I started to travel internationally. First the UK, then the Continent, and, as I mentioned, behind the Iron Curtain, although that wasn't nearly as glamorous or exciting as you might assume. I was relatively scared the entire time. I wanted to get back out as soon as I got in.
I went back to London and met a girl who had escaped from Poland. I understood just enough about her plight and her flight to be a little bit more empathetic than the rest. We hit it off until we didn't.
Later, in Germany, I met her for coffee. She was visiting friends. I was simply vagabonding.
"I feel like things could have worked out between us," I said.
"Yeah?" It was half question, half agreement.
"You gave up on us pretty fast."
"I gave up on you?" It was definitely a question.
"Yes, don't you remember? You said, 'You wouldn't trust me again.' I remember thinking, 'That is not really your judgment call to make.' Besides, I care less about that kind of thing than ever."
"Well, I still do."
"Interesting." We stared at our coffee and changed the subject.
I sometimes wonder what happened to her. Of course, she's dead now. She grew old, I hope, and just like everyone else in this world, succumbed. Now here I am, 124 years later, caring even less about "that kind of thing."