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Sunday, 23 February 2020

My last letter to you


398 days.

It has been exactly 398 days since the day I left you.

I have lived in guilt ever since, constantly apologising for the hurt I've caused, which I know can never be undone. But when I saw your picture with her three days ago, I felt a sense of relief. I felt relieved that you have finally moved past the hurt and learned to love again - something that I'm still in the midst of learning.

I confessed to you on the 17th of January 2012. We were preparing for our A Levels back then, but that didn't stop us from dating. I mean, what could be more important than true love when you're eighteen?

Seven years of loving each other went by like that; of which, four were spent abroad and eventually became what I call the happiest four years of my life. Of course, there were many occasions when we bickered and hurled nasty words at each other; but each time, love conquered all. 

Well, not all. It all started to fall apart when we returned home for good in the fall of 2018. Life was no longer eat-sleep-study-play-repeat. It was much more than that. There was now family, work, wedding planning, and many other "life things" that we had to juggle. 

On the 21st of January 2019, I wanted out. I was sick of the expectations that I had from everyone, including you. I was tired of living for anyone else but myself; and I made the selfish decision to f*ck commitment and embrace my "free spirit". I thought I was doing something noble but on hindsight, all I did was to take for granted the trust that we painstakingly built over the past seven years and ended up hurting you.

They call it the "gift of hindsight" because you only realise something after it has happened. While I eventually came to see that we were indeed pretty incompatible, I also realised that the way I handled the break up was very immature. All I thought about was myself but that is not what love is. 

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. 

- 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

I didn't love you the way I should have. 

I'm writing this today because this will be my final apology. Seeing you happy again has put my heart at ease that I can now find my own happiness without feeling remorseful or regretful anymore. I hope that through this experience, I've matured and learned how to love properly, and I'm deeply sorry that you had to be the scapegoat. And I'm sorry for the times when I blamed you for the break up when I single-handedly drew the final stroke.

It struck me a couple of weeks back that if the break up did not happen, we would've been married by then. In years to come, we may have been a Marshall-and-Lily, or we may have realised that we made a mistake but have to work it out anyway because we made a vow to God and to each other. God knows. But if we throw away this linear perspective of things, I guess we can start to appreciate the seven years that we spent together for what it was worth. 

People come and people go, but some stay for a lifetime. You were my rock and I never imagined saying goodbye to you, ever. It's funny how everything can change in a matter of months, or even days; moreover, change in such a way that it takes your life on an entirely different path. 

I hope you're on a better path now, and I thank you for the seven years that gave my life so much meaning. We will still bump into each other at the climbing gym, at gatherings and perhaps at work. We will still drop each other a text once in awhile to check how the other person's doing. We probably won't be the best of friends but we will still care about each other. So I look forward to one day hearing and sharing the stories that we would've then created, in a life apart from each other. Till then, my friend of 15 years.

-

And to my readers, I know how hypocritical I sound, having written about the resilience of love for the past few years, only to fail at loving the one I held most dear. I've come to realise that while it is easy to write about rainbows and butterflies when things are going smoothly, it is extremely difficult to walk the talk when the rubber hits the road. I hope that rather than discrediting me as a writer, you'll continue following me through this coming-of-age story of mine. I will keep growing, and sharing with you my experiences in the most raw and genuine way possible. 

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