Sometimes, when I look at you, I see a reflection of myself. I say this because I have anchored so much of my life around you, forging my steps to make your path easier, breathing for the simple purpose of making you happy, and living to love you. It's crazy because one shouldn't live in complete vulnerability towards a person, but the moment I fell for you, I surrendered all my inhibitions and fell hopelessly and sheepishly in love. And that's the thing, our relationship has ended but we have insisted on being friends. We have insisted on being on each other's speed dial, and as glorious as it may seem to be sharing a tub of ice cream still, and being able to share my nightmares with you, I have once again fell into complete vulnerability because I act and feel the only way I know how when I'm with you and that is to love you. I'm sorry but we can never be just friends.
How do I close a chapter of my life, and convince myself that it made me feel stronger. How do I shift completely to the right pronoun, from we to I? How do I wake up in the morning nullifying the right to think of you and wondering if you slept well? How do I close my eyes right before I sleep and not whisper good night out of habit?
I have always believed in love. I was the type to swoon over romance novels, sigh over love anecdotes, to aspire that my life would mirror the ones in movies, but you popped the bubble of my fantasies. You took my innocence, my belief that love could last forever, my belief that you do what you say and promise on the love notes that you have written when you were wearing rose-stained glasses. Can you imagine how unfortunate it feels to have handed my delicate heart on a silver platter only to have been let down? I've been protecting it for such a long time. I've nurtured it, covered it in warm blankets, I've trained it to be strong and ready, but I guess I've been too eager. In my effort to strengthen it, it overpowered logic, suppressed judgment, and clouded common sense. Haven't I heard enough from people that the brain triumphs over the heart in matters of love?
What right do you have to have held my hand, to have kissed my forehead, to drive for hours up a mountain so I could be close to the clouds because I told you that they looked pretty, and not expect me to fall for you? Why was I so naïve?
READ: I Loved You
You told me you still want to be my friend and to give you the right to care for me, when ironically the only thing I wanted you to take care of was my heart—and you drove a stake right through it.
You were my first love. It's our memories I'd be associating with all my firsts. You taught me how to love, how to be brave, you taught me to just let my hair down. You made me appreciate long drives even if no words are exchanged but just our fingers playing as we held hands. You helped me be at peace with myself, you told me I was pretty when I felt the opposite, the first person I'd text post-haircut to express my desire to murder the hairdresser, and I appreciate all the efforts you've done to stay up late with me as I read notes after notes after notes.
However, that's the thing. You are my first love. We may have shared candle-lit dinners under the stars, a bunch of scary movies and nightly giggles, but the truth is, the term itself is an ordinal. With firsts comes something next, and there's going to be someone who's going to sweep me off my feet again maybe even more than you did. The thing I would want to tell you the most straight to your face is you have taught me the greatest lesson and that is to love. The next person I bare my soul to and love again will be lucky because the hurt you have given me has made me braver and has prepared my heart to fight the next battle using the right arsenal and most especially how to love better with less pride, and more soul. Thank you for everything, and I'm sorry, but we can never be just friends.
Written by Danielle Fatima Y. Collantes. Got your own story to tell? Drop us an email at candymagazine @gmail.com! We'd love to hear what you have to say. If you're lucky, you just might get published in this space, too!