To The One Who Got Away
It has been months, only a few months, but it already feels like it’s been years. I want you to know that I’m fine. I know you are, too. I know you’re busy with stuff at work. I know most of your time is spent catching up with your family and friends. Most of all, I know you have someone new. And, yes, I know that’s totally none of my business.
It was so difficult at first, you know. It was so hard to imagine a future where you’re not in it anymore when just a few months back, we made plans and half-assed promises (or maybe I just assumed too much, too soon, too hard?) that one day and someday we’re going to happen. In your words, I broke more than I ever thought a person could break. The pain was beyond something I imagined, so no matter how much I expected that we were going to end up in ashes and ruins, I still wasn’t prepared.
If I’m being honest, the past few months have been a rollercoaster ride for this fragile little heart that’s struggling to continue beating. There were days when I woke up feeling fine and extra cheerful. Yet there were also days when I felt like burying myself in bed and spending the entire day asking God to please just wake me up when everything ends. There are days when my family and friends are enough to cheer me up and remind me that one day, this will all be over. Yet there are also days when I need no one else but you; when all I need is someone to listen to all my stories of a new song or an artist I just heard or to something “hippie” I just read online. There are days when I’m itching to dial your number and call you and go on a storytelling marathon about a new restaurant or movie or book I discovered, but I’m reminded that you won’t be answering to my calls anymore, not even to my messages. I know that when I tell you all about them, you won’t care because what am I to you anyway—I’m just someone who passed through.
Months after, I want you to know it’s still difficult. It’s difficult, but things are now bearable. On most mornings, you’re not the first person I think about anymore. I am slowly listening to these artists I swore I won’t listen to because they a reminder of you and everything that hurt still. I am gradually becoming the happy person I’ve always wanted to be. I’m now used to being alone, but not feeling lonely. I am learning to hold my own hand and walk through things, trusting no one but myself. You could say that I am almost fine. And I am. Almost. But I am scared, too.
I am scared that I’ll soon forget about you and everything we’ve built together. I am scared that I’ll completely forget about the poems and stories and sweet things (lies?) you used to tell me. I am scared that this pain, this hurt, this crippling heartbreak that you gave me is the last thing holding both of us together or the last thread that connects me to you. I am scared. I am still scared of letting you go, completely.
I am deathly afraid of that day…
…but I can’t go on living like this anymore. I have become so comfortable in my misery that it frightens me already. I don’t want to be miserable. I don’t want to take a step back every single time someone asks me to move forward. I don’t want to be a buzzkill just because things remotely remind me of how everything has been. I don’t want to be the kind of person who refuses to take risks and get hurt and earn ugly scratches because “she got her heart broken so badly before.” I don’t want to be that person. I don’t want to go on living like that anymore.
And so, darling, my darling, I am letting you go. I am setting you free. It has been a wonderful and heartbreaking journey with you and without you, and I want you to remember that I will always be grateful for whatever it is you have given me and taught me.
I have to let you go because you have long forgotten us, me. I have to let you go because this, whatever remains of this, has been hurting me for so long and I don’t want to suffer anymore. I’m letting you go because I want to and I need to. I have to let you go because that’s the smart thing to do. And for the first time in a long time, I have to be smart for the sake of myself.
(Photo credit: Relativity Media and Temple Hill Entertainment)
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Ayessa is a total manang trapped in a 20-something’s body. She grew up in South Cotabato, studied college in Laguna, and moved to Metro Manila to follow her delusions of becoming a writer. When she’s not writing for Manillenials, Ayessa tries to update her blog and works as a profesh stalker for a teen magazine’s website.