The one he left behind

A letter to the one he left behind, because the words unspoken are sometimes the truest – and the easiest to hold on to.

Hello.

You weren’t bad. You did not fail to make me happy. You’ve impressed me in ways you’ve always refused to listen to. You are not ugly. I wasn’t miserable. I thanked you in many ways until the end – to how you’ve helped me break out of my shell and how you’ve always been a steady piece.

These are some responses I have for your questions. But I wanted to tell you things from my perspective as well – because it seems this has quickly become a thing where you’re a perfect being and I’m shit. We failed. I failed you first, but we both failed.

You are not lacking; we were just not complementing each other in a way that mattered. You are worthy of being loved; just not by me. There is nothing wrong with you; I just wasn’t the one you needed. We were too different. Frankly, we didn’t need each other – but we’ve romanticized that in a way that we did, because it looked good on paper.

We didn’t look good on paper. You were perfectly fine on your own, managing yourself all good and well when I first met you.

But we were in love, that part was definitely true. It’s just that, everything started to burn as complacency set in. Love started to wilt, but none of us wanted to move against it. We were literally slow dancing in a burning room, like that John Mayer song.

The best feet forward that eventually turned up to be lies? I’ve looked past them, dear. You know how I am.

“Because you’re the one that knows my family – you’re the one who exists in the home,” you said. And what did that mean?

To be honest, I wasn’t sure what that meant during the time either. But I knew very well that was a bad omen.

Maybe I stopped caring along the way, because I couldn’t feel anything anymore. I felt like a moneybag; figuratively and literally. I also felt that eventually, once my purpose is spent, I will be thrown away. I’ve even told you that, but you ignored me because you were struggling. And maybe I wasn’t, because yeah – I was in a good place anyway. I just told myself I shouldn’t be selfish.

There are questions I couldn’t answer – like, why should someone get hurt? Or why should you get hurt?

You weren’t the only one. I was hurting, too. In ways you weren’t able to see because you were too busy ignoring the cues. Too busy not to realize that I needed you, too. Too busy wanting to be the one to be pleased – wanting to be the one touched. And you knew me well, dear. You knew very well that that wasn’t the kind of love I needed. I needed you to be passionate. To be true. I needed warmth. I needed you in the night. But it was always about you.

I knew the stagnation happens – but does it really have to be a constant? Maybe that’s what I meant about things being too marriage-y. It was a rush to reality that I did not want. And I’ve told you that. Maybe you never heard, or maybe you’ve swept it under a rug like I did.

What was so complicated about keeping the one you love stay in love with you, and for once stop thinking that the world owes you? But I’ve looked past that. I tried. I kept trying. Trying to stay in love. Tried to. And you cannot lie that I did.

The thing was, love should not have been about trying so hard. And maybe that was my fault as well – I should have told you so we could have tried together. But is that even right? Should love even be about trying?

I should have said this wasn’t working, but I tried to fix it on my own; because I knew what you would say. That you were too broken. That you had feelings. That you didn’t have anyone else. And I guess that was another reality I had to take. That was fine.

You did not deserve that stress. You did not deserve me telling you this wasn’t working because I needed more. Who was I to demand more when my cries were insignificant compared to all the things you had on your plate? So I tried to move past that and tried in silence.

You said you felt things falling apart, but you said nothing. How can you blame me, and ask me if something is wrong with you? Why did you think you had to be all that – all that sheen and perfection, for me to stay in love with you? You didn’t have to be. I needed youYou, without all the expectations. I needed honesty. Attention. Feeling. A moment where we just drop everything on the ground and not care.

Towards the end, we’ve lost touch. Completely. There was no feeling. The feeling died a long time ago and you know that; but we never tried. That was the saddest part, we weren’t trying because we weren’t in love.

And I guess at the end, that is when you realized I mattered, too. This is a feeling I’m getting used to now, to be honest. People realizing too late. I haven’t felt more numb than before. And I was a dreamer. Dreamers should never be numbed down because the realists find them unreasonable. I needed a realist to keep me on the ground – not kill the essence of my existence.

I am sorry if you think I am a liar, but I guess you can think what you want to think. It doesn’t matter now – it’s just sad that you’ve shrunken me to a thing much less than a doormat, and you expect me to glorify you for your pain. How is that fair? How can you be such a binary creature? How can you, who ought to stay with me for the longest time find me to be disgusting?

But I don’t mind. Maybe I am disgusting. But I wish you would understand what happened and why it did. I never intended for it to go this way. And to be honest with you, I’ve always planned on coming home and talking to you about it finally – because I wanted it to work. Maybe all I needed was a pause.

But in the middle of that hiatus, someone came. Someone… raw. Real. Severe. Unnervingly honest. I was an aspect of deprivation drawn to the warmth of truth. Of awakening. Of someone who dreams, but is real. I’ve been dead for the longest time, dear. Knowing him was the first time I’ve felt that I wasn’t.

I was moving towards him in a way unbeknownst to me. It was different. It felt… real. I was real the whole time. I was honest. I was brave. I didn’t have to be that guy that had to be a prince. I felt free. From expectations – from everything. All I had to be was myself, and that was completely fine. And I was desirable. I’ve been empowered. To be honest, I’m not sure if this is it – but I feel that it is. I am but hopeful this turns out to be for the best.

And the thing about that is, I’ve fallen. Hard. I wasn’t sure if I wanted that to happen, but I did. And I am really sorry.

I’m writing this so you would understand, that I did not mean to hurt you the way I did.

I’m writing to you not because I wanted to tell you off, but for you to understand how I feel; how I felt when we were together. That it’s just not you who had feelings – I had them, too.

I’m writing this so you realize where I’ve failed; how much I wish I could make it up to you, but without any real way for me to do so.

I’m writing to you to hopefully answer your questions. I’m writing to let you know that I’ve read your messages, and maybe if I bared my mind, you would at least remember me as someone who stopped holding things in and told you the truth.

I apologize for the way we ended. I know there is no turning back, but know that for the record, we mattered.

I am sorry if I didn’t try hard enough. I am sorry if I stopped believing in the idea of us. I am sorry for wanting too much. I am sorry for wanting to be wanted. I am sorry for wanting to be touched. I am sorry we lost the spark. I am sorry I put too many good feats forward, but not the bad ones. I am sorry for being a pushover.

Before the record breaks, know that I loved you just as much. The sad part is that it died as quickly as it started – when we chose to lose the magic in light of just staying together. Because it was nice to have someone. I guess I thought we would always try to make each other fall in love, even if we were already in love. But that was too magical. Maybe too dreamy. But I’ve realized now that that’s not impossible.

I hope you find him – the one you need. I am sorry if I cannot be that person anymore. I honestly tried, but I am allowing you to believe what you want to believe. I am just hoping when you find the one – make him feel good. Tell him everything upfront – be honest. Tell him what you really like doing, and not tell him what he wants to hear. Make him feel like he matters to you the way you matter to him. As hard as you could. Go in and give him everything you’ve got. Because I know you can.

I might not have worked – we might not have worked. But the next time around, I know you could. Do not rush if it doesn’t need to be rushed. Let it happen. Let it matter and dream. Dream as hard as you can. Start believing that things can be magical no matter how mundane they are, and stop looking at the bad. Stop thinking that you’re not good enough, because you are. Although keep in mind that what you’re good at is not always for everyone.

I guess it’s too late for us now, dear. I think this is where we stop blaming each other, and accept things for what they are. I think this is where things ought to finally stop.

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XVII: The crazy storm named You-and-I

Imagine two people on an ECG tracing shaped roller-coaster ride: went up, went down, peaked to the top, and then crashed.

* * * * *

“…I think they know about the little something we have,” you whispered through a partial smile.

“Little something we have?” He asked. “What are you talking about?”

“Don’t we…? Aren’t we…?”

“What?” He asked, his confusion bubbling.

“Isn’t there something between us?”

“What is it?”
“Oh.” You said, stopping in an uninspired tone. You started to look defeated, as if you wanted to choke him for being so dense. “I guess I just assumed…”

“Assumed what? Complete your sentences, for sanity’s sake!”

“Assumed we had something! That we were a thing!” An angry tone escaped you, catching him off-guard.

He would normally talk endlessly about things you could never talk about with anyone else, yet at this moment, the silence was deafening – all he did was stare.

He didn’t know what to say – was it immature to admit that he couldn’t understand, why after everything he’s been through – how this still felt very alien? “Oh…” he trailed off.

You grabbed his face angrily and kissed him as his world started burning. “I know you feel something,” you said breathlessly. “Let me in.”

* * * * *

He’s nervous. He wanted to ask you to hang out but was afraid of rejection. Why has it always been this way? He wondered.

He wondered if there were other people who felt the same way he did: being terrified of finding out that you’re not as important as you thought you were – how you’ve made your world revolve around something, only to find out that that something did not even want you around.

“You want to see me, don’t you?” Your voice was sparkling through the voice box like a breath of fresh air. “Don’t you?” You continued to tease.

His laughter was nervous and dotted. “You got me,” he said with a smile – relieved of his morbid thoughts.

“You simply have to ask,” you said. “I’d come running if it was you.”

“You don’t mean that,” he said, stifling a pink giggle.

“I mean it,” you deadpanned to make yourself sound extremely serious.

“Really?” He lightened up.

“Meet me at the noodle place, 6PM.”

“Got it.” He curled his fist in anticipation, smiling uncontrollably.

“Don’t be late!” You plunged the call off as he sighed out in comfort.

He’s relieved how well that worked.

* * * * *

Everything started to go down when you started to control him. What drove you to become manipulative, he does not know.

For the first part, he thought there was something wrong with him – until words came out of your mouth, how you screamed like a banshee: “What do you want?!”

You knew what he wanted – and he knew where this was coming from. You can’t let go of the idea that he’s cheating on you. The way you spoke so condescendingly made him decide not to defend himself; you’ve already had the theories laid out on your head and he knew these were the only things you’d believe.

“I don’t know how to assure you,” he said. “I don’t know. But I know I want you and I want this to work,” he continued.

“Liar,” you said with contempt.

He kept his mouth shut.

“What? Why are you looking at me like that?” You asked, looking down on him as if he’s trash.

He returned a question. “Is this what makes you happy? Keeping me the underdog? You know that’s not how this should work.”

“I’m not trying to do anything, you fucking cheater,” you said.

“You’ve already went through everything: my mail, my Facebook, my phone – what else should I give?” He asked, his voice shaking – scared.

“That’s the problem – you allowed me to look at all those, yet you’re still hiding things from me!”

“I am not!” The look on your face was different. Was it because you didn’t expect him to shout like that?

He wiped the corner of his eye. “You’ve gone through everything, love – everything. But you keep interpreting everything wrong. I talk to people, that’s kind of how people live. They talk.”

You sat there in awe. He held your hand and you let him. “Just because I talk to them doesn’t mean I like them that way. Come on, you’re old enough to know that…” he said.

“But it scares me,” you said. “It scares me that someone else might fall in love with you.”

“Me? Fall in love with me?” He said, smiling as his mood lightens. “You’re kidding, right?”
“I’m not.” His tone didn’t even change yours – you still sounded serious.

“They won’t. And you’ve seen how I keep telling people I’m already seeing someone – that someone is you,” he pointed to your heart as he ended – and things went smoothly from there.

* * * * *

Nothing ever changes, does it? He contradicted even his own beliefs.

The issue never really ceased, but instead, had decided to take on a different course.

“How much space do you really want, huh?” You asked. “It’s been a week and I miss you so bad – how could you go on that long without talking to me?”

He kept his mouth shut.

“You’ve already found someone new, haven’t you?” You asked.

Silence.

“Speak!” You screamed. “How could you do that?”

He couldn’t bear the thought of talking back at you – but he sure wanted to. Where had the person – the person that piqued his interest to the extent of passion went? He thought to himself, basically ignoring all the rant you were blabbering.

“Don’t you love me anymore?” You asked, making his head shoot up.

He knew he still did. He doesn’t know why – but maybe it’s because he keeps looking at the good, even when the bad had obviously taken over.

He’s decided to be realistic.

“I am –” his voice broke as he cleared his throat. “I am still in love with you,” he said. “But I no longer see a future with you. Does that make sense?”

You cried, and everything went down from there.

“Why does this keep happening to me? Is there something wrong with me?”

“I’m not leaving you,” he said. “We’re not even together.” He stressed. “But love, I still want this to work – you have to listen to me.”

“No,” you said, your tone light and different. “I don’t want someone who doesn’t see a future with me – I’m too old to be playing games like that.”

“Games?!” He asked, mad. He was going to fight for you one last time – but decided not to. He caught himself in his welling anger and breathed it out.

You’ve already set your mind, and he knew he couldn’t change that.

“Just go,” you said with finality.

“Alright. You win,” – and then he left. He wanted to look back, but he stopped himself.

* * * * *

XII: Conversations

Let it Go

Conversations are awesome. No matter how weird it might seem, it’s obvious that people enjoy listening: listening to other people talk, to other people sing, and basically to other people living their lives. Quite the same as talking.

People who read would understand. Every beautiful set of words that depicts a picturesque setting or a colourful feeling matters, of course, but the dialogue can hold its own weight even if it’s short or long. It’s the discourse that shapes relationships, leaves the dents, and heals the cracks that altogether makes the story whole.

So I’ve piled up a few conversations; mostly related to shit like love and stuff. Some of them from my write-ups that’s scribbled all over the deep behind of my College notes, and some from my unheard-of works stranded in both wooden libraries and electronic ones, apparently collecting mildew. Melodramatic conversations, happy conversations — you name it.

________________________

“That’s kind of not how it goes. It’s not his fault that he’s not you.”
“That’s the first mean thing you said that I like.”

(Behind my CHEM2 Notebook [2011, I think?])

____________

“Hey, Is this a good concept?”
“Seems desolate. Not really your thing.”

(SHORT: The Painter [2009])

________________________

“Joan, you’re a girl… right?”
“I am? That’s odd.  I have no idea when that happened.”

(WRITE-UPS: Project Bebes [2012])

____________

“Sooo… what would you do if someone told you that they loved you?”
“Depends on what kind of love we’re talking about. “

“The kind between… Well, pretend you’re a woman and—”
I am a woman.

“That’s not what I meant. Pretend you’re another woman.”
“I need context. Do I love them back or did this come up out of nowhere?”

“I don’t know if you love them back. Maybe you do, I don’t know.”

(WRITE-UPS: Project Bebes, 2012)

________________________

“How do I look?”
“Does the word ‘dork’ mean anything to you?”

“What?”

(Behind my NCM101 Notebook [2009])

____________

“Okay! Okay! So we were kissing. Is that such a bad thing? I mean, we’re both consenting adults and I’ve been waiting for this for a long time and — Whoa… whoa… whoa! You two! You two were kissing!”
“…we were?”

(INC: Songs I wish you sang for me [2013/4])

________________________

“As much as I would hate to admit it… But… I’ve never really had a chance to date someone. Or anyone.”
“Well, then here’s step one. Do you want to go out with me?”

(If only I could tell you, I would let you know [2010])

____________

“Why? Is love reserved?”
“…”

“You can give love to anyone.”
“Are you trying to tell me that I’m in love with Cody?”

“No, but if that’s what you think, then —”
“I love him because he’s the only friend that I’ve ever had and I wouldn’t want that to change.”

“If that’s the case, then I have a chance.”

(Hold on [2009])

________________________

“Look, it’s never going to be perfect. You just have to live with it, and learn to like all the flaws. I want to do whatever it takes to make this work because I love you… with all the geekiness that comes with it.”

(SHORT: The King and The Geek [2013?], Behind my Pharma mock-test thingy book)

____________

“Are you sure this is the right time to talk about this? You’re…”
“Try not to be bothered.”

“Then what should I say?”
“Say that you… like me, too?”

“For one, you make me feel good. Does that count?”
“What do you mean?”

“When I’m with you, I feel this odd force pulling me towards you. It’s a bit sickening, in a good way. Is there a good side on that word? I don’t know… What am I saying? Okay, I’m rambling, aren’t I?”
“Does that mean that you…?”

“I don’t know. What do you think? I really want things to work… maybe for us — maybe for everyone. Between the ophii and our impending doom, the only thing I care about is losing more people that are close to me — and I know that you’re one of those people.”
“So… you…”

“I just don’t want it to end. My life — your life… and maybe this thing between us, too. I don’t know. But if you don’t feel the same way…”
“Don’t put your words into my mouth.”

“So what are you thinking?”
“What I think? I don’t even have time to think. All I want to do is this.”

“This?”
“This.”

(INC: Asunder, 2013)

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Okay, if I wasn’t too lazy, this would be longer, but I honestly think this is ALREADY too long. Haha! I’ll leave the last one to your sense of wonder.

Oh dear no