Last night I dreamed of my “what-if man.”
W.i.m. is someone I have known since high school. We were both gymnasts, so we spent many hours working out together. He was handsome, kind, and funny, with similar interests and faith. In our sophomore year, he asked me to the Homecoming dance, and I said… No. Why? Because he was a nerd, and I didn’t want to risk being seen at a dance with a nerd.
As high school progressed, we found ourselves in other serious relationships. After we graduated, W.i.m. left for MIT (no surprise there) and I headed to Valparaiso University.
During almost every vacation, we spent at least one afternoon or evening together. You could call them dates – they probably were – but inevitably one of us would be in a relationship, rendering any romantic prospect null and void. And every time, a little voice in my heart wondered, “What if?”
I never told W.i.m. about that little voice, and to this day I wonder what would have happened if, on one of our non-date dates, I had confessed that one of my greatest regrets was saying no when he asked me to the dance.
I can’t imagine not knowing my husband, who brings light to my every day. I cherish our children, both of whom are an exquisite portrait of the love, faith, and laughter that we share. But still, sometimes I wonder. What if?
I saw W.i.m. at our 10-year high school reunion a few years ago. He is still handsome, kind, and funny. There was no dancing that evening; but if there had been, I would have asked him to dance. And I hope he would have said yes.