We sat together at a wine bar that we found on the walk from the movie to our car. We could use a drink, we all agreed, and allowed the waiter to lead us, sit us, serve us. All around, couples huddled together closer than their booths and tables pushed them, obviously drawn to each other, the single candle on the table between them reflecting the fire that lit their eyes, their hearts. Waiters, waiting for their customers to decide or finish or pay, sat at the bar, alternately talking to each other and gazing with empty eyes into the dim restaurant. Music hummed around us; I think the lyrics were about love. Food came and drinks were drunk, and we became happier than we were moments earlier, the three of us an odd threesome but gradually willing to create some kind of bond with each other, like the haphazard braid of a third-grader crafted with yarn she found in the storage closet.
I think it was the drinks that charmed our secrets from us. Regrets are the deepest secrets there are, deeper even than our desires, because they are what make us believe we have to be ashamed. We carry these terrible mistakes with us with exhausting perseverance, so very determined that they are a part of us. Like a prosthetic limb. But what if we’re better off limping without that leg? It’s possible we could even learn to walk without it. One regretted the many times she’d given herself to chasing after a man. The other regretted having not. I smiled the way I do when I rehearse my own stories in my head but choose not to tell them, and I start to wonder how walking with a limp might feel.