A LETTER TO THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY
Dear Forever Lost,
I do not know what name to call you anymore. Well, technically, I know you are my ex. In some part of my brain, I recognize that, but it just feels weird to call you that.
Weird, weird and incomplete.
Ex-Friend? Ex-Lover? Ex-Soulmate?
It feels wrong, because you remain those things to me still. Whether I remain the same to you is something I don’t know anymore. So no, for me ex does not cut it.
I never told you about my Isaura gowns. Well, growing up we had these lovely ball gowns. They were red with polka dots, many ruffled layers, little sleeves and big puffy skirts. Those gowns were passed from sister to sister, almost like a rite of passage. I loved those gowns. We called them Isaura gowns because of the TV show: Isaura, the Slave Girl. Isaura always wore the same gowns in the show.
Perhaps it was because Isaura was beautiful, and I always felt very pretty whenever I wore my Isaura gowns.
Or perhaps, it was that I only got to wear the gowns once a year during the end of year party in school. I loved the End of Year parties and looked forward to them all year. I don’t know why I loved the parties really because they signaled the end of the school year and I loved school just as well.
Or maybe it was because I got to play the beautiful princess in the school plays at those parties.
I was Snow White for two years running. Yes Snow White, go ahead and laugh. My sisters laughed enough when I told them. They thought it was hilarious that I was so dark-skinned and got to play the very pale and milky skinned snow white.
I got my very first kiss that year (well, a peck really) playing Snow White. It was the Headmistress’ son, Tosin who played my prince charming. Tosin, who was quite handsome and also a senior and it seemed to me that he was quite unhappy with the prospect of bestowing a peck on a junior’s cheek in order to get me to wake up from my slumber. At the climax of the play and after Tosin’s peck, I fancy that I blushed beet red and for the rest of the year, I would be unable to look at Tosin. On his part, he managed to ignore me quite doggedly, it was almost like I didn’t exist to him. That is until, the next year when we had to rehearse and present the same play at the next party.
Perhaps it was the gowns or the kiss or the thousands of romance novels that I read afterwards. But I always believed that at some point, I would meet my prince charming, fall in love, get married and live happily ever after.
Well, that didn’t happen. Obviously.
All the romance authors make it seem cute when the hero and his love interest suffer a break. It seems cute because they eventually get back together and all is set aright, once again in fiction land.
In the real world, that’s bull.
For one, missing you is not cute. It hurts. A whole lot. The novels didn’t tell me it would hurt this much.
The thing is, I don’t think about you every day. In fact, I can go stretches, a couple of days without a thought of you. And then out of nowhere, they come.
I work hard to erect the barrier in my mind. The barrier to keep all the memories of you at bay. Then my mind works for days tending that wall, keeping it strong, making sure you don’t get in. But you always do.
I have too many memories of you, you see. There are thousands of them. Each one precious. And because they are so many, they push against my barrier. They push and push until they find an opening. Then one memory slips through, bursting its way into my consciousness. On its heels are all the other memories and they pour in. a deluge, flooding my mind, saturating my thoughts. Until I can’t breathe, can’t think. Can only feel. Feel the loss, the emptiness. The vacant space that you left behind.
It’s almost unbelievable that we were together for just 11 months and created all of those memories. Each one precious, precious and dear.
11 months of bliss.
11 months instead of a lifetime
When you first asked me out that year. I wish I knew then what I know now. I wish I knew that 5 months down the line, I would be so gone for you. Love you so intensely that it would seem I had loved you forever. I also wish I knew that 16 months down the line we would have broken up. Most of all, I wish I knew that years later, I would be sitting here at my breakfast table, writing this letter because I miss you still.
I wish I had known all of that because then, I wouldn’t have wasted that time before saying yes. I would have made sure that I squeezed every minute we had together full of joy. Something to hold on to, now that I no longer have you.
That is my only regret.
For I do not regret any second I spent with you, for each was magical. It didn’t seem so at the time, it never does, does it? But as I glance back now, that is what it looks like to me.
I am grateful that I met you.
I lived when I knew you.
I loved because I loved you.
And I am grateful for that love.
Grateful that I got to hold your hand and listen to you as you shared the demons that drove you. I only wish that I lightened that burden for you for a short while.
Graetful that I made you laugh. I remember standing at the kitchen sink with you while you did dishes and telling you a joke that made you laugh so hard, you then put your wet soapy hands to your knees and doubled over with mirth.
I remember that for the while we were together, no other woman existed for you. And no man existed for me.
If there was a book on Macho code, I am glad you never read it. Because you didn’t care about being manly and hiding your feelings from me. You let me know how you felt over endless hours of chat on Instant Messaging. You told me how you felt, staring at me, unblinking. You looked at me like I was a creature exotic and you didn’t know what to do with me but you were never letting go.
I wish I could have seen earlier that your demons were closer. Wish I could have seen them overtaking you and maybe that would let me know the exact moment you began pulling away from me. But there is no guarantee I would have been able to stop it because I was caught up with my own troubles and couldn’t see my way clearly to fight through and pull you back.
You filled me full, hon.
Filled me with goodness and happiness and laughter.
And now I am hollow.
There’s no goodness, happiness or laughter.
Just an abysmal well of loneliness.
I have stopped talking to your friends too. Which hurts because they became my friends and I loved them too. They were a part of you and I think I was created to love every bit of you.
But I cannot do it anymore. I cannot talk to them anymore because when I do, they talk about you and it’s like my scars which had scabbed over are torn open once again and I feel all of the pain and all of the anguish and it freaking hurts.
I cannot take it.
But mostly, it is also because I cannot bear the thought that one day, they will call to share news. News that you have found another. Another, not me.
Someone who makes you happier than I did.
Someone who conquered your demons and guided you to light.
Someone who you will pledge forever to.
Someone else, not me.
And the thought of that, which makes my hand shake even now, as I write, is one I especially cannot bear.
I would like to think, that I am one of those gallant people, who is happy when the person they love is happy, be it with them or with another. But, I am afraid that is just not true. I do know it is what will happen.
But I hope it will not happen tomorrow.
I do not know if I will ever post this letter. I doubt you will ever read these words I write.
My two sides are at war within me.
The practical one hopes you will never see this letter, focused on the humiliation that would come, should you reject me again.
The romantic hopes that you will read it. That you will get on your shining horse and charge to me to profess your undying love and declare never to leave me again.
I already know this will not be. Isaura and Snow White got their happy ending.
But I am not Isaura and I am not snow white.
I am just a girl, the girl who lost you.
There will be no happy ending for me.
Dear Forever Lost first appeared on my Facebook Notes.