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A Long Heartbroken Heart

06 February, 2008

I wished I hadn't meet him at university- we were still in matriculation and he was somewhat shy and quiet whenever we were around. That was twelve years ago- we entered the debate team together, lost tournaments, won some, and then he tried to profess his love to me but initially I turned him down. But it was only in our last two years at university and he switched to my major (and shared classes) that we started sharing many things such as our families, my insecurities, exam hang-ups, our first kiss.

He wasn't a good looking guy, even today, but he had a practical nature in contrast to my abstract look towards people. At one point, we somehow fell out and he stopped sending me flowers, notes on my car (and yet I kept pasting mine on his old car, which I loved- there are just so many memories there) and I just missed his presence. The infamous part was that he went out with a girl who's heritage could trace back to the Prophet's, and somewhat managed to wrangle his way out of university to enter a Masters programme. It was like an emotional race between me and him; there he was enjoying the intellectual debates at another prestigious university while I was hunching my shoulders around our old university, my face trying hard to mask the defeat that I felt, reading Greek and Roman histories and practically living in the library hiding from the world. I hated when the sun rose and had my dorm room (which luckily was vacant most of the time) darken with dark, maroon-coloured curtains and watching more of Harry Potter's magical world at my friend's room in the middle of the night when she fell asleep. I was in hell for months, driving endlessly far into the night around town, crying for wanting to stop to need him, to wanting the old times again.... but it never stopped, until I finally left my last class and my final year a semester late. Luckily, my mother understood her daughter's emotional and psychological needs, and I managed to enrol into a Masters programme at the same university.

By then, I was happy. I was away from my past, and never ended up at my convocation to pick up my scroll even though my lecturer tried to cajole me to find 'closure', as he termed it, within myself. Somewhere in the midst of the insanity, I managed to publish several anthologies of poems, pushing and putting my hurt and pain onto paper until I felt I could not push any further.

And then, one day, I received a call on my new cellphone number. Then I returned to call, to find out that it was HIM on the other end. I don't recall much what happened, except maybe to say 'Hi' and 'How are you?' and 'Sorry, got to go to work and catch class later.' I had given up on him then, but somehow he knew where my lectures were, so one evening I saw him parked his car next to mine, talking to my other classmates while I ignored him. I did not only pretended, my mind actually did not register him anymore. He came again and again until one year when I took leave from school to care for family matters and changed numbers. I then returned back to school, only to find my fingers touching the numbers to a government office that I knew and called HIM. He was surprised and asked for my new cellphone number. We finally met and he somehow looked so sad and held both of my hands and told me never, ever to leave him again. That was first the time I saw him did that.

We tried to make it work, or rather, I tried to make it work, in our ways, with work commitments and other sorts of adult matters which seemed to fill in. I was proposed twice while I met him, and when I told him, his face was just oblivious. I guessed he somehow sensed that I would always return to him, which pathetically, I do.

Being where he is now takes a lot of dedication and sacrifice. I understood that because I knew some of my old classmates who had joined the govt sector- they looked older than their real age. But his work required him to travel and post to another country for a few years. And that was he told him a couple of months back. I was speechless, leaving with the borrowed book in my hand, and the next day wandered into my office, gung-ho with my work and photocopying the pages that I needed. I also wrote a letter of never ever wanting to say goodbye to a friend whom I known for so long. For some stupid reason we still texted each other and one day he wrote a somewhat clumsy email. The rest is history. I picked him from his apartment, saying that there was no reason to stay together since he was to be posted away, and I wasn't willing to go with him, and that even though I wanted to be married to him it wasn't the right time because I wanted some financial freedom of my own. I want to built something of myself.

When I picked him up, he merely held my hand, and commented on my new car, making light conversations... and somewhere I lost it. I cried and broke down. I told him what my feelings were when he said he was leaving. He explained there was a possibility that he didn't need to be posted abroad, but when I countered back with his visions of advancing his studies abroad he turned to me and said that he wanted to share his life with me. And there it was I lost it again. Why didn't he tell me this before? Why didn't he tell me he wanted to discuss it further and make plans? But I knew since university years that he was a stutterer and slow to pick on these 'small' matters. And so I directed him on his first assignment- I wanted a hug, and secondly, I wanted something for Valentine's Day. And I wanted us to be as honest as possible.

I am taking it one day at a time. I don't fully trust him, but I'm willing to give one final chance. And if this doesn't work out, then it is final.

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