Hello, Love…

This is a love letter, about someone I loved the most…and for someone I need to love more.

The way our paths crossed wasn’t conventional. But it was still serendipitous, I’d say.

When I first saw you at that bus station, with your blue Adidas shirt, jeans and mustard colored Chucks, I had no idea you would mean so much to me.

My bestfriends always say I have such high standards. And normally, they’d be right. I wouldn’t have given you a second look if you walked past me in the street. But there you were anyway, right when you said you’d be…with your shy smile and nervous demeanor initially. You smelled really good though.

Honestly, there were other guys that were vying for my attention at the time. Some who were smarter, richer and more stable/successful than you. But I didn’t really care much about those things. I wasn’t looking for a made man. I wanted a partner I could build with, not an owner.

You see, I had been praying to God to send me someone who was gonna be there for me. Someone who wouldn’t think twice about being with me. Someone who in this world of “sorry, I’m busy”, would say instead, “I’ll be there” and show up.

I’ve been so tired of people flaking on me. That’s why I prefer to be alone most of the time. But somehow still, I wanted someone to be alone with who wants and needs me to be there too, who’s always my first choice.

And then you came. With no two words about it, you went on a trip with me when we barely even knew each other. That was the best bus ride of my life to date. I thought I was gonna get to sleep the whole ride to Baguio, but there you were telling me stories and keeping me up all ride long.

I started to feel comfortable with you, and being an introvert, that was something rare for me. We talked about each other, you told me stories about yourself…I learned that you’ve been alone for a while too.

I don’t really know what it was…perhaps it was in your gentle, tired eyes that I saw through your hard exterior, the softhearted broken soul of a man. And it made me soft, it made me feel like I wanted to take care of you, that I didn’t want you to be sad anymore. That I wanted to be there for you.

I thought, you must be him. The one God sent to be with me. A company I could keep.

But of course, I wasn’t gonna jump into a conclusion that fast just because of a feeling. I remained calm, and not rushed into anything. I wasn’t in a hurry. I entertained other guys, went on dates, talked…But every time I’m talking or out with other guys, I find myself wondering about you. Wanting to talk instead with you. Wishing it was you who was out with me.

Oh, believe me, I tried to discount you…but I couldn’t. So, I was done letting myself fall slowly…and jumped right in. And so despite having probably better choices, I chose you. I let you win when you didn’t even know there was a battle.

Thank you, Love…

Things happened and as time passed, your importance to me grew. I found myself caring about you deeply, loving you, wanting to keep you. You were my baby. Despite all the little arguments and problems that were presenting itself, the time we spent with each other were the best.

Whenever I’m with you, I feel like I am the best version of me. I liked the me when I’m with you. The version of me that could care for another human being as much as I cared about you. How brave and vulnerable I am at the same time, when I’m with you.

I found myself wanting. I wanted to know more about you to know how to love you right. I wanted to build a life, a future, and everything with you.

Everything I’ve never done, I wanted to do with you. And I did, didn’t I? I gave you all my firsts, in hope that you’d be my last.

So, thank you, Love…

For even though I was still afraid, and there were doubts creeping into my mind whenever you’re far from me, I had the will and strength to silence the demons that lurks in the dark corners of my mind. Because of you, I was brave. For love is only the prerogative of the brave…and because I loved you, I HAVE ALREADY WON.

I rejoiced in the brevity of the moments that I could spend with you, for I know how important time is for you. The fact you squeezed some time in and effort to see me in your busy schedule—I was already grateful and appreciative of that. That’s why whenever you come over, I’d sooner open the door with a welcoming smile as soon as I hear the elevator ding, because I wanted our time together to start as soon as possible.

I welcomed you with open arms into my world, and treated you like a King in my own Queendom, so to speak.

Every moment I spent with you was precious, and I wanted nothing more than your company—your presence.

I loved watching you sleep, so peacefully and seemingly contended because somehow, I felt the same way.

Between your arms was my favorite place, especially when you rub my back. It felt like home—quiet, safe and warm. You were my sanctuary, my rest, in this big, cold, lonely, noisy world.

Hearing your heart beating, whenever you tell me to lay my head on your chest, was my favorite tune.

I felt so cared for and loved as your “little spoon” whenever you pull me close to you.

I marvel at every story you tell me through the night, no matter how sleepy I am. I cherish running my fingers through your hair as you nap with your head on my thighs.

I delighted in working the knots out of your back even though I barely could, because you have such muscular back. I treasure the moments when you would suddenly break into a song and sing to me.

It’s the littlest of things that endeared you to me even more. The simple calls and text messages during the day when you’d say you miss me, or that you thought of me when you heard the song that we kept hearing when you were with me.

Even the simplest things like doing groceries, shopping, buying supplements, watching a movie, eating out…felt like an adventure to me when it’s with you. It’s even more special when it’s you who invite me, or when you want to come over even when I don’t ask you to.

I was happy to have you in my life, because I know you’re a good man. I was proud of you, of how you’re a doting son, a loving uncle, and a good brother. I even talked about you with my friends…

And when you called me “mahal”, my heart jumped with joy.

So, thank you, Love…

I have always believed in what the Bible said about what love is:

Cor 13:4-7

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.”

Though I never actually understood it, until there was you, Love.

I loved you with honesty, and with no reservations because that’s the only way I know how to love.

“Love is patient, love is kind”…I’d like to think I was to you, Love. That’s why I could never stay mad at you. I would rather spend the time making good memories instead of arguing.

Loving you taught me what unconditional love really is. I loved you with the love of the Lord. I loved you, without expecting you to love me back as much.

Because Love, love was never about what you can get, but about what you can give. And I’ve given you everything that I could, didn’t I? I know that you know there’s so much more I could still give.

But now it’s time for me to say…

Good bye, Love…

Because I guess love just isn’t enough.

I have to say that I think I loved you the most, and this isn’t me giving up on you. This is me letting go of the pain. Because I need to heal. Because I need to love me again. I need to choose me now…and this post is part of that process.

You always say, “things happen for a reason”.  But I cannot fathom what reason there is for all of this, and I still think that we make our own fate.

You have made your decision, and no matter how much I want to go through life’s ups and downs with you, no matter how hard I try to keep you in any capacity, I cannot force you to stay. I cannot force you to choose me, Love.

I wanted to be there to cheer you on when you’re losing faith in yourself, to celebrate your wins, comfort you when you’re sad. I wanted to be there through all the mess…as I’ve always been. And with all the love I could hold in my heart, I loved all of you…All that you allowed me to. Because I can only love you as much as your walls would allow.

I never understood how you could say you’re a burden to me, because I never thought of you that way. I never looked at your status, or if you didn’t have a single cent to your name. I saw only the man that you are. I know you’re a good person, and I will always believe that. You never had to prove anything to me. You have always been enough for me.

But I cannot make you see what you don’t want to see, Love. If you can’t see the value of having me by your side, I can’t force you to.

Still, I hope you know that I always had and always will have your best interest at heart. I want to see you win, achieve your goals and your dreams. And I hope you do, even though I’m not there.

And so, as goodbyes and promises go:

I promise to defend you, even when you couldn’t defend me.

I promise to protect you, even when you failed to protect me.

Your name will not be soiled by my doing, for I can never do that to someone I once loved.

But I cannot promise that I’ll forget about you. It’s not easy when you gave me so much to remember even in just a short time.

I cannot promise I won’t be sad when I think of you, because I know I will.

I cannot promise I will no longer cry, because I know this will hurt for a long time because it was never about the length, but the depth of love.

I can never and will never regret meeting you, despite everything. Even though we can’t be together in the end, I’m glad that you were a part of my life.

If there ever comes a time when you feel like there’s no one left in your corner, you can look at mine…and see me still rooting for you. I promised you that, didn’t I? I intend to keep it. I’m always on your team, even when you aren’t in mine.

It’s funny but I guess that’s why I’m not so essential to you…because I was always available for you. But you know what? I don’t regret it one bit. You may not consider me as “The One That Got Away”, because I never tried to get away from you. But I think when you look back at this, you’ll realize I’m “The One You Missed Out On”, that chance you didn’t take.

As for me…I didn’t lose anything. I loved, and that makes me a winner. Perhaps there will be an unoccupied corner in my heart that you will always own, but I’m sure someone worthy can occupy most of the real estate here.

And now, there’s just one more thing I could give you…My forgiveness. For “love keeps no record of wrongs”. I wish I could tag you in this post so that you’d know that I do, but that’s not possible. Still, I forgive you, Love.

I do hope that if we ever cross paths again, that you’ll have the courage to tell me everything, and that you’ll have a smile to give me, DM. So I’d know that this sacrifice, this pain, are all worth it.

Always,

AC