I think life is but a series of choices. Two choices, actually. To say or not to say. To buy or not to buy. Movies or books. Coffee or tea. Flowers or chocolates. Or much bigger ones like to give up or to keep trying. To leave or not to leave. Me or the end of our relationship – in which you chose the latter.
It wasn’t me you chose. And that hurt.
But it has been some time, and while the wounds have not yet fully healed, I’m doing okay. I’m feeling better. Although even until today, when more than a hundred sunsets have passed, I still think about how this one choice changed the course not just of my life but yours, too. Because every day, for the rest of our lives, I have always believed that our so-called “destiny” is governed by no less than our choices and the actions we make thereafter. And as for us, all you had to do that night was choose me – but you didn’t.
This is not me upbraiding you over your decision to leave nor accusing you that our story ending was entirely your fault. This is just me, with the feeling of an undeniable regret embroidered in my heart due to the memories that we once shared, and the other thousand memories that could have happened if you and I did not end. Because the truth is that no matter how long it has been or how much tears I have cried, you still have the power to hurt me. And perhaps you will always have that power.
You still have the power to hurt me and it feels unfair because I see you, hear you, and even smell you in people I meet, things I see, and in the tiniest of corners of the places we once considered as our own little universes.
You still have the power to hurt me because you gave me both a love I thought that would last and an ending that I hoped never would happen. You still have the power to hurt me because no matter how much I try to deny it, like the other people who once stayed in my heart, I still hold on to this piece of you in me, as you hold on to a piece of me there in your chest where I used to sleep onto.
All you had to do was choose me even during the days that we were not okay because you love me anyway. All you had to do was choose me even if time or the people around us were not on our side because you love me anyway. All you had to do was choose me even if things were not perfect because they never are, and because you love me anyway. But you didn’t, and while I may probably feel the pain about that fact for a long time, I know that you had your reasons, and they were reasons big enough to make you step out of our universe. I will only hold on to the thought that maybe, just maybe, you left me not because you no longer loved me but because you did not believe that our love was strong enough to make it through the storm.
Nevertheless, believe that I do not blame you for leaving me. After all, you couldn’t blame someone for something he really did. All I want to let you know is how big a part of my life you were and always will be. Maybe you are the one who got away, or maybe it was me. But whoever it is, my heart would always whisper that I was the one who was left, and people like me who were left are the ones who wonder what we did wrong.
We are the ones who question what went wrong, what made you decide to leave, and whether or not we could’ve done something else to make you stay.
We’re the ones who would somehow keep hoping either for you to come back or for time to heal the wounds you’ve inflicted upon us. We’re the ones who ask “Do I no longer make you happy?” because that’s love’s grandest goal, right?
My love, all you had to do was choose me but you didn’t. And in your leaving, I found a strength inside me to make it through each day without you.
My heart will continue to beat, and the scars will heal. Maybe it’s my heart I need to look after—my heart that wanders at night, searching for the lost memories you and I shared, my heart where I’ve kept you and the universe you and I once dived into. So thank you for giving me strength and for making me realize that the one who walks away isn’t always the stronger one; sometimes, the strength lies on the ones left behind who open their hands to free the one most precious to them.
So if our paths cross again someday, let’s be wiser people then, and smile. Let us choose the ones we love – even if they’re no longer the two of us.
Let us choose them over and over again until it no longer becomes a decision but a vow. A vow that whatever happens, by then we’ll always choose love, amidst raging winds or bad timings. Let us choose them until the choice becomes as easy as looking at the stars because they’re beautiful or watering the plants because they’re meant to. Let us choose them because we have become brave, or at least strong enough to not be afraid and fight for the ones we love.
For today, as always, there is nothing more I wish for you but happiness.