(Instead of writing about a boy for my Christmas letter, this is dedicated to a friend of mine. I knew I should have hugged you longer than I should yesterday, so here’s something that I hope will compensate.)
I’d usually begin this letter with thanking someone who made me feel special in one way or another, but for the past few months, even years, no boy has ever made me feel special or given the attention that I so rightly deserve, that we so rightly deserve. There is always pleasure sought in fantasy, but eventually the cold, hard truth wakes you up like a glass of ice water thrown into your face. And we, my friend, have to be constantly quenched with that harsh reality: that there is a difference that lies between fantasy and reality, and sadly, we have to deal with the latter every freaking day of our life.
People talk about breaking up all the time: the pain of waking up with only a shadow of their other half beside them, the number of times they’d call–hang up–call–hang up–call–hang up, drunkenly realizing that those moments they used to have are now just moments that they can’t hold onto for too long. Memories have some kind of infinity about them, but just like a flash of light, they disappear like that, and as much as you’d want to reminisce, that’s all you can ever do. Reminisce, not redo. Angrily slamming doors and tears in the middle of the night– all those shenanigans. But I don’t think they realize that there is an even worse kind of pain. The pain of loving someone who can never return it back, the pain of waiting for hours on end to call or text, to message you with a simple hello, how are you? What you would give to see his name flash on your phone screen. The pain of not having anyone at all, or not had. That the tense always used is no tense because nothing ever happened in the first place. The pain of loving a soul you’d wish would intertwine with yours.
That, my friend, is the kind of love we suffer. A love unreturned, a love unrequited. It’s the most cruel of its kind, like a sharp blade that stabs you from behind, the pain immeasurable. It’s a gradual kind of suffering because you’d be so caught up in the fantasy, you don’t know that everything opposite to what you are somehow seeing is happening, or rather not happening. Days, months of hoping that he’d finally realize you’re the One when you were never even a number to him, or a concept, or just you. And the tears we shed are wasted, but you can’t help but usurp that pain all by yourself, by ourselves. That all the words you wasted writing down in the hopes that he could read the words through your eyes. Wishing on stars are pretty hopeless if they’d fall on the other side of nowhere, and the flicker of light you once saw dissipates into the darkness.
So, I meant what I said that I knew how you felt. I know how it feels to be nonexistent in the eyes of the person I care so much about. I know how it feels to love so purely only to be tainted by his choice, or used to the highest degree because it’s an egotistical tag they carry about like medals or banners. I know that nonexistence > existed because at least on the other side of the equation, you weren’t strangers, you were one. I know the feeling of wasting away and feeling your heart numb from it shattering into pieces the day you opened yourself up, only to find out that he’d much rather forget about it. I know the feeling of forgetting, of not knowing, of loving too much. The number of hugs I could give you would be insurmountable to the degree of pain you’re feeling because it is a pain you can do nothing about, but wait for it to heal and be whole again.
The cold, hard truth is that this cycle goes on and on and for maybe quite a long time for some, a longer time for others. But in the spirit of Christmas, let me leave you with this. This cycle may be repetitive, but it is finite. At some point, this cycle of loving-unloved-loving-unloved will wilt, fade, and stop. And a new cycle begins. A cycle where you are finally loved for who you are, and not for who he hopes you to be. That he will love you for your words, your personality, your everything. That he will love you for just you, and not as a concept or an idea or anything. Someday, you’ll find it. Someday, we’ll find it in different people. But for now, carry your heart like a soldier and fight. It’s a tough field out there.