I could've been in love with a lot of people. I'm not talking about idols or ideals or celebrities or out-of-my-league-prep-boys -- I'm talking about all the real guys who might have been Mr. Right if they hadn't shown up at wrong o'clock. I was either too young or too shy or already in love. I'm still madly in love with my fiance, but I do like to entertain the notions...
Of them all, I wonder the least about Sam. When I imagine what a future with him might have been like, the results are never pretty--Sam would be far too awkward to touch me and far too practical to know how to love me. That's okay, though, because James stepped up to the plate when he didn't, and I'm pretty sure that's a sign.
There was also Dave. I remember he hated me when we were children, but years later, as teenagers, he turned into a flirt who entertained my sisters and I. We rarely saw each other, but we loved each other's families so much that it could have worked. To have your best friend as your sister would be a grand thing. I suppose the complications would've been too many, though, and besides--my heart still belonged to James.
And finally, perhaps the most almost-head-over-heels I've been was for Ahmad. I can name right now all the reasons why it couldn't have been--I was engaged, he had a girlfriend, I was in college and he was in high school, his father was Muslim and I'm Christian--but, oh. I could have loved him forever. He was so tall and his hair was crazy curly. He was adorable, really. And hilarious. And entertaining. And artistic. And a musician. And sensitive (I know!). We met at Publix--I was a cashier and he was a bagger. After the first time we worked together, he wanted only to bag for me and I was perfectly okay with that. I actually looked forward to work if I knew he would be there. When I bought blueberries on our lunch break once, he teased me about it and chucked a couple at the break room ceiling. For Christmas he gave me the colored sketch of the basket of blueberries he planned to paint me. I told him he didn't need to--the sketch was extraordinary enough by itself. In the end, I moved away and that was that. He was somehow awkward and perfect at the same time, and I could have given him the world with my love. But my love was already promised to another, someone I adore and someone who loves me and makes me happier than I could ever make myself. He can never know about the others, the almosts and what-ifs, because it would break his beautiful heart, and that would break mine, too.