Before anything else, let me address a potential issue in this essay of mine: I KNEW I loved these guys I’m going to talk about. It’s not “maybe just infatuation” as some people might say. I get that I was still young then, but you know what they say about a youngster’s heart, right? It’s pure. It’s innocent. So when I had first put my heart out there, I had no idea how much it was going to hurt. All I knew was that I loved them, and neither had the heart to love me back.
The first one was Bryan.
He was a neighbor, a school mate, and a childhood friend. He transferred to our public elementary school when he was just a fourth grader and I was two years his junior. We became quite close when we shared the same carpool that sent us neighborhood kids to school. He was that boy who has so much to brag about and who unwittingly charmed his way to his diploma. Anyway, he graduated from school soon and I was left to wait until I passed the sixth grade.
Eventually, I felt missing his presence. Of course, I would meet him around the neighborhood; he’s a basketball player. Eventually, I became best friends with his girl cousin. I was a high school freshman then. This enabled me to be with him on some family occasions. His cousin knew I had a crush on him, so it was expected that Bryan would finally know about my feelings. But while everyone else was teasing us, he liked another neighborhood girl. He courted her. They became a pair.
How about me? Well, it was too late when I realized he was never going to like me back. I was too hurt to even admit my feelings to his face when the opportunity came. I sought comfort in my pillow and cried my eyes out. I couldn’t stand to face him anymore after he and his girlfriend became “neighborhood official”. And now? We’re not on speaking terms; not even a civil nod to acknowledge each other’s presence.
It took me three years before I had another serious crush in high school.
And then there was Dexter.
In a slumbook, I had written his name beside the question “who is your crush?” without actually meaning it. My classmates would tease me to him, but I was just faintly amused. It wasn’t until my best friend transferred to our school and became an item with Dexter that I discovered I missed getting teased to him.
I fell in love with Dexter, so to speak. He was charismatic and loyal to my best friend that I would often wish she knew how lucky she was to have him. And like a twist of fate, I became partners with Dexter for our prom’s cotillion. But what really made my heart burst into pieces was when he tried to jump off the balcony from the second floor because my best friend won’t talk to him. He was rushed to the clinic afterwards and I was left there in the quadrangle to practice the dance alone with the other pairs.
I felt hurt for Dexter; he didn’t deserve to be treated like a doormat. I was always singing “Kung Ako Na Lang Sana” by Bituin Escalante in my mind because I strongly felt that I could love him way much better than my best friend did.
Feeling depressed that they still got on after the incident, I tried to release all my emotions on the same night of the prom—when I got home, that is. I was hurting inside so badly seeing them locked in each other’s arms throughout the night. When my mom asked me about the prom upon coming home, I said it was fun but I was actually near tearing up. I went upstairs to my room and cried.
In both of my sad experiences, I learned that nothing compares to a love not being given back. You give it your best shot but for some reasons they can’t love you in return. I learned that what hurts the most is the fact that they can give as much love as you have given them, but only to someone else. They are incapable of loving you, but they would move heaven and earth for others. It’s unfair, yes. There’s no denying it. But you know what? An unrequited love makes you feel a little heroic. You risked, hoping you could win back your bet, but lost. How many people would do the same? Lose and still love again?
Bryan and Dexter now both have their respective families. As for me, I’m still single. And though I’d like to settle down soon, love still eludes me.
Just recently, I joined an online promo of the hit coming-of-age movie “I’m Drunk, I Love You” wherein it challenged people like me to confess publicly of their feelings for a special someone, and win a month’s worth of booze. I have yet to meet the “lucky guy” I confessed to in the flesh because I fell in love with him while we were co-writers for an online company. He replied though, congratulating me for saying it out loud. He was being nice and all, but I didn’t get a confirmation that he CAN like me back. His comment was obscure and noncommittal, hence I believe this is another heartbreak in the making.
Everything takes time, they say. So be it. But hey, if you’re single, let’s hang out and who knows, maybe we’ll save each other’s time while waiting—hopefully, not in vain.