All it took was a simple scrap of material, red Scottish plaid, to bring back the memories. Memories so real I could smell them. And once the memories came back, the remorse over the choice I made flooded me, drowning me in such a deep regret that I cried in the shower for the entire week.
Just a simple plaid. Probably not even his colors.
But it didn’t matter. He was gone. I had sent him away. My ridiculous demands and even more ridiculous dreams had him running scared. I thought that it would work. I willed it to work, goddammit, but in the end I suppose that I was wrong.
So now I live with the consequences of what I’d done. I think if I hadn’t pushed or if I hadn’t said those last words, things might be different. He urged patience, but I had none. Things will work out, he said, but I couldn’t stand the waiting. I wanted our lives entwined again and I wanted it right then and now.
I run the plaid through my thumb and forefinger and I swear I can smell the damp must of the woods where he stole his first kiss. We were kids, but even then there was a quiet maturity about us that should have been our clue to keep the relationship intact.
How it ended was anyone’s guess and how we managed to reconnect after all those years was nothing short of miraculous. It felt like some unseen hand and guided our paths, not exactly at the perfect time, but at a time when we both knew what we’d had, lost, regained and determined never to loose.
And then I blew it. And now this scrap of material haunts me, reminding me of what I’d lost, not once, but twice and how someone else has it and doesn’t even know what a precious gift it is. I would gladly eat my words and learn patience if I could. I would move heaven and hell to replace the hurt and hollowness I feel with the anticipation and utter happiness I used to feel when he was in my life. I’d do it all so differently just to be able to tuck this scrap of material, worn but loved so, near to my heart again as if he were there with me.
But I can’t. And it breaks my heart.