pausing as i put the car into drive, i looked back to the house. it was too dark to make out even her silhouette, but i knew she still looked on. my eyes stayed fixed for a moment as i started to roll forward, looking away finally to focus on the road. i should've stayed with her. i should've said those things that she needed to hear, those things that i didn't dare let pass my lips, those words that burned for release. should've. if i had a nickel for every time i've said "should've", i wouldn't be here today. i'd be living the high life in some exotic location where the climate is a pleasant 75 degrees most of the year. some beautiful woman would be trying to seduce me, hoping to be the one to spend my mysteriously earned fortune (or to be the one to kill me and inherit it from my will). instead, i'm driving home alone on a dark and rainy night, listening to the same old tired songs i've heard a hundred times before, one more regret etching itself into my life.
there was a time when i wanted nothing more than to be hurt by some girl so i could pine away for them while listening to The Smiths. my Coldplay cd just begged for misery. the "August And Everything After" disc from the Counting Crows laid in wait for that day when i'd listen to it over and over again for comfort. somewhere out there, the lead singer for Stabbing Westward was waiting for some lonely soul to need him to help them through the healing process. somehow, that pain had always eluded me. all i wanted was to imprison myself night after night while listening to one moody, depressing artist after another. i wanted to be hurt so badly that i couldn't drag myself out of bed in the morning. instead, i continued drifting about in a haze of lazy depression. that depression where you know you've got no reason to be unhappy because you live a decent life, but there just seems to be something missing, something more that you could be experiencing. if i could feel real pain, that gut-wrenching tv show drama pain, then i'd know to appreciate my life when times were decent.
maybe i left because i knew she could never cause me that sort of pain. how could i appreciate the happiness that she'd bring me if i hadn't felt the pain of loss? without having experienced painful emotional turmoil, i couldn't understand the good luck i'd stumbled across. in a karmic sense, i hadn't earned the right to be happy yet. i could come up with millions of excuses why i deserved to be miserable, but not a single reason why i deserved to be happy. it's not like i'm a bad person. the skeletons in my closet would finish their stories in time for dinner.
unconciously, i started to circle the block. part of my brain (or maybe my heart) realized that i was making a mistake. self-preservation occasionally kicks in and keeps you from jumping off a bridge. i stopped as i came to her street, struggling to decide where my life should lead.