i cannot help but wonder where i’d be if i’d done things differently. it’s not regret–i will not let myself regret–just supposing. imagining. wondering.
if i’d studied less and partied more.
if i’d worn more make-up and shorter skirts.
if i’d held more hands, kissed more lips and shared more blankets.
if i’d had the courage to say no, when everyone expected yes.
if i’d had the courage to say yes, when all i could muster was no.
if i applied to X school and got accepted into Y job and decided to pursue Z dream.
if if if if if.
everyone has ifs. even my mom, who tonight told me about an old college friend. they lived in the same dorm and they spent a lot of time together, although both were in relationships with other people. still, they were close, and he would bring her pasalubongs, or gifts, from his travels. “i think he had a crush on me,” she said.
“yeah,” i said. “i think that’s pretty obvious.”
years later, he surprised her with phonecall. out of the blue. by then, they’d both gotten married — he to his college sweetheart and mom to my dad. when he asked who was the lucky guy who’d won mom’s heart and she told him it was a man from pampanga — the province where he, too, was from — he half-heartedly joked that it could have been him.
“if only i’d known.”
i wonder what is in store for me. who will be my surprise phone call? who will be the man who wins my heart? who will be the story that i tell my daughter when she is old enough to understand?