The One That Got Away

It’s a classic scenario, often lamented over in songs, the illusive person that would be perfect for you yet is always unattainable. I’ve heard P!nk sing about it, then Katy Perry and no doubt there will be many more… Well if I have to choose a song to describe the moments that were about to unfold it would be P!nk’s fleeting moment rather than Katy Perry’s prolonged fling of her youth:

“You were mine
In the back of my mind
Oh just for one night
Just for a while

There’s always one that gets away
The one that sneaks up on you that slips away”

It had been a long month going back to Uni to put my affairs in order, it felt like my goodbyes would literally break my heart. Of all the things that weren’t good for me in Portsmouth my friends weren’t one of them. It was me alone that had gone off the rails and didn’t want to study.

I broke the news to Chris, Liam and Jane first. They were sad that I was leaving, although they hadn’t been blind to the fact that I never actually went to any of my lectures or classes so it probably wasn’t much of a surprise. I promised to pay the remaining rent owed for the year since they’d never find someone to move in now. I arranged a date for my Dad to come up with a van to help me move my things back home and then used the next two weeks to say goodbye.

Over those two weeks I started to tell all the guys and girls that I saw out often, for many of them I would just become some girl they knew for a while, some others would have a more lasting impression. Some of my friends wondered what I was heading back to, I just told them I was going home. I would be moving back in with my parents and that Katy and I were back together and I had a good feeling about it this time. That right there is a positive mental attitude in action.

Those that I didn’t see over the course of the first week I decided to text and email to arrange a night out for my final farewell scene. Chloe was possibly the most shocked to hear that I was leaving and assured me that she’d be there for my last evening out. Debbie had a sensible talk with me about whether I was doing the right thing, I was sure that at this time in my life University wasn’t for me.

The last night came around, and it was going to be a good one. I had to be a bit more sensible with my money at this point and would be looking for work as soon as I got home. I wasn’t blind drunk like I had been on so many other nights, since I wanted to make sure I said goodbye to everyone that mattered. This included nearly all the bar staff, DJ’s, door staff and regulars at 227 as well as the LGBT society guys and girls that I had met along the way.

Chloe arrived late after being out at another bar with some other friends of hers. I was just glad that she made it at all, it was so rare to see her out with the LGBT guys. I knew my I had the biggest crush on her and there was still that unmistakable chemistry between us, we would literally only have eyes for each other when we were both in the same room and we’d seek out each others company. Yet dutifully I would spend time with all my friends that evening, not to mention both of us were in committed relationships at this point.

The end of the night was drawing near and rather than stay until the lights came on and the cockroaches scurry away I was planning to leave earlier than usual. I had a long day moving stuff with my Dad looming. I did my final round of hugs and goodbyes and with a sinking feeling when I realised that I couldn’t find Chloe anywhere. I thought she must have only come for a couple drinks to say goodbye and left. I went to the cloak room to get my coat and leave.

Just as I was heading for the door with my coat in hand one of her friends came up to me out of nowhere and dragged me to one side. She said that Chloe was looking for me and didn’t want me to leave without saying goodbye. There weren’t words to describe how much I was going to miss her. I don’t know if I even managed to say anything except for ‘I guess this is goodbye then’ next thing I knew we were kissing.

The kiss was perfect. It wasn’t a passionate kiss filled with the frustration that you need to get out of the way before ripping each other’s clothes off. It was the smouldering kind that made me feel all warm and fuzzy and made me forget my name, so bittersweet the perfect kiss goodbye. It would linger on my lips and in my mind for days after. I was stunned as I never saw this coming. I thought I was safe from anything like this happening, I mean I had a girlfriend, so did she. Yet in the one moment I wanted her and nothing and no one else, I’m pretty sure that if she had asked me to, I would have stayed.

For a while after I felt so conflicted, it was like something had been stirred up in me that made me question every decision I had made. Yet all the wheels were in motion now and I’d be leaving in the morning. So I left, in the days that passed I wanted to tell Chloe just what that moment had meant to me, I wrote a letter when I managed to find a quiet hour or two alone in my room. I didn’t have her address and for a long time I just let it gather dust tucked away out of sight, until one day I bravely typed the letter up into an email and hit send.

No response was required, I had composed the letter as a confession. An admiring confession of my thoughts and feelings for Chloe while also realising that nothing would ever come of the way I felt due to circumstance. Chloe and I would keep in touch sporadically over the years, she was in a much healthier relationship than I. Chloe and her partner are still together to this day and they’re very happy together. I doubt she wonders so much about the ‘What if’s’ than I do.

I’m not a monster so it played on my conscience that I had betrayed Katy, albeit with just one bittersweet kiss goodbye, yet because it meant so much to me I felt rightfully guilty. We were just starting out again and this would have to stay a secret of mine, we didn’t need more hurdles to overcome. I would let this torment me and spare her the hurt and insecurities, I thought that was the right thing to do.

“I’m not a victim of clichés
I don’t believe in soul mates
Happy endings only one
Oh and I met you and all that changed
I had a taste and you’re still sitting on the tip of my tongue”

So here’s to everyone who has that one that got away, I’m not sad when I remember Chloe or wonder about how things might have been if I’d stayed. I can see that she’s happy and loved and loving life. I’m still a hopeless romantic believing that there’s still someone out there that will be mine, for the rest of my life. I’m not looking, but I sure do have my eyes open.

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