Thursday, December 16, 2010

about life. about love.


Every time this time of year rolls around, I get slightly nervous, fearful of reminiscing. For it was at this time, two years ago, that we got to know each other.

We were nothing but acquaintances, and I never would have guessed we would be anything more than that. For one, she was two years older than I, and for another, she looked intimidating. Tough, tomboyish looks, and a way of keeping trouble-makers under control – being as sensitive as I was, I didn't think I'd click with who I knew of her.

But her first words to me were kind ones, and I could only respond in the form of mutual respect. From then on we became friendly acquaintances, though naive I was of our undeniable chemistry.

Naturally the chemistry brought us together. She came out to me in one of our first conversations. I didn't know of anyone personally at that time who was homosexual, and it was unexpected, but it didn't make me see her any differently. The holidays rolled around, and we became fast friends. We continued to talk on online, and I was surprised of how much we had to talk about and how endless it seemed. I just knew that I liked talking to her, which was all that mattered. Naturally, we started talking on the phone. Slowly, we got to a point where we talked everyday, and if we didn't, it was strange. I didn't know that meant I'd be diving into something so much deeper.

She told me of her escapades of an unrequited infatuation, I informed her of my requited one. It wasn't until one night in which she told me she liked someone new, and felt sad because I had just hung out with my crush that day, that I realized she liked me. She didn't even say it. We didn't exchange any words, but we both knew. She didn't want to make things weird, and neither did I, for I didn't ever want to stop being her friend, so I told her that things wouldn't change between us.

And they didn't - at first. We got back to school the next day. We saw each other in between classes. I saw her interacting with others. And the strangest feeling hit me - jealousy. It was unnerving, feeling that way when seeing her talk to her friends.

The next day, I admitted my feelings of confused jealousy, and she said the feeling was mutual. The jealousy ebbed away at that point, with trust. I trusted her; she trusted me. I still felt it sometimes after that, especially when she would talk so passionately about her ex. But I felt relieved when I could trust her. However, that day I did not admit that I liked her, because at the time I was not aware of it, and was in denial of the fact that I could be gay.

Yet I fell for her. Hard. She was not generically pretty; she had her own kind of beauty. She was athletic. She looked good in a volleyball uniform. She was caring of her family, of her younger brother. She had a soft side - a side which showed her concern for others. She had personality. She was a risk-taker. She had a passion for music. She was selfless. She was authoritative. All things that I envied. I asked her why she liked me. She said I was nice. She never pointed out anything else. Perhaps it was my skill on piano. Perhaps it was that I cared about bigger world issues. I never really knew. But I never questioned her love for me.

By the mid-January, I felt like I had already known her for ages, yet there was still so much to learn. She felt insecure of herself and I knew exactly how to comfort her because I could easily pick out her admirable qualities to tell her how amazing she was. Her family situation was a bit of a mess, and it affected her emotional state of mind a lot. She needed me, and I felt purposeful making her feel better just by being there. She would remind me of how great it was to have me in her life and I would be surprised but not at all disconcerted.

January, February, and March were great. Time flew by. It was an adventure. We were best friends. I felt complete, like a sense of wholeness had taken over me. I noticed that I was no longer searching for cute guys. We weren't officially going out but that didn't matter - to me, at least. Little did I know that it bothered her, though I was sure it didn't when she loved me enough - when she thought I was worth it.

At the end of March my parents started suspecting something was up between us - that we were more than what we said we were. They voiced their concerns; I denied them, up until early April that is, when it was too obvious. That was when things started taking a turn for the worse. My parents were not homophobic, but they did not want me getting any deeper in the 'friendship' because they didn't want to see me hurt - by others who would judge, and by her. They were ignorant, or in denial, of how deep into it I already was, and felt they could pull me out of it before it was too late.

Although my parents' objection was a factor that broke us apart later, our first fight was because of something unrelated. I had too much pride,

believing that I was right. She gave in, but she preferred to avoid the whole problem altogether. I wanted to talk about it, but she wanted to let it go. So that was it. First fight, which foreshadowed our irreconcilable differences. I didn't think it would so difficult to find a resolution. We never really did. Another problem that came about was our relationship status. She officially asked me out and I said yes at first, but my gut told me no. So I apologetically changed my mind at the end of the day. She told me she didn't mind giving me more time to think about it.

By mid-May I was certain that I was willing to commit to her. I needed to know that I wouldn't be hurting her before saying yes, because I did not want to lead her on - even though one could argue that that was exactly what I had been doing for the past five months. However, I know now that I wasn't. I just wanted to be certain that I would be willing to give up the perceived image I had of having a husband in the future to be with her. When I was certain, I told her that I wanted to go out with her. And we were both delirious, though little did I know that she would deny what I said later, and use it against me to justify the break up.

We had differences. Differences that we could not settle, or compromise, that snowballed towards a break up. Like physicality. It wasn't important to me, and I was slightly repulsed by it, but I knew that she felt differently, for she had experience in previous relationships. Not that she didn't respect my wishes - she was patient - and it's not that I didn't enjoy it, at times. We held hands. Hugged. Cuddled. But nothing of the extreme, because I was uncomfortable sometimes, yet too embarrassed to admit that I wanted it at other times. By May, it was like a huge roadblock in my own mind and in the relationship. An elephant in the room. Because I wanted her and I wanted to do what she was capable of doing to me, physically, but it was awkward and new to me and I was not confident with it. As a result, things started getting weird between us. I felt like I was losing her attention. But that was not the only factor that caused her attention span to wane. We got into many fights. I was oversensitive. She was blunt. She was flirtatious. I was paranoid and jealous. I knew that she still loved me, but I was losing trust. I did not know that I would lose her, so I tried to confront her about it, again. We would have some good days but more frequent bad ones.

By early June, she was gone. Emotionally. There was a week in which we were distant. I felt as though I was unaware of her business, which was strange, for we were always close. I knew though, that she was spending time with another girl. I was jealous. I confronted her about it. She denied it. I tried to restrict her. The worst part was when she stated that next year things could change because she would be leaving for university, something she had never brought up as a problem before.

By the end of the week, I decided to try to win her back, because I still had faith that we could renew our passion. But she told me the truth after my failed attempt - that she had developed feelings for the other girl. I asked if she wanted to break up. She said yes. I was torn, but we still promised each other that we would remain friends. That was before I realized such a promise was just an ideal. An impossibility. I could not sleep that night, for when I lay down and thought about what had just happened, I cried.

The next day she asked if I was okay but I was bitter. I had a lot to say to her, for I hadn't accepted the fact that we were over. So I wrote it all out and sent it to her in the afternoon, desperately pleading for her to change her mind.

She said she'd think about it. I believed her, because it was the only way to make the pain go away. I waited impatiently for a day, until I asked to confront her in person about it. When I saw her, she was distant. I did not know her. I begged of her to get back together, but changed my mind when I said I shouldn't be with someone who did not love me. I was a confused, hurt mess. I wanted her to feel remorse. I wanted her to hurt over me. I wanted her to feel as though she couldn't live without me.

My heart tricked me to believe that that was the case. That she had the words 'I never imagined this would be so hard...' on her status because we had broken up. I asked her about it. She said it wasn't about me. It was about university, leaving high school, and leaving her family and friends.

And that was the end of it.

It hurt a lot. And although I am still finding it hard to have faith in 'forever's, but I know that the experience allowed me to learn a lot. About the importance of gratitude. About life. About love.
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