“This is the hardest.” I say to my side, as I turn my head to look diagonally to the guy staring straight at me. I get ready myself to serve this time. A doubles game currently taking place, our eyes locked to each other. Taking a deep breath, I continue for our team.
Serve, run, smash, distract myself.
I lose the point.
“No. This, is the hardest.” He whispers to me as I walk towards the other square. Again, the guy on the other side of the net stood diagonally from me, waiting for me to be ready before he swings his racket. His look is similarly intense, focused on the game, focused on me.
He is right. This is harder, not the previous. Not having to force myself to focus on him, locking my target as I prepare myself to play, but him looking at me, in the most serious kind of ways. There is no possible way for me to escape his gaze, as if there is no net separating us, as if he is not standing halfway across the court.
I am glad that half the court away, he stands, completely oblivious to this small conversation happening. There is nothing left in me except the feeling of longing and the memories of spontaneity, fearless decisions and persistent actions.
But the worst is none of the above.
It is the fact that I am easily readable by this guy on my side, no context needed to understand the subject of my sudden comment. As close as we can be, we can never be close enough in the ways that I would have desired.
The one that got away is the one in my present, who’s standing next to me, not the guy of my past. Yet, I know for certain that it is my present who will haunt my late night thoughts years from now.