Love

(The second of three parts)

"I thought I understood it, that I could grasp it, but I didn't. Not really. Only the smudgeness of it, the pink-slippered, all-containered, semi-precious eagerness of it. I didn't realize it would sometimes be more than whole, that the wholeness was a rather luxurious idea. Because it's the halves that halve you in half. I didn't know, don't know, about the in-between bits. The gory bits of you and the gory bits of me." (Like Crazy, 2011)

I had stood for awhile, unmoving, surveying the landscape that is the pink world. I had trouble reconciling myself with the world. Many times I felt I was someone who could inhabit two places without belonging to any one. There was the straight world and there was the gay world. I could slip into both and still feel like an outsider.

My idea of love and relationship was traditional and I had tried to look for the same in this unconventional world. It's normal, an ex told me, as a way of washing his hands, about dating others while in a relationship, infidelities and the so-called open relationships. Go out there and see for yourself. He told me again, urging me to stop being so naive.

It seemed that the idea I wanted for myself was a myth. Something that everyone talks about, aspires for, but never really attains, because it's so damn hard. Many times I had thought of packing up and living the straight life, but I realized how much of a folly that was. That down the road, it would prove disastrous not just for myself but for the lives and loves I've dragged with me.

I knew the relationship that I wanted. I knew the love that I could give, but I found it hard to commit. I had a lot of reservations and fears from previous experiences. I had a lot of doubts and insecurities.

It came from finding out you've been betrayed and cheated on. I found it hard to trust again. To shield myself from any hurt that comes with trusting someone, I kept everyone at an arm's length. I was non-committal in every way. I drove people out, discouraged them, told them to look elsewhere--because eventually they will. I didn't fight for anything nor for anyone. I didn't care if I went out with someone who was going out with other people, too. We weren't in a relationship so those things didn't matter. I didn't push for love to happen, I pushed it away.

Because I thought the love I had in mind was an impossible thing. Because I thought my ex was right. And so I stood my ground and it was hard to move me from where I was. I wasn't looking for kilig moments. I wasn't looking for an anecdote to post somewhere where everyone will go awww. I was looking for a love that came with a plan on how the ever after would be. I wanted the fairy tale, not the fairy. Not the blinding fairy dust that would disappear afterwards.

I wanted the through-thick-and-thin, the in-sickness-and-in-health, for-richer-or-richest kind of love. The one that had to go through breakfast, lunch and dinner together for 365 days a year. Not simply the kind of love that lasts when it's all good, but disappears during the dark and tough times.

It was hard to say how it happened. How it went from one to the other. But I knew the exact moment when I felt like he was different. That despite how non-committal I've been and how I've tried to push him away, he still remained there, waiting and being true. I had a lot of apprehensions, because I didn't want to start something far away. I didn't want to start a relationship that was all words and promises with none of the action that could validate those statements.

I could wax poetic about how I felt and what love is, but without anything to show for it they would come off empty and hollow. What do I know about love, I thought. Me with two unsuccessful relationships under my belt, how could I make a long-distance one work when the nearer ones have failed? I gave myself time to think about it. To waft through my feelings, so to speak, so that I may be clear about it. Not just with how I felt, but with how I would have to go about it.

There has to be a change, a shift. I didn't want it to be all sweet nothings and words. I wanted to make some memories for us, a foundation to keep it strong and a plan to keep it moving forward. I have a clear idea of what I want in a relationship and he swept me away because he has the same idea, too.


"And all my stumbling phrases never amounted to anything worth this feeling.
All this heaven, never could describe such a feeling as I'm having.
Words were never so useful, 
So I was screaming out a language that I never knew existed before."
(All This And Heaven Too, Florence + The Machine)

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