XIX: I Don’t Know — The Art of Letting You Go

One leaves in confusion, just as the other is left unsure.

Damian and Louise… in a boiling point. (Cool, I’m naming my characters now!)

And I still suck at introductions. Haha!
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Louise has written a letter last night and leaves it on the nightstand, where she’s sure you’d find once you get up and open your eyes.

She gets up and leaves with a stuffed backpack, hastily packed but quietly, in hopes of not waking you up.

You wake up and rub your eyes, wary, noticing that she isn’t beside you. You palm at her side of the bed, but it isn’t warm as you expected.

You get up slowly and notice something on the nightstand. You grab the folded but welcoming letter on the stand and glare at it. You hold it in your hands while your knuckles whiten, crumpling the paper a bit.

* * *      * * *      * * *

Damian,

Remember that time when you said you loved me for the first time?

That was two years ago, I think – and then you left just as hastily so, for about 5 weeks. When you came back, you were completely engrossed in a whole lot of different things, and I was aptly abhorred when I was starting to figure out that none of those things involved me.

I wanted to be involved, of course – you said you loved me and I said it back, and I thought it was a mutual understanding that we were to start working on something together. Technically, that should be it, but I didn’t want to demand.

You would always be on your phone, smiling, laughing, and then suddenly leaving me alone with no idea where you’re actually going. Were you cheating? Were you falling in love with someone else?

I was there, watching you, every day being shattered, as I see you smiling genuinely against your phone screen. Until one day you left your phone out and I saw it there, a message previewed clearly… someone sending you a message that they will just brush their teeth, preceded by a word of endearment.

I didn’t want to know – but I knew enough that I’ve already lost you. But I felt that maybe you’d come around and realise what you’re losing.

So I waited… for nothing.

Until one day after about 8 months, I realised I was tired of all that bull and asked you straight: “Is there something out there for us anymore?” – I asked this with a nervous voice, crackling in my own uncertainty, my palms all sweaty and shaky.

You hugged me right then – quiet, with no actual answer.

So I talked to clear the air. I said: “Because I don’t really know what we are…”

And remember what you said?

“Do what you want,” with a calm voice.  You didn’t say it like you were mad at me for asking, but a gentle letting-go, the way I understood it.

I was shattered – because I expected at least that you would’ve held me back, or at least got mad at me – punched me, or something (then I accuse you of battery, because lol).

But I choked and swallowed my heart back in.

I ran away – for a weekend, so I can take a breather. I went across the country so I can be away from you. When I came back, I started to entertain someone else – where you never really had anything against either way.

So I took the hint (finally) – that we were really over.

And since that day I asked you, I never heard anything.

I started meeting other people, because I was completely convinced we were over. You found out I was starting to terribly fall in love with someone who sounded like an angel (literally). Someone who depicted the perfect stranger, awkward yet adorable – to whom everything just felt right.

You started jumping around and panicking and not knowing what to do. You started trying to take me back – begging, and I just wouldn’t hear it. You were terrifying me with actions, leaving around clues that you were hurting yourself. I felt it – I wanted to save you, my Messiah syndrome almost taking over – but I was so blinded by the attention that I was begging from you for so long that I was getting from someone else. I have found my saving grace, and there was no way to convince me to come back.

Then some few months ago, I went out alone and been away for days, if you still remember. That was when I realised that what I needed wasn’t a saving grace, but a fresh start.

Apart from being happy with my saving grace, the desire that I had to get rid of the memory of you was still the biggest deal. Although it brings me happiness to think of what we’ve had before (no matter how small it was), the things that I had to go through for you – the hurt still outweighed the happiness. It was heavy against my heart and was heavy against my soul, and I was beyond prostrated.

So I had to break myself and let my saving grace go – because it was unfair for him to have to fix something that is so broken. To never really have something complete; to have something that comes with excess baggage.

Afterwards, I’ve been trying – trying real hard to push through. I tried – but we’ve still went back to our old adage – to our old misunderstanding, and I fear we will never really be rid of it.

I don’t think you will ever understand why I love computer games, why I love talking, and why I love to write – why I love to read and why I like talking about feelings – why my emotions fleet and why I’m ridiculously into you and how hard it is to know that you’re mine in paper, but you never really are. This uncertainty sets my whole world into chaos, and I know you’ll never understand why I want assurance, especially from you. Because I don’t want to be with someone who only holds my hand when no one else is looking. To be with someone who claims to love me unconditionally, but only as long as no one else knows.

The thing is that, if I wanted to be understood, of course, I had to understand you.

That’s the thing. I don’t understand you. And I think I will never.

I will never understand why you prefer your solitude over my presence, and why you’re more engrossed with your phone than my idle chatter. I will never understand why you would prefer to go to places with other people rather than take me along, and why you love to have people looking at you, when all you ever say is that I’m the only one who’s supposed to be looking.

I will never understand why you have this unknown desire to have people chase after you only to break their hearts afterwards, and how you act all innocent, saying that “it’s not like that.”  I will never understand why you helplessly desire the things you don’t have – but when you finally get them, twisted around your little finger and hangs tight no matter how hard you shake them off, you’re instantly indifferent. How you love the chase but hate the runaround, and how you love the challenge, but never the reward.

I will never understand why you keep pictures of other people on your phone, but never pictures of us. Our pictures, or even pictures of myself and myself alone. You would tell me you’d rather stash them somewhere… why? So other people will not see that you’re in a caboodle with me. Am I ugly? Is it because of my crooked teeth and my broken nose? Is it because I’m a big scandal? I guess these are things I want to leave unanswered – to spare myself.

I will never understand why you prefer to consume all your energy on things that have hurt me before – why you have to consume your passion on other people you have so pleasantly desired before and slap them hard against my face, as if the thought that you’re still trying to grab their attention isn’t punishment enough. I will never understand why you make beautiful things come up out of your small-time flings and perhaps, maybe, one night stands.

I know you see me as someone with great fortitude, but god, don’t you ever feel how hard it is to mask how destroyed I am by your self-proclaimed innocent ways of hurting me? I’m not the one to make demands so I’ve always kept my thoughts in check and try my best to lie – to make things seem convincing in making you stop. You’ve seen me cry a well for you, but the thing is, you only try to understand me when I cry – but never afterwards. You tend to go back to your old ways, and it annoys me that no matter how hard I try, you’re never really going to be in tune with my feelings. And I know it annoys you how in touch I am with my emotions, even though I’ve learned the hard way that in dealing with you, I must not be emotional.

But I would like to stay true to myself. I want to feel things, and I want the people I love to feel them too – because feelings are beautiful, albeit at times, tiring. I don’t want to be purely objective. I don’t want to be someone else’s secret, and someone else’s play toy. And see – if you’re even reading up to here, I don’t think you would still understand why you piss me off so much. And I don’t even know why, myself! I just throw out words here and there, but I know I still can’t pinpoint it myself. I can say simple things: how you’re brilliant, yes, but you’re also a dick. But that’s as far as I could go.

Anyway, the saddest thing now is that I became expectant… again. Literally the same mistake I did when you suddenly withdrew all your emotions for me. I expected you to change, and you did – but there’s still something… off. My trust issues would not wane, no matter how much I want them to.

But I still want you. I don’t know. I guess that’s my fault – but I’ve long since figured that we’re drifting apart anyway – why don’t we just rush and get it over with? We will never understand each other. You’re made of metal and myself of ice. I will be the first one to break, so please be kind.

What the hell am I saying?

You know what? However much I get mad and how much I try to tell you that you’re crap, I still am in love with you, and I don’t think I will ever learn how to let you go.

I’m hopelessly terrified that you only say you’re in love with me because it’s convenient, because I will always be here, and I will always be available.

But what if it’s no longer convenient, and it’s no longer the same between us? What if you’re away or I’m away and you go back to your old, cheating ways?

I guess I am wrong to hold out anymore, because I don’t think I can trust you ever again, and maybe that’s why I’m this confused.

What are we really? Where do I go from here? Where do you intend to go, and what are your real intentions?

I’m so messed up right now and I’m not sure why I’m even asking you questions when I don’t really want to hear the answers.

Well, shit.

Good morning, by the way. I made breakfast.

Louise

P.S.

I choose not come back, but stop me if you will. I don’t know how.

I don’t know.

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Damian finishes reading, unaware of what he’s feeling. It was a clash of everything – and all he ever thought about was… he knows staying together will never be good enough, but he doesn’t really know what would be good enough.

And then he drops the letter, running out of their bedroom door. He runs downstairs to find the breakfast she has prepared for him – two eggs fried in a heart shape and three strips of bacon. There was a small note beside the plate that says “Hang in there”. Damian grabs it angrily and flips it around. “I don’t know, but I’ll try to hang on, too” it says on the back, her handwriting apparently hasty, suggesting she wrote this hastily as she left.

She’s terribly confused, Damian thought, his tears inching to the sides of his eyes.

He punches the table and the plate of eggs jump. He doesn’t know why he’s so mad. He punches again, harder this time. The plate falls on the floor and shattered to pieces, the egg yolks bleeding out.

He looks around to find the framed artworks they’ve both hung by the stairs of their apartment. He squinted his tears back as he breathed out “I don’t know the art of letting you go…

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This write-up was the result of being inspired by Tori Kelly’s song – Art of Letting You Go. Please look her up! A sample of the song is above via soundcloud, but I augmented it a bit into a male version to keep things in line.