I’m sure we all have stories about “The One That Got Away”. It’s more likely, the one we let slip through our fingers. I have one of those stories…and in light of Valentine’s Day, I hope you never let one slip through your fingers that shouldn’t.
In my last year at high school, I started using one of those dating phone lines. Don’t remember which one and it doesn’t matter. I wasn’t sure if it would lead to anything and probably thought this was just a good way to make the guy I liked jealous. I figured that the object of my affections didn’t care for me enough to just see me, so I would see what else was out there. Started talking to this one guy with a nickname of “Taz”. We chatted on the phone for hours on end, sometimes all night until dawn. He was a really sweet guy.
One night, we decide to meet. He lived in Brampton and I lived in Toronto. It being fairly late at night, neither one with a car and the GO Buses had stopped running, it was unlikely that this was going to happen. He hops in a cab and pays $50 to meet me at Yonge & Bloor Station.
I hadn’t told him what I was wearing and before the internet, it wasn’t easy to see what each other looked like. He told me what his jacket looked like and had to hope that I wouldn’t leave him stranded there. I walked passed him and said his nickname. He turned around and there I was. We walked down to an all night dessert place and talked for hours. Then we went back to my place and spent the night together. He even gave me the poem he’d written for me and read to me over the phone hours before. I gave him an origami japanese crane.
The next day, I felt awful about it. Not that I didn’t like him and that he wasn’t a nice guy, but I thought “This isn’t fair to him. I don’t ‘love’ him. I should stop it.” I got on the phone that night to him and started to break it off. As I’m on the phone to him, the other guy rings in on call waiting. He’s decided that I’m the one for him and that he wants to be with me. I’m over the moon. I switch back to the other line and finish telling him that it’s over. I didn’t do it on purpose, I was just confused.
A few days later the other guy decided he didn’t want to be tied down and I finished it with him. ‘Taz’ and I still talked, but it wasn’t the same and it became less frequent. We got on with our lives and I called him up about a year later, just to see how he was doing. He was dating another girl by this time and she seemed very sweet. I got a call from her one day asking if I’d come up for a visit to Brampton and surprise him for his birthday. He was working at a local pub and we went to meet him there after she met me at the bus station. I made a japanese crane and told her to take it in to him. He’d know what it was. He did and he was truly surprised. So was I…at how much I think I cared for him. But he was taken now and I couldn’t ruin that for him. We had a great time that night and I crashed at their place.
The next day, the girlfriend had to go to work so he was going to take me back to the bus station. We were hanging out at the apartment and while we were playing around, he kissed me. Both of us knew it wasn’t right. He couldn’t do that to his girlfriend and I couldn’t screw up his chance at being happy after I’d broken his heart already once. He confessed to her about it and she never let me speak to him again. Can’t say that I blame her.
He did eventually marry her and within a year, they were separated/divorced. Turns out she cheated on him and took him to the cleaners. He got another girlfriend after that and I’m sure there were more, but then I lost track of him.
I started looking him up on the net and dialling old phone numbers, but nothing. I did actually find him finally just last year on Facebook and he is happily married with children. But for the longest time, I wondered if something could have been. I even still have the paper with the poem on it. Might even post it someday…