Demand too much and you may end up empty-handed,
Demand too little and regret is your reward
— Pat Terry, “Truth is Like a Sword,” 1984
I regret that I’ve wasted the last seven years waiting for a phone call that was never going to come.
I told myself that I wasn’t waiting for her. I tried to make myself believe that. I dated a little, here and there, but my heart wasn’t in it. I thought I wanted her. I believed she would be back. She couldn’t have meant all that she said to me otherwise. She wouldn’t have urged, “Don’t give up on me,” if she wasn’t going to finally make things right. So I waited.
The weeks turned into months. The months turned into years. Somehow, I wasted seven years.
Everything changed about a month ago. The details don’t matter. She wrote one day to tell me what I had been waiting to hear. I was ecstatic. Three days later, she wrote back to say she had changed her mind. And, suddenly, everything was clear.
This woman was never going to be what I had needed her to be. Nothing about her could possibly be worth what I had lived with. A switch suddenly flipped inside my heart. Everything was over.
I was finally free. I could see her for what she really is.