Two years ago, you came into my life, just when I thought and prepared myself to live solo for a lifetime. This was also the time when I felt that I was at a crossroads. I didn't know whether to stay in a job that didn't motivate me anymore or step out of my so-called comfort zone and find a real career in this brave new world.

At first, I thought you were just one of those random guys who had a habit of looking for someone to talk to by adding them up on social networking sites. However, I soon realized that your name sounded familiar. Memories from our high school days flooded my mind. We were not really good friends then; we were merely schoolmates. The only thing that connected us was that one organization called CAT, of which we were both a part of.

Me, as one of those bona fide officers who had undergone training the summer before, and you, as one of those students required to join it in lieu of our PE class during senior year. You were a popular basketball athelete, the kind the girls were always crazy about. But I also recalled that you had a girlfriend then.

But unexpectedly, thanks to the influence of that social networking site, we were reconnected again. We chatted, discussed things and memories of our high school life, and mostly about ourselves and our different points of view on love and relationships.

Our discussion, which lasted for almost a week, became more personal and intimate. I realized that my curiosity had taken a different turn. I was beginning to like you deeply, not just a friend, but more than that. Although you were dropping hints that you liked me on the same level as I liked you, there was apprehension on my part. I had no doubt that the connection we had wouldn't prosper when you saw me in person. Maybe because I was so insecure about the way I looked, but I thought you might not become attracted.

But sparks flew between us when our eyes met for the first time. And from then on, our connection deepened. We found ourselves in a relationship. In the three decades I lived, this was the answered prayer of my longing heart, a longing for someone to be by my side. And for the first time in my life, I was falling in love.

At first it didn’t bother me that there was a certain distance between us, for you worked and lived alone outside Metro Manila. We just kept communication lines open through text and call, and of course, through chat. We met every month where it was convenient for both of us and shared intimate moments to show how much we missed and loved each other.

It wasn't also a big deal for me in that we never talked seriously about the future, of getting married and having children, as well as the fact that we never met each other’s family. We were both busy establishing our own careers, although there were times that I thought that we should already be planning it. I kept telling myself to trust you and believe all your promises. I believed it when you said that there is a right time for everything and that we should just enjoy the moments we have together until they last.

But some good things never last, as the song goes. You encountered problems at work. I tried to support you in the very best way I could, but it didn’t work. Then you decided to quit your job and go home to stay with your parents. Despite your situation, we still met up and kept on sharing intimate moments as a proof of what I thought would be a lasting relationship to hold and keep on forever.

Until one day, all of the sudden, you decided to end it. You thought that our almost a year's relationship wasn't going to work anymore. You said that I don’t deserve you. And I was meant for another man, not you.

I felt like that something inside me died. I kept on crying and aching for that one lost love I thought I have already found in you.

However, I was filled with hope when your birthday arrived and I greeted you through text because you replied that you would like to see me again. But as we started talking through text, I felt that we both wanted different things. What you wanted in a relationship was not what I wanted to hear from you. That was when I decided not to meet up with you again. And I also decided to end our relationship permanently.

A month after that last talk, through a common friend, I saw pictures of you getting married to someone else. It was unexpected. And it still hurts me like hell. I felt like I was betrayed. While I am still wallowing in pain, waiting for the time I would be healed enough to move on and forget you and the hurt you have caused me, there you were, being with someone else and planning things in the future just few months after we broke up.

"Did you love me?" That was the last question I asked you. You answered me. "Yes, I did. But it had to end this way…"

After you said goodbye, I felt like I was in a limbo and I let myself go with the flow without thinking of what would happen next in my life.

But after few months, I realized that the world would not stop revolving just because of me. I'm not the first one to experience a broken heart. I'm also not the first one who felt betrayed by the one they loved.

Now, I have to pick up all the pieces of my life that was shattered. I should learn that not all the things we want are really meant for us. And everything happens for a reason.

Through the help and support of my friends, as well as my family, and the new career I have right now, I'm focused on building up myself again. Although as of this moment, I'm still struggling to regain the confidence I lost along the way, I do believe that I will become whole again. I will be strong again.

Even without you in my life.

Despite that heartache, I still believe in the power of true love. Being hurt doesn’t mean that love should should be avoided. As this quote tells us:

Everyone says love hurts, but that's not true. Loneliness hurts. Rejection hurts. Losing someone hurts. Envy hurts. Everyone gets these things confused with love. But in reality, love is the only things in this world that covers up all pain and makes someone feel wonderful again.”

With that, I still have strong faith that God has a better plan in my life. And someday, when the right time comes, there will be someone out there who's really meant to be with me—the one that will really love me.

*Minor edits have been made by the editors

- Diana San Jose Parahinog

PHOTO: Pixabay; GIFs: Giphy

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