Sunday, February 15, 2015


I didn't get much sleep last night. W and I did a lot of talking - while walking, over dinner, over wine, in late night cafes - basically anyplace that would let us stay. I feel pretty good for someone operating on very little sleep.

Our plans for today are vague beyond just being together and generally avoiding others. I came home for a nap and to freshen up and get new clothes. I'm meeting W at the harbour shortly. He has an idea that involves a boat. At some point we will have to interact with other people again, and in some way explain our status to people who probably won't understand. It will be okay, I'm not worried about it, I just don't want to spend my energy on it yet. I want to focus on W, and getting to know him as he is now.

We've had so many interesting conversations in the past 18 hours - mostly going over the past. I can’t recount them all. But this one - this is probably an important one:

W: If I had called you, a few months after you dumped me-

Me: I didn't ‘dump’ you!

W: After you broke our engagement?

Me, nodding reluctantly.

W: Would you have gotten back together with me?

Me: Of course! I never wanted us to break up, really. I was persuaded that you needed the freedom to realize your dream - that if I loved you, I would give you the space to work insane hours and become a success. I thought that getting married was a mistake, it would be a distraction. I didn't know what we should be, but I knew marriage wasn't right, not then.

W: So these eight years we lost together, were all of my own doing.

Me: Well, I share the blame. I was so scared of how much you must have hated me, I couldn't bring myself to contact you, though I thought about it a lot in the early years. I composed and didn't send a lot of emails. If I had been braver, maybe this all would have been fixed sooner.

W: No, no you were right. I did hate you. I worked very hard to nurture bad feelings about you. They just didn't stick. As soon as I saw you again at the Lodge, they all melted away, much to my annoyance at the time.

Me: Really? They seemed very sturdy to me.

W: That took a lot of effort, trust me. I tried to convince myself I could be with someone like Louisa, but it was so empty. At Lyme, once it was so obvious that you were so superior to everyone else; I couldn't delude myself anymore after that. I’m sorry, Anne. For running away - I was a young idiot with hurt feelings. I should have talked to you, understood your reasons for doing what you did.

Me, after a pause: However sorry I am about the result, I’m not convinced I was wrong to be persuaded to break it off. We were very young. You did need space to get your business going and I needed to find my path in life. I don’t know that I would give the same advice, if asked, but Lacy was looking out for me, and she wasn't entirely wrong. As a foolish 19 year old, I think it was right to listen to the advice of someone more experienced.

W: You know, possibly the only reason I was so successful in that first business was because I lived and breathed it. I was so angry and hurt; I avoided everything by spending every moment on the start-up. My partner called me “The Machine”. If I had been with you, and happy and blissful, I would have called it quits every day at 5 and the venture would have failed. Now, I would trade in all the material success if it got me those eight years with you, but since all I can do is look back with hindsight, I have to admit Lacy perhaps had some points worth considering.

Me: That is a fine concession. You’re very humble!

We're trying not to spend too much time dwelling on regrets.  While we lost that time together, it did give us each a chance to get to the places we are now, which aren't bad places to be. And looking forward? Things look fabulous.

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