I remembered how we’d moved to this village together, fully intent on discovering it through walks side by side, joined at the hip, his arm on my shoulder and mine around his waist.
That was a month ago. And now those plans are no more. Now I walk this village alone, while he sleeps soundly in the bed we’d shared, on sheets I’ve loved since I was a little girl.
It occurs to me more than once, the thought of not coming back, of disappearing from this walk altogether. It would be so much easier to break the promise to take care of one’s self—after all, all the other promises had been broken already anyway.
But I thought of him and his possible despair—or worse, indifference—and I found myself hurt in a way I’d never felt. It was this sense of insignificance that broke me so bad so many times, over and over whenever I thought of the days to come.
I would remain a shell of the girl I’d been when we were together—nothing but a husk performing tasks, but not feeling, because if I let myself feel I would open my doors to the memories of things we’d shared and I’d break myself all over again.
He, on the other hand, would be okay. He would thrive, because that’s just how resilient and beautiful he was.
I kept walking and considered leaving now—just going somewhere, anywhere, like I’d used to before I’d decided he was worth staying for. There was nothing for me now, and I had nothing left to prove, not to him, not to the people around me, and definitely not to myself.
But he called me and asked me to come home, and I did.
We spent that last day together, the way we’d spent so many days together in the past. We’d lay together and wrestle and play, laugh, and cry, and yell and whisper. We’d watch a scary movie and he’d grasp my hand and tell me, “I’m holding your hand, nothing bad can happen.” And I’d smile and try to fight the tears even though I knew they would fall anyway.
We had dinner and it was one of the best dinners of my life. We came home and I was too full—too full of food, of water, of anger, of sadness, of love. I lay back down and he lay with me, and we fell asleep together for the last time.
I woke up, and got ready to leave. He walked me out and we said, like we hadn’t been saying anything all day, that we’d miss each other, that we loved each other, that maybe someday things could work.
I left him standing on that corner that night and it’s the only thing I think of when I feel the urge to give up.
Maybe someday I’ll be good enough for you, and you’ll be good enough for me.Maybe someday we’ll be better than we were that night I met up with you and we had pizza and pasta for the first time. Maybe someday the kisses will be sweeter than that night in front of Korean Jesus, or in the middle of the cobalt-blue sea in Anilao, or in your stuffy apartment with the gigantic toads. Maybe someday we can finally prove to each other that there really is nobody else out there for either of us.
But for now, we say good bye.
It’s tough, living with this, and knowing what I had and what I lost. It’s tough knowing that the perfect guy is out there somewhere. I think about you everywhere, in every spare second, and it takes everything I have to be able to choke down the anger and the fear, but I know it’ll be worth it. Because someday it will all make sense, and we’ll be able to look back at this and laugh, and we’ll know it was for the best that I left you standing in the corner of Kudyapi and Ascension the night of my older sister’s birthday.
I know it would be stupid, to live my life and decide to better myself just for you. That’s not what I’m doing. I’m living, and fighting, because someday I know I’ll run into you again, and we’ll look at each other and remember everything we went through, but know that we’re different people and that we’ve come full circle. We’re new people and the possibilities are infinite.
Maybe we’ll fall in love with each other again. Maybe we’ll be friends. Maybe we’ll see each other and realize we’d only been looking at the light of dead stars.
It doesn’t matter to me. What matters is someday, when the time comes, I’ll be able to face you and tell you that I made it, that I kept my promise, that I valued you enough to value myself. That I lived through the darkest days of my life and came out a slightly smoother, shinier, tougher person.
And then you’ll be proud of me, but not as proud as I’ll be of myself.
I don’t doubt it at all. I know that, even if we don’t talk or we don’t make any more plans, our paths will cross someday. You’d always said that the universe didn’t give a shit about us, but you were wrong.
If any love had ever been true, ours was. And the universe will stop at nothing to show us that.
No, not now, it’s not the right time.
We’re two different people and we can’t right now. We just can’t.
But maybe someday, we will.
And it’ll be just like before: you and me, nights in your apartment, in my parents’ house, in rented houses in Baguio and in buses and jeepneys and cabs and trains. It’ll be you and me.
They say all love ends in heartbreak—lovers either go, or they die. But really, love is an ouroboros—who’s to say where it starts and where it ends?
I guess that’s how we’re different. We’ll start with this heartbreak. This is where our story begins.
Originally posted on Tumblr.