One day she woke up and realized she’d been running the same fantasy through her head for the past seven years: She finds herself in her hometown, horribly successful and intimidatingly beautiful, picking up groceries when she runs into him and he drops everything he has in his hands (he is that startled) and just stands there until she breaks the silence by saying hello. Small variations in the fantasy would occur after this; sometimes she would simply walk off and leave him there surrounded by fallen groceries, other times they would engage in witty banter which ultimately lead them outside to his car (or sometimes her car) where they would either have this amazing conversation or maybe he would take her back to his house or maybe they would just drive off to anyplace but there.
Seven years. Seven years of the same fantasy with slight alterations. Seven years of not seeking out something new, of not trying to move on or to remember him through any lens other than that golden, hazy lens applied to memories that are often sweeter than the reality.
It’s not to say she spent those seven years with no other lovers or without thinking of anyone else. But anytime she would close her eyes and think of something really great or meaningful or sensual, it would always be him. Even if she’d start thinking of someone else, eventually images of him would dominate. Without fail.
And then she woke up on that day with that realization and decided to put it to rest. It had been seven years, but she was going to end it for once and for all. She would find him, and either he would disappoint her or he would be everything she wanted him to be. Either way, he would no longer be a thing of fantasy (THE thing of fantasy), but a piece of her reality. It was time to stop dreaming and time to start living, even if that meant she would be hurt or let down or, even worse, find life to be better than her fantasies.