There was a time when I had successfully convinced myself that I was no longer in love with you. I remember smiling at the realization that after years of loving you in the shadows, I had finally stepped into the light free of my love for you.
There were fleeting moments when that brand-new resolve was threatened. I fought hard to raise the barriers, working hard to delude myself into believing that I had forgotten about you. And it worked. Well, sort of.
Fate has a nasty sense of humor. It wants you to build a bubble around yourself, and just when you feel like you’re safe, it bursts that bubble with a painful moment of clarity.
There was this time when you and I had not seen each other in a while. And I was so giddy with relief that it pained me no longer. But then you asked if you could drop by and say hello. I was so complacent that I said yes.
I remember looking up to find you leaning against the wall merely a few meters from me, your head bent over your mobile phone as you tapped away, your eyebrows furrowed in concentration.
And there I stood, transfixed, as the realization that I was still in love with you washed over me for the umpteenth time.
I berated myself silently, dismissing the realization as I tried to reinforce my then brand-new resolve as it threatened to dissipate into nothingness.
But as an internal tug-of-war ensued, you looked up. With your eyes on mine, your lips gave way to a slow smile. And with a startling familiarity, it tugged at my heart. And at that exact moment, the internal war inside of me came to a halt as I realized that the fight was for nothing. There was no point in denying that after everything, my heart still belonged to you, and you alone.
Believe me when I say that it is not for lack of effort that I remain rooted to the spot, unable to move on from my loving you. I have put myself out there for so many times, trying to defeat the impossibility of moving on. Rather, it is despite these efforts that I remain moored in place by an enormous, immovable anchor that is my love for you.
I keep trying to find a way to redirect my heart to someone who could love me as wholly as I love you.
There are times when I thought that I have actually succeeded. But every single time, I get these moments of clarity when I am pulled back to the reality that it is always going to be you. No matter how hard I try, I still go back to you.
And whereas it is freeing to be so sure of something in this world full of uncertainty, it is a huge encumbrance to be stuck loving someone who will never love you.
I know that there will probably come a time when I could free myself from being anchored to this tragic one-sided love story. That I could finally walk free, and find someone who would be brave enough to take a risk. That I would have someone who would make me understand why I had to go through all the pain, and heartbreak. And that it will all be worth it.
So yes, for now, you are still the one that I go back to. For now, it is still you. For now, I’ll be the perfect picture of Neruda’s sonnet of loving you “..as certain dark things are to be loved, in secret, between the shadow and the soul.”
But there will come a day when I’ll truly be free of you.
There will come a day when I will find myself rooted to the spot once again, but this time, with someone who will actually choose to stay, and love me for me.