It was a quiet day in the office when you walked in. You spotted me right away, although I suppose the fact that I was the only one in the office helped with that. You had those “represent me” eyes and a stack of evidence that refused to quit. I liked the look of your suit.
We spent a few minutes talking; just small talk at first. I told you about myself. What I did. Where I went to school. The things people say. But as we talked longer, you started sharing more and more. You shared things with me that you hadn’t told anyone else. I felt privileged.
We talked for an hour, maybe more, and the more we talked, the more interested I got. You seemed interested in me, too. I don’t regret asking you for a commitment right there. I saw the future in you. I saw you and me helping each other, and each of us better for it. I’m just a hopeless romantic, I guess. But it really seemed like this relationship might change both our lives. You weren’t sure you wanted to get into anything that serious. Maybe you were just playing the field. Maybe you weren’t sure this was what you wanted. Maybe you make all the attorneys feel like this.
You called me once, a week later. You introduced yourself again, as if I could have forgotten you and that suit. You wanted to talk again. We talked for a while, on the phone, but you seemed a little more distant. I felt like you had been seeing other attorneys. That’s OK. We never said we were exclusive. If you weren’t the only one for me, I had no claim on you, either. But I wanted you to come back. So we talked, again, and I told you what I wanted to do for you. I think you wanted it, too. You said you’d think about it.
And I never heard from you again.
Oh, I’ve moved on. You weren’t the first, or the last, to come into my office. I haven’t been pining over you. But I must admit, sometimes when I’m alone in the office—which, let’s face it, I always am in my business—my thoughts wander back to you. I wonder what might have been. Would my life be significantly changed? Would yours? Would I be in a much different, better place? Did your attorney do for you what I wanted to? I know there are no guarantees in this business. I know that the more I had explored your case, the more flaws I would have found. I think that’s the point. I viewed our relationship through the rose-colored glasses that you can only wear for the first meeting of a relationship. They filter out the holes in your story and the causation complications and any concern for my own legal mortality. For that first meeting, you were perfect, and I was invincible, and together our lives would have been so much better.
It’s funny, because I’ve had other, similar encounters that have gone on much longer. If I were honest with myself, I would admit that I have met others like you. Their case was perfect and I was invincible and the longer our relationship went on, the more everything came back to earth. Some of them were good, even in the end. Some I regret. The thing that makes you so different is that I never looked at your suit under a microscope, and saw all the loose threads and the small but visible stain from when you spilled liability on yourself getting out of the car. You were perfect in that suit because I never had a chance to look at it closely.
I don’t imagine you will read this, and that’s probably good. Because I really haven’t been pining. I realize that every attorney has that one that got away. Many of the ones that got away from me might have become someone else’s regret. Some of the ones I regret might have been someone else’s one that got away.
I didn’t try to find you, later. It’s just not me. I didn’t try to call you. I didn’t try to find out where you were, or whether you had found someone, or how everything worked out for you. It’s not healthy. I’ll probably forget about you in time; perhaps after the next time this happens. Because there will be a next time. And maybe that time, when someone like you walks in with the perfect suit, it really will be perfect. Even under the microscope. I’ll have found the one. Our lives will both change. We will be perfect together.
I hope that’s true. I’m just a romantic, I guess. But as of now, I still think about you sometimes. And I hope you found someone who gave you what you needed.