“Maybe if we all
looked up at the
sky and said
‘I love you’
we would learn what
“Maybe if we all
looked up at the
sky and said
‘I love you’
we would learn what
I once refused an offer.
And at that time, I knew that there was no turning back.
As much as my heart was screaming for my decision, I deliberately averted my gaze from the temptation– a very, very lovely temptation.
Perhaps I made a mistake, I don’t really know.
Two years ago, I was in a relationship– a short one.
I wrote about this girl over and over again since two years ago.
The only difference between that time and the present is.. I rarely put my thoughts and feelings in here– I let myself become numb from things that came across me.
Work, books, scribbles, games, alcohol, anything; I prefer those things than actually feeling anything for myself.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I feel sorry for myself, I just honestly prefer to not to let anyone affects my feelings.
At the time in our relationship, she happily wrote her words in a book every day.
She never wanted me to know what she was writing on that book, but she did give me clear expectation on what she was writing– it was all about me and her.
One day, I was with her at her place.
When she was taking a shower, I was looking for scissors around her desk.
Opening the drawer, I saw a purple book neatly put alongside a purple pen.
I instantly recognized that it was the book that she had been writing everyday.
“Magical book” she said, I’m not even sure why it was called magical.
When I was looking at the book, she came out of shower and asked what I was doing.
I didn’t say anything at first, but then I told her that I was looking at her book.
She deliberately offered me to take a look of what’s inside the book.
Now I would have said yes at that time– hell, I was dead curious.
But, unfortunately(?) I did tell her that I would only read that book by the time she finished writing– when she finally filled a book with her words.
So I said no, I firmly said that I would only read the book when she’s finished.
She put the book back in the drawer.
Later that day, she would write something while I was having a shower.
It was the last time I ever get my hands on that magical book of hers.
Reminiscing those times, I’m not really sure whether I should regret my decision.
I kept asking myself question what would happen if I did take her offer.
Because, all I want to know, is the reason she gave up and left.
I remember she said that the book will act as a reminder of me.
She will read the book should something happen, and will instantly be reminded of what happened between us– all the love and happiness we brought together.
But it didn’t work.
I don’t even know where the book is right now.
It’s a memento– a reminder of lovely, happy days that she and I spent together.
Perhaps I will never know what she wrote on that magical book.
But, if I do have the chance, I’ll read it.
Word by word.
What will happened to me, you ask?
“Did you love her?”
“Does it matter?”
“Well, why does it not ?”
“Because it was not enough to make her stay.”
I guess it doesn’t matter what will happen to me.
Not for her.
Not for anyone.
Not even for myself.
We were having a lunch when she started the conversation.
“So my sister woke me up yesterday.”
“She called me around 3:30 AM through WhatsApp call.”
“I rarely met her so I instantly thought that there must be something serious.”
“So, she called me, and I heard her crying and calling my name.”
“She just broke up.”
I sipped my coffee and looked at her.
She did get my attention after that last sentence.
“Of course I’m not going to disclose anything about what she said to me.”
“The story was kind of too long anyway.”
“Long story short, her boyfriend, now her ex, wanted to break up.”
“The reason was somewhat simple yet so complicated.”
“Apparently, the guy and my sister has been quite estranged for quite some time. About more than 3 months or so.”
“Simply put, their communication between that range of time was really bad.”
“They rarely talked, and rarely going out together.”
“The guy was.. You could say, fighting a battle.”
“He got a problem with his family. To be fair, he did communicate with my sister that he had a problem and wanted to take care of his family first before anything.”
“My sister was okay with it, and determined to help him as much as she could.”
“I said their communication was bad was not without reason.”
“Whenever my sister tried to ask him what was going on, he always said nothing.”
I had a hunch that this was something that I myself could relate.
It’s not that I’ve been indifferent with what happened between me and her
It’s just– I chose to bury it deep down somewhere no one could find.
A graveyard with only one old, chipped, nameless gravestone standing on it.
Right now, I could almost hear my own heart beating from beneath the ground.
What does it want? Reminiscing its murder two years ago?
“And like I said, for 3 months it went, with bad communications.”
“One day, that guy called my sister and explained to her what was going on. And, after long conversation / discussion, it ended with him asking for breakup.”
“It was sad, really.”
“That is all?”
I was definitely not satisfied with her story.
The only thing that I was thinking is, if this kind of shit keeps happening in the world, then there must be something very, very wrong with the world.
Or at least with people around me in my country, I don’t goddamn know.
“I can’t believe it. Don’t you think what he did was very cruel to your sister?”
“He left a person that loved him very, very much. Do you think that’s fair?”
“Now that we are talking about fairness, do you think what happened to him was fair? Do you think he wanted to be in that situation? Do you think he deserved that?”
“Neither of them– not my sister, and not that guy– deserved those things.”
“You see that guy and what happened to his family? I don’t really know what happened to him in detail, but I could be sure that he was fighting his own war.”
“What’s sadder, was the fact that he decided to fight alone.”
“Yes, the guy did take his time to fight his war, and yes, he did make a decision to fight that war all by himself, but did he aware of what happened to him and ultimately, people around himself that love him so much?”
I instantly imagined her and shook my head slowly.
“Yes, he clearly did not.”
“Look, from my point of view, the guy wasn’t aware that every single battle that he fought in actually sapped his energy bit by bit.”
“And by the time he was extremely exhausted, he just no longer have energy to continue care about anyone else but himself, he was just exhausted.”
“But that doesn’t mean that he could do that to your sister.”
“Sometimes, when you are just too tired of something, the only thing our body and mind want is just to take a break off everything that happened in this world.”
“I don’t blame that guy. He did what he could, he fought his battles even though it was reckless because he did it alone, but he did fight his battles.”
“I even told my sister that if she really wants to be with her, then all she needs to do is to actually do nothing but listen to what he wants.”
“I told her that she can’t and shouldn’t ask for any kind of affection from that guy, if, she still wants to be with that guy.”
“Because, well, his energy is spent. He’s mentally exhausted.”
“My sister will be trapped into the same condition that made her felt so lonely even though she was perfectly understand that he was in a middle of a problem.”
“I asked her if she really, really wants to be in that condition again.”
Well I did want to.
Come to think of it, it’s like a chain of causality.
That guy didn’t want that problem to came into his life and made him like whatever it was that caused him to ask for a break-up to my co-worker’s sister.
But that event – the cause – had affected that guy so much that he became so exhausted after everything that he went through– this is the effect.
But the effect – his exhaustion – had become the cause that made him wanted to break up with my co-worker’s sister, in which we could call that the effect.
And I don’t know, there might be other effect caused by that last effect.
And I believe the same thing happened to her.
The last time we met, I remember you said something like this after we watched that night show, and while we were laying down beneath the night sky:
“It’s not like I can’t trust you, it’s just…”
I can’t really remember what you said after, I believe it took quite some time for you to muster your words and said that you wanted yourself to be firm with what you have first; be it your career, your job, yourself, whatever they were.
I don’t know if I’m speculating anything towards whatever it was that you were thinking, but, I had a hunch that what happened with you in that relatively short time made you completely unavailable emotionally.
How did I come into that assumption, you ask ?
Well, it’s simple.
Because the very same thing happened to me as well.
I don’t really know if what happened to you – the effect – had become a cause of what made me completely unavailable emotionally, but I guess it was.
But, few days ago, I was posting a certain photo that I took before we left that place where we went to the last night we met 6 months ago.
And there I was, lying on my bed, trying to put in some words to go along with my post and with that photo that I took.
Of course, you could see the result yourself if you’re able to find the photo.
My point is, it made me stopped for full 2 hours before I snapped at myself and wrote some words for that certain post.
What was I thinking? I wasn’t so sure.
All I know, I was thinking of you in the most obscure ways possible.
Love, I know I wrote that post about how true love just doesn’t exist.
And, let me tell you that I still stand with those words that I’ve posted.
It’s excessive, romanticized, and doesn’t resemble the reality at all.
Now, if you ask, does the love that I have for you have actually been romanticized all this time? Was, and is, it excessive? Was, and is, it too much?
Perhaps, I don’t really know for sure.
All I know for sure, is that it has been two years since the first time I said hello to you, after two of us were being estranged the two years before that.
And all I know for sure, as much as I tried to stop it, as much as I’m being emotionally unavailable, and as much as I hate the concept of romanticized true love right now,
This love that I have for you– it lingers.
“So what if I never love someone that hard again?”
“But that’s the thing about love, isn’t it?”
He paused, and looked at the mirror.
“You will let them get away with murder, even if it’s your own.”
“And the worst part is, she might not even know what she has done to you.”
He pointed at the mirror.
“–Died, along with your heart.”
“And now, your words are following you to your grave.”
He eyed himself on the mirror, and took a quick glance at bottles of wine and stacks of books in his desk beside the him. He grabbed the wine bottle, took a wine glass beside it, took one book titled Faust by Goethe, and sat on the floor, right in front of the mirror.
He looked at the mirror, and whispered, slowly,
“Your heart died. Perished. Finished.”
“You should have done something better.
“Think about it. What if you will never love someone that hard again?”
He put his head between his knees, closed his eyes, and whispered to himself,
“What if I will never love someone that hard again?”
True love does not exist.
Call me a skeptic, but right now, I think the concept of true love trivializes all the human experiences we’ve had and we’ll be having for the sake of cultural romanticism. Give thanks to our fairytales and romantic comedies, because for them, the notion that someone perfect for us exists somewhere out there persists. Perhaps love simply exists in a spectrum of colours, and that my romanticism was an over celebration of things that make myself felt good.
In reality, love is all about how much investment one puts in the relationship, how willing are the people involved to work together with their differences, how both are open and honest with their feelings and thoughts through communication. The other characters become supporting characters in the protagonists’ story, but reality does not revolve around a couple’s love story, it revolves around everyone and all of their stories in one big catastrophic merry-go-round.
Maybe we constantly yearn for perfection and wondrous moments of tenderness and romance to sweep us off our feet– for the person that is ideal and is the utter perfection in order to prevent us from being hurt or disappointed. Well, after all, most of our worlds are, built by expectations, which are not wrong to have, but are not a sturdy basis for structures that will go through fire. And when our expectations fail because they are based on fantasy and are without realistic attempts at reaching those goals and dreams, we get hurt, we fall, and we are broken. We forget that we will get hurt, we will fall, and we will break either way. With, or without love– with, or without any help. As for me? Mine was an example. Mine was just like the cliche saying goes: “some things happened along the way.”.
You see, the notion of true love implies that perfection is in the true love’s countenance, when in reality, love is really just good investment and cooperation– good communication.
So let me take a break from all of this– let me hate the concept of true love. Let me shortly mourn someone’s failure– someone’s inability to hold on. Because it was NOT about perfection. it was NOT about circumstances. But it was all about lack of maturity and reason in times of immaturity and unreasonable fears.
It wasn’t the love that was impure, it was the connection that was broken.
The loneliest place to be
Is in love.
Certain memories of you have dulled. And it’s not because they weren’t special or impactful. You left a crater on my heart, an indent impossible to fully heal. Yes, time does come in and takes up space. It glosses over our exact words, dims my recollection just a bit. I don’t remember the date we broke up. I’m not even sure what shirt I was wearing the last time I kissed you. Maybe it was a black shirt. Yeah, I think it was a black shirt, along with shorts.
But, you see, I can only say think. Because I’m not sure. These days, I don’t study the details like the way I once did. I remember your face, of course. The warmth to your dark-brown eyes. Your short hair. And even after all this distance, your laugh finds me in the most random moments. Even though, honestly, it’s your smile that still fucks me up.
It doesn’t matter how many years it has been, that smile still knocks me over. I see a photo of you and my stomach feels punched. How can someone be so beautiful? So dazzling? God. I don’t know if it’s ever going to fade. It should have by now, right? Yes? No? I don’t know. I don’t know anything. I don’t even know if we still know each other. It’s like we, who were once so in love, are figures from our past, and I’m not even sure the newer versions would even get along.
But, hell, all you have to do is smile at me. Smile. Just smile, and I will forget we ever fell apart. Smile, and I will forget the feeling of my heart and soul being torn apart. Smile, and I will know that you’re a battle worth fighting for.
Smile, and I will be yours all over again.
I still love you.
Even though I know I probably should ignore that. Or even though I know that I probably should not. Every single day, you’re getting further and further away. Literally, and figuratively. Is there something star-crossed about this? I don’t know, Love. I just don’t know. All I know, there’s just this distance between us. Filled with nothingness. Just space.
You see, my brain doesn’t seem to get the memo. It keeps factoring you into future plans. It imagines some moment when timing works out and we’re in the same zip code and there’s no longer a reason to keep us apart. Trust me, I tell it to stop. But it just continues, month after month. It creeps in when I’m trying to do other things and makes it impossible to focus. It’s like you’re a song they overplay on the radio. You’re there. You’re always there. I can act like I’m tired of it. I might even do something like complain about it. Or sometimes, I make jokes– stupid jokes about it. But I always turn off the radio whenever it comes on.
But you’re still somewhere in the back of my mind. You’re still here rooting strong in my heart. You’re still that tune– that one tune that plays inside my head– that one tune that people keeps dancing to, slowly, gently, step by step. Just a glass or two of whiskey later, I’m humming it. That tune. You. I’m singing it in the shower and cursing myself for not being able to get rid of it.
I can’t get rid of you.
Even though I’ve tried. Even though I’ve heard this same damn tune one too many times and I know that it feels I should change the channel. The stupid, cringy lyrics keep coming back to me over and over again:
“Text me and I will text right back. Kiss me, and I’ll kiss you right back. Make a plan for us and I’ll clear all my schedule. The more girls I meet, the more I feel myself coming back to you, oh.”
Maybe my heart is stubborn or masochistic or downright stupid. Maybe, and I hate admitting this, I actually like the idea of being unhappy and letting my feelings for you fester is a symptom of that. Sometimes, happiness without you, feels like a trick more than anything. Without you, it feels pretty damn difficult when your brain is going against you, and deciding that it’s a better idea to instead come up with every possible way that things could go wrong. Without you, it feels like failure. It feels impossible. It feels exhausting, like an undertaking that is impossible to win.
Whatever the case, there’s one thing I know for sure:
I still love you.
“You know you don’t have to do this.”
“Essentially, everyone knows what they have and don’t have to do. They just don’t usually sure about themselves most of the time. I know what I’m doing.”
“But this road part is crucial. You can’t do anything reckless.”
“Am I, now? It’s a beautiful, sad crisis. And I’ve been travelling it since more than a year ago. I went on and on, inherent to human nature. I’ve been doing what I need to do to survive.”
“And how are you?”
“Half-angry, half-sad. I fooled myself to the game of protection. I’m holding on to my ego: well-trained to endure, numb, and distract myself, blinding my emotion. A defense mechanism, to keep my heart at bay.”
“You forget that love and hate are the same emotion, camouflaged in different costumes. You’re growing your hate in the same way you grow your love.”
“They are in two different sides of field. But the opposite is still the same. We call it ignorance. It kills both love and hate. Love, especially.”
“It killed yours?”
“Subtly. Crueler than everything. The trail of her touch that lingered– fired with passion of her skin against mine, was my assailant. Her lips that stole my breath away– that destroyed me, was the instrument of my affliction. But the ignorance – her ignorance, which also helped mine to grow – have been lingering dreadfully in the stillness between who we were. Between what she and I could be.”
“Ignorance. Yes. A murderer. Always a homicide scene. It killed every word inside the brain with points sharper than spearheads and phrasing blunter than cement bricks. The silence is excruciating. It slowly devours hearts.”
“My consciousness is holding it inside me. It stops the killing. It tries to erase the guilt. It holds back more than the verdict of an open and shut murder trial.”
“Maybe it’s been simply misunderstood all this time. Listen closely. Do your heart and mind spoke about it many times before? Does it pain you like it should?”
“Occasionally. From time to time. Once In a while. Sometimes. When I look across the memories that she and I once loved, laughed, and wept in– where I smiled at her and called every moment that we had as our moment. Yes, it was our moment. Her moment. My moment. Now it’s just mine, and mine alone.”
“Think of it. If only people could decide how hurt someone is allowed to be with their behaviour, what kind of world would it be? Or rather, how badly do you want to be hurt? Would you ask for your own, personal torture?”
“Drown someone, and decide how loud they could scream. Stab someone, and decide how much they are allowed to bleed. Set someone on fire, and decide how much of a mess their ashes are allowed to make. Destroy someone, and decide how ruined they are allowed to feel.”
“Crush your heart, break it to pieces, step on it, and?”
“And feel everything. I’d take everything as it is. You don’t let people know about it, mostly because you can’t. And it’s useless. People don’t understand how much they have hurt other people. They can’t. We can’t. Not ever. No human being is empathetic enough to do it.”
“But no matter how much you’ve hurt, you’ll forget it. You’ll heal. You will. She will. Everyone will. No matter how dark the night is, the sun will rise again.”
“And the night will falls down and cast its shroud again eventually. Yes, and no. Yes, I will – or rather, I might – heal. But no, I will not forget about it.”
“Everyone forgets. There will always be things that they push to the back of their head, things that will blur, and died, along with time.”
“It’s been quite some time since I saw her. Maybe I will forget about some things.”
“But not the feelings.”
“Maybe not the feelings. But if ignorance keeps gnawing on the lines between me and her, maybe I will soon forget something. Maybe. Maybe; maybe; maybe.”
“Always be afraid of how our memory works.”
“And it has to come from what I would always see from her face.”
“Lips? Eyes? Nose?”
“Her eyes. I might soon forget the color of that pair of stars that she has.”
“.. And maybe, maybe she will forget mine.”
Outstretch your hands, and bare your stained glass heart.
Let me take it with courage, hold it with strength, and keep it with patience.
I know that it is not perfect– I know that it has been chipped and cracked.
But I also know that it is not broken.
I know that it still beats with passion.
I know that it could still love aplenty.
It is the most resplendent part of you.
And the light it holds within shines all the brighter
For the times and places that it has been worn thin.
Can I have it ?
I promise I will take it with courage,
Hold it with strength,
And keep it with patience.
For what’s going to be left of my world if you’re not in it?