It is strange how a single memory can disappear
from conscious awareness for years,
seemingly bearing no apparent sign that it was ever there.
Then, as if it had never been forgotten,
it returns with every detail and emotion intact.
So it was with some surprise that I suddenly remembered
the handsome Marine who once, and briefly, befriended me.
If it had not been for his effort, that first email he sent to me,
we never would have met;
we never would have known that we, so apparently different,
would have had something in common and something to share.
If it had only been up to me I would have sided with fear
and passed him by—bitterly assuring myself
that someone like him
would never want to know someone like me.
For weeks everything went well but then,
suddenly and without warning,
he ceased all communication with me
and set his profile to private,
forever cutting me out of his world.
If I had not feared confirming my suspicions,
I might have asked for an explanation,
but, as I have done with so many opportunities,
I sided with my fears and forgot about him.