Note: The names are changed. (Still undone)
Last night, when Sarah and I were reflecting about our lives, a realization hit me.
It was 2am. We were talking about a lot of things. We were pondering on every stupid thing we did and were about to do, when we started discussing the consequences of confessions.
She had planned to confess to Peter the following week. Her feelings have become toxic to her. She overthinks and overanalyzes everything nonstop, and it’s becoming destructive. She never tires of creating conclusions based on far-fetched assumptions and incomplete information, despite realizing it’s to her own detriment. She needed answers. And she bothers Beth and I a lot. Way, way, lot.
But the thing is, what we have were merely conjectures like her own. We don’t know Peter the way she does. And Peter alone has the answers she’s looking for. Does he feel the same? He probably has a clue, right? Why is he awkward? Why did he ignore me that day? He thinks I’m being stupid, right? Maybe he doesn’t even care? But why won’t he talk to me? God, you go add to the sequence. It’s the same stupid questions you’ve probably thought of or came across yourself. I’m guessing it’s driving her insane because her feelings felt too foreign, and it’s overwhelming her.
Beth and I advised her to confess already because that’s the only step she has to move forward. Her world has stopped. She couldn’t study, she couldn’t do anything because he fills up her mind. (Oh, how familiar. Overly at that) She would argue that it’s too early, that she’s not even sure about how she feels yet, and Peter might think she’s ridiculous. Trust me. There’s no talking her out of this. It’s gotten exhausting, actually. Calming and consoling her can get pretty tiring. We always had to rationalize things for her, as if everything always has to make sense. Every tiny detail about that night when she developed feelings for him, I got completely covered. We’ve basically dissected every word uttered and every movement made then. I can seriously write a novel about that one night, basically a shit ton of overanalysis of gestures and semantics, and details distorted due to heavy overthinking. I don’t even know why I carry this burden. Humans call this friendship.
Anyway, while on our beds, we were contemplating about the implications of whatever response he’d give her. The other day, she told me that Peter might accept her feelings thinking that she’d be a “waste”. She’s got a point—of course, under the assumption that Peter never got a confession before. After a couple more exchanges, I concluded that whether he returns her feelings or not, she’s damned either way. She’s still going to dissect whichever response he gives her. Although she could be right about the ‘waste’ part.
Because it’s how it is for most people, right?
When you find out someone out there sees you the same way you see someone you like, it makes us happy. It is elating and fulfilling. You’d think you were doing something right. You were doing something beautiful. It makes us even more happy when that person gathers up the courage to confess, because not everyone has the guts to do that.
But sometimes, how we respond to those feelings can render us selfish. We liked it. We liked the thought of someone being invested in us. We liked the thought of being important, of being the center of someone’s universe. Some of them even put us on a pedestal. And sometimes, though indirectly, or unintentionally, we end up giving them false hopes. We make them wait. We take advantage of their vulnerability.
They are left hanging, suspended on the unknown—just so we don’t lose them. We knew it was selfish. We knew. But we don’t want to lose them.
Or more accurately, we don’t want to lose the beauty, the importance, or the wonderful things they attribute to us. We don’t want to lose that feeling of being special. It’s understandable.
We circled around that topic when my confession to George crossed my mind. To be honest, I have moved on and forward — suffice it to say that since that day, I have become better. But I’m not happy for him. In fact, sometimes I want him to regret not choosing me. All that for my ego, though. It’s not because I still have emotional investments.
And then I realized that whenever I think of him, or talk about him, all I remember was everything he was after the bad things occurred. That night, it dawned me that after the confession, I barely remembered the reasons why I liked him. I barely remembered the good things about him, or the memorable things he did and we did together.
Like how, randomly, he would text me just to tell me that the moon that night is stunningly beautiful. He knew how much I loved the moon. He knew how much invested I was in the stars.
Or when he was dismissed in class and instead of going straight to the tambayan, he would sit with me on the bridge strangely carrying a washtub. He would pester me, and I’d be just happy talking to him.
Or when he’d withdraw and ask me to tag along, and then we’ll walk around the oval debating on the philosophy of confessing. Little things. We talked about life a lot. We talked about a lot of things. We talked about everything, and it felt like a lifetime would not be enough to talk about the things we could. You do not meet a lot of people who you could naturally and intellectually share your sentiments about the world with. Just like what Celine said in Before Sunset, when we’re young we think we’d connect with many people—later in life we’d realize it only happens a few times.
And we could ruin it, you know. Misconnect.
I guess he was someone I really connected with. And misconnected.
I forgot how and what I actually felt for him after the confession.
Now, my feelings are raining on me.
Now, it dawned on me that I actually, immensely, profoundly, really liked him. For everything he was. For everything he had been.
But everything he did and everything he was after the confession blindsided me into thinking that he was simply a puzzle I preoccupied myself with because I was bored. That I did not like him—I was bored, I was just bored. And that I mistakenly—or subconsciously—chose to de-bore myself with a mere douche, a conceited jerk who’s completely naive of his own egotism and narcissism.
He was a douche.
But he was a douche along other things.
He was the person I liked, the person I admired, the person who made me happy. He was the person who once made every waking moment meaningful.
And the same was with everyone I decided to remove in my life. They were toxic along other things.
That night, I slept with tears wetting my pillow.
I slept wondering what it is that I have forgotten, what it is that memory has resurrected.
It was a feeling long forgotten, trapped in a memory buried deep in my insides, imprisoned, meant to be locked up for goodness knows how long.
Whatever it is, however, the fact remains that George is just a memory now, a small memory now relegated to the past. And it shall stay there.