You think you are in love with me? Do you even know what I am like? Have you spoken to my ex? There was a reason he left. Perhaps, you should find out why. Let me make it easy for you. I shall try and pretend that I am now my ex, telling you what it is like, for him to have had to spend more than a decade with me.
I met her when she was nearly 19. Fresh from school, innocent and yet headstrong. I liked her from the start. Heads turn when she walks into a room. Always the life of the party. She made everyone feel comfortable around her, everyone but me. I could never stand being in the same room with her. I get tongue tied, act all stupid and before I can make a fool of myself further, I'll always be the first to leave the room. It always leaves her confused and I'll end up being the laughing stock among our friends.
It went on like that for months. She had so many admirers. I watched her from a distance. She never knew how much I'd wish that she'd smile at me or glance my way. Each day, I got more and more frustrated. The more I tried telling her how I feel, the more the words get gobbled up before it can even reach my lips. I became an expert at mumbling.
She loved my cooking. That was good. It became my way of reaching out to her. Everyday, I'd look forward to prepare a portion of my specialty and present it to her in the hope of winning her affection and each day, she will share those dishes with our friends. It was hopeless. They obviously made use of her to get their way, for they know that the only way for me to say yes to anything, was if she was the one to ask for it.
I loved her from the first day I saw her. She was everything I wanted and more. Unfortunately, she didn't even know that I exist. I had to try harder. I don't know how but I am never going to take no for answer. Each day, I got closer and closer. I became friends with her friends. I got to know the things that she liked and became her number one supporter. When a guy that she was close to moved away, I was her shoulder to cry on. I loved her and yet I knew, she'd never be mine. I couldn't even muster the courage to tell her how I feel even after finding out that she was leaving the company soon. I was such a coward.
One day, during lunch break, she bought a hand lotion as a going away present and gave it to me. My hands had hurt previously from all the abuse it got from being in the kitchen and handling food for far too long. That was the turning point for me. The push I needed. I knew she cared. Little did I know, that it was just a friendly gesture and nothing more. I was too blinded by my love to see straight. The fact that she's a Muslim and that I am a Buddhist did not even matter at that moment in time. All I knew is, I wanted her to be mine.
So I sent her a bouquet of flowers and a teddy bear anonymously the next day, not knowing that it was April Fool's Day. What a joke. As surprised and delighted as she was with the gift, since she didn't know whom it was from and thinking that she had been a victim of a practical joke, my gift had become meaningless to her. By then, I had no choice but to own up and tell her the next day, that I love her. 3 words ~ I LOVE YOU, said over lunch that changed both our lives forever. She had tendered her resignation that day.
She was leaving for better pastures. It was a difficult decision for her. Can she still leave and be true to me or should she stay, be with me and forget about her dreams? Should she accept my love? Will it work out for the both of us? She had plenty of questions that I had no answers to, so I gave her time to decide.
She finally said yes! Introduced me to her family and slowly but surely, I won their hearts. Life was a dream back then. We were two young adults with very big plans. A month later she left. I missed her much. Half way through her training, I started having doubts about her loyalty towards me. I felt insecure knowing that she is going to go places and I am still stuck here in a rut.
I broke up with her on her graduation day. I didn't know why I had chosen that day to do so, but it couldn't wait. She was brave. she cried her heart out and yet, she smiled on stage. I wasn't there to witness the happy occasion that day but I have seen the pictures. A month later, I too left the old job and moved on to a better place. We were further apart but I couldn't get her off my mind. I was miserable without her, so I went back for her. Willingly, she accepted me again into her life.
I fell deeper in love. She would take the bus for 6 hours or so to come and spend a day or two on her off days with me. I didn't know how tough it was for her or what jet lag meant until I followed her on my first flight to Vancouver years later. Sometimes, we'll meet up either at her parent's home or mine. After a while, I left to work overseas. It only lasted a few months. I started missing her again, so I came home. One day, I asked for her hand in marriage. She cried like somebody had died. I was devastated. I knew that she was barely 20 but I was ready to take her as my wife. Apparently, she wasn't. From that day onwards, I never did ask her for her hand in marriage. ( When the time came, we just got hitched )
We continued our relationship for years. She was very loyal. I had my slip ups. We broke up again 6 years later when I told her that I was interested in someone else. There were times when I felt that this relationship was going no where. Why should I have to give up my identity and my beliefs just to marry her? It was ridiculous. As I grew older, I realized that I couldn't afford to sacrifice that much but how can I get out of it? She is a good girl from a good family. It had gone too far. I can't turn back now. What would people say? What would my own family say? By then, we were sharing a home together, so when I told her my fears, she accepted and moved out. Again, I broke her heart and took away her dreams. I loved her still but I was getting frustrated over the religion issue. There seems to be no way around it. It is better this way. The third party was just a distraction. It didn't even last.
A few months later, I went crawling back. This time I knew that I'd do anything for her. It took us a while to gain back the amount of trust lost but forgave me, she did. We moved on. I converted and we got married. We were both not perfect but we perfected each other. She taught me how to have fun and I kept her grounded. Life seemed to be fine on the surface but my conscience kept nagging at me. When we lost our first baby, I lost my faith in the relationship as well. Perhaps this wasn't meant to be. Was this God's way of punishing us? Honestly, if I were to tell you half of what was going through my mind back then, I wouldn't be surprise to know that you'd hate me too. She sensed it even when I had not said a word.
She changed. Well, I think she did. She was no longer the bubbly girl that I used to know. There was sadness inside of her. It consumed her, it suffocated me. I couldn't see the love in her eyes for me anymore. There was anger, there was blame, there was disappointment but no..there wasn't any love. I did that to her. I knew it, but I was too busy finding an excuse to not understand where she was coming from. Since I loved her still, I wasn't going to give up on the marriage. I continued doing what I thought would make her happy and little by little, she opened up so we built our way back into each other's hearts again.
A couple of years later, when our son was born, I felt the pressure to provide him with all the best things in life. Things that I never did get a chance to have, like a proper education and so forth. The only way I knew how was to bury myself further into work. I started juggling 3 jobs to ensure that we became financially secured. I am good at what I do and I believe in success through hard work. But it wasn't enough. The money was coming in but I was still empty inside. The harder I work, the unhappier she became. I couldn't understand why that was so. She kept everything inside and I kept driving myself mad with work. It came to a stage when the only quality time we had, was when either one of us were to give each other a peck on the cheeks before I was going off to sleep or she, before leaving for flight in the wee hours of the morning. We get updates of each other's day either through text messages or phone calls. Whenever she is at home, her time was meant for the baby. I tried my best to be a good father. I am sure she knew that.
Without realizing it, I fell out love. When or how, I don't know. It could have been a long time ago or only at the end of it. Perhaps it was the way she had looked at me then. It was different somehow. I sensed that I am no longer someone she looked up to. She loved me, there was no doubt about that but something's missing. We never did talk about it. I am not even sure if she was aware of it. We were busy living our lives separately and making the best out of what life had to offer.
The day I fell in love again, I knew I had to get out and get out fast. It is either now or never. Having Ryan was bittersweet. He was our love child. His birth brought a whole lot of joy into my life and yet having to leave him behind when I left his mother brought me so much pain. It was a difficult choice I had to make and one that I will have to live with forever. Happiness was knocking at my door. I couldn't ignore it anymore. So I said my goodbyes and lived my life. Was it worth loving her all those years? I don't think so, I had given up so much but then again, she taught me a valuable lesson like no other..
That's all the imagination that I could muster for today. Writing about the past and trying to understand what went wrong can be quite draining. It's my weird way of calling it therapy. We'll never really know what went through his mind or why he did what he had to do. All I can say is, I did marry my best friend, I did take him for granted sometimes but I did love him so and that I am sorry, very sorry indeed for the failure of our marriage. What I miss most about being in a relationship? Having someone to hold my hands. I do hope that he is truly happy now :)