We were a case of forbidden fireworks that never should have been lit up, but then we set the midnight sky ablaze and our worlds were suddenly bathed in a luminescent, psychedelic glow, so brilliant that we were blinded by the spectacle, so exhilarating that all our senses were awakened, and we burned ourselves, again and again, because the high that came with it was so addicting that it eclipsed all reason.
But, as I said, we never should have been set on fire.
Because in the aftermath of the spectacle and the high came the dust and darkness. In the final explosion, we plummeted to the ground, burned and blackened. And once we hit rock bottom, that’s the only time we realized that the high wasn’t worth the mess.
But then for reasons we can never comprehend, we just always wind up back in each other’s arms, time and again. We are drawn to each other like magnets, even though we know very well that nothing good ever comes out of us being together, even as friends.
How many times have I hurt you? How many times have you disappointed me? And yet, we force this so-called friendship; we try to develop a new, different kind of relationship, something more solid than before, you said.
But, regardless of the amount of effort we put into it, no matter how much we try to be patient and understanding with each other, this bond that we try so hard to forge and strengthen just cracks and breaks, even under the slightest pressure. It just blows up in our faces every time, and then we’re back again to square one.
Maybe this is fate telling us that we should stop trying. Maybe it’s time for us to stop fixing whatever we have and just leave the broken pieces on the floor because we get burned and scarred every time we try. Maybe we should just let go of the idea that we could even be friends, after everything that happened.
Because even if we both agreed to move on from the pain and start fresh, even if we try to steer the conversation away from the subject, the wounds of the past still somehow bleed into the present, staining the pages of this new chapter and putting a strain on this friendship that we’re building.
We are creating new memories, yes, but then even the slightest problem or issue just triggers our old monsters to resurface, and before we know it, we are once again baring our fangs at each other. We lose our temper over the smallest arguments because our fights stem from old wounds and issues. No matter how much we try to bury our shit, the stench of decay is just too overpowering, and we can’t keep ignoring the fact that this will continue to affect us for as long as we are seeing each other.
I do believe in the saying “out of sight, out of mind” because when I moved away and we stopped communicating for a few months, I almost healed from the trauma caused by our relationship. Almost. But then I returned and we saw each other again and started to strike a “friendship” once more, in hopes that this time around, we’ll do things right because we’ve already “moved on” and burned the old book.
But here we are, a few months later, and we’re still not making it right. Not even close. In moments of vulnerability, when we’re alone and our music is playing and we’ve had too much wine, my fingertips still automatically reach up to trace your chin as your lips curve into a smile and we still cuddle like lovers and kiss each other goodbye or hello on the lips like it’s a habit we can’t get rid of.
It’s these moments, these simple things, that keep reminding me of what we once were, and there’s always a glimmer of hope in me that maybe someday, at the end of the road, it’s going to be us after all. Maybe we’d still end up together, after the turbulence. And so armed with these thoughts, I always go to battle and fight for us, day after day, even though we always end up in ruins.
Maybe it’s also the familiarity that keeps us going back, the thought that it’s always easier to reignite an old flame than to start something new with a stranger. But the truth is, it’s double the difficulty and triple the heartache if we keep returning to the root of all our pain, because by doing so, we are nurturing old wounds while trying to start on a clean slate at the same time. And this is the very reason we would never heal.
We won’t be able to fully recover from the trauma of the past if we’re still standing on the same battleground where we were first destroyed, if we’re still playing with the same fire that burned us in the first place. It’s like reliving the horror, over and over. It’s like trying to befriend the pain, hoping we’d be immune to it, when even the slightest touch can tear the wounds open again. No one is capable of healing this way.
I always say I won’t come back to you, but I do the opposite all the time. Tomorrow, tonight, a few hours from now, as I write this, I know that I’d pick up my phone and call you, and you’d do the same. That’s why I left again. Because I can’t keep on seeing you and saying good morning every freaking day like it’s nothing. We can’t fully heal if we’re still moving in the same world.
Tomorrow, tonight, maybe a few weeks from now, I know that I’d be able to find the courage to completely cut ties with you. Someday, somehow, I’d be brave enough to burn all bridges connecting me to you because I’m tired of crossing back and forth between the past and present. Maybe one day, I’d wake up and find that not all roads lead back to you.
Time. I’m giving myself time. Someday, somehow, I’d be able to complete my recovery process and finally let you go.
They say that there are some wounds that even time cannot heal, and I agree because time didn’t heal us. But I believe that’s only because we didn’t give time a chance to do its work; we plunged right back in and forced it. And that’s why the wounds were cut afresh even before they healed.
I have faith that we will get there one day. But we have to walk the road to healing alone. For now, I will slowly try to unravel myself from you and sever all ties binding my heart to your hands.
Maybe this time around, I will finally do things right.