She had every reason not to do it.
Self-preservation, for one. Paralysis by fear was a common occurrence in her life, and, as such, she would prefer to live her life not knowing one way or the other instead of perhaps unequivocally knowing the painful truth. It rarely occurred to her that, by finally doing it, she could possibly receive good news, the actual fruition of her ‘dreams come true.’ No, it was easier this way. Ignorance is bliss, and all that.
And yet it picked at her. It festered away. It would even, now and again and when her total stress level was at a high state, keep her up at night (a true sign of distress for a girl who relished her naptime and could fall straight to sleep before she even got around to turning off the television). The nagging issue of ‘what if…’ was always there, in the back — or sometimes front — of her mind.
She was a helpless romantic, this girl, despite knowing better. Despite learning otherwise. Despite seeing otherwise. She blamed it on Disney and television and movies and the “Happily Ever After” that is so pervasive in society. She doubted “Happily Ever After” just as much as she desperately longed for it.
And yet this was a confounding paradigm, as the girl was nothing if not a risk-taker. She was impetuous, she acted on a whim, and she chalked up her bad decisions to “living and learning.” Despite it all, though, doing this was too much. She thought.
Her friends started pressuring her to do it, asking her “wouldn’t you just rather know?” They could do this, often, because it wasn’t their pride on the line, weren’t their feelings to be hurt. Easier said than done when you’re not the one who has to live with the results.
But every now and again, it would make sense. When that song would come on the radio, the one that would remind her of him, when she’d come across a photograph, when she’d see an apparently happy couple across the way, she’d get the pang of jealousy and the pang of remembrance. She was jaded, these days, a little harder, a little more sarcastic, a little wiser. The wall that she never wanted to put up was being built, little by little, by her flippant manner and outward appearance of nonchalance and distance.
Logical by nature, there were just too many reasons why it wouldn’t work. Timing, maturity, distance, not to mention fear. And she just didn’t think she could go through it all over again if it didn’t work out this time. That thought alone made her shiver in trepidation.
But…(and she rarely even allowed herself to think this way)…what if? If she’d learned anything in her life, it was to never say never and that anything was possible. So, she supposed that in some alternate universe, it really could work. And, God, how she wanted to believe that it would.
What is it they say about destiny? That it only takes you so far, and then it’s up to you? Well, was it up to her? Was this a little nudge from the heavens that it was her time to act, or was she dangerously allowing herself to take the ultimate risk and put it all on the line? She didn’t know.
She just knew that she wasn’t ready, yet. But one day — it could be tomorrow, it could be next week, it could be twenty years down the line — she would. She knew that much at least.
But in the meantime, she waited. Her secret was safe, at least for the time being.