2 min readNov 10, 2021

A long-ago missed chance.

2019 © Brad Foster

Photo by Jakub Dziubak on Unsplash

On a frigid night long ago, I sat in a tavern packed with fans shouting toward a bright television. I cared not for the game — heresy around here! I’d come for their famous hamburger and a glass of red wine.

When I next looked up, a beautiful young woman stood by my table. “Isn’t it sad to drink alone?”

“It’s not sad if you join me.” Later, I asked Mauren if I could kiss her. My heart hammered in my chest, while at the same time I felt like I could fly. We made a home blessed with children.

Except…that never did happen. She’d asked that question and I’d stammered. Embarrassed, she walked out of the tavern. I never knew her name, nor found her again. People in the booth behind me laughed. Perhaps they were eavesdropping and chuckled at my patheticness.

I wondered what would have happened if I’d been more suave and if we would’ve had that house full of children. But I was angry then and disposed to smashing holes into walls. Holes big enough for her to have escaped from my life. Years later, I could have been the man she would’ve loved — but not in 1996. I’ve often wondered how she was doing and I hope she found a good man. She deserved that for being brave.

I no longer wonder, though. Had I not failed all those years ago, I’d not have found love when I was ready.