Sunday, July 8, 2012

Maybe It's Not About The Ending, Maybe It's About The Story

My friend, D, got her heart broken a couple of years back. I won't get into the gory details because, clearly, it's not my tale to tell. All I'll say, though, is he was a jerk and she deserved better. Thankfully, my friend is an emotionally strong girl, but even so, there was the requisite crying, and the woeful pity parties which basically consisted of us sitting around and talking in hushed voices, lamenting the situation with her and quoting cliches, in our darkened training office. But like I said, D was made of sterner stuff. So even if she was going through hell at that time, she was already talking about how she knew she was going to be okay again, that the break-up was for the better, that she will travel and see the world, and someday, look back on all this and laugh. She did ask me if I've been through my own version of major-dashing-of-my-heart-to-a-million-pieces episode, and I laughed and said yes. Her next question took me aback, though. She asked how long it took me to recover and I whispered, "Almost two years." She balked then groaned, and we all laughed. I protested and said, "See, the important thing is, you recover." I can't recall if she bought it, but that seemed to appease every single one of us that night.

You never forget a major heartbreak, they say. I guess it's true. It's messy and icky and more drama-filled than a Pinoy Big Brother Teen Edition episode. The very first person who broke my heart was my very first boyfriend. We were together for almost five years and one day, he just got fed up with all our fights and all my insecurities that he called it quits and dumped me. He was a nice guy. My friends loved him. He was sweet and smart and we had so much in common. Our first date was at a Greyhoundz concert at the Ateneo. The next weekend, he took me to watch a play called Sinta. I was smitten.

He broke up with me weeks after our college graduation. I guess the timing couldn't be any more perfect because a new chapter in both our lives was unfurling, and by breaking up with me, he was telling the world he wanted a fresh start - one that didn't include me. I couldn't blame him. The relationship had become toxic. It had become possessively unhealthy and it had grown stale and negative. We weren't growing.

Of course, I couldn't see that then. I did everything wrong after he broke up with me. I told his friends at the Ateneo to talk to him and to ask him to take me back. One friend, months after, told me he thought I was crazy. I also reread the letters he wrote to me. I refused to eat, and I listened to Silverchair's Miss You Love and Smashing Pumpkins' Landslide over and over again.

I drunk-dialed him, pleaded with him, begged him. I did so once in the rain, for cinema-quality melancholia, but to no avail. I didn't know I was being pathetic. I also serial dated, which means that, not only was I being self-destructive, I was toying with other people's feelings along the way.

I cannot anymore remember how I recovered and got out of that funk, because it happened without me fully realizing it. I just found myself remembering him less and less every day, when before - when the wound was still fresh -, just the sight of a bright red Honda Civic VTec drove me into crying hysterics.

When I realized I was over him, I felt... at peace. I was so happy. I felt freed. We didn't get our fairy tale ending, but we had a pretty good story. It was a story that led me to a better, and a new and improved, version of me. I became someone who was ready to welcome someone like my husband into my life. Now that's another great story to tell too.

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