Despite this complication—him liking the person that I am, him being surprised at the amount of effort I put in just to win him over, the comfort he feels in my presence, but him not seeing himself in a relationship with me—as I see the dust settling in, a part of me is in clash between praying that things could have been different and just giving it all up.
Meeting him was this: smelling the intoxicating scent of the morning dew, seeing the rare blossoming of the jasmine buds, seeing the brightest gleam of the sun after the rain, experiencing an intense euphoria atop the highest peak of the mountain as the sun breaks out of the cloud banks. It’s me tasting a wine I promised not to taste. A whole new experience I am willing to take.
Knowing him was writing a whole new set of rules that I have to familiarize by heart. It’s a new routine that is not necessary but needed—not because you are obliged to but because you want to. Opening up your life to someone is like jumping off of a cliff—you are never sure what to feel in that moment when it’s happening, all you know is that the waters are icy, but you do it anyway.
Loving him is watching the stars at night from different geographies—him east, me west. You are never at the same spot but the universe is in constant intervention by putting them stars and moon and the constellation in perfect tapestry for the both of you. Loving was the nervousness I felt during our first date and knowing I messed up when I didn’t pay for your caramel macchiato and promised to make it up. I knew that I love you during that one breakfast when you showed up when you could have said no; I watched you with wide-eye optimism, wonder and fascination as you finish eating your meal and then me walking you home.
But the complication was drawn somewhere there in between—somewhere between meeting you, knowing you and loving you this way. I have never given much thought about it until you said that friends are all we could be. I tried mapping where did I go wrong and what I could have done better. But it doesn’t matter now, I guess.
Looking at it now, I have no regrets or anger. I only have gratitude for those spared moments we shared. I value your honesty and the person you are. You allowed me to explore possibilities—ones that I never thought could be possible. I can’t really promise for us to be friends after this, but I still treasure you and the ‘almost-relationship’ feeling we had.