Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Victor, Part 1

Come on, admit it.

I don't care who you are, how long you've been married, or how devoted you are to your spouse, partner, significant other, or better half.  Somewhere, in the back of your mind, he or she is still lurking there.  You know who I mean.  Maybe you dated, maybe you were just friends, maybe it was a crush, but through the years you've never stopped wondering what if  things where different. 

Mine was Victor.  You have one, too, I know you do.  And if you don't, well, you're missing out.  Or lying.

The problem is, for all these years, you and I have gotten used to the idea that these feelings belong in our memories and nowhere else.  For the most part, Facebook has changed all that, but (to my relief) Victor doesn't seem to have joined the Social Network. Since I live across the country from my home town, the chances of my running into him are almost nil.

Victor and I were friends in high school.  He was a couple of years older than me, but because he didn't have money for college, he worked for a couple of years and didn't go to university until my sophomore year at college.  Since I lived in a co-ed household and he didn't want to live in the dorms, we ended up living in the same household for a couple of years.

I never told Victor I had a crush on him, for a couple of reasons.  For one, he always had a girlfriend.  He was a little weird, but very good looking, so he never broke up with one girl unless he had another waiting in the wings.  Meanwhile, I was having fun, playing the field, and I have to admit that I enjoyed that little ache that comes from having your crush in close proximity.

The year I graduated, Victor met the girl he ended up marrying.  Of all the girls he dated in college, this was the one I couldn't tolerate.  She was probably the nastiest girl I had met up to that day, and I assure you, I had met some pretty nasty girls.  I knew (somehow, in my naive little mind) that if they ended up getting married, Victor and I would no longer be friends.

The one thing I can say about the last time I saw him is this: I knew, even then, I would never see him again.  I was leaving for another city after graduation, and I knew I had to be rid of him if I was to move on.

Six months later I got an invitation to their wedding.  Fortunately, I was out of the country, so I had a good reason to decline.

As you already know, I did eventually marry, and other than our recent problems our marriage has been pretty stable.  Twenty five years went by.

And then, in just the past six months, it seems the elusive Victor has started to haunt me.

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