The First Cut is the Deepest

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
It’s been 5 months since I had my very first heartbreak. I am trying to gauge where I am at this “moving on” period. Apparently, I am not sure where I'm at in spite of the hundreds of articles that I have read online to help me feel better and the “unrequited love” audio hypnosis clip that I played on certain nights when I’m feeling lonely. Well, at least I’ve tried.

So, before I go on and try to re-assess my situation, let me give you an account of what went down in this roller-coaster ride of falling in-love and getting sidelined story of mine.

Submitted: February 24, 2019

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Submitted: February 24, 2019

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It’s been 5 months since I had my very first heartbreak. I am trying to gauge where I am in this “moving on” period. Apparently, I am not sure where I am at in spite of the hundreds of articles that I have read online to help me feel better and the “unrequited love” audio hypnosis clip that I played on certain nights when I’m feeling lonely. Well, at least I’ve tried.

Before I go on and try to re-assess my situation, let me give you an account of what went down in this roller-coaster ride of falling in-love and getting sidelined story of mine.

It started sometime in the winter of 2017, around September when I was just moving out from my rental place to my newly-purchased apartment. I meet this guy through a popular dating app which starts with G and ends with r. I know you know what it is. I’ve met a few people through this app and I can fully support the bad rap that it receives. It’s really not the best place for hopeless romantics like myself, but well, you know I’ve learnt my lesson with some nuggets of reflections to go with it as well. However, back to this guy, let’s call him Jeff, was somewhat different. Jeff seemed to be looking for a serious relationship and in fact, he asked me to meet up first, not for a hook-up but for a chat. I agreed to meet him at a coffee shop right next to the Superstore where I used to work. I went there an hour early because I figured I could make some time to study and review for an upcoming FE exam. My mind was only 50% focused on the practice questions. I was really nervous as to how his first impressions of me would be.  

He is not your typical G****r guy. And me, fresh-off the boat, Asian immigrant who knows no one in the city’s gay community and has been an NBSB (no BF since birth) was over the moon excited about this meeting. His profile said he was 38 years old and stood 6’ and something. He was honest, I thought, when I saw him face-to-face. I was not attracted to him physically at first but I was enthralled by how he carried our conversation and the fact that he is an auto mechanic. A trade I do not know much about but really wanted to learn more of. To me, at that time, everything seemed to be falling into the right place: a good career, a new house, and possibly a new love-life. One can certainly have it all, me-thinks back then. We decided to hang-out again. This time, to see a movie, as I have suggested which he happily agreed because apparently, he was a big movie buff too.

We watched “Coco,” an emotional cartoon movie about family and traditions specifically about the Mexican Day of the Dead celebrations. We both enjoyed it. Later that night when I arrived back home, Jeff sent me a text and asked how I see this new relationship going. My naïve self from back then, replied that I see us seeing each other more often and possibly be partners. In the subtlest of way, and I’m not quoting (I erased his messages and his number from my phone, a few screenshots remained for my drama’s sake), he replied that he just came out of a relationship and wanted nothing but to be friends. He said he didn’t want me to be a rebound. He still wanted to see me though. So there, no confirmation – which actually absolved him from any accountability of getting my hopes up during the process and turning me cold if ever he found someone else. Oh, the foreboding! It was certainly a hint that I brushed off quite so easily. The inexperienced me thought it was natural for people who have just broken up to be warier and cautious in their new quests. 

This meet-ups and movie hang-out sessions went on for the next few months. Most of the time, I spent my weekends at his place to cuddle and sleep in. Occasionally, we went to restaurants and enjoyed cozy dinners. I knew later that he was seeing someone else too. Not that he told me upfront but I can sense. He was never forthcoming. This is someone he must have met from the app while he was in Vancouver - a “friend” as he always refers to during our conversations. A casual reference to someone that I never really paid enough attention. I was too caught in our own moments. And yet, the inevitable happened. I fell in love with Jeff. I never knew when or how but I certainly know it was real. I fell in love not because of how he looks but how he made me feel when we’re together. I felt secured when I’m with him. It felt like I can be myself. I like the feeling of him holding my hands while he was driving the car. I remembered singing in his bathroom and felt so content. My heart fluttered and it felt full then. I have loved him for his being kind and thoughtful – not just for our cuddles or how he was physically different from me.

There had been instances though that my subconscious mind was trying to halt myself from getting more drawn to him. There were signs that he’s soon going to break my heart. First, I have always thought that the right one for me will someday bring me to the Calgary Stampede. He never did. He brought the Vancouver guy to attend a concert during the first weekend of the funfair. I felt jealous but I disregarded it. Do I have the right? No, not really. Second, I must have mentioned several times to him that I wanted to go to Edmonton. I was trying to insinuate that I wanted us to go on a trip there. It never happened. He went there with the said guy. The day before their trip, I went to his workplace to have my car serviced. I looked into his eyes and it felt strange. It almost felt like he never wanted me there, he was distant, almost cold. That must have been my clue.

I did try to talk to him about my feelings and settle our score. But, I kept waiting for him because of that text he sent me about him not wanting me to be a rebound. I waited for him to tell me that he was ready and willing to start a new relationship with me. I waited in vain. Instead, one night on our way to the movies while dining, he told me he is currently in a relationship. He just got a new boyfriend. But still hoped that we remain friends. My mind went blank. It felt like my head was swirling, my heart skipped a beat and all I heard were murmurs, like I’m in vacuum. I can’t imagine where I took the strength. I did carry myself like I was unaffected. I cried while we’re in the movies though. I’m not sure if he noticed but I heard myself freeing soft little sobs. We said our goodbyes and I have no idea how I managed to drive home safely.

It was a Saturday and I have to do a 3-hour drive back to work the next day. I was awake all night. So, this is actually how it felt like being heartbroken, I thought. I must have cried a bucket. I never stopped crying and sobbing on that weekend. It was terrible. I felt unwanted and rejected. Even when I was driving, the tears constantly streamed down from my eyes. The car music was almost in full blast with the intention of drowning my thoughts to oblivion. It never helped. Who Is Fancy’s Goodbye and Shawn Mendes’ Stitches blared in the background. My sobs went to full-on crying. The pain was truly unbearable. You see, it was my very first experience to actually fall in love and only ended up feeling royally dejected. I safely arrived. Another miracle.

On the first day of the workweek, I composed a letter and sent a screenshot of it to his phone. I couldn’t contain it anymore. I was ready to explode if I won’t let him know about my feelings. So here it went:

Dear Jeff,

First of all, I would have to apologize for this long embarrassing letter. I was never really good with words especially with what is probably my third language.

Remember we watched that teeny corny movie ‘To All the Boys I Loved Before?’ Well, I thought to myself that it was such a crappy thing to write to your crushes with their addresses on it. Pour your heart out on a piece of paper, for what? It was simply incredulous for me. But you know what they say about karma. Now I learn that we have different coping mechanisms to deal with certain things be it an excruciating pain or an overwhelming joy. That is why, I also have this request. Please save me the dignity to keep this letter for your eyes only. Some people may find me weird or absurd even. That, I’d really appreciate.

It’s the first day of the workweek and my mom’s birthday. Yet, here I am absent-mindedly scrolling down folders on my computer’s ‘My Documents’ page. The screen suddenly blurred and I can’t help but scrub the sides of both my eyes with the back of my hands. Apparently, my tears continued flowing like I have never cried like this before. I couldn’t even care less what my co-worker thinks of me from the other side of the glass window. Boy, I am such a productive salaried worker but I hope the curtain blinds does its job well. The last time I cried like this was when my mom and I got into some crazy mind-gamey silent war, and that was ages ago. But today, it’s different. I can almost hear the thumping of my heart against my chest. It’s like being squeezed from within and it wanted to break loose. If that actually even makes sense. I used to wonder how it feels being heartbroken – not the same kind of loneliness when my dad passed away but a romantic-induced kind of brokenness – and if the actors in those rom-coms I love watching are really doing a good job in portraying it. Well, now, I know. I have my taste of sorrow. And its unfortunately bitter like how those tear-jerky movies suggest it would.

You broke your news over dinner before we hit the cinema. We are on a restaurant bar by the mall especially picked by me because you don’t like seafood although I was dying to go eat at Red Lobster. I was casually looking at the menu when I heard you said ‘I have a news for you’. I looked into your eyes and there was some glimmer of uneasiness matched with an almost tentatively wry smile. I know this moment will come. You will break my heart. And you did. You said you are now in a relationship. I quickly took my eyes away and look straight into the TV monitor right across from the bar table where we’re at almost immediately as when you open your mouth to say those words. I half heard myself mouthing a series of ‘yeah-yeahs’ when you said ‘no more naked cuddles, I hope we can still be friends.’ It is such a wonder how I remain composed and continued to carry on with our conversation. I never asked who he was or what he does. I know he is the guy you met in Vancouver, probably around the same time as you met me. I never asked about how you fell in love with him nor asked about how he is better than me. Instead, I talked about baseball game, the major league, the CFL and how I am into badminton but could not bring the life out of me to understand how other sports work. I tried to talk about something else but my brain is working overtime.

Too many questions I couldn’t even begin to utter: Why not choose me? Why him? Did I come across materialistic and too high maintenance to you because I like buying overpriced shoes? Were you turned off by my incessant requests for you to drive me around whenever I come down to your place on weekends? Was my accent terrible and sometimes you have to double-ask what I was saying? Am I too immature for you? How I stayed focus on watching the movie was still a mystery. I knew I cried in the cinema. But you know for sure the reason is more than that of Jennifer Garner’s family being murdered in the movie. You were munching on your fingernails again that time. You still looked cute but I kept myself focused. I don’t think I have the right to act sweet to you anymore and pull your hands away like I used to do.

There are just too many questions that will remain perhaps unanswered. At least for now. I just don’t have the courage to ask you these in person. Why would I even have to ask anyway? You were clear from the start, you only wanted friendship. You came from a recent relationship and you don’t want me as a rebound. And yet, you’re okay with cuddling me naked every night I slept over at your house. Now, how do I move on from something that wasn’t even there to begin with? There was never an ‘us’. It was only me who thought I was special because you made me feel like I was. I really thought we had fun and you’ll soon consider me as a future partner. I thought you liked me. I thought wrong. You didn’t choose me. You picked the guy from Vancouver even if that means you’ll have a long-distance relationship with him when in fact I remember you saying you can’t deal with someone miles away from you anymore. That is clearly a statement. I am here. Closer to you than he is. But you choose him.

I wanted to give a good fight for you. I wanted to tell you I am a good guy. I am educated, loving, sweet, thoughtful, hard-working – complementary to who you are, strong, caring and kind. I can help you with your projects. I can drive next time we go out together. I can be your best friend too. But I also wish I could tell you how much of a jerk you are for leading me on – for letting me feel I was special. That’s the hopeless romantic in me talking, sorry. I guess I showed you who I am way too comfortably and too openly that you didn’t find me partner material. I kept my hopes up. I shoot for your heart but I barely even touched it. I wish I could tell you that in those brief moments we were hanging out together I have fallen in love with you.

Well, there’s always a first time. I have loved you first. My first time to fall in love really. But, now I don’t ask for you to love me back. I only ask that you’ll be happy with your choice. Thank you for everything. I will soon get over you, I promise. By then, you’ll see me again. Just give me time. I am a novice to this :)

I will remain as your friend. And yes, no more naked cuddles.

Always your friend,

*****

I know, it was on the verge dramatic and cliché, but who cares anyway. I felt what I feel. And he needed to know it. For my sanity’s sake.

Jeff sent me a reply thru text. This is what it read:

Hey ***** I just wanted to write to you and tell you that first and foremost I consider you to be a very good friend. I really hope that some day we can still be friends. I have really enjoyed our time together. When we met I was not looking for a relationship. And as our friendship grew I considered you more as a great friend. I didn’t realize that you were interested in me that way until we went to pride. I am so sorry that I hurt you. I feel absolutely terrible. The last thing I ever wanted to do was to hurt you. And none of the reasons that you listed in your letter are any reasons why I never asked you to date me. It was more that I never thought that was something that was in either of our minds… If I lead you on, I am truly sorry. I completely understand if you don’t want to hang out. I will respect what ever you decide. Just let me know what you want and I will do it… I am very happy I got a chance to get to know you. You will always have a friend in me.

Sincerely,

Jeff

 

I honestly don’t know what to feel. What did I expect his reply would be anyway? Did I hope he will change his mind and take me instead? Maybe. But I know it won’t happen. I don’t blame him. We are just not meant for each other.

I agreed to still see him and brave the possibility of feeling terrible again even by just talking to him. We did manage to see each other on a few occasions. One movie night and two dinners. He always texted me first. I felt like I have to keep my dignity by not sending him the first text. Our last meeting was a dinner four days before Christmas. He gave me cookies that he baked and a greeting card. It still hurt to see him. I still have that unexplainable feeling of pain deep inside me, like a punch directly to my gut and like my heart is being crushed.

New Year came and no text from him. To me it was a sign. I made a difficult decision. I throw away everything that will remind me of him. From now on, he will not see me again. I forced myself not to reply to his messages. No goodbyes, no explanations, nothing. It’s high time that I should apply the advices I’ve read from the net. It’s going to be a silent goodbye from what’s causing me the pain. If I am truly wanting to move on, I think the best way is to detach myself from what’s hurting me. And it is him.

So, if I am to assess myself in this moving-on period, honestly, I can’t really tell. He is still in my mind every single day. A little less each day maybe, still, a big progress since Day 1. However, I am certainly proud of what I have become because of this experience. I am proud that I have exposed myself out there to experience love and mustered the courage to go on even when I lost it. Right now, Jeff is just a lesson I’m learning and someday, he will merely be just a memory. Somebody that I used to know. And like the old adage says, time heal all wounds. I’ll let time do its wonders. One thing I know though is that I have to take charge. I deserve to carry on and be happy. Not at this very moment perhaps, but someday soon. 


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