I was 21 years old and working as managing editor of a weekly newspaper. I had just gotten out of a three-year relationship and I wasn’t dating anyone. As I worked alone at my office on a Sunday afternoon, a young woman dropped by to see me.
She was on her way back to her college after a weekend visit home. We had had a flirtatious relationship but it hadn’t been anything serious. Now that I wasn’t dating anyone, though, she had come to see whether I’d be interested in turning our flirtation into something serious.
I felt conflicted. I was attracted to her, but I knew I wasn’t going to date her. Maybe I wasn’t really completely over the relationship that had just ended, I told her. She understood. I kissed her as she left and we remained friends.
We both moved on to other relationships and I didn’t think any more about the conversation. I assumed she hadn’t thought about it for years, either. About a month ago, I realized that I lied to her that day — but only because I had lied to myself.
I decided it was time to call her — after all these years — and explain what had really happened.