Sunday, July 8, 2012
more than i’ll ever be able to articulate
ph: Parker Fitzgerald
Our relationship began at a time where we had both just come out of painful breakups. He was confident of his feelings and I thought I was confident of mine. He swept me off my feet with his wit and his charm. He romanced me just when I’d begun to forget what romance was. I was as happy as I’d ever been.
Our relationship was the cheesy kind of perfect where every day we would notice a new quirk about each other, discover new things in common, or share our childhood stories, and we would love every moment of it. We’d finish each other’s sentences and spontaneously break out in the same song at the same time. It went deeper than the cute stuff though. We talked about our future, what it was that we held closest to our hearts, our fears and ambitions. I told him that I was afraid that if I didn’t develop my cooking skills from here, I was terrified that my future husband would hate me and/or starve and die with our future children. He chuckled that “oh you” chuckle he always reserved for me (the one where he’d shake his head slowly and smile) and he held me close. “You’re silly.” He said we could experiment with cooking together. He loved cooking. I secretly hoped that he wouldn’t die from my experimentation. I loved him and death by pasta bake didn’t sound all that honourable.
The first few months were a flurry of kisses, giggles, hand-holding, dates, exorbitant phone bills and falling asleep in each other’s arms. I had no doubts about this boy. I felt like we could work through any obstacle that could possibly be thrown our way. This boy was so selfless, so dependable, so charming, so quick to think on his feet, and such a sappy romantic. I could never win an argument with him but it never stopped me from trying. Not that we ever really argued. He’d let me win sometimes, I think just to see me laugh and smile.
I remember that for months I would stop him when he talked about a future together. “How can you talk about it like you know for sure?” I asked, pessimistically quashing his romantic imagination. I didn’t want to get my hopes up.
“IF we get married then...” he continued with a smile. I shouldn’t have stopped him because it wasn’t long before I was thinking about growing old with him as well. The “if”s had become “when”s in my mind anyway.
I was shy girl with sub-zero self-esteem and throughout our relationship he was always there motivating me and offering praise even when it was undeserved. He supported me in all my endeavours and encouraged me to grow in my spiritual life. He helped me overcome my insecurities. He was always ready with his big ears to listen to me whinging about something or other, and with his bright golden brown eyes to watch my face intently. Unless he was driving.
Things became difficult for us though. Past wounds began to resurface in my life and I had trouble pushing them back where they belonged. I messed things up time and time again over a period of several months, and yet still he hung on. Each time, he’d look at me with those kind eyes and forgive me. So because of him, we got through it. It was always him who had to bend for me even though I was the screwer-upperer.
After that series of speed bumps, I started to become bitter about my career (or lack thereof) and this bitterness permeated its way into every aspect of my life. I became a short-tempered cynic who disregarded the emotions of those around me. Again, he remained by my side, encouraging me and supporting me as I struggled with my petty problems. I starved him of the love and affection that he craved. Knowingly.
Each time he felt at breaking point, he’d bring it up with me and we’d acknowledge the problem. Of course, I was the only one who could address it, but I never did. So he’d push aside his hurt and quietly hope that things would turn around. It became a bit of a negative feedback cycle. I took him for granted. Cliché? Call it what you will. I used him when I needed support and neglected him when he yearned for something as small as a sign of appreciation. I became so awful that I started to hate him for his successes. I was jealous and self-absorbed. He’d worked hard and achieved such great accomplishments and all I could do was utter a quick congratulations and then revert to grumbling about how my life was so terrible. I could see myself changing for the worst and our relationship falling apart but I didn’t have the energy to try to hold it together.
He always fought for us but today he didn’t.
CB, I’m sorry I couldn’t be your dream girl. I’m sorry for all the hurt that I caused you. I don’t know what you ever saw in me, but I’m working on improving myself to become what you always knew I could be. You’ve raised the bar and I’m thankful for having had someone so amazing in my life. I’ll miss you more than I’ll ever be able to articulate.