I have been into a lot of relationships- romantic relationships that is. Some of them were really serious and some were, let me just say, got me through my ‘dry’ days.
I was generally happy in all of these relationships and most of them ended in a ‘good’ way. Meaning we ended up as friends, and we still keep in touch. All breakups are ugly in some way but I have managed to end mine where there was little pain involved to both parties.
In all these relationships, although none of them were the same, I somehow see a formula of how it goes: you meet, fall in love, then commit, something goes wrong, and you break up, get hurt and move on. I am not trying to make it sound simple. But think of it as a high overview of the mechanics of relationships.
But I get stumped when it comes to the ‘relationship radicals.’ The ‘what-ifs,’ the ‘grey areas,’ ‘the ones who got away’ and, the sum of all these: ‘the question marks.’
Love, as many have so succinctly put it, is complicated stuff. And I got the front row, both an active participant and a captive audience.
So let’s do away with my ‘normal’ relationships and talk about the three great question marks of my life.
Front and center, from stage right, is question mark number one. Let’s call him Cain.
Cain was love, er, infatuation at first sight. He reminded me so much of my ex that it came to a point that I thought he WAS my ex who possessed Cain and came back to make the wrong things right. Cue romantic movie theme.
I was hooked. Infatuation turned into love, love into lust and eventually heartbreak and all of these happened without him knowing. It was all me. All he knew was that we were really close friends and at that time, I never had the balls to tell him that I actually see him more than a friend and I wanted us to be something more.
So this is where you see my greatest flaw: I am, deep inside, chicken shit. When it comes to the vague guys that I am into, I couldn’t muster the courage to tell them that I like them. I just play these fantasies in my head and inevitably, since there is really no concrete romantic relationship, I end up heartbroken, without him knowing. Sad, I know. But I’m a masochist, I like pain. And I like getting hurt. Again, one of my character flaws.
So it went on like that for a couple of months, I was young then and the prospect of being rejected wasn’t all that appealing. So I just admired him from a distance.
Let me tell you something about Cain, he’s really charming and when you’re alone with him, it’s like it’s just you and him, and everything else fades in the background. And I’m not exaggerating, when he talks to you, his whole attention is on you. That’s one of the reasons why I fell for him. Out of all the questions marks I’ve had, Cain was, and still is, the most special.
Then life got in the way, we lost touch and I have moved on, and I thought that it was just that, a crush.
But life has a funny way of complicating things.
Three years and a handful of boyfriends later, Cain came back into my life. He made his presence felt and feelings came rushing back. I went down the rabbit hole again.
Funny thing is, it was like the years never happened and we were never really were apart. We picked up where we left off. And since I was single, I was assuming that he would be the next one.
But if that were true, I wouldn’t be writing this, would I?
This time, I made sure that he knew how I felt about him. I was older and braver, and I have faced rejection before, so it wouldn’t be a big deal if he doesn’t feel the same way. But deep inside I was seriously hoping that what we have can be taken to another level.
Unfortunately, he said that I was just like a brother to him. That broke my heart, but at least he knew that I was in love with him. And you know what? After he broke my heart, we became closer. It was like being in a relationship without the label and the sex.
So we had this ‘something’ and at time, I was contented with that. That was all he could offer me and that was enough.
It went on for a couple of months, we had ‘non-dates’, we were semi-exclusive but we were never in a relationship. There was a kiss of course, but I blame the alcohol for that. And like any other question mark, we didn’t talk about it. It would be awkward, but it left me more puzzled about what we really had.
Eventually, he had to go out of the country, we lost touch, and looking back, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
He’s one of the greatest ‘what-ifs’ of my life and for now, I think I’m okay with that.
i walk on water
in a world made of tears
i hold my hands up
catching the sunlight in my palms
i walk on shattered glass
on a bloody hill
the wind, vampires on my neck
moonshine and starlight
in my night sky
i walk on water
and the world turns to night
but i do not sleep
i step on the sea’s foamy shore
the sand, cold to the touch
like my heart, strung on my chest
like a pendant
crushed like a flower
scattered like ashes
spread on water
in a world made of tears
deep in the secrets of my soul
i am lonely
languishing beneath the mask i wear
i tread in the road of despair
half hoping and pining for you
whoever you are
i hear my heart beat
amidst the noise the world makes
i let my mind travel
to a place where i am alone in my thoughts
although i know not why
and when i return
i am alone.
tattered and yellowed
cobwebbed and worn
cracked and beaten
the pages heavy with thoughts
i pry the book open, gingerly as i go
and then i am taken back
to a place where visions are cast
and my world used to be yours
with limitless hope, i write without fear
my future, our future
letter upon letter, word upon word, sentences on sentences
the blank pages became my canvass
to a masterpiece we once created, we once shared
written on eternal sunshine
read with the light of the moon
i touch the old and cracked page
and all the tales and all the stories
surround me like wisps of smoke
and then i breathe
the memory fades
the pages fall to the ground like ashes
the story ends and the book is closed
as i walk the streets tonight
i bid goodbye to summer
as i feel the cold wind’s kiss
and i look up
at the windows in the night
the lights, almost dancing but still as a lamp post
i walk further
windows, like eyes, stare at me
smiles and i smile back
the shadows moving inside, warm and inviting
a hand reaches out
i flinch slightly
your touch, like coals draw me in
i come to your window
my breath frosted the glass
and you move farther
and i keep on walking
the windows, still smiling in the night
and so it rained this morning
the drops hugging the window
the wind, cold like a deep sigh of sorrow
my cheek, pressed against the glass
looking out, thinking our what was once was
fleeting like the morning dew
my hands grasping at the memories of you
vanishing the cold, unforgiving air
til there was none left but my lonely stare
my body slightly shivers and i hug myself
for there is no one else but me, in this dark gloomy morning
i linger, hoping the sadness dissipates
like the summer rain
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