Tag Archive | Alex

Of doppelgangers, accidental meetings, and letting go

It’s insane how much you look like my first love. You walked up to me on the seashore early one morning, and the shock of recognition was followed by a strong sense of disorientation. What are you doing here, Alex? I thought. Here, of all places, in my somewhere else. When you said something (it was about the sunrise, I think, but I was still too unsettled to remember), I realized that you weren’t him, just someone who looked remarkably similar. Several days of running into each other, and sort of becoming friends, haven’t dulled the resemblance. You even move like him, for goodness’ sake.

You made me surprise myself, you know. There was a time, long ago, when any reminder of him would have hurt, or felt bittersweet. Not anymore. I take pleasure in your smile, that wonderfully familiar grin that automatically makes me want to smile back, and it takes me back to the laughter that made me fall in love. There’s a feeling of being in two places when I’m with you: one in which I’m enjoying your company, and another where I’m wandering in the past. None of this is painful, just odd and funny and surprisingly easy. Twice, I almost called you by his name, just luckily catching myself in time. It’s a double world I’m living in, and meeting you has taken me there.

This isn’t really about you, I’m sorry. I don’t truly know who you are beneath your likeness to another man. There isn’t enough time to find out, because you’re leaving the island soon. We’re both transients here, you and I, and it’s a funny twist of fate that brought us together that day under the sunrise.

I think it’s okay, that we won’t really get to know each other. Perhaps our meeting is a gift, one that I needed more than I realized. You showed me that I have what it takes to move on. I have a problem with that, you see, with moving on. I linger at the spot of every important goodbye, watching the person walk away until the final glimpse is gone, hoping for one last backwards glance. I’m never the first to turn away; I’m always the one who’s haunted. Meeting you, enjoying the ease of looking into eyes that take me back to a different time, have reminded me that even if it takes longer than most, I do move on. Maybe I never forget, but I can eventually remember without pain. And that gives me hope.

When you go, I won’t ever see you again. You’ll be one of those significant strangers, the ones who stay just a little while but leave a lasting imprint. In this case, I think you’ll take away something, too, the fear that I have a heart that doesn’t heal. It’s enough. It’s more than I thought a stranger can give, but that’s what you did, even if you didn’t know it. Thank you. I won’t ever get to say this out loud, but thank you.


By the sea

I went out with a friend today. We went out and we sat by the ocean, and somehow the conversation turned to the first one who broke my heart. Suddenly, I found myself talking about you again, after long years of thinking of you too much, then trying to forget, and finally succeeding. I surprised myself with all the little things I remembered — the way your laugh always made me feel like laughing, too, the way your eyes lit up with that irresistible smile, the way our friends always introduced us as childhood sweethearts and I’d protest that we weren’t, while you were quite happy to pretend that I’ve had a crush on you since kindergarten. I haven’t thought about all these things for so long, never even noticed the moment when I grew out of the habit of keeping you in mind. But now, with the gates of memory unlocked, I found myself remembering your hands on a guitar, your hands that could coax the sweetest music from any instrument you touched, your hands that used to hold mine. I could almost feel the thrill of it all again — my hero worship, the slow transition from seeing you as my best friend’s big brother to someone I could fall in love with, the stunned wonder when I realized you felt the same. It was my first time, and it was better than all the stories said it would be.

That day, as I sat watching the waves and allowed the memories to flow out of me, as I sat reminiscing about all that we used to mean to each other, I realized that it didn’t hurt anymore. There wasn’t even the slightest tinge of sadness. The what-ifs and the might-have-beens no longer haunted me. I could think about you, and talk about you, without pain. I could look back at all the wonderful little details that made you who you were, and realize that there is someone else who knows you better now, and be happy for you. I could take pride in the decent, honorable man that I knew you to be, and even though it didn’t work out, at least I know it was worth a try. You were one of the good guys. Not the right one, not meant for me, but worthwhile. And it’s okay.

Getting over you, being able to put you firmly in the past and wish you well for the future, being able to talk about you with fondness — it frees me. Though my heart is broken now for another reason, perhaps I can hope that someday, after the healing passage of time, I will sit by the ocean again, and watch the waves,  and laugh.

Day 7 — Your Ex-boyfriend

“For the last time, I love you. It’s over.”

~ final line from the break up letter

Dear Former Mr. Right,

Do you know what bothers me about moving on? It’s realizing that the heart can be completely wrong about something so important. I felt so sure about us. You were it, The One for me, you would’ve been both my first love and final romance. And yet, here I am, not the least bit bothered that we haven’t talked to each other in years. I once dreamt of spending the rest of my life with you, yet today I have no idea how you’re doing. It’s a kind of disillusionment to realize something like that, a loss of innocent romanticism. It makes me wonder if I can ever trust anything I feel to last forever.

The simple truth is that I can’t. No one can. Feelings aren’t static, they change with the ebb and flow of circumstances. They’re dynamic and unstable, and completely inadequate as a relationship foundation. Loving someone forever is a choice, a daily commitment. I had to have my heart broken before I could learn that.

I spent so much time nursing that broken heart. Now I realize that maybe I hurt you, too. There are always two sides to every story, and I never had the chance to hear yours, or to share mine. I regret that.

I did love you, you know. Imperfectly, ineptly, yes — but I loved you.

Wishing you happiness,



Losing Faith

It’s over. Finally, I can breathe. I can have a life again, something apart from always trying to be there for you. I can stop trying to understand, trying to make you see that we can work through this, that our love is worth fighting for. All the uncertainty, all the confusion, all the pain of not knowing where I went wrong, is finally over.

D*mn you for putting me through all that. D*mn you for taking my belief in love, my belief in forever, my belief in you, and handing them back to me broken, saying you can’t deal with them anymore. You will never know how much you hurt me by just giving up, you will never know how much you scared me from loving as much as I loved you ever again.

I did not deserve to be hurt that way. And you didn’t deserve my trust.

So much wasted emotion. I had so much more tenderness to give, I could have stayed with you longer, but you didn’t think it would be worth our while. I know you still love me, as I know that you were too d*mned scared to be vulnerable. And I was stupid enough to hope I can help you conquer that fear, or live with it, so that you can take the risk of letting me into your heart. Not anymore. You would rather hurt me than let down your guard.

I loved you. Honestly, bravely, intensely I loved you. But it wasn’t enough. Or maybe it was too much.

I hate the fact that we could have saved us, but we didn’t. We simply gave up something rare, something that doesn’t come along everyday. I hate the emptiness. I hate the regrets.

But the worst thing about all this is the simple, stupid, and pathetic truth that I miss you. I miss you. I knew losing you would be painful, but pain, I can deal with. I can cope with the sharp, intense rush of emotion that cuts like a knife, but is relieved somehow by tears and is dulled by the passage of time. What I didn’t expect was the sadness – the steady, lingering hurt that comes with the realization that you will never again look at me as if I’m precious, special, and infinitely cherished, you will never again call me “mahal ko” with the tender amazement that I really am yours. It’s the constant heaviness that haunts me and makes me wonder if I’ll ever be whole again without you, of if I’ll always mourn the part of me that died with our love. I miss you. And I’m to be totally honest with myself, I’ll have to admit that I’d do anything, give everything even go through all the confusion again, just to find a way for you to keep believing in us. But there’s no chance of that.

Some goodbyes are final. I have a feeling this one is.

Plagiarism has its benefits. I was trying to retrieve some of  my published articles (with the  pseudonym garnet_fire) that were lost when peyups.com changed its format, so I googled a few phrases that I remembered.  Well, whaddayaknow, it turned up on several blogs, without the byline. But at least I got a copy. So thanks, I  guess. Haha.

(Btw, this is an old article. People I know in real life, don’t panic that I’m experiencing this emotional turmoil at present. Yes, I’m talking to you, Ma. I know you read my blog. ;))


Huling Katha

Ubos na ang tula
para sa iyo
Said na ang mga salita
Ito na ang huling pagkakataong
iaalay sa iyo ang katha.

Kumukupas na
ang larawan mong
nakaukit sa gunita
At ang naiwan pang pakiramdam
‘Di ko na ititinta.

Mahusay din pala
ang mga taon
sa pagturong limutin ka
Balikan ko man ang nakaraan,
wala nang hapding nadarama.

Ubos na ang tula
para sa iyo,
Said na rin ang mga luha.