I saw it. In a crowded room. The look of regret shuddered quickly over his eyes. All those years later and in just one glimpse, I saw it. He looked at her and it was like everything clicked and he saw where he could have done better and what his life could have been.
That's the funny thing about could-have-beens, they all boil down to very small moments, where very small decisions were made. And these very small moments and decisions pile together to make monumental life-altering reactions.
But in that glimpse, he saw it. He saw the apology that was never delivered. He saw the flowers that failed to show up. He saw a lot of late nights, where she was left lonely in the name of "fun." He saw all the time dedicated to a lot of other people, but not her. He saw vices that he had turned into her guilt. And for the first time, he saw how tender she was. He saw how he had transformed her into the tough shell she had become and that all along, her tender-heart was waiting. Waiting for his trust and stability. This woman's heart had waited years for him. The gravity of that finally sank in and he blinked his eyes. The glance ended and they were both on their way.
They both went on to lead pretty great lives. But yet, there, in that moment, was the look of regret. The look of little moments caught up to someone. The look of, "I should have tried harder," and, "What would it be like now?"
I saw it there. It was only a moment. It was only a glimpse. It was that look of regret.