Falling in Love on All Hallows’ Eve

Seven years ago I went to visit Josh for Halloween. Well, I did not go for Halloween, but it happened that vacation days and cheap flights aligned for the end of October.

Josh and I thought we were so very different, but everyone else saw that we were just two variations of a cerebral, uber-religious, cautious, conscientious, theme.

We went to a cemetery to pray (because, hey, it wasn’t like we were going to have a more appropriate time to pray there together), then to mass, and back to Josh’s family’s house to enjoy a bonfire with his family.

Time was running out for me and my chest froze when I gave myself a few minutes to think about what I was about to lose. I was not in love with Josh in that possessive YOUMUSTBEMIIIIIIIINE sort of way, but somehow he was my closest friend before we even knew each other. When we sat beside each other I leaned away from him in a way perfectly calculated to hide the fact that I would have gladly melted into him if only it were remotely appropriate.

We had an intense connection. There was no hint of romance.

The only way our relationship could continue would be if Josh were to change the direction of his life toward the priesthood. But Josh was not going to be a priest. He was going to get married. It might happen sooner or later, but it would happen.

I knew that no woman would tolerate her husband having such a naturally intimate friendship with me–another woman. I also knew that there was no way that I would allow Josh to play the honorable martyr and marry me just because we were clearly such a good, reasonable match.

And so, just for a moment, I allowed myself to indulge in grief over what might have been… If only there had been that ineffable something.

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