“It is so hard to leave – until you leave. And then it is the easiest goddamned thing in the world.” – Paper Towns
In a month’s time, I will pack my bags, uproot my past 15 years, and move to a new country. It is terrifying. It is terrifyingly exciting.
I am not at all prepared for this change – I haven’t resigned from my current job; I haven’t bought that one-way ticket that would unfurl my future adventures; I haven’t even properly informed my family that I am leaving; I haven’t started to look for a new place to stay; and I haven’t started looking for a job that would prevent me from going homeless.
I guess I have been putting these things off due to fear. I fear that I might not be mature enough to figure things out; I fear that I might get too lonely in this foreign country; I fear that reality might prove me wrong for following my heart.
But I am going to step forward with my trembling feet anyway.
I read somewhere that if someone really cares about you, they would show it within 7 days once you stop talking to them. And here is the first 7 days of quitting you:
I remembered clearly how I promised I would be fine while having tears streaming down my face, and how I begged you to stay in my life until I slowly stop missing you. If I could choose, I would always soak the bandaid in water for a few days and let it come off by itself so that I could avoid the pain of ripping it off, but you left me with no choice. I was glad that you stomped on my heart and utterly shattered it so that I could rebuild it in the new year the way I want it.
You were still the first thing on my mind when I opened my eyes in the morning, but I was glad that I was no longer waiting for that texts that never came. I felt like a queen to be in control of my own destiny.
And then your postcard arrived from the post.
Sunday. I never liked Sundays.
It was a blur.
A sad song. A distant memory. I might have cried myself to sleep at some point. Or maybe it was the night before.
I felt the constant presence of the hole in my chest right where you used to be. I was in autopilot mode. You could have cut me with a knife and I wouldn’t have felt a thing.
Tonight would be the last night that I sleep with my phone under the pillows, hoping against hope that you would call in the early hours and confess how you have missed me in the past few days when we didn’t talk.
Maybe moving on is never about forgetting someone. It is about facing the truth that they are no longer here for you and you are OK with it.
09:30, New Year’s Eve – The air was filled with anticipation, I spent the whole day contemplating the best response when you wish me a happy new year.
21: 46, New Year’s Eve – I waited with the crowd for the fireworks, when they finally lit up the sky, my phone screen remained dark.
00:00, New Year – I watched the fireworks while listening to my best friend’s phone conversation with her boyfriend who happened to be 9,387 km away, 2,003 km farther away than you were.
00:31, New Year – I stayed hopeful that your text would come because you must have thought about me on this special occasion.
03:02, New Year – It was 06:02 in where you were. I guessed you must have passed out after a wild night, or was comfortably in bed with the girl you kissed when the fireworks started.
04:01, New Year – I was on my train home. A beautiful stranger asked me to wish his friend “happy new year”. I took over his phone, FaceTime showing someone under the Australian morning sun. I thought of you.
09:44, New Year – I woke up early despite the lack of sleep from last night. No text. No call. It was 12:44 your time, you must have thought about me by then. But you didn’t.
12:57, New Year – Your text finally came. A simple “Happy new year”. I racked my brains for a good reason why you only thought about me at 15:57 on the New Year Day. It wasn’t important anymore.
And I wished you a happy new year…but I couldn’t bring myself to send that text.
I am in love with your clear blue eyes that see the sunrise and sunset 3 hours ahead of me every day.
I am in love with your drunken laughters over the phone at 3 am in the morning, after you have stayed up all night drinking and only wanted to hear my voice when you stumbled home.
I am in love with your text messages that wait for me when I open my eyes each morning. They usually are the replies to my texts from the previous night, but they are a perfect way to start my day anyway.
I am in love with the joy you radiated over the phone when you received my post, and how you said no one had ever done anything like this for you.
I am in love with the pictures that you are tagged in on Facebook. They show me the story of yours that I don’t get to experience and I smile at the screen until the tears finally come.
I am in love with how you sometime forget to check in and after a few tormenting days, you waltz back with a silent “I miss you x” and all is forgiven.
I am in love with you, and you are in love with the world.
When we were kids, we relied on our mother’s reaction to determine whether an incident is good or bad. When we fell, we looked at our mother expectantly, so as to determine whether we should dust our knees and stand up or bawl our eyes out.
I half expected my heart to make an ear-splitting sound when it broke, and the world to grief for my loss. But the world keeps spinning, uninterrupted by my pain. So I should do what my younger self would do, get up, dust my knees and continue running.
I search yearningly in where feelings are supposed to be
This dense, dark mass of void staring hauntingly back at me