Wednesday, November 26, 2014

on the future and the past


To my former lover's future lover,

You don't know me. At least I don't think you do. You may have seen my initials on a book you borrowed from him. You may have seen my clumsy twenty-six-year old handwriting on an old birthday card. You may have seen me in a doodle in an aging coffee shop planner. But you still won't know me. You can't. Because the man you love holds many secrets and by now, I think I may have become one of them.

So before the hours erase everything like tidal waves rearranging the shore, allow me to tell you everything you need to know. You must understand what happened between us and know that I'm not trying to take him from you. This is not a bent knee pleading for you to return him to me. All this is is a stern reminder for you to never let him go. Not a day goes by where I don't regret taking the first feeble footsteps away from the man you now call your own.

You can ask about who I was or what I meant to him. He'll tell you my name. He'll tell you where we met. If you play it cool (don't push too hard), maybe he'll even tell you how long we were together. But he'll never tell you how I was his favorite person. He won't say how I once meant the world to him or that at one point, I was the axis in which his entire life revolved. He won't tell you, he can't tell you that although I am but a fading memory now, at one point his heart was an anchor and I was the vast expanse of the ocean floor.

You can ask if he told me the same things he's telling you now. He'll tell you about the laughs we had and the tears we shed in the three years we were together. He'll tell you your love is different, that it's nothing like what we had back then. He won't tell you about the moonlight on the night we first met or about how we wound our watches back three hours so we wouldn't have to part ways. He won't tell you about the kisses he stole from me that night or how he tapped the cab twice as it drove away. Those images were ours although we let them go that night we broke our promises to stay true to each other forever.

You can ask if he held me like he holds you now and he'll tell you that your fingers lock completely with his. Like jigsaw puzzle pieces thought separated for years, the minute your skin touched his felt like coming home. But he won't tell you about how I once scrubbed my fingers so hard, my knuckles started to bleed. About how I felt my palms were never clean enough, never white enough to graze his. I stopped trying to put our pieces together because I knew I had to let him go. I did it so he could find you.

You can ask if he loves you more than he loved me. He'll tell you that meeting you was like ending a long journey – that I was a layover but you were always the final stop. That we had some great times but in the end, he was just preparing for the time he was to spend with you. What he won't say is that at one point, it felt like we were facing a million sunrises and sunsets hand in hand. He won't tell you the names of our kids, the dreams we both shared, or the number of hydrangeas we were going to plant in our backyard. He will tell you that I was the mistake that made him see how right your love was. But he will never tell you about that night I whispered the exact same words in his ear.

You can ask why we broke up and he'll tell you it was because I needed too much, because I demanded too many things from him. He will tell you I was selfish, that I was needy, and unkind. He won't tell you about the nights I stayed up watching him sleep, wondering what I did in the past to deserve such a gentle, perfect man. He can't tell you about moments I spent staring at my reflection in the mirror, wondering what he saw in me, why he chose me out of all the strangers in the crowd. He won't tell you how I questioned his love because I didn't feel I deserved it. He can't tell you I felt unworthy because he didn't know. I didn't tell him. But I am telling you now.

And so when you hear about me, see my face in a Timehop or a passing glimmer in his eye, I want you to know that if I could have loved him the way you do, I wouldn't need to write you this letter. Please take good care of him. He was and always will be my life's biggest regret. Love him with all your heart. Love him the way I never could. And though you owe me nothing, please love him all your life for me.

All the best,

N.

♫: Rachael Yamagata | Has It Happened Yet? (2012)

36 comments:

  1. you will also be someone's final stop. We will all be, in God's perfect time. :D

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    1. Yccos: That's very comforting to hear. Minsan lang kasi, ang lakas maka-impatient. haha

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  2. "Dying is something we human beings do continuously, not just at the end of our physical lives on this earth." -Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

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    1. LoF: How apt that you should mention Ate Elisabeth. Haha I've been experimenting with the stages of grief esp. after someone pointed out that the new Taylor Swift record closely follows it. haha

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    2. the fantasy is dead, long live the fantasy

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    3. LoF: But I love Taylor! Haha even though I totally made fun of her years ago. :p

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  3. What you might thought is the end, may be just the darkness before the dawning of a new tomorrow.

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    1. CJ: That's true! Funny how I was only really able to write all of these down when I was able to distance myself from the situation. Thanks for the input. :)

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  4. And your future lover would ask, "Did you love him more than you love me?" And he'll go on wondering if he will ever be the man you really need or if he, too, is a layover and your ex is (still) your return flight and final destination.

    Your ex would say to your future lover, "You may have his body, but his heart is mine, mine, mine!" (Insert evil laugh then catfight.) Hahaha.

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    1. The Angel: Ever the optimist! I love it! 😃

      Who knows, diba? I think I've been able to distance myself from the situation, enough at least for me to write about it. I really don't know where I'm going. Haha

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  5. This is too much for me. Beautiful. :(

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    1. Rovi Yuno: Thank you, sir. :) Sabi nga nila, love lang yan. Malayo sa bituka. haha

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  6. Noooooooooooooooooooooooo. Charot lang.

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  7. I tell you again. We are all destined to leave this world not loving someone but a memory.

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    1. LoF: My exact same reaction! haha

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    2. Yj: Ay may panlaban ako sa quote mong yan! Galing berlin-artparasites. "Memories are dangerous things. You turn them over and over, until you know every touch and corner, but you'll still find an edge to cut you." -- Mark Lawrence, Prince of Thorns.

      Taray no?

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  8. O gawd! O gawd! O gawd! Just everything - feels - so much feels.

    Salamat for this. :)

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    1. Kaloy: You're welcome. :) Salamat din for reading. :p

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  9. this is just pure heartbreak, in a very positive way..

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    1. Oliver: Thank you so much. Natawa naman ako dun sa "in a very positive way.." haha

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  10. How come I never wrote nicely about my exes? Yeah. I hate them.

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    1. Seth: Hate agad? haha Naku, mahirap yan! :p Maybe it's the age? Nung bagets bagets pa ako, andami ko ding ganyan. haha

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  11. What you are going through is just the rugged part of the road of your journey. Just keep on moving cause there is a happy ending waiting for you.

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    1. AnonymousBeki: That's so positive. I love it!

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  12. Don't wallow! Move forward! (This IS a beautiful letter, however) Don't be this Peggy Lee theme song. Let's see the Nyl Smile!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LCRZZC-DH7M

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    1. Rick: I fully intend to! Move forward, that is. haha Thanks! :)

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  13. In life, we all have an irreversible regret, a great true love, and unspeakable sorrow. And sometimes, they refer to one and the same thing (or person, for that matter). This is really piercing as it can be.

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    1. Atty. Mico.: Looks like you're going through something fairly similar. I hope all is well. :)

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  14. Replies
    1. Rei: You could use it to fill that Cebuano body of water! Sea ata yan. haha

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  15. Rachel Yamagata never fails. Thanks.

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