If you love something set it free, if it comes back to you it’s yours.

What if you love someone but instead of setting her free, you drove her away.

What if you forced a wedge in-between the two of you — constantly pounding at it with an eight-pound sledge — driving it in deeper and deeper?

What if you were a dick?

What if you were a controlling asshole?

What if you yelled and screamed?

What if you threw and broke stuff?

What if you were insecure?

What if you were jealous of past lovers and made her feel bad about having a life before you?

What if you didn’t appreciate her for who she was?

What if you tried to change her?

What if she wouldn’t change so you broke up with her only to get back together a week later because the girl you took to see Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind didn’t get it and you knew SHE would, so you saw it with her the next night and you both cried like babies in the movie theater?

What if you didn’t include her in the decision to take a job overseas, in a war zone, in Iraq?

What if that was the last straw?

What if you came home a year later and she had some new found self-respect and didn’t want to have anything to do with your emotionally abusive ass.

What if thirteen years passed?

What if everything you ever wanted to improve about yourself was because of her — not because you thought you could win her back but because if you ever found another love of your life you wouldn’t want to lose her too — you wouldn’t want to go through that hurt again?

What if you have finally accepted the loss — I mean, you still miss her, and you still occasionally dream about her and wake up crying but you have learned to accept the pain?

What if you learned so much about yourself that you look back and can’t believe the man you were then, at the age of thirty?

What if you wake up a few mornings after your forty-fourth birthday and there is a message from her — “Happy birthday, old man. I had a dream about you the other day and I cannot stop thinking about you.”