On that last day, I’ll admit to stealing moments to savor your face, recording on my mind every feature, ambivalent about whether I would ever see that smile of yours again.
The voices in my head telling me that you are nothing but a façade and that I would never see your smile again. And yet, the soft whispers of my heart continued to tell me to latch on, to wait for your layers to melt and for your sweet tender heart to land on the cusp of my warm, loving embrace.
And I’ll admit to thinking that my heart had won the battle when you finally held my hand on that last day. I’ll admit to holding it ever so tightly, desiring to keep it safe and warm, channeling all of my love and energy into every little empty corner of your heart and rejuvenate the dark back to life.
And yet, as you abruptly let your hand go, my heart felt a jolt, a sudden trauma. My heart knew that perhaps I was only your temporary shelter whilst you were never any less than a real home to me.
And it turned out that the voices in my head emerged victoriously. The sun that befell the earth that day signified the last moment of me being exposed to your smiles in an unmediated fashion. There was never another touch, never another laugh, never another rush of warmth like a hot bubble bath.
And whenever droplets fall and gloom looms the following days, I found myself being lost in vivid dreams, imaginations, and all past scenes centered around you I wish ever so badly I could relive.
And yet, the worst part of it all was the fact that you never actually said goodbye.
I was left reeling for days on end, my mind kept playing tricks on me.
Did you ever really hold my hand, or was it wishful thinking?
Did you ever really admit that you loved me, or was it a profession of love to yourself?
Did we ever engage in conversations about our future, or was it ever just about yours?
Is this absence of goodbye purposeful, a strategic gameplay on your part to keep an open book whilst pursuing something potentially better? Is this just you being too afraid of the confrontations, of seeing all those tears running down my face, of having to feel the alteration of my heart from rosy red to cracked to absolutely shattered? Or, perhaps, is it that you just never ever really cared?
And I never realized until you left that the love I have for you is hard to love. No reciprocation, no continuous watering, no continuous interactions and yet it managed to stay alive.
Hard love. A heart that stays on standby, yet bleeds incessantly. My heart was trampled and crumpled by your indecisions and unsaid goodbyes, yet it continues to knead love for you and refuses to be dead.
Hard love. A burning passion for you that lives on amidst the endless stream of warning signs, confusions, and outright disappointments.
And I got to the point where I became so angry. I tried to brush you off my mind, bring myself to be angry, deny anything ever happened, yell at myself for being so stupid, continuously swearing before I go to bed every night that I never actually really liked you and that I would forget all this mess when I wake up the next morning.
And yet, perhaps obviously, all of these efforts came to no avail.
Until one night, I allowed myself to burst.
I gave myself the permission to grieve, mourn, acknowledge that I really did (and still) love you from the depths of my heart.
And I found it really strange how real power comes from a state of vulnerability.
From allowing your heart to be completely broken and letting honesty flow through the rough jagged edges.
From no fear of the truth, the courage to look straight into it and say, “I’d rather know you than live in profound obscurity.”
And then I began to confront all of these questions I never thought I would bring myself to question.
Why do humans fear time, distance and space?
Doesn’t time give us wisdom, distance give us patience, and space give us room to grow?
Why do we always want things to stay the same?
Doesn’t variety rejuvenate our souls, and change transform us into better human beings?
And I realized that the struggle to let you go was beautiful.
As stability became no option, I watched myself being forced to move from time to time, not take anything for granted or think about anything else except about how I can survive and advance.
Maybe there is meaning in a world full of unknowns and strange settings.
Maybe if I never knew pain, I could never value the finer things in life.
Maybe if you never went away, it would have all become too predictable, nothing more than a series of boring routines.
Maybe if you had stayed, I would have been stuck.
And I realized that losing you was not a setback.
Losing you was part of the journey that transformed me for the better.
Losing you added a new dimension to my heart and depth to my soul.
Your departure humanized me all the more, allowed me to connect better to human perils. I was badly beaten, broken, bruised, and yet as I kept on going I realized how truly strong of a person I actually really am.
And as I moved, I came to the realization that we are all flawed, albeit in a different manner than others. And as I reached that point, it became very easy for my heart and my head and my whole entire being to forgive your mistakes, to thank you for leaving, to forgive all of my past hurts, and to thank you for never returning.
And up here in the air, with a heart as light as a feather, my eyes caught sight of a fluffy bed of white clouds and a deep blue ocean that seems infinite.
And I boldly proclaim that “who we are” is never fixed, we are never static entities. Losing you did not lead me to lose myself because who I am is a sum of everything that has happened to me. All of the twists and turns, the conversations, the heartbreaks… life’s sweet surprises. Being with you and being left behind were never a waste of time, as life is a series of meaningful exchanges and lessons, not an array of targets to be hit or deadlines to be met.
And in this season of waiting for another round of meaningful exchange and series of lessons, I quickly came to realize how waiting is good for me as it gives me space.
It strengthens and enriches me until I meet my “best” – much better than my yesterdays, and yes, undefeated by my tomorrows.