Regret is such a funny thing. Looking back and saying, if only I’d done this, or kept this friend or pursued this opportunity. You really never know if it would have improved things. Because, as any science fiction fan knows, when you go back in a timeline and change one element, everything changes. You might even find yourself dead.
But, I do think about this book. The book that got away.
A friend lent it to me in high school. She so loved it. She wanted me to read it. And I never did. I remember scanning it for dirty parts, and, finding none, I felt it wouldn’t be worth my time.
Uh, what was I thinking? Why didn't I read it!!
I was so serious about reading by then. I’d left all the fun books behind, all the fantasy, the mystery, the science fiction, all of it. I loved to read, but I never read for pleasure by then. I read hard books. Arcane books. Old books. That held through college and well after. I was so grim about my reading and so many other things. I don't regret my reading material, but I could've mixed it up, you know? I think my high school, college and young adult years would have been greatly improved if I'd read romances.
It wasn’t until a decade ago that I re-discovered my love for fantasy and sci fi and mystery. And discovered romance. It was like a whirlwind love affair.
I often think back on this book. Romance, we had a chance and I blew it. What if I’d known you all along? Young Carolyn needed you.
Oh well. Now I’ve rediscovered the pleasures of genre reading, and specifically romance. Maybe it’s sweeter now for me. I know I would be in a different place in my career, but I don't know if it would be worse or better.