This is Cara. I still love Cara. I'll always love Cara. When I'm with Cara it's like angels are playing my heart like some sort of Celestial harp.
There was a time when Cara loved me, too. A long time ago. We were in college.
The opportunity was there. We were both free. There was nothing standing between us.
Except for us.
Cara used to date my best friend in the entire world. She broke up with him just about the time he started looking at engagement rings. I was mad at her for a while, until we talked it over. She knew, deep down, that she didn't want to spend the rest of her life with him, and rather than have to turn down his marriage proposal, she felt it best to not let it get that far, because she knew it was coming.
With the air clear, things settled into a more normal pattern. Best Friend and Cara were still friends. We all still hung out.
At the time, I was living in a house close to campus that was easy to get to. My front window didn't lock all that well, and occasionally I would come home to find friends on my couch watching TV, or curled up in my bed because they were too tired to make it all the way home. One night Cara showed up. We snuggled. It was the purely innocent snuggle we'd shared hundreds of times before on road trips and vacations. I rubbed her back and we whispered in the dark, and we were our normal playful selves. Until, that is, we realized that there was no longer the barrier of 'You're dating my best friend' separating our childlike playfulness from our adult playfulness. Both of us froze, and both of us slept a bit more uncomfortably that night.
I'm not sure about her, but it was then that my feelings started sliding in a direction that they'd never been allowed to go before. We spent a summer together, testing the lines that friendship had drawn-- tweaking them here, pushing them there-- culminating in a night that would have been, well, blissful to say the least.
And we both wanted it.
And we both said no.
Because we couldn't. We just couldn't do that to the Best Friend. He was still single. He'd not moved on.
One side of my heart was screaming out how right everything was while the other screamed about how wrong.
Cara got a job in Florida at the end of that summer and moved away.
Did I make the right choice? Half the time I say yes, the other half I say no. But I made the choice, and I don't regret it. I refuse to regret anything. The choices I've made make me the person I am.
But there will always be a 'what if' in the back of my mind. And there will always be harp music when Cara's around.
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that, the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
- - Robert Frost