I was in my bed, worried that he might not like me anymore the way he used to like me. He just told me about this co-worker who seemed to like him, and he admitted he liked her too. It was a rule in our relationship that happy crushes were allowed since a crush was different from love, and having one would keep us sane in our respective work places. Plus, I wouldn’t like to be that very protective and jealous girlfriend anyway.
Of course I had “cute” tantrums when he would suddenly remember her in a random moment like the time he remembered her favorite team in basketball and how she reacted when she’s being teased by her co-workers while we were eating pizza. My worries would fly away temporarily when he’d embrace me and say, “C’mon, you know I love you.” I had happy crushes too, and he wasn’t disturbed at all so I’d like to be fair.
“She likes you?” I asked.
“Nope,” He held my hand tighter, “She likes someone else.”
“I thought she likes you?”
“Well it seemed that way, but she said she liked someone else.”
Girl instincts rarely went wrong. I knew that girl liked him. I couldn’t help to look at his messages on his Facebook profile since we knew each other’s passwords. I knew it was wrong, but I lost to my worries and curiosity. My chest went tighter after reading word per word of their conversation. He actually called her “crush”, damn it, and she was responding very casually. It irritated me.
There was this part of their conversation that she told him she liked him, and she didn’t know what to do about those feelings. After reading that part, I shut my computer and cried on my bed.
“You lied to me!”
“What? What lie?”
“You said she didn’t like you.”
“She does not…”
“I checked your messages. I saw it… I saw it.”
He kept saying sorry while I was crying on the phone. A few minutes later after our conversation, he sent a text that he was only able to grasp the whole thing just then. And before I knew it, I was the one apologizing for breaking my promise.
I wanted to avenge my pride, but I knew that when pride enters, love leaves. I invited him for a movie date to reconcile, but it wasn’t as promising as I thought it should be. He still mentioned her like it was the most natural thing, and I cried again upon reading their exchange of messages on their phone.
It was not just a happy crush anymore.
I had friends who had a three-year or more relationship, but their relationship ended because of a co-worker or someone nearer to the guy. Was the time spent together by a couple nothing compared to proximity?
May the law of proximity rot in hell, I thought.
I told him this once, and he replied, “To let things fall apart sooner means that they actually let it happen. It’s not about the third party; It’s about the two people losing the will to fight for each other.” He had a way in words, and I loved that about him. I kept this in my other blog which was just about us, and kept remembering it.
The will to fight… The will not to lose him…
I wanted to be in a trip with him, somewhere far like the beaches or the mountains. I told him that, but he refused because he didn’t like to travel. I was saddened by it, of course, because I wanted to have a time alone with him far from my insecurities . I was about to think of other ways when he began to panic about this other girl not replying to his message.
I breathed in and replied as calmly as I could. “Maybe someone advised her to avoid you.”
“But that’s rude.”
“How could that be rude? If she’s really into you but you have a girlfriend, I think the best advice is to avoid you and not to ruin someone’s relationship.”
“That seems reasonable… Is it wrong to be her friend?”
“There’s nothing wrong with being her friend. But think of her feelings… Would she really want to be just your friend? I could understand her if she’d start avoiding you.”
My chest felt tighter, but I held onto it until…
“Is it too much if I called?”
Call, huh? My hands were shaking this time, and I knew I was not just sad anymore; I knew I was mad.
“Yes.” Then my anger followed, “Do you want to break up with me?”
Don’t make decisions when you’re mad, they say, but I believed it was a rational decision I had to make.
“No I don’t.”
“Just tell her you like her.”
“No I don’t…”
“YOU LIKE HER. JUST F’N TELL HER YOU LIKE HER.”
There was a painful feeling in my chest, and tears began to run down my eyes. I was red and flushed with anger; my fingers were typing fast and raging.
“DON’T YOU EVER THINK OF MY FEELINGS? DON’T YOU EVER THINK OF MY F’N FEELINGS?!”
“I’m sorry… I just… Don’t like to lose people.”
“You don’t like to lose people but you’re losing me. I LOST YOU, AND NOW YOU’RE LOSING ME.”
“You didn’t lose me.”
“Yes I did. Just tell her you like her. Tell her we broke up.”
“No… Please… Please understand.”
“It’s not just about being jealous of her. It’s about understanding my feelings. How many times did you tell me face to face that you didn’t want to lose this girl whom I am very jealous of? How many times did I tell you that it’s breaking me apart but you continue like you’re actually doing it intentionally?”
“Just… Let’s just break up. I did my part… But… It feels bad to stay when I know you like someone else already.”
I tried to calm down, but the pain was still there. Now I knew what my character Rai had gone through when she found out that it was Xei whom Kyle liked all along.
“Is it bad to be her friend?”
“Do you treat her like a friend? No! You don’t do that to your other friends!”
“Yes I do…”
“You do?! You do?! I’ve had you for three years and it was the first time I heard you being like that to a friend!”
“No… I’m sorry… I choose you.”
“Really. How ironic of our situation is now. You know what they say?”
I knew it was the right thing. I wouldn’t like to be stupid and pretend that everything was okay. Like adding more salt to my wound, I said, “That when you like two at the same time, choose the most recent because you won’t like another one if you’re faithful to your first. You like her more than me, but you just don’t realize.”
“No… I promise not to talk about her anymore.”
“That’s not the point. But, anyway, you can’t talk about her anymore. I’m ending this.”
“No. Please. I just want you to be happy…”
“Do you think… I’m an inch happy?”
I shut down my computer and cried until I slept.
The next day was really hard to accept. I didn’t know how to cope up, but for some reason, I didn’t feel like throwing away anything at all. I had this small hope inside me, but I felt stupid for making decisions when I wouldn’t act upon it.
Maybe, I would start to keep and delete things when “their relationship” would start to build up.
I was on my bed the whole day, and I couldn’t even write a chapter of my story. I wasn’t in the mood, and I couldn’t even grasp that the three years and seven months ended like that. I turned around my bed until I received a text message from him.
Usually I’d reply a cheesy line along with a hello, but I only replied one word. We kept on replying to each other’s messages, but my replies were cold and heartless.
I went down to eat my brunch. It was already four in the afternoon, and I hadn’t eaten anything yet. After eating, I prepared food for my three dogs.
“I’ll take a bath first.”
“Nooooo. Text first?”
“I’ll wait first then I’ll call you.”
Maybe he’s going here, I thought. That would be nice, but my imagination ruined the surprise if he’d really do that. Such is the disadvantage of a romance writer.
“Wait for what?”
“For the unlimited promo to end.”
My hopes faltered. Of course, who was I kidding?
I was fixing the utensils when my phone rang.
“Could you… get a spoon?”
“Get a what?”
“A spoon… And your dog is watching me.”
I checked our gate as fast as I could and surprised that he was there, holding a liter of ice cream.
“What are you doing here?”
He handed me the ice cream and asked, “Is it okay if we go to the playground?”
I nodded my head.
I hid my smile as much as I could, got my pants and two spoons. We walked toward the playground. He kept on telling me things and I kept asking him what he was doing in my place. Now… How could I not forgive him?
We went to the swing. I noticed his newly-shaved face which made him look younger than his age. I grabbed a spoonful of ice cream and savored it.
“Thank you for doing this.”
“I just want you to believe that I love you… And I’m sorry for making you think that I liked somebody else.”
“Of course you did. You liked her.”
“But I love you. I’m sorry for being insensitive.”
We were quiet for a time until I told him not to do it again. Happy crushes and friends were allowed, but I asked him not to make me feel that there was something more than that.
“Yes… I’m sorry.”
“And I have another gift,” as he grabbed his bag to get something. “But you have to stand.”
We stood from the swing. I thought he was going to get a bouquet or something inside his bag, but I received something sweeter than that.
He dropped his bag and embraced me… slowly.
I managed not to cry. I internalized the moment that the guy I loved for more than three years and more made me feel loved more than anyone else that time. His skin smelled nice, and I loved that about him. I hugged him back.
“I like your smell… I really do…”
“I miss you.”
“I miss you too…”
He hugged me tighter as I embraced him back. I appreciated my lack of height when he kissed me on my forehead then on my lips. His embrace was the best feeling in the world; it took away the sadness I had since birth more than ice cream ever could.
We played on the swing, took pictures of his old friend’s house, and fell in love again. I know that there’d be greater problems than this, but I just have to remember this instance. There might not be a “law of time spent”, but there’s always “the will to make it work”. Lucky me to love and to be loved by a person who does the latter.
And I promise you, I will, too.