Its time to share.
I spent a summer working in London. It was wonderful and this is one among many stories from that experience that I will happily share with my grandchildren one day. This will be my favorite story to tell. I don’t know how well it will even translate into words. So much of it was being there, in that mindset…but I have to give it a whirl.
For the record, I am happily, blissfully married to Husband. He is the queso to my chips.
That being said, this is the romantic story.
That summer was such amazing time. I tried harder than I ever had, or have since - to live with absolutely no regrets. I had an amazing job and shopped too much and did things I shouldn’t have and got in trouble and yelled at my roommates when I was mad and saw my favorite painting in the world at a museum and stayed at bars until the sun came up and sat in parks for hours doing nothing and learned how to drink (after learning how not to drink) and really soaked in ever single minute of every single day in absolute happiness.
I lived in a duplex, on one half were ten Americans. On the other side were nine Italians and one Japanese girl, who to this day was the happiest person I’ve ever met in my life. We had this private little courtyard that we would all gather in on a regular basis and cook for each other, attempt to teach each other our languages, drink a lot - basically just have a wonderful time. The courtyard had this metal plate in the ground and if you pushed a button it would spin around. We would pull the kitchen table out on it and sit around it, laughing and spinning for hours. But that is beside the point.
One of the Italians was Dejan. He was half Italian, half Croatian and fluently spoke four languages. He wanted to travel the world and work for the United Nations. I have never seen another man that looked like Dejan - the darkest eyes you can imagine. I have had very few crushes in my life, like just giddy schoolgirl crushes. I had a crush on Dejan. Say these words out loud: handsome mysterious Croatian Italian accent. Whatever is in your head, that was Dejan.
So we spend a few weeks hanging out. I never tell Dejan how I feel. The evening comes when its time for Dejan to keep traveling and leave us. We have a goodbye party for him. At one point Dejan and I sit on the stairs and he gives me his address and tells me I should probably fly to Italy soon to sit with him on the beach. He tells me this and my head is saying ‘kiss him…tell him he’s amazing…kiss him…do anything but sit there grinning’ but alas, I sat there grinning.
It is absolutely raining outside. Picture the heaviest rain you’ve ever seen. This is the rain that night. Its time for Dejan to go. My head is saying ‘if you let him leave without telling him that you’re crazy about him- this will be your first regret…kiss him…saying anything…kiss him.’
Dejan opens a large black umbrella and walks out into the rain with a waive to us all. He is gone.
I go upstairs to my roommates and I‘m devastated - and disappointed. What happened to living this summer with no second thoughts, no regrets? It seems silly even now, how angry I was at myself. But I had a good thing going and I had just marked it up.
My roommate asks one question: “do you think you can catch him?”
To be continued…