Once upon a time, there was a girl. A fun girl, who loved to laugh, but was really quite shy. She was also hurting. Life had kicked her down and dragged her through the dirt. While she looked happy and successful, inside, she was very frightened.
After many, many nights, sitting at home and feeling sorry for herself, she learned to reach out. She figured out that it was up to her to make a happy life. No one was going to do it for her.
So, she started making phone calls, meeting people, finding things to do.
And on one of those nights out, she met a man. She knew she wanted to spend time with him before he even spoke. It was one of those moments that are only in fairy tales, where the clouds move and the stars shine bright and clear. It was if it was destiny.
This man was good looking, engaging, funny. He was a good listener. Later that night, she also found out he was a very good kisser.
The girl did a very brave thing. She got his number. And she called.
They met for lunch, and had a fabulous time. They went for coffee a couple times. Finally, she asked him out for dinner. It was marvelous. A story-book date. Later in the evening, when it was time to go home, she invited him back to her place. But, he had something to tell her. He didn't live alone. He had a life-partner, but was not happy. So, the girl accepted that, and said that it was OK.
For several months, they had a glorious affair. He made the girl feel powerful and strong. He was her number one fan. They spent some weekends together, talked until all hours of the night. He encouraged her to follow her dreams. He made her believe she was capable of amazing things.
And the girl fell in love. She loved how he made her feel. She loved feeling his arm around her waist. She loved how he always opened the door for her, and gave her his undivided attention when they were together. She loved his deep voice, and his funny stories. She loved him so much that she fantasized about when he would leave his partner, and they would make a life together. She really believed that he would choose her, even though they hadn't discussed it.
After a while, though, they both became busy with other things, and they weren't able to spend much time together. She became angry, and resentful. She realized that she was worth more than a few phone calls and the occasional night out. She wanted more. And, she deserved it.
So, she ended it. With tears and the acknowledgement that what they had shared was magic. But that magic was not enough. They agreed to remain friends.
After five years, they have remained friends. Every once in a while they see each other, and they talk. They share private jokes and genuinely enjoy hearing about each others' lives. He still says all the wonderful things he used to say, but with the warmth and fondness of knowing someone really well, not the passion and fire of strong attraction.
After every single one of these chance meetings, the girl thinks that she's still a little in love with him, and wishes things had been different. But, she also realizes, that if she had to do it again, she probably wouldn't change a thing.