Sooner or later you’d know about me—maybe from a mutual friend, or someone who knows a bit of your man’s history—and I expect that upon hearing my name, you’d furrow your brows, twitch your lips into an upward smile, and instinctively dislike me as if I was a vixen you’ve known for ages. I wouldn’t blame you; I’ve been there, and I felt the same.
It’s repulsive, I know: there’s that unpleasant churning in your stomach, heart beating erratically it’s making you dizzy, and mind creating past scenarios that stir in jealousy. What can I say? It’s the conventional kind of prejudice women feel toward their men’s former flames—it is normal, a standard reflex. And whether that slight disdain will intensify to a full bloomed hatred or dissipate into mist of neutral sentiments, mainly depend on how you’d suppress to kill, or feed to grow the hostile emotions brewing inside you this very second.
And that’s exactly why I’m writing you this: to help you choose the former.
I can imagine you scoffing in disbelief.
Well, why would an ex-girlfriend want her replacement not to hate her? That’s odd. Ex-girlfriends—both in movies and in real life—are deemed antagonists and more often than not, they truly are. We are supposed to be rivals; my label is intended to make you feel bad: to intimidate you and I should rejoice when I succeed in getting you threatened and insecure. So what is this stunt I’m trying to pull, why do I care about what you feel? You might wonder.
Don’t worry for this is not a scheme. I am, in no way, attempting to be friends with you. Much more, I have no intentions of stealing him back.
Then what is this for, really?
Women, by nature, are inquisitive. We want to know everything: the past, present and future, especially the past. Ironic, isn’t it? We shouldn’t be bothered by that anymore, it no longer even exists. But darling we are; we are that when the door of his yesteryears creaks open and we are offered a glimpse of what’s inside—a name, a face, or a memory—we lie awake at night dying to see further, the agitation eating us up, pushing us to discover more.
And driven by anxiety, intuition and investigations backed up by reliable sources of information—we end up finding it all out.
And just like the maxim “curiosity kills the cat”, don’t we, in a metaphorical sense, die after learning about our lover’s past? It kills us to realize that we weren’t the first love, that there had been someone before us—that we may just be another surface for them to ricochet and soon, they’ll be off someplace else.
You’ll likely think the same thing. You’d compare; you’d associate the past with the present and that’s where it’ll start to go wrong: there’d be baseless arguments, suspicions, and irrational jealousies to the point of paranoia. It may all be petty at first—even cute in some ways—but unnoticeably it’ll begin to strain your relationship until it’s severed beyond repair.
And so this is a warning not to let remnants of what’s bygone damage the current, particularly if they are mere recollections of good times passed, and if it’s only you who’s reminiscing.
I’m simply asking you to never bring me up; that you forget I even happened.
Just think of this as a beauty pageant where I am the former titleholder and you are the new one. My reign is over and even though it’s hard to look at the crown and not remember there had been a previous owner, what matters is that now, it’s yours.
Yes, I had been there first. You can assume I know more about him than you do; maybe we’ve been to places he’d never brought you to, or shared secrets he hasn’t told you yet.
But trust me, you’ll get there.
Don’t compare your story’s page to ours. For now, have more than a hundred pages of difference and in every calculation—quantity and quality wise—it’s obvious I’ll exceed. But that’s today for who knows tomorrow, you can beat my record and be his longest.
I didn’t regret our break up. I feel compelled to tell you that. At first, I admit, I did. It was during the aftermath: that post-break up scenario where you face the dilemma of whether to swallow your pride and go back—because you still can—or with uncertainty, move forward. I chose the latter and in the first few months, I had myself wallowing in longing and remorse; wondering what could’ve happened if only I turned around and put up a fight. But gradually, it dawned to me that God indeed has a purpose for everything—for the wounds healed and the next thing I knew, we were both doing better without the other.
Mr. Juganas, my Filipino teacher back in 9th grade, told our class one sunny morning an aphorism that for the next eight years, stuck to me like Velcro—these bunch of words serving as my solace next to prayers and Bible passages: “kapag may magandang nawala, may mas magandang darating”.
It basically says, “When something beautiful is lost, another, a better one, will come along”.
And so we lost each other, but he found you.
And I found myself. Again.
I’d like to believe you’re better than me in many aspects and with that, I ask that you love him by all means, regardless of who was, or how many were there before you.
You came a little too late to be his first. So what? You can make yourself his last. You have the power to do the one thing that will make you the best of all he’s had—the one thing that I, and all the other girls prior to my arrival, failed to do:
You can stay.
And you can make him stay.
Please take good care of what I used to love next to green tea, sunsets, rainy days, and life itself.