As I wandered through this town, a town I had been to hundreds of times before, I really had no idea what I was doing. But I did know why I was doing it.
This day was about fixing regrets. I almost never had any regrets in life. I really only had one and I aimed to fix it this day.
It was only 45 minutes to drive to her town. It seemed like it had been an eternity since I had seen her last. Actually, it had been 20 years.
I had no idea what I was doing, or how I was going to do it. But I knew exactly what I was doing. I was going to go back in time while in the future and restore a life mistake.
Got to her town and drove around. I hadn't really thought this through. She probably lived somewhere else by now. Had a husband, a family, kids, a dog. She could be anywhere. She could be dead. I had no idea. Any previous lame attempts to find her had come up completely dry.
If I was kidding myself, I was okay with that. I wanted to kid myself. It made it better to just be ignorant of reality this one time. I am one that is never okay with that, This time, for whatever reason, I was.
Just to drive around, to make any real effort to find her and right the wrong that had occurred some 20 years ago, I had to do it.
Of course, the thought of finding her parents, who had lived their whole adult lives in that town was another thought. Reality again didn't matter. I hadn't really thought about how they were probably in their eighties and had died or moved away. Nope, none of that reality thinking this time. I was on a mission. Not a well planned mission, but a mission nonetheless.
I continued to drive around. Where to go? I had no clue. I just had to be in the city where she once was. Where I had seen her last. A chance meeting on the street because I was there and she was there. Fate had attempted to bring us together one last time. But it didn't work that time. I got distracted and she didn't see me. Before I knew it, she had vanished. Opportunity lost.
You don't many second chances like that in life. And I had blown it. If I had it to do over again, I would have stopped what I was doing and made sure I got to her. To make contact, to say Hi, to put my friendship foot back in the door. But I didn't. And now, it is twenty years later. And there is no door. I have no door to walk through to start up the conversation again. I am wandering around her town, what was once her town, and I have no idea what door she is behind. Or if she is even behind any door in this town. She probably isn't.
I tempted fate, and fate smacked me. Now all I can do is try to get another chance. Part of this mission is just hoping that I get a chance run in with her again. If she is around, in this town, that by being here, in this short amount of random time, with no real purpose or plan, I will encounter her and we can start over.
Yes, start over. When I say start over, I mean go back to that instant in time, that moment I want back, and change what I did. What I said. That is the regret. That I put my selfish want above the friendship and destroyed what we had. In that instant. I don't even know if that is possible, but I am giving it a chance. What I said cannot be forgotten, but it can be discussed, dealt with and hopefully settled. Time sometimes can help with that. Emotions of the moment fade and the old good will and feelings return.
That is my hope as I wander aimlessly on this futile mission.
I drive around some more, for another hour and a bit. Still no chance meeting. Of course, I was kidding myself to think it could work like this. That just doesn't happen. I missed my chance 20 years ago.
If there is to be another chance, then it will happen by chance, as it did then. Only this time, I have to see that chance, and take that chance.