A while ago, I was listening to a 2015 hit song. Out of nowhere, your name came out of my lips, as if it was part of the lyrics. It’s funny how music can bring so many memories. I wonder if you think of me too sometimes. If you remember me whenever you hear a certain pop song. Occasionally, I like being stuck in the past. Because it’s beautiful there. It reminds me how much I’ve grown and changed and transformed into the person that I like.
I hate to admit that I met you at a wrong era of my life. I was naive when you came into my world. I took a step back when you inched forward. I didn’t believe you when you said you see a potential in us. I thought we were too young to make promises, to settle down.
We were supposed to be wild, embracing the carelessness of our youth. We were supposed to say, “Whatever, let’s do it,” to any opportunity that appeared in front of us. Plans never existed in our books. The earth was our playground and we lived through the night. We were supposed to fall in love without ever uttering, “I love you.”
But I did.
And it was a mistake. I was too caught up in how romantic the moment was. The second I said those three words, something inside of us woke up and our story instantly changed. I forgot the rule of not making verbal affirmation of my feelings. There were so many damn dating rules and I guess I mixed things up.
So now, when your favorite track enters my ears, I get to recall that particular scene over and over again. That moment when I professed what was living inside my heart. I try to imagine if there’s an alternate universe where you didn’t freak out by how I expressed my emotions, by how huge my love was. I try to imagine a world where you didn’t feel threatened by my ambitions for myself and for both of us.
I can’t help but think that maybe in another lifetime, we still live in the same city. You would pick me after work. You would wait in the lobby of my building because you understand that I like spending extra hours in the office sometimes. We would have dinner someplace that evokes your memory of home. You would walk me to my apartment and we would kiss each other goodnight.
In another lifetime, you would be bold enough to show people the special bond that we have. We wouldn’t have to only be affectionate when it’s dark outside. We wouldn’t have to wait for midnight to be vulnerable. In broad daylight, we would tell everyone how legendary our romance is. We would inspire people to come out of their shells.
I would like to imagine that there is a world out there where our love story continued and flourished. I know having hope is dangerous sometimes, but if this is how I can keep our memories alive, I’d be willing to take the risk of hurting myself. I won’t stop rewinding the times that we shared. I won’t hold myself back from listening to the songs that quickly remind me of you.
Even though we didn’t have much luck in securing the feelings that we had for one another, I still believe that what you gave me was beautiful. It was everything that I could ask for at such a young age. You changed me in immeasurable ways. You light up something inside of me. And for the first time, I never felt like I was missing something. You made me love me. That was enough reason to be thankful you came into my life.
I wish there’s a different lifetime when we would meet again — the timing would be right and we would be more mature, more compassionate, braver. The place that we live in would accept us for who we are and we wouldn’t have to hide anything. We wouldn’t have to fear showing little public affections. I wish there’s a world where you would be completely ready to let me in. A world where you would be right there, offering your shoulders for me to lean on. A world where you are strong enough to say “I love you too” any time of the day. I wish there’s a world out there where you fight for me and you wholeheartedly choose to stay.