As I watch my life pass me by, all I ever wanted to do is run back to the past and hug you tight the day you left me a letter, saying sorry, it was your fault and it was over. Ours is a relationship doomed to fail. I, being a stubborn 15-year-old struggling to prove her self-worth, while you my love, a stubborn 16-year-old, a go-getter who wanted to enjoy life accompanied by your philosophical views of living. But you were my light in those pig-tail, haywire days. You were my anchor when I didn’t know how to balance life yet. You were my guiding star during the tumultuous phases of my reality, during the hazy and misty episodes of my adolescent years. You gave me that and more, you gave me the reason to battle each and every day. You saved me, though I don’t know then what I was so upset about life, you still saved me from drowning and introduced me to a yearlong romance and a fairy tale ending.
Looking back on those days, I know you have tried your best. We both tried our best, but our minds just don’t collide. We think about the same thing in both different perspectives and once our opinions don’t jive, the hatred and insecurities accumulate. We were experimenting; we tried to prove to others or maybe to ourselves that we can last long, that we can survive the test of young love and peer temptations. It wasn’t love at first sight, but I loved you and I cared for you, I still do. I loved you the moment you sang “Definitely, Maybe”, I loved you the day you told me you love 50 First Dates; I loved you because you are you. You don’t think twice, you stand with your opinions, you are magical, you are the life of the crowd, you are everything that I’m not and for me you are enough. You’ve always been enough. But I’m afraid you didn’t see that or maybe I haven’t let you feel that way.
You tried to understand my sentiments and aspirations a thousand times. But whenever you look into the depths of my eyes, you will bitterly smile the smile that reminds the both of us: we’re both worlds apart. I was an over-achiever, an intelligent girl who was not supposed to do anything wrong. I don’t want to be disappointed nor I don’t want to disappoint others, because I want to be perfect, the perfect daughter my father thinks of me, the perfect friend who always sets good examples and the perfect student who bags all the recognition at the end of the day. But you, I acknowledged the fact that you’re more of a back stage boy, you don’t want the lime light, you rather read anime magazines at the back of the school gym than join after school club activities. But I loved you despite the fact that in one way or another you will ruin everything that I have accomplished. I accepted you wholeheartedly even though I know, criticisms will follow. And I have never felt so happy and free. Because for the first time in my life, someone like you loved me.
There came a time when you want to give up, because school and learning were not for you. You told me you can’t go on. You told me you have to deal with some issues with your life. But I kept insisting you need to stay afloat. I kept nagging and telling you, you still can. I thought I was doing the right thing, wasn’t it what high school sweethearts do in the first place? And the time of judgment came; I was there when you said sorry to your mom that you failed. I was there when you searched for me in the hundreds of students in the corridor, your eyes seeking for salvation, for a temporary refuge. I stared at you with the same intensity, but instead, mine was illuminated by disappointment, by betrayal and by regret. I simply walked away.
But I was sorry. I was sorry I left you that day. I should have done the opposite thing. I should have gathered you in my arms and told you that another year of stay in that high school isn’t that much of a burden. But I left; I turned my back on you because I was afraid- I felt I disappointed myself because I chose you. And nothing has ever been the same since that fateful day. We talk like nothing ever happened, but the sparks in your voice were slowly dying. You still crack jokes but the happiness in your eyes was not as illuminating as before. You still touch my hand but yours was a little colder. And one day, you dropped the line that I was afraid to hear: “I need some time alone”, you said. Was it my fault? Was it yours? You started sharing your dreams and fears to others, you started asking questions if you and I were still working out but when it comes to me a quick peck on the cheek was enough form of conversation for the day.
I was afraid to confront you because I might not want your response. The relationship that once was built with laughter and teasing became a nightmare. We fight more and curse to each other often. Terrible things have been said by the both of us, but no one attempted to let go of each other. Maybe because you don’t know how to end it on your part and maybe because, despite the curses, brutal words and unnecessary fights, I still want to keep you. But we were drifting apart. I should have seen it coming. I should have realized it the moment you started playing with HER hair, the time you started teasing HER about nonsense things, I should have known it. I should have let you go that time, but I could not and I would not, partly because I was selfish, partly because I loved you too much.
That night came, beneath the lights illuminating your feature, you handed me a bouquet of roses and you danced with me all night long. My heart ached because I know that night will be the end of those nights we asked ourselves when it will end. You danced with me, you laughed with me and for so long you hugged me tight: those were all acts of consolation because the next day you messaged me and said you cannot stop thinking about HER. I couldn’t cry, I couldn’t yell, I couldn’t even believe you were saying those things. But it was too late: too late to save what’s not there from the very start. I wanted to beg- to try it one last time. But you told me that I should consider the best for myself. And right then and there, in the middle of our high school grounds, I know I should give up the fight. What’s best for me that moment? What’s best for me was to let you go. What’s best for me was to not keep you away from being happy, because truth be told, you were not happy with me anymore. I’ve let you go, not because it was the best for me but because you deserved it. You deserved someone who will not look at you with disappointment, you deserved someone who will not treat you as someone who is not her equal, you needed someone who will understand you fully, you needed someone who just don’t love you but is willing to walk with you, hand in hand- because during those times, that someone is not and will definitely not be me.
I let go of you with hatred, because once again, someone made me feel that I was not enough. And I chose the hard path; I chose to move on with the memory of regret and revenge in my heart. I don’t know what’s wrong with me but the next time we see each other, I want you to look at the girl you once loved and lost. I want you to look at the girl you left for HER, though you and SHE didn’t have a relationship. I still want you to stare at someone you will regret letting go, forever.
Years passed, I looked at you and then you looked at me at the cobbled train station, you smiled, and at that moment it seemed we forgave each other for everything. We are adults now, pursuing our dreams we once written in a piece of bond paper. We were leading the lives we’ve always dreamed of. And if I can return that day I saw you in the station, I would have hugged you tight and thanked you for everything. Because those years of plotting revenge changed me, it changed me for the better. It helped me to set my priorities. It helped me to realize there’s so much more to life than relationships and bitter empty promises. I saw you and I felt nothing but gratitude because you gave me so much to remember and I should be thanking you for that: because you made my high school life worthwhile. If it wasn’t for your “goodbye”, I wouldn’t have found the time to reach and seek my full potential. You gave me the strength to carry on and to stand on my own feet, you thought me that sometimes crying is the best solution you have for your problems. Now five years have passed since we sat in a table and fully communicate, but who knows maybe one day we’ll have the time to be friends again. Maybe one day, we can tolerate each other not as merely civilized human beings, not just as acquaintances, but maybe, just maybe- as friends: friends who shared something wonderful and worth remembering once upon a time.
You get off first on the train, you waved at me and that was the last time I ever saw you. The only regret I have right now is that I haven’t said sorry for my own shortcomings. And despite all the pain we’ve thrown to each other, sorry, not because I haven’t thanked you enough, but because I haven’t said “thank you” at all.