Nearly half a decade ago, I didn’t think my heart could house love once again.
Years of deceit and damage tend to make a person close in on themselves. Like an armadillo, I walked through those grand halls where we first met; a world that now seems all too distant. I felt untouchable – not because I was invincible, but simply because I was numb.
And then you stepped into my life.
One day, we’re joking in a crowd, and I can’t help but notice how your eyes crinkle as you smile. Your lips pull back and reveal your teeth when you laugh wholeheartedly. I dismiss it as you being just that charming and lovable. Because that’s what everyone else thought too.
But I was only fooling myself, wasn’t I? See, you weren’t a thought I could simply block out.
It scared me to no end that each time I saw you after that, my heart would skip a beat. No, really. It’s true, what they say. You do feel butterflies in the pit of your stomach. And try as I may, I couldn’t stop them from fluttering.
You fell for me too. And when you did, I realized you were just as closed off, just as complicated and just as damaged – if not more. I’ve heard of two wrongs never making a right. But somehow, in your presence, we didn’t feel wrong.
I suppose that’s why I remember everything about you.
I remember the day we met. I remember the day we realized we could never just be friends. I remember the late nights that melted into early mornings when we kept each other company. I remember how you felt when we were closer than we’d ever been before.
I also remember the day we said goodbye.
The thing about being damaged is that you fail to show your emotion at the right place and at the right time. You want to say the words you’ve been holding on to, but you can’t. Like a defected object, I shut down when I should have spoken up. And so did you. Our silence, however, said it all.
If I had the courage, I’d tell you that I want to hold on to you for an everlasting eternity. I’d try to let you in, helping you pick apart the bricks that make up the heavily built wall around my heart and mind. And then, I’d ask for your help to unravel the mystery that you are.
I’d tell you that distance and time mean nothing as long as I can lay my head on your shoulder as you stroke my arm. I’d make you see how I’d choose you over and over again – if you’d only let me.
Most people break in an unfixable way after love departs. It leaves within them a void that can never be filled fully. But I want you to know that you’ve left behind memories that I will never stop cherishing. You’ve left behind the sound of your laughter and the touch of your hands. You’ve left behind your intoxicating smell and the warmth I felt when you brushed your stubble across my forehead.
Even though among all these things, you’ve left me behind too, you’ve only left me stronger.
I know now that I can love selflessly and let go. I know that I can put someone before me each time and feel their happiness reverberate through my spine. I know now that not every tale has a happy ending; some are cut short abruptly, and if you’re really lucky, you get to say good bye.
So it’s true: nearly half a decade ago, I didn’t think my heart could house love once again.
But then I met you. And you changed my life. For that, my heart has built a shrine within its confines and there, you will forever live on.