There’s something I’ve been carrying around with me even after so many years… a painful story that I never forgot because I couldn’t forgive myself.
That night I was also drowning in my own problems when you rang the doorbell. I was also self-destructing that night. I’m sorry if I raised my voice and slammed the gate shut before you when you needed me the most. I know I’ve caused you so much pain, I know that I brought this to myself and I’m feeling so guilty up until now. If only I remembered to be the person that you needed that night, maybe we’re still as close as we once are up until now. Maybe I wouldn’t be missing you…
I never knew that I would feel this way. It didn’t dawn on me that I wouldn’t move on after so many years. I don’t know if I just couldn’t forgive myself or I just couldn’t let go of what we had. But I’m sure that I’m afraid because I couldn’t stand the fact of reality slapping me in the face. Maybe I’m still hallucinating that when you see me today, you will still care like before, that you will still give me the same smile.
I saw you several times, but my last unforgettable memory of seeing you was when you were waiting for a jeepney in front of McDonald’s Retiro in the year 2013. You didn’t see me because I was inside and far from where you were standing, but I was in shock at seeing you again. I wanted to get up from where I was seated, but I was with someone. I wanted to say hi to you. I wanted to apologize again. I wanted to know how you’ve been. No, I wanted to run towards you and hug you as tight as I can. But I don’t know where to get my strength to approach you. My knees went weak and my hands are cold and trembling that time. I couldn’t hear anything else, just my heart beating so fast and wanting for that moment to just stop and rewind back to that night for me to have a chance to change everything.
But I was stuck on my chair until a jeepney stopped in front of you and then you’re gone from my sight. Yeah, I know, how stupid of me to waste my time contemplating on that chair. I could have just dragged my feet and faked the strength just to approach you and see what happens, but I didn’t. Because I was so afraid that you’ll give me the cold shoulders that I deserve. That maybe you’d greet me back, but give me the eyes of a person who just saw the worst person he met in his life.
You gave me the silent treatment in school, which I know I deserve, but I never knew how much pain I’ve caused you until one day you decided to invite me to have lunch at the China Town restaurant at Banawe to talk. At that time I wanted to say many things, but all I could remember saying was repeated sorry. Maybe it was my pride that was eating me from telling you how much I wanted us to be normal again. But I was so stupid to still be thinking about myself and how I was also in catastrophe when you came that night looking for me, while you’re seated in front of me on that dining table trying to tell me that it’s over between us. Did you know that I bit my tongue so hard to prevent myself from crying while listening to everything that you said? I told myself that I have no right to do any talking and that I should hold up until we leave the restaurant. Because I know that I deserve everything that you said.
I couldn’t remember the exact year of that painful lunch date, but I believe you were in college at that time. When our conversation was over, we left the restaurant, but I don’t know how we suddenly bumped into each other again while I was walking my way home as if faith was giving us another chance. All I could remember was when you were literally dragging my ass home because I didn’t want to go home after the conversation we had at the restaurant. The streets we passed by was filled with workers who were waiting for their salaries outside and yeah, I still remember how stunned they were to see a guy dragging a girl by the wrist. Do you still remember why we had that situation? You didn’t answer me when I asked where you were going. I wasn’t ready for any closure and you made me feel that you were going somewhere so far away where I will never see you again. Come to think of it, if you just answered me and didn’t give me that total goodbye look, you could have saved yourself from the effort of dragging me home. But I guess my last hug still wasn’t enough to heal the wounds I’ve caused you.
You still pass my mind from time to time. The memories are still fresh and I can still remember the moments when we were together, especially the moment when you cared more about my life than yours while a knife was pointed straight at us. Even when everything you own was taken away from you, you gave me the look of a guy who only saw me and cared for me at that moment. I can still remember your face while asking me if I’m okay while checking if I was stabbed or got hurt. You forgot that you lost your valuables because you were busy checking on me. By the way, I still have the scientific calculator that you gave me in replace with the old one that was in your bag when we got robbed. I can’t believe that even after our misunderstanding, you still thought about what I was going to use in my math class.
You still cared for me after what happened and I never got the chance to say thank you for everything. Now, I’m taking that chance. Thank you for spoiling me. Thank you for helping me even when I don’t ask for it. Thank you for the effort of passing by my house just so we could go to school together in the morning. Thank you for always keeping me safe when we’re outside. Thank you for listening and always understanding me. By the way, I will never forget how you bribed me with McDonald’s French fries when we have misunderstandings.
I still see you until now, I’m not stalking you but I do follow you on your social media accounts. But I didn’t turn on notification because seeing you on my Newsfeed will always remind me of how stupid I was to hurt you. To hurt that one person who didn’t ask anything else from me, but just a few moments of that night where he can crash and just gain his strength back again.
I may not know exactly who you are right now, the things you love or the things that you now value, but I’m glad that you’ve become the person I always thought you’d become. I hope that you’ve stopped depriving yourself of sleep watching some science or detective movie series while eating pizza at night. I hope your eyes are in good shape and that you don’t experience sudden unconsciousness anymore. I know that you’re a very intelligent and hard working person, but please don’t forget to take care of your health.
Please know that I’m deeply sorry for everything and that one day, when I’m stronger, I will face you again and I will make sure that you will still feel how special you are to me, that you still have a place in my world. I will pray that when that time comes you won’t turn your back to me… and that you’ve forgiven me from turning my back from you when you needed me the most.
You never left my heart…