Love Stories: A Love Letter for The One Who Got Away

Hi! How are you?

You know what? I thought of you today. I don’t know how, in the midst of my most hectic days, thoughts of you manage to squeeze their way into my mind. I don’t know how you do it, considering that I haven’t heard from you for four years now. Come to think of it, I didn’t even realize until now that it has been four years. Four years, so many “relationships” since then, and yet, I still go back to you.

I know, it’s not your fault we’re not even friends anymore. After all, I was the one who changed numbers and didn’t tell you. But please understand that, at that time, I thought it was the best way to go for both of us. I couldn’t get the closure that I wanted, because I knew you were just a text away. Besides, back then, I was considering dating one of my closest friends seriously, and the only way I could possibly do that without going crazy was by cutting you off. I’m sorry for that.

I remember how we met. It was the most unconventional of ways. Thanks to our new modem, everything started with a simple, “ASL please,” and ended with, “Can I have your number?” And though I regarded you then as nothing more than a group of words that, once in a while, grazed my computer monitor, you managed to jump right off the screen and change my life in a way that no one else was able to do.

I was the ultimate cynic before I met you, and I know I shouldn’t be reminding you of this, because you know this so well. I was the girl who was terrified to commit, terrified to lay her heart out on the open, terrified to gamble, for the weirdest and most confusing reasons.

Actually, now that I had so much time to think about it, my phobia back then can actually be summed up in four words: fear of getting hurt. I was so petrified at the thought of getting hurt, that I made people believe that I regarded them closely, but actually dealt with them at arms’ length. I never let anyone get close enough to hurt me. I originally planned to do the same with you. Of course, you wouldn’t allow me. That was one of the reasons why, I believe, I fell for you.

My love life, predictably, has a very sad and sorry cycle. Guy X falls for me. I fall for him. He tries to get close to me. I place him at a safe distance. He tries to get closer. I push him farther away. He gets tired of trying. I get tired of myself. We let go. I try bitterly to move on. I meet Guy Y, but I can’t deal with him too well because I’m still moping about Guy X. And the cycle repeats itself almost automatically. I know that to be happy, you have to gamble, but I was never a good risk taker. Not until after you.

You were unlike any guy I’ve ever met before. Well, you were antipatiko and suplado, even maldita! You were a spoiled brat who was used to getting what he wanted in an instant. Admittedly, I was a spoiled brat too. So we clashed. You hated all the things that I loved, and I loathed all the things that interested you. It was a match made in hell. But somehow, for some unknown reason, you stayed put.

I still don’t know how you did it. Well, you did start by texting me once every week. Then you called me once a week. Then the calls and the texts became more frequent, until it got to a point that I was too busy texting you to pay any attention to my classes. I was spending 250 pesos a week for prepaid call cards, which I thought was fair enough, since you were spending the same amount in two days. Plus, my phone’s batteries, which used to last all day, was drained in two hours max.

Not long after, somehow, someway, you managed to pull the rug off from under me. And before I even knew what was happening, I had been swept off my feet.

I remember just now, how the simplest of your gestures can make me so giddy. I remember how I was when I used to wait for your call. I used to shudder in anticipation of hearing your voice, literally speaking. And when you text me, it was like nothing else mattered-at all. My former room mates even used to tease me about it. They told me they can always tell when you send me a text message, since my face automatically lights up when I see your name appear on the screen.

I can vaguely remember the kilig feeling, but I know that it felt like my insides were turning to mush, my muscles were dissolving in electricity, and butterflies were hammering against my throat. I know, they don’t sound too good in print, but they are, in actuality, the best feelings in the world.

I remember, still quite vividly, how the mere memory of your laugh was enough to make me smile, and how the mere sound of your voice had been enough to brighten up the darkest of my days. I remember looking forward to waking up every morning, because I knew it would be another day to communicate with you. Somehow, deep down, I knew I was falling for you. Somehow, however, I tried to bury them to the deepest recesses of my heart in the hope of vanquishing them forever.

I remember quite well how you told me, countless of times, how much you loved me. Unfortunately, I am also constantly reminded how cruel I was. Because every time you said you cared, I always found ways to avoid answering back. I’d tell you, “I like you as a person,” or I’d say, “Mushy!” It got to the point, however, that I got tired of making up ways to avoid your question that I just told you, “You know I can’t answer that right now.” I’m so darn stupid! I would always have to stop from banging myself against the wall when I remember how badly I treated you. And, I know, no matter how many times I tell you I’m sorry, nothing would ever change anything.

You asked me once why I liked you. And I told you, “Because you make me happy.” And you know what? You really did. You made me happy, in a way that I never thought I could ever be. I thank you for that.

To tell you honestly, I don’t remember how you look like. I can only remember certain aspects, like your braces, and your smile, and the feel of your hand on my back. But I do remember, so very well, the sound of your voice, your musical laughter, and sadly, even the distant and angry tone of your voice as we neared our goodbyes.

Maybe I’ll never forget you. Maybe I’ll never live down the fact that I had you-but I let you go. Was it that, or was it that I had you, but I did not work hard, did not fight hard enough to make you stay? I don’t know. I don’t want to think, and I don’t believe that now is the time to rationalize about these things. Because the truth of the matter is, you’re gone.

I hate living this life, knowing that I’ll be thinking of these “what if’s” for the rest of my life. I hate wishing that I could turn back time, so that I could correct all my mistakes, took all the risks I should have taken, and reached for your hand when you held it out for me. But it’s too late for that, and it’s not even plausible anyway.

I can’t help but wonder, once in a while, how you’re doing. I wonder if you’re happy, or if some lucky creature is making you happy. I wonder if you still think of me, or even just remember that I exist. Because I think of you. Every single day, against my will, against my better judgment. I’ve fooled myself long enough to believe that you’re not important in my life, not essential to my existence. I’m tired of my own masquerade. I just want to acknowledge the fact that yes, you have touched my life, even if I have acknowledged this too late.

A lot of people say, “There are many fishes in the sea.” They weren’t lying. I found that out myself after we separated ways. I dated like hell when you said goodbye, trying to numb myself from the pain, trying to ignore the emptiness that was left with the vacuum that you created in my life. But you know what? At the end of the day, it was still you. I couldn’t find the special spark that I found in you, not even in better-looking or funnier or smarter or richer guys. They didn’t have the magic that you had. They couldn’t make my insides melt with a smile. They couldn’t ease away all my pains with a call. Simply put, they were not you. Yes, they were many, but none of them was you.

I wish you could see me now. I believe I can safely say that I’m a much better person now than I was four years ago. I have a better perspective on life and love. I don’t make up fights anymore just to make things interesting. I don’t make up stories anymore to test how much people love me. I don’t play mind games anymore. And when I feel something, I say it. I’m not afraid to love anymore. I’m not afraid to get hurt. I’m no longer afraid to take risks. I just wish you were here to see the new, different me. But then again, that could never happen, no matter how hard I try to wish for it.

You know what? Because of you, I promised myself a few things. I promised myself that I would never be afraid to fall or get hurt. I promised myself that I would take risks, seize opportunities, and conquer my fears. I promised myself that I would never settle for anything less than butterflies.

I used to believe that when you lose someone, you’ll get a chance to meet them again. I used to believe in second chances. Losing you has taught me that there are no second chances in life. When you meet someone, and you are given that chance to change their lives, you have to take hold of that opportunity, because that is the only chance you’ve got. You have your chance, and that’s it. You have to make the most out of it, and then let go when it’s time. People come and go, and you have to live with it.

I constantly have to remind myself that you’ve done your part in my life. You taught me the lesson you came to teach, so you have to leave. I have to move on. I shouldn’t wait. But I can’t help it.

God, I miss you so much.