From Our Readers: For the One Who Stayed
It's been years since we've gotten back together. Sometimes I wonder if leaving was indeed my biggest regret in life. But I look at us now and all our silly pictures, I can definitely say that everything's going to be okay.
At least I hope it will, as I live in this moment.
We had our rough roads and those patched up cracks on the walls. It still makes me wonder each and every day. How something so catastrophic could make me feel like you are the the most beautiful thing on this wretched earth.
I still remember the day I broke your heart and moved on. I remember the heart wrenching feeling each morning, as I wake and see that I had nothing on my phone screen. Not a single call, not a single text. As I started believing that love will always be just a fairy tale, I started to regret it all: The mistake of breaking your heart, of hurting you, and then the rough tides began as I missed you. It was like trying to catch the wind. I missed how I demanded for your time, how you stubbornly argued that you're always right. I missed how you flooded my inbox and call logs. How you never openly said it, but whispered to me softly how much you truly did love me.
Your love for me was a drug, it was an addiction and when we broke apart, I felt my walls crumble into ruins.
All the reasons for leaving faded away, as memories came rushing in like a tsunami of emotions. My heart broke, and I couldn't keep the tears at bay, as I cried and held onto the last pieces of memories I had of you.
I didn't know why I was hurting, when I was the one that broke your heart. When I was the one that strayed away and ruined our relationship. Even when you asked for my hand at such a young age.
You were my best friend. We did everything together growing up as teenagers. We snuck out and broke the rules. We made love prevail even when the corridors started to whisper all those lies and rumors. It ruined our names, our reputation, but it made us both happy as we started to live in our own little bubble. I miss those days when were young and wild, wanting to be free.
I would read all our silly love notes, caress a few pictures, and cuddle with that plush bear you've once given me, and my heart would break all over again. Regrets of my mistakes eating me up alive. It felt like my heart was pierced with needles, my eyes stung every morning like I had cried a river of tears. But I hid it well when you'd pass by. Not a single word said we were both bitter inside.
I smiled and built a wall of confidence. I kept my sanity and pursued my dreams, only having my heart crumpled up again as the day ends and I close my eyes to sleep.
I learned to move on slowly as I sent a message on your email, the one I knew you would never open, never read. I sent all those bits and pieces of my broken heart, all my anger, frustration, and regret. I then came to realize how beautiful and great what we once had, and how it filled up the emptiness in our young lives. I finally learned to accept the facts that indeed it was all my fault. That you would never look at me the same way again. And so I moved on.
I learned to move on. As thoughts of you faded away, only happy memories stayed. I learned to love again, but in the end, I would always compare it to you,. And it was not right, it was not fair. Because I was controlling my relationships like my favorite love novels. I wanted it as perfect as it was cliché. I broke his heart too and suddenly I saw myself as someone wicked. Someone that was not made to love. They all fell. Random boys here and there, twitterpated, and in love with the thought of love.
I then finally understood how afraid I became, scared to fall in love again and break their hearts along with mine. So I held my head up high, walked the plank, and risked it all. I changed my image without losing myself along the way. I became free.
A few months later, a year had passed since we spoke. You called me.
We met again that afternoon at our regular coffee shop. You ordered my favorite, at least you thought it still was.
"You've changed," you said, staring at me. Yes, I did and I was glad I did. That I got rid of all the poisoning bitterness in my heart.
I moved on and so have you.
"Have you?" I asked you that day. You said you have, and I said that's good.
We became friends again. Like how we once were. It wasn't instantaneous, it was gradual. As I found myself on the same crossroad, guarding my heart again for when I fall in love with you again, my best friend.
It turned out I was right. We were in love again. This time, it was just inevitable. No matter how hard I tried to push you away, time seemed to have no meaning between you and I. We've already connected long ago, and in this new change, we've still connected again.
I finally took the risk, jump into the void. But now the tables have turned. Now I said I love you first. This love is like a kaleidoscope of colors. It will always matter to me because you were my first ever love, the love that I thought was puppy love. But now the games have change, the troubles in our imperfect relationship has changed yet we remain strong.
That day at the coffee shop, I realized that I never did stop loving you. When I saw you, I stared at those familiar brown eyes, and I glanced at your ring finger as if searching for a sign that you've indeed moved on.
If you had then? I will be honest now. I would have gotten jealous and pretended that everything's okay even when it's not. Because I would risk a hundred heartaches just to see you happy.
Because eight years since we've met, I can still say that I am still madly in love with you.
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