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Envy of the Alternate Me

by Emma Lee 2 months ago in Dating
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A lament of regret for not taking a chance on love

Envy of the Alternate Me
Photo by Jeremy Thomas on Unsplash

There are theories about dreams being glimpses of what life is like in alternate universes. I hope with all my heart that the theories are true, because that means somewhere out there I am with you. I hope the me in that universe doesn’t take a second with you for granted. I wonder if that me ever sees this universe in her dreams and catches a glimpse of what her life would be like without you.

In this universe, it’s been over three years since I’ve seen your face, heard your voice. I thought after a year, after two years, definitely by year three my heart would have moved on, my memories burrowed deeper into the past, my mind occupied by more recent events. But I still dream of you.

Sometimes I go weeks without dreaming of you. Sometimes I dream of you more than once in the same week. But nevertheless I still dream of you. And every time I do, I wake up with a renewed sense of regret that I was afraid to let myself love you.

I regret every gesture I ignored and every opportunity I didn’t take to let “us” happen. I wonder if you knew how much I wanted to love you. I wonder if you wanted to love me too. I tell myself the way we are now is for the best. I still haven’t learned to love myself. I still wouldn’t be able to accept your love. I still couldn’t give you the love you deserve—at least that’s what I tell myself.

I don’t know where the last three years in this universe have pushed you; I know you’re happier wherever life took you. I don’t question it, I take it as a fact. You could not possibly have ended up happy with me. I know I would have only brought you down in the long run. Things would have ended on bad terms. At least this way, I can live with the regrets, knowing there was a friendship left in tact full of memories that make me smile when my skies are gray. (And as of late the skies of my mind are almost always gray.)

I grasp at the glimpses of us I find in my dreams—those fleeting moments of you and me. I envy the universe where we are together—wherever it is I visit in my dreams. My heart feels full and happy there—wherever “there” is, I’m with you. And I hope the you there is happy with me too. Perhaps the me there is not cloudy and gray. Perhaps in that alternate universe, it’s clear skies all day. In that universe I am surrounded by sunshine. I can feel the warmth.

I know it’s only a dream. I don’t want to wake up. The moment my eyes open I feel the withdrawals. It’s like the me in this universe misses you so terribly, I had to steal a moment with you from there just to survive. My sunshine is distant in this universe, I have to borrow the light from my dreams.

I don’t know why—especially after three years since I last heard your voice and saw your face—that I could possibly still feel this way. I consider my feelings insane. There was never an us. There was a me who wanted to love you, a me who was too scared to. There is still a me that wants to love you, and a me that will always wonder if you could have loved me too. I thought, over time, these feelings would fade, but I have my dreams to remind me of the sunshine that never failed to make me smile on a gray day.


About the author

Emma Lee

I'm a bookworm with a vivid imagination. I have scribbled short stories and book ideas into journals since childhood; I'm hoping this site will be my first steps on advancing my hobby and putting my work out for others to critique.

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