The Future That Was Lost In the Past

I could never imagine life without you. I couldn’t be happier without you. You were the pendant to my necklace, the bee to my honey, the ice to my tea, and the list went on.

I was your best friend. I was there for you through thick and thin. I could risk everything for you. I could even deny my own name just for you. I could even revise my life goals to keep up with you. I could even defy the society just to side with you. Yes. Because I wasn’t just your best friend. I was your lover. I was your damsel in a shining but ragged gown.

You knew about my feelings but you chose not to speak of it. You chose to shut your senses to keep the friendship that we’ve always had. You chose what you think was best for us. And it was fine with me. Right. Because it was the only way I could still be with you, the only way that I could drink coffee next to you, the only way I could watch television an inch away from you. It was the only way that shortened the growing distance between us then.

Days passed and we remained friends. Just friends. I knew that I had to endure the pain of just being friends. I knew that I had to hide my swollen eyes from the nightly shedding of tears. I knew that I had to conceal the bruises I’ve had from constantly hugging my self while unconsciously digging my nails into my skin. But I couldn’t bear it any longer. I couldn’t bear the idea of staying beside you, loving you more and more yet remaining your best friend at the same time. It was self torture. I felt guilty for hurting myself, for holding back. I pitied myself too much. Why did I suffer so much asking you this one question in the shadows: Did you ever think of loving me back, the way I’ve loved you,  even just for a second?

To stop myself from drowning in the sea of madness, I decided to let go. It was painfully hard, but I had to. I had to let go, to let you go, to let my feelings go, to let myself get away from you, from your silhouette. From everyday to once a week to once a month until the time came that we never saw each other again. The time when we got out of each other’s circle. We were beyond reach because of the vast space lying between us.

I was proud to say that I had moved on from the painful memories, the unrequited love, the heartbreaking past. I managed to be happy. I managed to be strong. I became a grown up in mind and in heart. I had been an achiever since then. But there’s this little bug inside me. A little glimmer of fear. It’s been staying inside, flickering softly, like waiting for something to ignite the flame it’s been containing. Yes. I felt scared – scared of the fact that if I saw you again, what was lost might come back, what was forgotten might be remembered.

It was a fine day. I was in a bookstore looking for a good story to read and ponder on. Then someone caught my attention. Someone very familiar. Someone from the past. I thought my mind was just playing tricks on me but it wasn’t. That someone was you. It had to be you. My heart skipped a beat. And I was hesitant to admit of the reason.

You were alone. I was, too. Then our eyes met. And I froze, for whatever reason it might have served. You smiled. I smiled back. Then there’s this certainty. I felt nothing. There was no spark. That tingling sensation I felt before, every time you smiled at me, was not there. Again, I felt nothing. Nothing.

Yet I wanted to push myself harder. I needed to know if I still loved you. I would need that to evaluate myself. Yes, because I had been playing the cards alone for those past years. I wanted you to do your part, to see if I attain the same results.

Of course, I knew confidently that I didn’t need to initiate. You pulled the trigger. You invited me over for dinner that one night. And then I said yes, just like a timid pet dog, that’s going along with the flow. We talked about a lot of things – your college life, your basketball team, your DOTA 2 adventures. You hadn’t changed a bit. Although you gained some weight under your eyes. We also talked about your past relationships. Then you said those words – that you were waiting for this day to come, that you were hoping to find me again. To finally tell me that it was me whom you needed all along, whom you wanted – that it was me whom you really loved.

Hearing those words from you made me happy. No. Hearing those words from you could have made me happy. Those were the ones I longed to hear from you. Yes. Those were the exact words that I longed to hear from you, back then.

I am more than certain now – that  I am no longer in love with you. If you had told me those words before, of course without doubt, I would jump right at you and hug you and say I love you too!  We could have been the sweetest couple-best friends. Like ever!  But you were too late. I didn’t have it – the love that I had years back. No. Nothing at all. I am now the future you lost in your past.