his wife. I hadn’t been this happy in the longest time.
She was here. She was home. She was in LA and she wasn’t going away. She was here to stay. I hadn’t been this happy in the longest time.
I wanted him to tell me he wanted me too, that he missed me all the years I was gone. His love spoke to me through his eyes, but I craved the words. But how could he give it to me when he was married?
I had to tell him the real reason why I came back. The decision wasn’t even my own, someone else wanted to come back home and I followed, knowing that’s exactly where he was.
She was engaged. Her fiancé was from Los Angeles. That’s why she came home, that’s why she was staying, because of him.
We spent a lot of time together the six months prior to my wedding. My fiancé didn’t suspect a thing, he trusted me. Why was I marrying him? I was in love with him, but my heart went to another. I was torn.
Why would she marry him? I knew she loved him, but she loved me longer and had been wanting me for fifteen years. He wasn’t for her. He was a doctor, he wouldn’t be able to set off her creative energy, he would just hold her back.
I loved my fiancé. I wanted to marry him, I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him. He could not tell me that I shouldn’t marry him because he’s not him. I didn’t come back to be with him, I came back to be with someone else. He had to accept that.
She married the doctor. I had to accept reality that I would never have her. No matter if she was a thousand miles away or only a block away, there would always be some obstacle that would stop us from being together.
She was married and my wife had our first child. I tried to be happy, but she was right there and not with me. There were times when I didn’t even want to see her, knowing I wouldn’t be able to touch her.
Two years I had been married but I spent a lot of my time with him. We were almost like best friends, but there was something there that couldn’t be said. Our spouses were at work and I went over to his house like usual. Nothing would ever happen, we would talk. But as his son was napping, we sipped wine in his living room. Suddenly, there was such longing in our eyes. Suddenly, we lost all control. From the living room, to the bedroom, we went, without even a moment’s thought. We made love.
Lying next to each other, moral and reason woke us up. We committed adultery. We made love in the bed he slept in every night next to his wife. I couldn’t listen to his guilt, I walked out.
“Wait, where are you going?”
“No, no. Just stay, for a little bit.”
“Why? Why should I? Give me a reason to stay. Give me a reason to love you. You can’t come up with a reason. We belong to other people.”
“Every time I look at you, I see in you the summer we had. You don’t belong to him. He’s a doctor, he’s logical. You’re a writer, you’re different.”
He called me a writer, I wasn’t anymore. He hadn’t let go, he hadn’t noticed that I changed.
“I’m not a writer! I am an environmental campaigner! I haven’t written anything in years! I’m not that eighteen year old girl you fell in love with years ago. I’m the woman she grew up to be. I’m someone else entirely.”
“But I look at you, and I see her still.”
“Do you wanna know what I see every time I look at you? I see the life I could have had if I didn’t make those decisions I made years ago. I made this life without you. I made this life for me and don’t you, don’t you make me feel guilty for it! You fell in love with me because I had big dreams, I had ambition, so don’t you dare make me feel guilty for exactly what you love about me! You can have that summer, you can live with that fantasy, and I will take the blame for not making our dream a reality.”
I slammed the door as I walked out of his house.
Weeks passed and we didn’t talk. Our friendship gradually put its pieces back together, but we both knew it could only be a friendship.
At night, sometimes when I can’t sleep, I lie awake thinking about her. I imagine our life.
She never went to New York. She stayed in LA. She went to UCLA with me. We became film majors. We got an apartment together. She wrote scripts, I went to auditions, and every morning we would wake up to each other. We graduated and as expected, I proposed. We got married on a beach, our dream wedding. We went to Fiji for our dream honeymoon. I got successful on the screen and she got successful writing. We bought a beach house. We had twins. We watched our children grow up. We grew old together. We were always in love. I had her from eighteen til the day I died. She was there by my side.
When I think about our life, I fall asleep a bit easier.
I still think about it. And it makes me smile and cry to imagine our life. It’s bittersweet how things turned out in the end. I told him when we were young, that if we are meant to be then we will be. But maybe it doesn’t always work that way. You can love someone your whole life, but never end up with that person in the end. It’s everlasting, but it just can’t be. Impossibility outweighs the chances of us.
He was the greatest love. We were the love of a lifetime, that some people never experience and I’m thankful for that. He fell in love with me for every reason I wanted someone to fall in love with me for. He could’ve been the one, but our love now is just a bittersweet, amazing memory tucked away in the crevices of my heart.