Perhaps it would have been better not to have met Nikolas, not to anticipate his compliments, his bright smile over his charm, his way of comforting me when I was sad, his humor and his gentlemanly way of dealing with me with a lady who grew up in a difficult family situation, with a mother who was an alcoholic and a father who left early and lived with another woman, but even if I hadn't forgotten him and still sometimes dream of him at night. I knew Nicolas didn't deserve me after what he did. His last words still ring in my ears today, even though more than twenty years had passed and I had the feeling that life had taught me something completely different from the lovesickness at the age of eighteen: "I too can deal with feelings play, Lara," he said with a soft smile as he said goodbye. It always bothered me. What did he mean by that? For years I'd chewed on it like hard-edged bread that nearly ripped my teeth out, wondering what his words meant. The fact was that I had never seen him again and many other things had happened, like my daughter I had raised and my job as an office clerk. I had had many more dates, I had cheated to get revenge on Nicolas, my past love, but what good did that do me? What brought the revenge. You stayed away empty, felt happy for a few minutes and then, perplexed, the old emptiness came back. What sense did that make, please? You went away with empty pockets, not with full ones. I would never get Nicolas back anyway. One day I noticed it, it dawned on me in a matter of seconds like a blindingly bright flash in the darkness, sixteen years later. It was so damn easy. Why didn't I realize that earlier. Why had I tried so hard to get rid of the old pain. I had wanted to understand why he had cheated on me with the other and left me and it was so simple. Nicolas had played the same game as I had after him. He had taken revenge on me because of a past love, which it seriously looked like had not been reciprocated and he had used "the second sight" as my aunt Frederike called it today when I asked her about it years later to disappoint me and his past love had also gotten very close to him and had let me down. Sometimes, I had learned, you first had to get to know yourself in order to understand other people who did you wrong and as a second step to understand, as a third step to forgive, even if that was damn difficult, but better than torturing yourself further. forgive yourself for playing the same game and then move on and develop a different attitude. Because an optimistic view was better than an overly negative attitude in life. Move on and face the future not with fear but with hope.
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