My friends said we were a perfect couple. He held my hand in front of my friends and he told me he loves me in any chance he gets. He was the first man I have ever introduced to my parents, and my family thought that he was a charmer. It was all light and bright, it was all perfect and sky-high. Or at least that’s what they thought. In reality, it wasn’t.
It wasn’t all happy times. Most of the time, it was a challenge, most of the time it was a sacrifice.
It all started on our first date. First meetings are always special, always exciting, always perfect. Ours was a 14-hour bus ride to his favorite beach. We stayed on the seaside until late night, listening to our favorite songs, talking about our past, our dreams and everything our hearts beat for. It didn’t take too long for us to fall in love with the perfect romantic night that was.
A couple of weeks after, we moved in together. It was like living in every page of a young girl’s dream. A prince charming, a house, independence, no rules, just love… just love. Until one day, the perfect fairytale came to an end.
I still remember how he broke it to me.
“I’m not like the others,” He said in between his deep breaths, our room was filled with the smell of alcohol and cigarette. “I’m afraid. I’m…different” I was so confused while listening to him. I didn’t know what to say, or if I was supposed to say anything. I just sat there and listened to him.
I knew what it meant. I knew what he was saying but somehow, I couldn’t understand a single word that was coming out from those pair of lips that I fell in love with. He continued to tell me that he heard voices, that sometimes he would see me talking but hear a completely different voice cursing him, judging him. But he would know it’s not me talking because he knew that I would never say such things to him.
He continued to tell me everything, I felt like I met a whole different person. Far from that sweet, cuddly, loving prince that I thought he was. He told me how the doctor said he is incurable. He told me everything over and over, and he was sitting there, gripping on his last bottle of beer, as if it was his sanity that he was holding on to. I grabbed the bottle from his hand and hugged him, hoping that if I hold him tightly it would take away his sickness. But it didn’t. Nothing ever would.
It was never the same again after that conversation. The once fairytale story became a living hell in most days. His situation got worse when he started believing he was doing fine without his medication. He was a completely different person. There were times when he would suddenly shout at me and tell me I was trying to kill him. There were times he would tell me my friends were talking shit about him. And I couldn’t tell him he was wrong. Even if I do, he never believed me.
I turned off the lights, one night, after his long episode of schizophrenia. We laid down together on our bed. Quiet, tired, afraid, depressed. He broke the silence as he started saying, ‘please, help me.’ The tears in his voice tore my heart into million pieces.
He needed understanding. Those times when he would tell me his bad experiences over and over, or those times when he hears those voices cursing him and attacking him verbally over and over, all those times were not as hard to me as they were to him. For me it was just a passing story that I needed to listen to. But for him, it is his life story. It is his reality, was and will be.
Countless times, I wanted to run away, to ask him to leave me. Countless times, I tell myself ‘I didn’t sign up for this’. Countless times, I laid quietly next to him as he sleeps soundly, planning how to tell him I don’t want to be with him anymore. But I didn’t. I’m glad I never did any of that. Because if I did I would be an addition to those voices telling him every word that no human being deserves to hear.
Now we are broken up. He went away and found a better place for himself. I don’t regret letting him go, for I know that he is happier. He focuses on himself and so do I. But if one thing I regret, it is all those times I planned leaving him. He deserves love, I gave him that yes, but I know I could do better.
I learned so much about life, about love, about trust, and about patience from that one person who don’t have any of those. He wanted nothing else but to die, and from him, I learned how much I wanted to live. How much I wanted to love. And how much I wanted to be no one but the better person that I can be for the future love that will come my way.