To my 25-year-old self

To my 25-year-old self,

At this point in time, you’re dead tired of and from your job and on most days you hate it. You dread going to work and you cry on some days before taking a deep breath, composing yourself, and heading to work. You are spiraling, and you are very unhappy.

Yet you choose to go to work every day because you still don’t know where you will head. The unknown scares you far more than being unhappy. You’d think maybe this is your quarter-life crisis happening right on cue.

And then you meet someone.

And this someone would be your mad love. What did one of your directors say? That you are entitled to that one mad love in your life, the kind of love that you would do everything for, be crazy for, and maybe even destroy yourself for. And that should be it. One mad love for the rest of your life, because this mad love should teach you a lot of life lessons.

He is someone who doesn’t fit your specs at all except for the fact that he wears glasses and he plays a musical instrument. He smokes (which is one of your deal breakers), he drinks, and aside from the fact that you work together, the list of things that you both have in common probably stops at ten. If this was high school, he’d be part of the ‘it’ crowd, the group of guys who act like they own the hallways, the ones who would sit at the sides and would rate the girls that pass by. And you, well, you know where you were in high school: Miss Goody Two Shoes, sometimes a wallflower, sometimes thrust in the limelight due to an academic achievement. The only times that your world would intersect with his is when he asks for help for his book report or when he wants to copy your homework. (Or when you would ask him for help for your drafting assignment because you hate it, and he’s good at it.)

Continue reading

I’m sorry (among other things)

Hi, you.

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. Continue reading

One Day, Maybe (Not)

Dear You (yes, YOU)—

 

Here we are again. Full circle. A cycle, not a phase.

Every time you come around, I keep on thinking: Dexter + Emma. One Day.

And I don’t mean that as a good thing, you know? Because even if [SPOILER ALERT] they ended up together, after the long, drawn out, twenty-year love affair, something happened that made me think that they’re not really meant for each other after all (if you’ve finished the book, or watched the movie, you’d know what I’m talking about).

We’re at Year Ten already. There hasto be a better way to do this, other than your popping into my life whenever you want to and my letting you do that every single time. I don’t want to make it to twenty years because I know I’m better than that. I know I’m better than letting you string me along. I deserve better than that. (Yes, I know I do, so why in the hell am I still staying? Right. Coz I’m stupid.)

I already told you, you already know my ‘rules.’ And while I know I couldn’t demand such a thing from you—since I’m not in a position to do so—I think it’s the least you can do. After all the years that have passed. After everything.

Was it because you find me, every single time? Did I not hide well enough? Is my three times a charm change in mobile number not enough to escape your detective skills?

Maybe I let it take over me. The pity. The hey, maybe he needs someone to talk to, considering (his situation). Or the curiosity. The hey, what does he want to tell me now (not that it bodes well for me, since the last time curiosity kicked in, the cat didn’t know it was a suicide mission for her heart). Or that sliver of hope. The hey, maybe you’re staying around for much longer, that you’re finally choosing ME.

[I don’t know if you can still include love here, because I don’t really know what I feel towards you anymore.]

But it’s wrong. ALL WRONG. It shouldn’t be this way. Because ten years is a long time. It’s a decade. The last time we were ‘together,’ the hit mobile phone was the Nokia 3210 and the top social networking site was still Friendster. Boybands like Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC ruled the airwaves, and my favorite color was still blue. You were into Green Day and crazy covers by New Found Glory while I try to hide the fact that I still liked Hello Kitty even when I’m past the elem years.

It’s a long time.

But we’re still at this standstill, that stupid fork in the road. But I still wait for you even if I could just go the other way and forget you. I still regress instead of pushing forward; you manage to take me back in time instead of pulling me towards a future.

Maybe it’s really time. Ten years was a long time; I’ve had enough memories from you to make a very juicy, not-so-good-an-ending (non)love story.

Maybe I know that I’m better than just being your last resort.

Maybe I don’t wanna be an Emma to your Dexter anymore, waiting for you to come around and man up.

Maybe.

 

Without anymore love left,

Me

Letter No. 2

July 13, 2010

You wouldn’t want to know how I’d been feeling the past couple of days. It would have been nice, though, to have someone to whom I can rant to as to how crappy it was, or to have someone tell me that hey, this is yet another phase, just another bump in the road I have to get past to get to my destination.

Problem is I do not know where I am headed, and somehow I don’t always have the time to think about it.

Or maybe I am just actually scared. Scared of leaving this thing that I do because frankly, right now, this is just about the one and only thing I think I am good at—and I have still a lot to learn.

And maybe I am thinking that I should stay—after all, even if I complain endlessly and seem to never stop, even if I don’t save up enough, this is one of the places that makes me feel safe—discounting the moments when that person plainly just—okay, I’ll leave it at that. It makes me safe. It keeps me comfy at times. And yes, even though it makes me cry sometimes, somewhere at the back of my mind I am still thinking that it is still worth it.

I wish I have someone to talk to though. A non-involved individual (meaning someone who I am not with most of the time) who would help me thaw and piece together my thoughts.

Or maybe I am just feeling all sorts of lonely and that’s where it really just boils down to.

Either way, I wish I can figure this out—hopefully sooner than later.

Letter No. 1

June 27, 2010 | Sunday

In the middle of writing a report, my mind started to wander off to your direction again. So many years have gone by, so many miles between us. But still, every single time, every June, you appear in my dreams—as my boyfriend, as the subject of my unrequited love (which is the reality), as a friend who holds my hand when I needed comfort, as a guy who failed to tell me he loved me when the time was right, as a guy who just plainly didn’t tell me how he felt about me. The latest dream covers the last bit.

We were at my elementary school. In reality I would have asked what you were doing there since you never were a student there, but since it was a dream, you explained to me that you were picking up your sister. And then she pops up beside you. And then you we walk together, me carrying my brother’s backpack and you dragging your sister’s bag in a trolley, and then we reach the gate, you usher your sister in a car, and I walk mine home. And then you pop out of nowhere—well, from behind me—and tell me you’d walk me and my brother home. But then again, my brother, even though he’s just eight, senses that something’s going on and walks about ten steps ahead of you and me.

And then you tell me that you have something to tell me. Something that you’ve been meaning to tell me way back. But you were shy. You needed encouragement. So I went on teasing you. I asked you if you had a crush on me and you just gave me that smile of yours that I love.

And then I asked you if you like me, and you just smiled at me again.

And then I stopped walking, twirling to face you, losing my balance in the process but you held onto me (aha, this is a dream, so this stuff happens). And then I ask, while wrapped in your half-embrace, if you love me.

And then you open your mouth to reply…

And I wake up.

Funny how I was raring to go back to sleep even though I’d be late for office just to see what your answer was. But then again, dreams don’t do continuations. They rarely do that.

And again, I’d rather take this dream rather than the one I’ve had with lots of snakes in it.

Some dreams I’ve had of you were so vivid that I’d feel you holding my hand when I wake up. Or hugging me. Or hear the echoes of your laughter.

Eek, I know this makes it sound like you’ve died and I’m writing a memoir in your honor.

I’ve written about you, and I am still writing about you. As of the last count, you’re in my five ongoing stories, three of which have you as one of the main characters.

So I’m tipping you off. If you see in the dedication this line below, you’d know it’s for you:

For the guy I have always liked, always loved and never forgotten

I’ll wait around for June next year for the next dream.

Who knows? I might get the answer to my hanging question.