A Lesson To Learn
I once read that in every breakup there’s HIS-story and HER-story. Like a coin, it has two sides.
Writing has always been one of my many passions, though my imagination could be expressed in so many ways, penning my thoughts has always been my most favorite. I am about to share my almost-fairytale. I say almost because, unlike its Grimm counterparts, mine does not have a happy ending.
A friend texted me this quote: “Nakakatawa na ang taong sumumpang mamamatay siya ‘pag nawala ka sa kanya ay patuloy parin sa paghinga at buhay na buhay pa.”
I have heard such promise, but this quote does not humor me at all. These past few months, I’ve had so much alone time. And we all know that when we’re on our own, our mind travels the unpleasant path of our yesterdays.
The guy who swore he’d die the moment he loses me is alive and kicking. And, even though this is something I am relieved of, I can’t help but feel sad. Sad because, in a way, I hoped (and this is a very selfish thing to hope for) that he won’t be able to go on with his life without me. By this I mean he’d be as lost and torn as I am but apparently, he has found a new “life support system” in the form of his new girl friend. I know my words have a bitter edge but it saddens me to know that he has moved on so fast despite his promise. I say moved on because I agree that getting into a new relationship means you’ve let go of the past or, at the very least, willing to start anew.
To be fair with my ex, though, maybe he did “die”. Some part of himself must have been lost when we parted ways and will never be resurrected. Like me and some people I know, a part of me dies after I “survived” and “healed” from a broken heart. Though the wounds have been cleaned and taped up nice and tight, the latter is proof of how our previous encounters with love change us. Gone is the “old us” and what emerges is a scarred but sturdier person.
Have you heard of the song The Past? A verse there sums up what happened to me and my ex: I was wrong when I hurt you / but did you have to hurt me, too? / Did you think revenge would make it better?
My insecurities have clawed its way to our relationship, causing me to hide a couple of things. Eventually, I confessed, and like the prodigal son I was forgiven. Or so I thought… Months passed and I knew something was wrong, us women have very sensitive radars and our intuition is fool-proof.
My ex and I were in a long distance relationship and communication was mostly done through calls, texts, or IM-ing. I should have known that he would be cheating on me. An inevitable thing, really. That day, some idiot kept on calling me. It seemed like the moron just wanted to listen as I repeat the words “Hello” and “Who’s this”. This really peeved me and so I had my calls diverted to a bad number just so the pestering would stop.
It was already evening and I’ve been texting my then-boyfriend the whole afternoon. I never got a single reply, I decided to cancel the divert and half an hour later he called. He said he was already home and that he’s been trying to call me THE ENTIRE AFTERNOON. With a shaky effort, I managed to calmly remind him about the divert and asked how he could have forgotten about it when it was his idea. He was silent for a while and my temper flared. Just when I was about to explode, he said the most unbelievable thing: He forgot. HE FORGOT!!! That was the lamest excuse I’ve ever heard! It was very low for someone as bright as him. Tearfully but angrily, I told him that if he was tired of the whole long distance thing, I’d rather he told me than be lied to. I hung up.
It became worse the coming weeks, and it drove me on the edge of insanity whenever he would remind me over and over again that he would die were I to leave him. But really, how can you not want to cool off and clear your head when things are dizzying and unclear?
We eventually broke up, no big surprise there, though I only wanted a short reprieve. When we got to talk about it days later, he said he cheated on me because he couldn’t get over the hurt I caused him. I told him, “Okay, so I messed up. I know I did you wrong, but didn’t you say you’ve forgiven me? I never thought of you as vengeful, I thought I knew you.. But apparently, I never did see the whole you! I may have lied about a few things, but when I said I loved you, I meant it.” This brought him to silence once again, and I was surprised that he wasn’t able to formulate a snappy rebuttal. To forgive is to forget, right? I’m guessing he only deluded himself that he has forgiven me.
Months passed and I suddenly got a text from his high school buddy. My ex has always been jealous of this friend, I didn’t see the point, but I’m sensing it’s because he thinks that this friend can pretty much steal me away from him. Really, he thinks that little of me. He never saw the effect he had on me.
His friend has become very dear to me and we call each other “Dude”. Dude’s SIM card broke a few months back and he didn’t have a back-up copy of his phonebook. He was able to ask for my number from my ex. Dude asked how ex and I were doing and I told him we have broken up. This confused him since ex told him that we were “fine”. Fine? We weren’t in speaking terms and he would say we’re fine? Unbelievable!
In the long run, I got missed calls and a text message from ex. My heart beat like crazy and my hands shook when I noted the number. He was asking how I was. I acted calm and collected. I told him I was good and asked what he wanted. Surely, he wouldn’t have suddenly popped out of nowhere if he didn’t want something. He misses me and couldn’t take the silence between us anymore, he said. I wanted to play it cool but my heart won the battle against my brain. We talked about the past and how living apart did us both no good. I knew that if I wanted, we could have gotten back together. But we didn’t. After that conversation, we tried to move on. And this was very hard for me as I was juggling practicum, acting fine around my mom, and a heartache. It didn’t help that graduation was only months away. I oftentimes found my cheeks wet, which really sucked since my mom was constantly hovering above me. Her worried face made my resolve to try let go harder. But the moment she’s not around, I exhale a big gust of breath and cry my eyes out. I really didn’t fool my mother, but I continued trying to be normal.
My birthday was just around the corner when I found myself falling for Dude. Girl code dictates that your best friend’s ex is off-limits, but I think your ex’s best friend should be, too. I know I was still raw around the edges, but Dude pulled me from my depression and like I said, I found myself falling. It was wrong and selfish and unfair. How could I give a tattered and holey me to such a beautiful person? But I wanted to break free from the constant dark cloud hanging above my head, its endless sleeting was getting old. And then ex suddenly wanted us to be together again. I almost gave in, but again, Dude became Superman and I was Loise Lane. He told me that ex was cheating on me and I gave him up for good this time. I was fighting and struggling against a fresh wave of pain and Dude threw me a life vest. I was saved but I was no longer myself the moment I was able to breathe freely.
I asked ex for an explanation and he couldn’t give me any. I wanted to know HIS-story but he just shut me out. I tried and lost. And so we faded away from each other’s consciousness.
Ex might seem a horrible person to those reading this, but let us not forget that I, too, have something to do, some responsibility, to what happened to us. In every action there is always a reaction, after all. And I wouldn’t have fallen for him were he not worth loving.
So, dear, readers, what am I really trying to say? I guess the “moral” of my story could be dissected into two things: First, though I didn’t elaborate, it would be that we shouldn’t let our insecurities ruin our most priced possession: our relationships with our loved ones. Second, when you say you have forgiven someone, mean it. Don’t just say it for the sake of making someone feel better. Instead, say it because this is true.
I have let go of ex. I am now able to laugh and smile naturally, and though I still feel a little sting whenever he would say he misses me, I know in my heart that this is only because I miss my old self. Not the insecure me, but the passionate and deeply in love me.