Monday, March 19, 2012

fast-forward, please


I was excited at the prospect of seeing him again, already imagining how we would huddle up and chatter excitedly, like little furry creatures sharing their secrets of where they had kept their nuts. Then I was informed that he had someone. I'm seeing someone, he said. And I stifled a sob. I had thought that he was a rare mythical creature who somehow stumbled upon me, and these were bad times, sad times, but there would soon be a glimmer of hope on the horizon and someone up there would wave a magic wand and hubba hubba, everything would be alright with us. We would be somehow propelled by a cosmic force to be together in a large happy bubble. What was I thinking?

The last time we were together I had perhaps a wistful glimpse of the unhappy future. The gaze in each others' eyes when we looked at each other. The sound of his voice. One day too soon we will forget how it was like, to look at each other and feel the immense feelings inside. I told myself. We are living in fast-paced cities where sometimes life exhausts you and the sweet memories could be replaced too easily. Maybe if we were born in a different time it could have worked out for us. And I know we would soon forget things. The intensity for me, would be replaced by a succession of other men, some sweet, some kind, but no one could ever replace the space left when he left.

And then, I finally realised what the word 'devastated' meant, because I felt it in that space of a million anxious, swirling thoughts but the one large one: he has found someone else. I walked around in a daze, unable to comprehend him in various positions with another female. I had assumed he was happy being left alone. I even thought, foolishly, that I would be happy for him if he had found a weekend companion of sorts the way I did. No, my reaction to that devastating news, was to stifle and gulp down the sobs that found themselves in my throat.

Sometimes I wish I could fast-forward this stage of life. You know, I hope there is a happy ending in it somewhere. It seems futile to hope, and I know we will both get by, but the sickening, devastating feeling of how I would treasure, simply treasure the him with me, the 'us', how difficult it was for us to even meet, and then, someone comes along and just easily glides into his life like I never existed. Pretend I never existed, I told him, in finality. I have been dreaming for far too long, I reckon. I imagine it would be easier for you to forget me than the other way round. I imagine you would be happier without being torn by my soul, my thoughts, you said "I am too much" for you. Yes, I am the way I am. So go, with a simple, trusting girl and I hope you will find it in your heart to love her.

I have been a keeper of secrets, the way it has always been. I met one male who kept in his heart, funny memories of his ex. He would sometimes be unable to stop the anecdote from emerging, and then share it with me via text. I was okay with that, in fact, respected him more for having a sentimental side. He was someone hard to read and while I thought I had known him well, it turned out that I could never understand him in full. But it is okay with us. It would always be okay with us in that way. I met another man, recently. Something in his gorgeous face told me there was more than what meets the eye about his bachelor status. And just by being there for him, a friend, a listener, he revealed to me that he came to Singapore for her, a girl, the one he loved. He comes from a place where men his age would do so for love. Isn't that amazing? I wish to have someone like that one day, who would cross over oceans and come to forbidden lands for me. They had expected a relationship of a year to work out and start a new life together. But it didn't. Devastated. And he loved her so much; I suspect, as there was something in his eyes that said it, that he hasn't entirely given up hope.

I didn't feel sad when I saw that look in his eyes. I found myself silently rooting for him, even though the odds are low, even though it would have been nice to imagine him for myself, a sweet guy he was. If there is hope, then, there is something to wish for, isn't it? But I might have been the one who was full of hope, only to have it dashed, by a sentence, and then we are left alone to fill the space.

It never goes the way you imagined.

Those moments, the best part of my day, I try to remember, there was an unspoken thought in my heart, that, 'I wished you were here to see this'. I saw the most amazing sunset I had ever seen and ran towards it, trying to capture some awesome film photographs before the sun dipped into the horizon. All the while with that unspoken thought. Later, I had it printed. Though it would always have been more awesome in real life. I had it sent to him. Before all this happened. Why? I guess I had always wanted him to remember the best part of his day no matter how hard it gets. And so, he would receive it. I am not sure what he will do with this photo. I hope he frames it up and has it displayed lovingly as a memory of me, not tucked away in some obscure box.

I had imagined he had more in his heart for me, but now, I see that, there might have been nothing at all. And despite his repeated urgings to come visit, I finally had the courage to say no. I knew the aftermath, the long journey home, would have made me more miserable. I kept writing to him, through the months. To the "future" him. He knew about those letters and sometimes asked if I had scolded him. I wrote the "future" him my thoughts, my down times, knowing, that whilst it took others a lifetime or probably never able to understand me, little old me, it took him nothing at all, because we were made from the same mould perhaps. And wasn't it a pity that he just took all of these for granted.

I had written down my deepest feelings on pages upon pages of moleskine notepaper. Put them in a box and perfumed them with the scent I was using while we journeyed.

I had never really thought about what I would do with them, or when I would give them to the "future" him. I guess the time  has come for me to decide... =(

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