Sober

Not Enough Time

The feelings have all run away and yet what happened can’t just escape me for the longest time. I tried to shake them out my head each time. Each time a new guy comes along, each time I receive compliments, each time I start to get to know someone. And each time, I am reminded in varying levels of what happened. Of what he’s done. Of what I had to go through just to get by.

I honestly thought I’ve had my fair share of dating guys who are wrong for me. When the time came for those relationships to end, I’ve learned to accept it. Right from the start, I knew it wasn’t going to last for very long. The red flags were there, bright and glaring, but I turned a blind eye, thinking I’d rather risk things than not find out what it’s like to be his, to be an us. I stepped into those relationships with part caution, part curiosity. That changed when he came along: Tall with fair skin, eyes that lit up whenever he smiled, a dimple on his cheek paired with it. He was shy and quiet, a bit awkward and unsure of himself.

I know how to love without expectations, how to give without demanding something in return, how to put others first.

We didn’t have much in common. Yet in spite of our differences in opinions and viewpoints, we always found something to talk about. He was unlike all the other guys I’ve been with. Everything was calm and there were no dramas. No third party or ex-girlfriends coming between us. Looking back now, I think that’s why I fell head over heels in love with him: He brought this quiet sense of security, of calmness that I never felt in my past relationships. For the first time, things felt stable. And so I did what I’ve never done with my past boyfriends: I gave all of me without hesitations. I was completely his. It was exhilarating and freeing. It felt a lot like falling in love the first time, until. Until after a few months, he suddenly just went under the radar.

Flew me to places I’d never been
‘Til you put me down

No replies to my text messages. Didn’t answer my calls. Even my Facebook messages were simply read but not replied to. I was baffled and concerned. Did something bad happen to him? Did I say or do anything wrong? Answers came four days later through a text message from him, saying something about his ex-girlfriend and her attempt at suicide after finding out that he was dating someone new. He said he’s been doing some thinking the past few days, which was why he didn’t keep in touch with me. He apologized; I reassured him that I was here for him, to help him sort things out. I asked him if there’s anything I can do to make things better. He said he was going back to his place (province / countryside) to fix things with his ex, his ex’s family, and his own family. He gave me the date when he would be back, saying we’d talk then. Even though I was worried and frightened about this sudden twist in our relationship, I was assured by his words.

Another four, five days went by. I knew that time he was here in the city, but he hasn’t kept in touch. And so I took it upon myself to text him. When my phone finally showed his name (I forgot how long or short it took him to reply), my excitement and relief were eclipsed with dread and disbelief the moment I read his message. The message was quite long, but the gist of it was this: He can’t see me anymore. His family and his ex-girlfriend’s family asked him to get back with the girl until the girl felt better. I knew this was something I could not win. It didn’t matter how much I begged and begged for him to come back to me. His mind was made up. A couple more messages and that was it. It was the end. Just like that, it was over.

Hung my head as I lost the war, and the sky turned black like a perfect storm

In all those 5+ years that we weren’t together anymore, he would resurface in my life from time to time. He would suddenly pop out of the blue every few months, re-establishing communication. And each time, I’d welcome him. I’d talk to him as if our break up was neither messy nor abrupt. I was ready to forgive him. I was hoping he’d open up about what really happened back then. I was also wishing he’d tell me he’s realized his mistake and that he wanted to get back together. None of those things happened, but we continued to talk every couple of months for those 5+ years.

Things changed the summer of last year. When he came around again, he told me that things will be different because now he can tell me what really happened. Everything, he said. He asked me to give him another chance and hear what he has to say, which was a first. Because in all those times he appeared and disappeared in my life, he never told me that. He said his ex-girlfriend had finally let him go. He asked me to see him when he comes back from abroad come November / December (last year). I honestly didn’t know if I wanted to see him, much less hear what he had to say. But I needed answers. A part of me still wanted closure, even though it was years too late. So I said yeah, sure. Let’s talk when you get back here.

Here you are now, calling me up, but I don’t know what to say
I’ve been picking up the pieces of the mess you made

We never did get to talk when he came back here late last year. He wanted to see me and talk to me, but I refused. By that time, I already found out things. I’ve SEEN things that were indubitable truths to what really happened all those years ago and WHY they happened. And what I’ve discovered completely wiped out anything I have ever felt for him. So I told him. I told him there’s no need to see each other and talk. I already know what he was going to say and that it would be better if he focused on that area of his life. I told him that whatever we had was in the past and we should just leave it at that.

Was I angry? No, but I was disappointed. And drained. And exhausted. I felt like the world’s — no, UNIVERSE’S — biggest fool. It took me years and years to pick up pieces of myself after he left me within the blink of an eye all those years ago. I was never the same girl after that. I have done my best to keep any and all feelings from developing into something serious. Something that I once had with him. I know and I am very well aware that not all men are the same, but what happened still nudges my mind from time to time. I’m still working on that part of myself, that part of me capable of caring, of being affectionate, of loving the other person wholly and completely. It’s a big step that I have finally let him go months ago. I only hope good things will follow after that. What happened is one huge lesson, not a setback. I still continue growing, evolving as a person.

 

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