“If I would write a love story about us, it would be short, bittersweet, and of both of us finding someone else.”
I was a little taken aback when I heard you say those words. It was meant to be a joke when I suggested that you be my partner if you are writing my love story. I didn’t even think that you would actually consider it just to shut the idea down completely afterwards and bluntly at that.
There was no sugarcoating or pretense in your choice of words. That was so like you: blunt and brutally honest. It almost made me wish that I didn’t say anything at all.
This isn’t exactly the first time that you tried writing my love story. You did try to partner me up with a common friend of ours before, teasing me with it actually. I wasn’t thrilled with the idea but there was no stopping you anyway so I let you go ahead with it. I guess it didn’t work out since you stopped talking about it.
“You’re both too reserved for the story to work. You need someone to force you out of your comfort zone.” That’s what you said and I couldn’t agree more.
That’s when it actually struck me that if there was someone who can take me out of my comfort zone, it would be you. Blurting that out didn’t seem like such a great idea though since you shut it down just like that.
“I wouldn’t have the patience to wait for you to change your mind and fight for me.”
Short. Sharp. Direct to the point. And it was also true. I guess that’s the reason why I wasn’t quite surprised when I felt a sharp stab on the chest after hearing that.
In all honesty, I didn’t want to think about it yet a part of me wanted to prove you wrong for some reason. The idea that you wouldn’t even consider a make-believe love affair between the two of us was nagging me for some reason and wasn’t sitting well with my pride.
For days, those words keep popping in and out of my mind. Looking at it logically, I can actually see how you came up with that conclusion.
It takes a while for me to really warm up and open up to people. I don’t easily trust anyone. There are only a handful of people who can come as close to me as you did because of the walls I’ve built around myself.
I’m not even quite sure how you tore down those walls in the first place. It was like I woke up and you were just there, insulting the hell out of me.
Being with you is quite a roller coaster ride if you look at it. One minute, you’re making me feel like the worst person alive, then a minute after you’d be making me feel like I can conquer the world. You can easily talk me out of a depression and sent me right back in if you wanted to.
You see right through me and it’s scary at times since you tell me things about myself that I wouldn’t even dare think about. But I think that’s exactly what had me inching closer and closer to you. You saw both good and bad in me and stayed. You never let me hear the end of it, of course, but you stayed.
Then there are those late night conversations that seem to last until morning. We can talk about anything and everything under the sun. We often disagreed but that’s what made it livelier. Not one of us would ever back down. We’d stick to our guns and stay with it until we change the topic, not yielding until the very end.
I can be who I am with you and it would be okay. It was as simple as that.
And maybe that’s the reason why it bothered me so much, you saying that we wouldn’t work if ever, not even in your made-up stories. It was like you saying that you know me well enough not to fall in love with me and that hurts. I want someone like you to fall in love with me, someone who can see through me and still love me no matter what.
I still had that thought in my mind when we met a few days after.
“So, you really won’t fall in love with me?” I asked. I wasn’t sure what exactly I was hoping to hear when I asked that but I just had a feeling that I should.
You looked like you were giving it a thought before you answered.
“It’s not impossible but I’m not that stupid to fall for someone who can’t love me back,” Was your answer. Somehow, those words made me feel a little better.
“Why are you asking anyway?”
“Just curious,” I said. “So I guess I just have to fall in love with you first then and you’d be able to write our love story.”
“That’s just plain weird and scary coming from you and a little stupid too.” You said with a laugh.
“Falling for me doesn’t necessarily mean that I’d fall for you too.” That was painful to hear but you had a point.
“Besides, you’d never fall for me. I’m not exactly lovable.” You added.
My mind went haywire of things to say to prove that wrong. You are painfully blunt but that’s just because you care enough for the person that you’d rather he or she takes things as it is. You are tactless and would always talk your mind freely when given the chance but that’s just you making it real. You never give in to what the society expects from you unless it suits your purpose. You make your own rules and even with your stubbornness, people are still drawn to you, because sharp-tongued as you are, you know how to take care of the people that matters to you.
I could have listed a million things that would make you see just how easy it is to love you. And that’s when it struck me.
“I’m in love with you.” I said softly, more like a confirmation for myself than telling you.
I heard you choke on your beer. You were still coughing when I looked you in the eyes.
“Please tell me I didn’t hear you say that…” You said under your breath, a look of fear in your eyes.
That was the most painful thing I have ever seen; seeing you scared of me loving you.
I wanted to take it back knowing that if I did, you would not have that scared and pained look in your eyes. I wanted to say that I was kidding but I know that you would see right through it.
“You don’t get to do this to me. Not you of all people.” You said when I didn’t say anything. And before I knew it, you were out of the bar and into the streets. I immediately followed you but you wouldn’t even look at me.
“Is it really that bad for me to love you?” I shouted at you when I couldn’t take the pain anymore. There I was, finally admitting that I was in love with you and you’re first impulse is to run away.
You turned around with tears in your eyes and that almost broke me.
The most painful part of hearing that was knowing that you believed it with all your heart. You loved me too, I was sure of it, yet that seems to be exactly the reason why you are running away.
“Could you please stop running away and tell me just exactly why it’s such a bad thing?” I asked you and that just made you sob even harder.
You walked back to me and the pain in your eyes was just too unbearable to look at.
“Because you falling in love with me would break you. Because you falling in love with me would go against everything that you believe in and that would kill you. And I know that when push comes to shove, you wouldn’t have the courage to fight for me and I love you way too much that if that happens, it would break me.”
I couldn’t say anything after hearing that. You were right, of course. You know me way too well.
“I have enough demons on my own, Nate. Please don’t make me fight your demons too.” You said with the saddest smile I’ve ever seen.
“I’d change. I’d do—“
You placed your finger on my lips to stop me.
“You wouldn’t. Not for me.”
I was surprised when you gave me a soft kiss on the lips before hugging me ever so tightly. I wished that moment lasted a little longer. I wish I have had the courage to tell you right there and then that I would prove you wrong, that I can make it work. But I just couldn’t lie to you.
“I guess I was right. Our love story would be short and bittersweet.” You said with a smile before finally letting go and walking away.
“We’re both cowards, Nate, you and I. And we’ve been running round in circles far too long to be anything else but that.”
And just like that, you disappeared from my life. My world had never been so quiet.
For days after, I struggled with my own demons and tried to drown every feeling I have for you with all the alcohol I can get my hands on to. I’ve wasted days and nights trying to convince myself that you were right, that we wouldn’t have worked anyway. Weeks turned to months until it finally turned into a year, but still, one thing remained, I still wanted to love and be loved by you.
I tried looking for you, asking our old friends and acquaintances if they knew where you are. I even went as far as asking your parents but they wouldn’t tell me anything.
They said that I’d just break you again and that there was no way in hell that they would let me. The hardest part of hearing that was knowing that they were probably right.
A few more months after that, I saw you at a coffee shop with someone else. You looked so happy and it was obvious that you were going out with the person you were with. You two didn’t even care that the world was watching you. You looked so secured with what you two have that the rest of the world didn’t seem to matter.
Only then did I finally accept to myself that you were exactly where you should be; happy and unafraid, something that you will never be with me.
I walked away, knowing that it was time for me to write my own end of the story, finally admitting that you wouldn’t be writing it with me.