You probably won’t ever see this, but I’m writing it down anyway. This comes with a disclaimer: I am doing this for myself and not for you; it’s to ease all the guilt and pain I have in me these past few months, intensified by the past few days.
When you messaged me last Christmas, I replied back, a simple “Merry Christmas, (your name).” That was it. To be honest, I procrastinated over it, and then proceeded to reply. I only replied for old times’ sake, and it was Christmas. It didn’t matter that I was feeling sad because it was my first Christmas away from my family or that I was feeling so lonely. That Christmas was just ‘okay,’ and it didn’t have the warmth of home. It was eerily quiet and strange; it was white noise. I didn’t ask how you were even if I missed your stories and I have a bajillion questions. Even if I missed you. And I didn’t unleash all the stories and feelings I had in me brought about by the holiday season and otherwise, when the usual would’ve been me sending one message after the other.
And I felt fine.
The next day, you messaged me again, checking how I was for my “first Christmas away.” This time, the minute I got that message, I knew I wasn’t going to reply. I don’t know what your intentions were for checking on me—maybe you’re being this good friend or maybe you were bored (haha, let’s face it: there was the probability it was the latter; it was a holiday, after all, and you probably remembered me then after a month of not talking to each other.)
But I was certain about one thing: you weren’t going to get a reply.
And I felt guilty.
The nice part of me, the part that is your friend, and that nasty part of me that still loves you, wanted to reply. Those parts of me feel guilty and rude for not even thinking twice about not sending a reply, for just reading the message and putting you in the seenzone.
The other part of me, the better part of me, the one that is starting over and is recovering, and the one who thought of self-preservation, figuratively curled up in one corner and threw the phone across the room where it shattered into pieces, just so I wouldn’t reply.
Truth: I didn’t want to reply because I didn’t want to reignite my hope.
And as long as I have that hope that there could be some sense of a future romantic relationship for us, I cannot be your friend.
I don’t want you to be a part of this ‘new’ life that I am building.
Not yet, anyway.
And I’m sorry for that.
Because if I dissect our two-year or so friendship (and believe me, with the silence that I had, I have been down that road more times than I am proud of), at the end of the day, you have been a good friend to me. You were there (on most days) during bad days (and when the issue wasn’t you, haha). You were patient with me, you watched movies with me, you listened to me blabber on about what interests me at that time, you ate so many meals with me and sometimes even gave in to my cravings even if you didn’t like them, and you put up with me and my moods.
You became a constant in my life. You filled a void. You eased the loneliness. And you made that choice to put an effort in our friendship on most days—except on days that you don’t, and I don’t fault you for that. I have those days when I didn’t want to exert any effort, too.
You were a good friend. You were probably my best friend, had we really told each other everything and not glossed over the elephants (yes, plural) in the room that we never discussed. (So maaaaybe we put the word ‘best’ in quotes. Haha.)
And I know I was one of your closest friends, too. You said that a couple of times. Feelings aside, I knew I did my best in being the kind of friend you would want in your life. So I know that in doing this, I wasn’t only losing my ‘best’ friend; you were also losing one of your closest friends.
I’m sorry, if I misread things. If it was supposed to be just an “A” and I read half the alphabet. If I held you back on the days when I was unconsciously being a ‘bakod‘ and you wanted to make a move on someone else. If you became a villain in the eyes of others (but you have to admit that you had a hand in that, too, because it takes two to do this tango for so long). If you became the scapegoat, the one that I use for target practice whenever I feel angry at myself for choosing this new life, leaving my old life that I realized I liked a whole lot, and for making such a big life change that also affected my family.
If I have to hate you on some days just to survive.
But I won’t say sorry for choosing myself. Because I gave too much to you and you just took it all. You basked in it, maybe, on some days. I gave you everything, even if I was empty already and I had nothing left to give. I used to cry to my friends, that the sad part about all of this was that kahit na sagad na sagad na ako, pag humingi ka pa at nangailangan ka pa, hahanap ako ng paraan para may maibigay ako. I had too much love in me for you that I forgot to leave some for myself. It was always YOU first, your happiness, needs, and welfare first, even if it came at my own expense or at the expense of others. Even if I would look stupid. Even if it meant burning bridges with some friends who didn’t agree with my decision to constantly choose you every day that I decided to love you.
This time, I’m putting myself first. And that means learning all over again how to be comfortable doing things just by myself, to listen to the songs we used to exchange, to eat the food you introduced to me, to watch the movies we watched together, and to pull up tidbits about you in relation to other things without feeling an ache in my chest. I want to be able to breathe easily and not to feel assaulted by all of our memories together. I want to be myself again, to look for the pieces of myself that I lost when I started to love you.
After all of that, (yes, there’s more) I also want you to know that I don’t regret you and everything that came with you. I’ve been asked this quite a number of times already, if I regret meeting you, if I regret us (not) happening, if I regret putting in that much into a non-relationship. Always, without fail and hesitation, my answer was no, I don’t regret anything, not even that stupid drunk text. I learned and grew a lot from you and because of you. I was able to see the true friends who I want to be by my side come hell or high water. I won’t be in another country, away from my comfort zone, and taking it all in. I wouldn’t have gotten that shove to do things that I was scared to do.
You don’t regret someone for all that.
But trying to fill in the cracks with new things and re-learning to be comfortable in my own skin again involve not drinking the same poison over and over again. So I’m dropping you from my life in the meantime, until I can pick you up and not look at you as my big ball of mistakes and bad decisions.
Until all hope I have for ‘us’ is lost.
Until all I can see is just you, my friend.
Until I have forgiven myself.
And I hope, as my friend and not as the guy who hurt me, that you understand why I’m doing this. Why in the meantime all your messages to me will go unanswered and why you’ll be muted and unfollowed from my social media sites. Why this time, the bridge that I’m choosing to burn is the one that leads to you.
I wish you well.
And I hope, sincerely hope, that one day, when I am fine and ready and I’ve worked out all my issues, that you’d still be there, and that you’d be open to being my friend again.
Happy new year. May 2017 be a bit brighter, for both you and me.
P.S. If I do have misfortunes in love, you do, too, so it seems. (Yes, I’ve been told of ~things, haha, and I honestly feel a bit bad for you in that department). I hope the next person you choose to love would love you in the same way that you love them. I hope it’s the kind of love everyone (yes, including me) would be happy about. :)
P.P.S. The two months’ worth of payment for the you-know-what that we bought together and you haven’t paid me: my Christmas gift and birthday gift to you. You won’t get any follow-ups from me for the payment, because doing so would open up other opportunities for conversation, and we’re not doing that (see above). I know it’s money, and I don’t want you to think I don’t need it (I do, actually). I weighed it, and I need my sanity more than the money.
P.P.P.S. Sending you one last big hug from this corner of the world, because God knows our last hug was one of the crappiest ones I’ve ever given anyone (and I give the best hugs, PROVEN, and you know that).