Special Letter

(This letter was one that was sent, but for the sake of keeping the receiver’s anonymity intact, I’ve kept it blank.)


Dear ——,

I’m reminiscing on the first time we’ve ever met, and I notice a soft smile on my face.

How brave we were that night. Despite knowing each other for less than twenty four hours, we stepped out of our comfort zones and into each other’s world. Two different universes unfolded and collided that night at a J.Co Donuts & Coffee shop. I thought that was magic. Still do. Little did I know of the impact you would create on my entire life today.

When I first laid eyes on you, I thought you wore your Titleist cap too low, as if you were trying to contain the tornado of thoughts and emotions you were going through in your head so I wouldn’t notice them. But I did. I was fascinated by you from the start. Especially when you had me try that green tea donut that I had never imagined ordering. Ever. “Green donuts? Really? Why not?” I thought to myself. Later that night you’d discover that I have an effect on people that makes them just chat away. I’ve got a knack for asking all of the right questions. The sky was the limit as you shared everything to me about you on a soul level. With no intention of finding any common ground, I listened. And before we knew it, a strange familiarity between strangers took us by surprise like a huge wave of belonging and comfort crashing down on dull, broken hearts. Suddenly, the black and white life that I got used to had some color.

After that fateful night, the weeks passed by like seconds. Time flies when you’re happy. We trusted, talked, travelled, and climbed mountains together. You grew on me. In me. It didn’t take me long to fall in love with you, though I was probably already in love at that coffee shop, I just didn’t know it yet. Despite all of the red flags that I saw, your emotional unavailability, your unreadiness for something real outside of the love you have from your previous relationship, your family-oriented goals, I felt galvanized to confess to you how I feel about you. How captivating I thought you were. It started with an “I like you.” Which in my heart, I know meant a soft “I’m in love with you.” And I made it my personal mission to show you how much I did.

Months passed by and life and love was just harmonious. We saw each other. We were naked. And we didn’t give a damn. We accepted and wanted it. We accepted us.

Occasionally, my inner demons would emerge and attempt to push you away. But you stuck by me. Though, then, I did not know that I was just being prepared to learn a harsh lesson.

We had our first real fight on our first date at Rustic Mornings. It was also the first time I heard you cry. A time that I’ll always feel regretful for. I can’t remember the last time I had dressed up for a girl until that day. By the way, I thought you were angelic on your white dress. And I thought to myself, “What did I ever do to deserve you?” There was something about you that kept my heart on my sleeve. I was hooked. I was mesmerized. We exchanged our first gifts to each other that day.

After Christmas Day of 2015, I received a gift from you that money can’t buy. We found ourselves in the same room. I finally found the strength to say “I love you.” You didn’t respond at first, and that was when I kissed you. And you kissed me back. It was priceless. I felt like our story was being written by Nicholas Sparks himself. It felt real and unreal. It pains me to replay that moment in my head as I am writing this right now.

Then, it all came crashing down as quickly as it was built. My inner demons prevailed over me and I would learn the harsh lesson that “Love is always easier to fight for in the beginning.” That dreadful night at Talisayen Cove on March 20, when you would realize how difficult I am to love, and how lost we were in love. We fell from Cloud 9 at hyper speeds.

Love is always easier to fight for in the beginning. Because in the beginning, the pains of love are superficial, and that is easy to forgive.

I changed you after that night. I drained the strength you had to fight for us. And two months of misplaced feelings, confusion, and hurt followed after that. We found ourselves in limbo. Love was tested, and failed. In some cases, love doesn’t always win. At least, not the love that I envisioned us in.

“What happened to us?”

How did we find ourselves here, six months later? Saying goodbye to “us” on Friday the 13th? Stuck in a situation where everything’s left to uncertainty, and time? I find the reality of my situation with you right now, for lack of better words, messed up. Which is exactly how I feel at this moment. A mess. Stuck in a place that is neither here nor there.

And then I remember you saying that goodbyes are meant for good reasons. And that timing is a very important thing to consider. And then I remember how you justify your feelings for another as magical and mysterious over everything that’s happened between us.

I become so hard on myself, sometimes. Sometimes I can’t grasp the fact that I’ve allowed my feelings for you to irreversibly change me. Sometimes I get frustrated in myself for everything I’ve invested in you, tangible and intangible, these past six months. Sometimes I blame myself for how much of myself I gave to you, to us. Sometimes I think of all of the other things I could’ve experienced other than you.

But I am deeply grateful at the same time, to have experienced you. Because you were an experience, not just someone I met for coffee and donuts one night. Life is all about experiences. And I am thankful that at one point, you were my life. And that has left such a deep-seated scar in me. On these days, when my gratitude awareness is 20/20, I feel lucky. Though these days are becoming few and far between.

I think I’m having one of those lucky days right now. Although, it might just be me missing you yet again.

I read a quote the other day that said, “I still spend my days talking to God about you.” I found a sense of comfort in knowing that someone, somewhere in the world feels the way I do, and that they also have a “You” that they talk to God about. I also want to apologize to you because my greatest effort in loving you these days is praying for you. I don’t count myself as too much of a spiritual person, but right now, God is the one person I can really talk to about you.

I also feel obliged to say sorry to God, because He must be sick and tired of seeing your name and mine, entwined, written on His miracles-to-do-list every day.

Right now, my heart is just like, “God, please make this stop.”

As much as you broke me, this must be me accepting my broken pieces for what they are. This must be me ultimately accepting our mystifying relationship had its time, and that time is now over. I’ll always think fondly of you whenever I think about how lovely we once were – those larger than life nights at Padi’s Point, Antipolo, while listening to Clara Benin on YouTube and dining on mango crepes as we gaze into the fog, midnight ice cream runs at 7/11, binge watching your favourite movies at our “sanctuary,” walking around Ortigas with you, exploring our different food cravings together, travelling high and low – and then I realize how doomed we inevitably always were.

However, everything that has made us as incompatible as we are now, the mountain of memories and experiences of whatever we are, whatever we were, as broken and as harsh as it looks from beyond a distance, I see that there’s a beauty to it beyond what the naked eye can see. Such as there is a method to madness, there’s a beauty to the destruction.

For beneath the ashes, I am granted the opportunity to become whole – in my own way. Beneath the ashes, I saw the depth in which I can love someone, how intimately I can interweave myself with someone, the ways in which love can inevitably change me, and how much I can truly mean to someone else. For, as much as I feel like you ruined me, that 20/20 gratitude awareness I talked about has reached its crystalline form. I’m grateful you were what broke me, so I can now be better. You are God’s angel with a sword. The beautiful destroyer. And I pray that someday the beauty doesn’t have a hold on me anymore. You were my best mistake. I get the chance to learn from you and become my best self in the way I know I deserve.

Maybe the love we had was designed to destroy, designed for ruination. Maybe we are what Nicholas Sparks writes about and never releases to the public. The ruining and wrecking love that forces us to grow and change, and how we fought for us every step of the way. That love sometimes goes hand in hand with pain. Pain is the greatest teacher and inspiration, as it instructs us what not to do in the future, so as to avoid that harsh experience with another. And in hurting, I am learning and I am healing.

For a while, you’ll remain my 3am thoughts and my morning depression. And I’ll remain your dead petals, gifts, and souvenirs in a box. 11:11 will always remind me of you. Mangoes will not be just another fruit on the table. Borough will never be just another 24 hour restaurant for me. Though I know the pain of remembrance both hurts and heals.

Loving you was both my destruction, and my salvation. The other day I was happy without you. Listening to an acoustic band and watching fire dancers at the beach front on my own without you. I experienced that on my own. I made that. I can save myself. I can put myself back together. I took a pen and made something beautiful out of our shattered pieces by myself. I made an assortment of our broken memories, and that’s what I talk to God about now. This assortment of contradictions, uncertainties, false hopes, with love holding all the pieces together, and the way I was able to heal.

—A

A can be reached via PM here: Reach Ecotours

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