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.