I didn't like him. He was an officemate that I had worked with a couple of times on late-night projects. The years passed and he moved to another country for work. I saw him in the newsfeed of my Facebook. That's how I was updated about him, because he posted regularly. But he was an acquaintance, much like all the former officemates of ours who have either remained in the old company or moved on to different ones.

It was a chance encounter on a street where I was standing, a little lost and looking for a coffee shop nearby, when a car stopped by--and he stepped out. It was like I had seen a ghost. I didn't know he was back.

He was a breath of fresh air in the stale environment I was standing at. I asked him if he knew of a coffee shop nearby and he pointed me to one. Just as I was about to go my way, he said, "What the heck, I'll join you."

One coffee led to another. The hours passed and so did the days. I didn't tell him that I was in a relationship, because he didn't ask. I wasn't sure if his preference was the same as mine, although every time I saw him, my heart beat fast and I knew that we were not just two friends talking. We carried our conversation from coffee shops to smartphones to Facebook messages. And it was such a good feeling to have someone listen to you--actually listen to you like they were interested in what you were about to say.

He kissed me one time when he dropped me off and that was when I knew that I had crossed a line I had never meant to cross. I was with someone already. We've been together for two years, not stronger--just there. A relationship where only the embers remain. He made me feel alive again in a way that I wanted to feel alive. And that was the source of conflict in my heart.

Because I wanted that to be you. I wanted you to be the one to make me feel that way. But instead, you were caught up in your own little world, your head in the clouds, and wrapped up in endless soliloquies. I wanted you to be around, not thinking about something else or distracted by something else when you're with me. You used to care about the things I said. You used to ask me how my day went. But now, you have placed a barrier between us, a wall that I could not break in. I tried, every day, to bring back the love we used to have. But I could feel how mechanical you were with me, how bored, like I was your favorite childhood book that you had outgrown. Even the way we made love felt forced, doing the same things over and over again or not doing them at all. Months could go by without us touching each other. When I would kiss you, you would kiss back then move your face away from mine, your eyes looking everywhere as if you wanted to be anywhere but with me.

I asked you one Saturday to meet me at the mall so we could watch a movie together. I was with him earlier at lunch, which extended well into the afternoon that I was late in meeting you. I wanted you to see me with him. I wanted you to say something, feel something. Even if it's not love, at least I got you to feel something for me again.

Instead, one day, I woke up and texted you. I waited and called. Nothing. Night came and the cock crowed, but I never heard back from you again. What happened to us? When did we stop caring for each other? We got so used to each other, we had taken us for granted.

I went into your apartment and I saw toys strewn on the floor. Your cousin and her daughter must have visited you.

I sat on a chair and asked, "What happened?" I stopped the tremor I felt in my throat, because I didn't want to be the first one to cry. You walked around and wound up a wind-up toy and let it loose on the floor. I wanted to punch you, punch you into feeling something, pound your heart to see if it was still beating. But I stopped myself. I still love you, despite how far apart we had become. I wanted to save us. I didn't want our love to die from ennui and indifference.

"Answer me," I asked. I picked up the wind-up toy and muffled its sound, placing it on the table. I wanted to incite something from you, to provoke you into unleashing what you wanted to say. Rain me down with your anger, your poison, and your toxin.

"I fell out of love," you said, your arms hung limp, your shoulders slouched, as if what you said was nothing at all.

It shook me and broke my heart into a little million pieces. Because I still love you. And I had imagined a long life with you, no matter how messy it would get. And there you were, standing with a bored gaze on the floor telling me that you fell out of us. I felt every part of me tremble. It was like my insides had been turned upside down and my heart had been beaten to a pulp.

"You're ending it because you fell out of love?" I asked. I could feel the anger in my voice. The same anger I wanted you to feel, if only to know that somewhere inside you was a heart that still cared for me.

You walked around pacing the room, and picked up the toys one after the other--a train, a large car, dolls--without saying another word to me.

"I'm sorry," I said. I was fighting my tears from overcoming me.

You moved towards me and I thought you were going to do something--anything. I held your hand and said, "I love you." I wanted to hear that from you, too. It had been a long time--a very long time since you had said that to me and felt like you meant it. Instead, you picked up the wind-up toy.

I grabbed your hand, because I wanted you to see me--really see me and not just a misty presence that had become irrelevant to you. The toy flew from your hand and crashed to ground. You rushed towards it and said, "Look what you've done." You gave me the same stare when you were mad at me.

Finally, some emotions from you. I hugged you, even if you did not hug me back.

This is a companion piece to the previous post. Likewise, a fiction told from the perspective of the other guy. It is up to the reader to decide where their loyalties lie. :)


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