To write about the man whom I used to love is the hardest; maybe because the word love, for me, should always be in present tense. “Love never disappears, it just blooms or takes another form”, a friend told me. “It withers, but it can always grow back.”
He left no parting words when we separated. The last night which I could remember we were together was during the dance. He was quiet, but his smile has a certain sweetness which I could distinguish from the usual smiles he give. He caressed my hair most of the time, and when I tried to break his silence he touched my lips with his finger and embraced me tighter. And I just lingered in that embrace, allowing him to rest his chin on my shoulder. I dared not ask if something bothers him, because I felt as if he was just pouring out his love. That same night he drove me home as usual, kissed me on the forehead and said good night before I walked through the door.
I never saw him or heard from him again the next day.
My experience was one of the most painful things for a beloved -being left behind without knowing the reason, without him saying goodbye. He may have bid his goodbye that night without me knowing – when he embraced me tighter, when he was silent, when he kissed me on the forehead and said good night. Well, I guess the harder part, more than not knowing is not to be able to express to the other person how much he means to you. If I knew then, maybe I could have stopped him from leaving. Maybe I have uttered what he longs to hear. And even if he didn’t stay, maybe I’ll have no regrets and accept that he just has to move on.
My story has been the reason why I’ve been afraid of commitments. That fear of waking up one day with the person you love just disappear has crept in my heart. I developed a belief that love wasn’t made to last, and I cannot do anything about it; so I resisted. If my lover has walked away, it is his choice and there is nothing I can do to make him stay.
After years of wondering, the man whom I used to love returned like a ghost from the past who surprised and shocked me at the same time. I was shocked when he explained the reason he left. And I was surprised because he got me to believe who he is now, and everything he claims whom he became when we weren’t together. “There is not a day I didn’t think of you, not a second wanting to be away. I always tell myself I will be back.”
He’s the only one I can think of being with forever, despite all the other men who passed by my life throughout the years. Was it because he is my first love? Or is it because when you have set aside someone as that special person, it will be difficult to move him out of that pedestal? This is another reason why I accepted his apology, and again accepted his love.
Now the man, whom I used to love, is asking me to do the very thing he did before – leave the man whom I love without a word. I groped trying to comprehend his way and wanted to demand if he knows what it means to do what he requires of me. To name him as the man I choose to love already requires risk, and to hurt the man I’m with would be a declaration that there is already another man whom I love.
“I have conquered your past, and your future – now let me be your present.”
Maybe you are wondering how this man can demand such love, and why I am bounded to give in to him and surrender. Let me tell you – this man died for me, even before our story began. And he chose to be away so that I may learn how to live a life without him. This is how he showed me what it means to love.
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