Writing this made me feel so many emotions. I was happy and then I was sad enough to cry. I hope that with this, I can finally move on. I'm sorry if its too long but many things happened last year.
3 years Unknowing
We file out of the cinema with the murmur of people around us. I turn to him asking: Where to now? He opens his mouth to answer but instead what I hear is the sound of stomach rumbling. He chuckles softly: Food it is. We walk pass stores with shining glass that are almost like mirrors; mirrors reflecting my fleeting dream. I glance at the image of us through the windows and see an almost happy couple. Almost, because we're not lovers. We enter the Food Court and I order a Roller from KFC while he buys a Big Mac from McDonald's. I sit across from him and stare at passing strangers behind him. Couples, walking hand-in-hand. I envy them. But right now, I am with Victor and that's all that matters. For a little while, I can pretend.
I gazed out the window of my new bedroom. In the end, we moved back to this neighborhood. If it was early last year, I would be overjoyed that once again, I'm living in the same town as Victor but now, everything seemed for nothing. Outside the window, my street seemed so peaceful and happy that I couldn't help but longed for the rain. If only it could rain inside my house. I wished that the rain hid the fact that I was being pathetic. I wished the rain drowned my tears.
Days turned into weeks and mashed into the last month until I welcomed the New Year with a pained heart. Every night, I would talk to Victor like how I usually would but soon the conversations were filled with her. Reading his words on the screen, I could picture his smile. I knew that smile too well, the same dreamy smile I always had when I thought of him. Instead, he always thought of her. I watched as he slowly made progress with her. Always, encouraging him. Why is it that he always came back to me, with updates and smiling so happily? Because, I was his good friend. That was merely it. And I was left watching him walk away, step by step.
Every day, I wrote him love letters. Every day, I said that I would send them to him but every day, the letters were tucked away. The contents were always different but they all held the same message: I love you. Underneath my bed, the letters piled up slowly like my feelings with nowhere to go. I was scared of the already knowing answer: No. But I wanted him to recognise those feelings that was so precious to me because if it was Victor, he would understand. Or so I thought.
Somehow, with my last high school year progressing deeper, Victor and I spoke less and less. Sometimes, I sent him my short stories but mostly he never replied. Soon, I stopped sending them . I already knew that they were left unopened in his inbox. There was no point. One day, we stopped talking all together. Even though, I saw him every Sunday. It was like we were strangers with no connection to each other at all. It was as though nothing ever happened. He no longer wanted me. He no longer needed me.
The only thing that kept me together were his songs. The sweet twinkling melodies of his guitar that laced around my heart, delicately holding it into place. If only he would sing, then I could always hear his voice. What happened to the voice that once said that I was cute? If only he would say those words one more time. He was the only one that made "cute" special. One day unexpectedly, I received an offline message from him. It was my gleaming beacon of hope. But inside, merely had two sentences: I finally got her email address. We're close friends now.
What about me? Why? Why would he go through all that trouble just to leave such a message. He stopped talking to me for weeks but out of nowhere, he said that. I felt like such a fool. He didn't understand at all. All my days with him were like dust, whisked away into oblivion. They were meaningless to him. Just like my piled letters of love. I ran upstairs and dug out the letters. They were my only evidence of such a pitiful one-sided love. I wanted them gone. I wanted no more of the pain that throbbed all over my body. I wanted to no longer love. One by one, painful rip by painful rip, I hacked away at the letters until they were shredded like my heart. That night, the sky was littered with snowflakes and rain.
The next week, Valentine's Day came with dread. My school held a Valentine's stand so that secret admirers and lovers could express their feelings. I was not looking forward to seeing roses and hearts fly around the school. It was as though, everyone was mocking me. Tormenting me. Then, I was given a rose and a intricately scribbled card. That day was the first day in a while that I smiled so freely. It was a reminder from my friend who shared my same name:
It sucks not being able to be with the person you like,
but there will always be people who love you.
Your bestest friends who love you"
It was as though I just opened my eyes. It was the first time I noticed my surroundings. It was the first time that I noticed that my brother had been inviting boys from our street into our house. He had already made new friends. My brother had always been quick to move on. I found that I disliked his new friends incredibly. Especially the one by the name of Justin who was around my age. He was always laughing too loudly and always teasing me. I could never tell if he was joking or being serious. I caught him reading my diary a few times. He promised that he wouldn't ever read it again. Sometimes, he was nice and bought me lollies and sometimes he was an annoying fool. He invaded my personal space. I loathed him. He always knew what I was thinking. He could voice my thoughts before my lips even parted. He crawled under my skin and got inside me. But. . .he made me forget. He was a shoulder to cry on. He hid me from the scar.
A month later, Justin's confession tumbled and collided into my life. It was short, sweet and innocent. He asked if I liked him too and I could only reply with 'Yes'. Because, in truth I did. I thought I was happy with him. I thought I was content. Simply, because I was loved. A few nights later, as I walked him to the front door, he bid me good night: Sweet dreams. I love you. I returned his words with a hesitant smile. The words, they felt dry on my tongue. They felt so unnatural and strange that I wondered for a second, if they were actually mine. In a few days, 'like' had turned into 'love'. I didn't quite understand. But because, it was my first relationship I thought that maybe it was normal.
I came to realise quite soon that Justin was someone that needed a lot of attention. We were always together. Almost, every minute he was beside me. Even when I studied or when I woke up from my afternoon naps. He was always there, watching and waiting for me. Thats what I came to love about him. I was never alone. Later, Justin's friends became my friends. His cousin Kevin also befriended me. All my days were filled with smiles and laughter. Pages of my diary became full of sunshine. However, I was not entirely opened with sharing everything with Justin. I was never someone that voiced my emotions. And he demanded to know everything about me. 'Don't you trust me?' He would ask. I felt like I was put into spotlight but I was guilty for making him think that way: I trust you but I don't feel the need for you to know everything about me. I am my own person. Please don't force me into telling you everything. In the end, he always won. I always became the one at fault . I hated seeing him upset. I didn't want him to hate me. I always apologised first.
Sometimes, I talked to Justin's cousin Kevin. Somehow, he was different to how I first thought. He was indifferent to Justin. Kevin didn't care about him at all. Justin, I discovered got jealous easily. He didn't want me to be too close to his cousin. Justin said that his cousin was trying to take me away. I didn't understand. But soon after that, Kevin plagued me with flirtations and offers to be his girlfriend instead. I didn't understand why he even liked me. We never met. All our conversations were via Justin's msn. One day, I woke up to my Facebook status telling lies: I love Kevin Ly. I couldn't comprehend what happened. How did it come to that? All I knew was that I was left with one heartbroken Justin and myself on the brink of murder: FUCK OFF KEVIN LY. LEAVE US ALONE was my new Facebook status. A few days later, Kevin had the nerve to talk to me on msn again. It seemed like he was always at Justin's house. My brother Jimmy said that something was wrong. Jimmy was a born detective. He told me to continue talking to Kevin. So while I continued the conversation, my brother along with his bestfriend, snuck to Justin's window. Inside, they saw something unexpected. Justin was on the only computer in his house. What if, the person that was trying to break us apart was Justin all along?
My mind had turned tipsy turvy. Things didn't make sense. Why would he do that? Nothing made sense. I couldn't put my finger around what happened. My heart was rescued out of the rubbish bin but only to have my scar ripped open and bled endlessly. I believed him. I trusted him. Was it a test? Didn't he see how much pain I had gone through? I thought he understood me. But I didn't understand him so I did the only thing I could think of. I confronted Justin. He told me that he never pretended to be his cousin before. That day was the only one. I knew that it was unlikely for that to be true. But, I couldn't leave him. I didn't want to return to that state of nothingness. I didn't want to be alone.
Being in a relationship had many ups but almost more downs. I had known Jimmy's best friend Alex for nearly 10 years. Jimmy, Alex and I were always together. We were even going to start a band together with Jimmy on drums, Alex lead guitar and I as the singer. We all got along well dispite the age difference. But then, Justin came to me with his sad eyes: You like Alex don't you? I was speechless. . .How could he have thought that? Alex was a kid (no offence Alex). He was practically another brother to me. Justin wouldn't let the subject drop. He always bombarded me with his doubts. It was unfair, I couldn't be close with my other male friends without Justin doubting me. Most of my friends were boys. Justin, always dug up my scar. It was though, he enjoyed seeing me bleed. Every now and then, Justin would mention Victor. I was forced to listen to my boyfriend badmouth my first love. There was nothing I could do. Whenever I defended Victor, it was like a double edged sword. Justin would question my loyalty. It was unfair.
Because of Justin, I stopped listening to Victor's songs. It pained me because they were my tranquilizer. But Justin said that I only needed him. I should only depend on Justin to lift my spirits. And he did. He like always, listened to me and encouraged me but sometimes it wasn't enough. Year 12 was pulling my hair out. My Art teacher was always disappointed with my artworks. She always changed her mind about what I should have done. She complained endlessly that my sculpture was not up to her standards and that I should do what I was told. She was the only one that didn't like my sculpture. I wanted so badly to rebel against my teacher. I wanted to scream and shout: No. But I was too weak. I cared far too much of how people perceived me. I spent almost every lunch break and afternoon locked inside the art studio. There were always students or teachers walking passed. They all loved my sculpture. But my teacher hated my sculpture and I came to no longer love it. Art was no longer my release. Art became work.
Mother and I argued many times in my final year of high school. Mainly about my career choice. I wanted to be a psychologist. To be able to do something to help others because people always helped me. My career choices changed every year but inside my heart was one constancy: Writer. But writing was merely my own pleasure. I wanted to be more active in people's happiness. I wanted to be a psychologist. However, I was uncertain of my own abilities. I was not confident. It didn't help that my own mother discouraged my decision. She wanted me to be a teacher. I didn't have the will to fight her every day. I gave up.
Halloween came with excitement as it provided a break from my constant studying for the final exams. It was my first Halloween away from my old home. I gathered up a group with Justin and my brothers. It was supposed to be my last Halloween as a teenager. Next month, I would be an adult. Everything was going so well. We collected bags upon bags of sweets and were headed back to my neighbour's house to end the night with horror movies. But then, Justin started being angry with me. He even swore at me. I didn't understand what I did wrong to be treated in such a way. God, I don't understand boys. I don't understand Justin. And that hurt.
He ignored me for days. For the first time in ages, I was all alone. I found myself crying silently during my last exam. All my tears, blurring answers to the questions on the paper and in life. His friend told me that Justin was angry because I teased him on the night of Halloween. I couldn't even remember the words I said but did that make it worse? Was I that much of a cruel girlfriend that I couldn't tell when I hurt his feelings? I hated being alone. I apologised so many times but I was scared of Justin. He walked around my house with a face of a troll. It hurt. It hurt so much that he was ignoring me. It tore up my old wounds. I didn't want to be alone. I was sorry so why didn't he come back? Why wasn't he beside me when I cried myself to sleep? He lied. He said he would always be there for me.
There was no one to soothe my scar. It slowly became undone until I was left naked. I needed something, anything to hold me alive. I resorted to my last hope: Victor's songs. All I needed to do was close my eyes and allow the gentle strumming to sew up my scar. I fell asleep and woke up to see Victor playing the guitar on my computer. Within that second, something struck my heart. The feeling was familiar, it reminded me of the first time I fell in love with Victor. I loved him because of the way only he could make my heart feel. But it was too late. I now had Justin. I wished Justin would quickly return so my confused feelings would go away.
Something uncomfortable was happening. It was annoying because Justin and I made up. This was all because he left me alone. I was thinking about Victor again. I couldn't believe what was happening. I didn't want this. It was hideous and ugly. Being with Justin didn't make the confusion go away. He made it worse. He constantly insisted me to return to Victor. He made no attempt to keep me. I was desperately trying not to fall in love with Victor again. He was happy without me. I wanted to be happy with Justin. I wanted Justin to make it all go away. To make me love only Justin. But he didn't. He only served to amplify my confusion.
I didn't want this.
The day before my birthday, I came to an epiphany. Justin and I were different. Maybe, I had already known this. But I thought opposites attract. I fell for Justin because he saw through me. But the relationship, somehow it felt lacking. My heart no longer had any room left for Justin. He had left my heart inside out with no feelings. Only a numb sensation. I still cared about Justin. I didn't like seeing him sad or hurt. I especially didn't want to be the cause. But I didn't know what to do.
After my birthday, we took a break. During that time, I confessed to Victor in hope of moving on. I was so afraid that he would hate me but I was washed with a great sense of relief when I read his reply. But I realised from his words that he had always known that I liked him. I wished that he had stopped me before I fell far too deep. But then again, even if he had said anything, my feelings would had still continued to grow.
I wondered. . .All those years together Victor, as friends had he ever thought, 'Ah I could come to like her' or 'I really like her'. Had he ever liked me? Even for just a fraction of a second; I wanted to know that my feelings reached his heart. Even for just a moment. It hurts. It really hurt when I thought like that. Victor was the first one that I loved with all my heart. He was the frist one I wanted to know completely. But I didn't think he ever liked me. We were only friends. Why did I still think like that? Why? Why must I love someone that didn't do anything? That no longer cared? But there was a time he used to care a lot. There was a time when we were extremely close. What happened?
On December 3rd, I sat Justin down and said: Sorry. You're not who I'm looking for. I couldn't do it anymore. I couldn't say that I loved him anymore. It was Victor. It was always Victor all along. Mother thought I was stupid to break up because of a one-sided love. But I didn't think so. Those feelings may had been one-sided but they were still my precious feelings that warmed my heart for all those years.
Being with Justin made me happy. I could be myself. He made me laugh and saw through me. But sometimes, I wondered if he was real. If the things he said held any truth. Sometimes, I felt emptiness. A void. I just wanted to be happy. I wanted to find my happiness. My very own happiness. But I didn't know where it was. I was still quietly searching.
We walk to the bus stop and I face him just as the bus parked beside us: Thank you for today. I will remember this always as I will always remember you. I'm glad I met you. I can't imagine ever not meeting you. I brush my lips against his ear and whisper my last words: But from today onwards, I will no longer wait for you. Farewell my Unknowing.
I let myself be whisked away with the bus like flying dandelions floating away from its home. I hope to find a new happiness. I hope to bask in the new light of a new sky. There will be a more loving field somewhere. Somewhere, anywhere. I know that somewhere, my fate is tied to theirs. I allow myself one glance back at Victor because I hope that I have left inside his heart a mark like how he left inside my heart a scar. However, there will never be a full stop to this story because sometimes, scars don't fade and sometimes I want this scar as a reminder of something I hold dear. This scar is a reminder that one day, someone else will steal my heart.
One day, I wish to flutter away on floating tutus of dandelions. One day, someone will touch my scar and love me completely
Thank you for the patience and the time to read this. I means a lot to me. I hope that one day everyone will find their happiness.