a love letter


the first thing i thought about this morning when i woke up was you. i think i really do love you — love being this heavy word that i have always shied away from, afraid of the commitment and eventual heartbreak it entails. but what does it mean when one wakes up in the morning, faced with a new day, and immediately thinks about another person? i have never woke up and thought about my parents or my friends. once, when my grandfather had passed away, i’d woke up and thought about him but that was a long time ago. it doesn’t mean that i don’t care about everyone. it’s just often that i have other things occupying my mind, like perhaps, the impending college application or my grades or my tests or every other non-human obligation and worry i have. but lately, i’ve been waking up thinking about you.

and today, i woke up with a terrible knot in the pit of my stomach, and after a while of tossing around in bed, trying to wait it out, i had to get up and write this. i think there is no other way for me to cope. i needed to say all the “cheesy” things that i will never allow the world to hear but will hopefully whisper into your ear one day not far away.

you see, i have always been a tomboy. i don’t know whether it is a label society slapped onto me as i grew up and gradually realized how attractive a “quirky” girl could be. boys tend to like something different, i suppose, and somehow younger me caught on — i must admit, there is always some social conditioning; they don’t call it “nature and nurture” for nothing. but deep down, i could see the seeds of tomboyish-ness growing before i even became aware of my surroundings, and when i think more about it, it wasn’t just tomboy — it was stoicism, total calmness, a sort of emotional independence that made me seem cold. looking back at my own childhood, i could see my baby self not shedding a single tear, not even a faux, complementary one, as my parents left for work. i needed no constant affection or attention; i was contented with my toys, totally immersed in my own world. then when i was around four and going to kindergarten, i was fully dressed in boys’ clothes, which i had no problem wearing and may have even enjoyed because of their comfortable bagginess, on pictures day — the teacher was horrified as she rushed to borrow a dress for me. and that’s another thing — i hated dresses; i never looked good in those, but more importantly, they itched and was uncomfortable and came with a plethora of etiquette. in other words, i was emotionally efficient; i did what felt like the most convenient. i suppose, that’s why i have been so great at school — i draw up plans weeks in advance, map out every single move, divide my time between dozens of books, on which i make sure to do research before purchasing, and absolutely, for the death of me, steer clear of romantic relationships. that is, until you came along.

i could have never seen you coming. you were a blessing. you were a mistake. you were something at first sight. in that one moment, standing amidst that throng of people all decked out handsomely in their tuxedos and gowns, i was not so stoic and efficient — i looked up and there you were, right in front of me, this tall, lean boy with a camera in hand. i did not have my glasses on so in all honesty, i did not even see your face clearly, but something about you struck a chord. ding. just like that. i’ve never ceased thinking about you since.

where am i going with this? well, darling, i just want to say i’m sorry. i’m sorry for not being able to shower you with affections and compliments as you have done for me the last couple of days. i want to, i really do. i want to tell you how your eyes are the color of chocolate milk, sweet and warm and kind and beautiful. i want to tell you how your hair is just perfect the way it is, cheaply cut and no wax added and all; i love it, and i think it is wonderful and i would never want you to change unless it is your desire to do so. i want to tell you that your slim build actually makes you even more handsome in my eyes. i want to tell you that you make me happy, so incredibly, mind-numbingly happy, and i didn’t even care when you laughed with your mouth full; your smile makes me smile. i want to hug you tight and comfort you whenever you’re tired. i want to kiss you gently on the cheek and blush furiously afterwards. i want to be and do so much for you, but i have not been able to. slowly, i am learning, and in the meantime, i’m sorry.

i was not your something at first sight. i was something that followed you around and grew on you. that much, i am keenly and almost painfully aware of. i am lucky to be here, with you, receiving your kind words and affections. but this morning, when i woke up, i was afraid i’d lost you — i’m afraid still. i am cold and elusive. i am distant and incapable of loving you in the fullest sense of the word. there is nothing to keep you here. i am inadequate, a jumble of emotions with no outlet. i cannot support you, not when i myself am broken and still recovering. i’m afraid. i just love you that much. i love you so much that the thought of losing you frightens me, rocks me to the very core.

i just… i just want you to know. but that wouldn’t do, would it?

i am speechless now. the future suddenly seems so terrible. tell me, are we going to make it to the other side of the fence?

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