What does it mean to truly be in love?
If you asked me this question two years ago, my answer would have been to care for someone more than you cared for yourself and that you’ll spend the rest of your life with that person. But if you asked me that question right now, I wouldn’t give an answer because the question was wrong. The key was not to be in love, because love was an easy thing to fall out of, but rather to love. And if you ask me again what it means to love, I still won’t be able to answer the question not for lack of an answer but because the answer simply does not exist. Love is not simply a thing; it is a presence living in those who have been blessed and cursed to let it in. It shakes you and unravels your world, demanding to be felt and when you think you can control it, it shows you that it can’t be tamed. Yes, I say cursed because it is at that moment you realize that you can’t really tame love that you see just how much misery it can bring you.
Love, for me, meant that I cared for Kayla more deeply than I can ever care for myself and that we would get to be together forever. It sounds simple, right? That when you love someone and they love you back then nothing else matters. These days, I just laugh at how naive I had been.
And while part of me wants to believe that is possible, I now realize that loving her does not guarantee that I’ll get to spend the rest of my life with her.
For now, I sit on the couch fighting the almost irresistible urge to dial her number and some days, it’s a fight I lose. Like today, she answers the phone before I even realize that I lost the fight. I sit saying nothing while I hear her voice, soft and lazy like she just rolled out of bed, saying “Hello” several times. I wait until the timer hit the 15-second mark before I hang up.
She may or may never know that it was me.
I’ve been told that “the first time you fall in love, it stays with you forever and no matter how hard you try, the feeling never goes away”. I have not lived a long time yet to verify how true that talk is but two years after, I still feel as strongly as I did then, but our songs are different now. It was one of the hardest things I ever had to accept, but there was a time when our songs were the same and even though that feels like a lifetime ago, I can still hear it playing clearly in my head. It’s a song I can never forget no matter how hard I try. I’ve learned that the songs, like memories can almost feel like a living breathing presence. And I reflect on that presence right now, as I always do. I find myself remembering how it began. All songs play out the same way, a beginning and an end; I find it hard to believe that ours didn’t continue playing endlessly.
Part of me aches whenever I think of her, and I know that the ache comes from the choices I made. But the choice had been necessary no matter how much I knew I was going to hurt, because in the end her happiness was all that mattered to me.
I burden myself with the same questions over and over again. Why did I do it? If given another chance, how differently would I do it? These are questions that can’t be answered with a simple yes or no, or a straight sentence. Maybe when you read this, you will be able to understand why it had to happen.
Because even though she was the one who ended it, it was I who let it happen.
I decided to write about my last relationship as a book. Whether I publish it or not is not yet decided. The main reason I am writing about it is because it’s the only story in my past I haven’t gotten over and letting it out is going to feel a tad bit liberating for me.
This is just a sketch of the prologue. I haven’t started writing any chapters yet, but hopefully before the end of this year, I would have finished at least 2 chapters.