Sunday, September 1, 2013

Back to the Past

She eyed me from across the table over her water glass. "Have you ever gone back to something?"

"What do you mean?"

"I don't know exactly," she shrugged. "Just... something."

I raised an eyebrow at her and let the silence linger until she set down her glass and picked up her fork to pick at the meal in front of her.

"I've tried," I finally said. "Once, after I left home, I tried to go back. But, there really wasn't a place for me anymore. They'd all adjusted to my absence and life had gone on, and I became something like a guest."

"That's terrible."

"Not really. We're meant to grow up and make our own lives. Another time, I tried to return to some friends that I had walked away from.  But... when I went back, the hole that was there to fill was one left by the person I had been.  And I had become someone different that no longer fit that hole. So, that didn't quite work either."

I stared into the candlelight and tried to think of something less... failing.

"Once I tried to return to a relationship that I thought had died. But, when I did, I found that we'd both changed and no longer fit the relationship we had before."

"So that didn't quite work either?" she asked me.

"No," I said slowly.  "No, it didn't.  But it was still important, so we found new ways and new expectations and a new relationship. I suppose I've never had much success with going back to something, trying to recapture the past."

"I guess you can only go forward."

I smiled at her.  "I guess so."

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