I never thought I’d be writing anything for everyone to see, but I feel like sharing with someone, no matter how many – if any, really – strangers will be reading what I’ve been through. After all, it’s what were all here for, isn’t it, to anonymously share our stories with people we don’t know since we can’t tell them to those we wish to?
We met in the first day of school (10th grade), she was 16 and I was 18. We had no friends in common, had never seen each other before, and at the first glance at both of us, we were so different, nothing would ever happen.
The first things I remember noticing about her were that she had the cutest face, her mannerisms, her cheeks, the way her face would light up when she smiled, her lovely brown hair. The simplicity of her beauty.
Our first contact came a few days latter, when I asked for her notebook to answer a question that the teacher had made (because I didn’t take notes). The way she turned around to give it to me, the smile on her face… To this day I believe that was the moment I fell in love with her.
As the weeks passed by we grew closer, we stayed alone after classes, she had to kill some time and I simply couldn’t have enough of her.
Our friends noticed that we were getting closer, and started joking about it, mine particularly, about how she was younger than me, how we were nothing alike, and how the “little girl” liked me.
One day, and trust me – are you still reading? – I regret it so, so much, she confessed, she told me she liked me, that she had liked me for quite awhile. But I didn’t. I didn’t think it could work, I feared I would hurt her, she was so innocent, I could never. So with as much of a serious face as I could, I said: “I am sorry, Soraia, I like you so much, but I cannot see you as anything other than an younger sister.”
She said it was OK and we hugged. I remember thinking of what I had denied us both.
A couple of months went by and we kept being as close as we were, if anything, we were even closer, we kept on eating skittles together, sharing music, and everything else, she was probably the most shy girl that I’d ever seen, and being an extrovert myself, we had a good dynamic going.
One day I fell ill and had to stay home for two weeks, as I had surpassed the amount of missed classes I could miss for the year, I had to take exams to (I think) 4 disciplines, and I had a week to study for them all.
Well.. I knew that I failed three of them – don’t you judge me, I was never one to study, or pay attention in classes, really – and I was attending one of my last classes before being officially expelled from school when she made me cry like a baby. She gave me a letter, which I old dearly to this day, talking about how she would miss me, the difference I had made in her life, and such things. At our last after-class skittle-eating, music-earing session, I gave her one of my most precious possessions, a leather bracelet my grandma had given me years before, so she would remember me by, and made a promise: if I were to go buy clothes anytime soon, she’d come with me (sounds wierd, I know, it was a thing we had).
From the moment I met her to when I left school that day, roughly seven months had gone by, but it felt like so much more when it came to what I felt for her.
Days later, sitting at home, nothing to do, there was no one else I could think of. We kept talking, but it just wasn’t the same, I had to be with her. So, one day I texted her, ” wanna meet tomorrow? I need to buy a few clothes”, she said yes.
April 1st, 2010. Yeah… April 1st.
I was an hour late, she wasn’t mad. Really, I knew her so well already that I would know if she was. We hugged tightly, we were just happy to be together. We met some friends and spent some time with them, then we went our own way.
I had to tie my shoes, so I got on one knee, and looking up, staring into her eyes, the words jokingly came out of my mouth: “Will you marry me?” She laughed, said yes, and we gazed at each other. We sat – near a cemetery, for some reason -, still joking about what I had said.
After a while, I told her: “I am sorry, I lied to you. When you poured your heart out to me, I was afraid to tell you then, but I liked you, heck, I’ve liked you way before that.”
We kissed, finally.
And from that moment on, we were together.
We couldn’t have been happier. It took quite sometime, but even today I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s like everything had led us to that moment.
The following three years were, for the most part, like a dream come true, we shared every single moment of your lives, past and present. And I found myself doing something that I usually didn’t do, plans, plans for the future because now I had something to look for.
Fast-forward to our third year together.
Up until then we rarely had a fight, and when we did it would go away in a matter of minutes, we even took pride in that, saying nothing could ever get between us. “Always and forever”, we used to say.
Things were really working, I had a job, she had stayed in school and then got a job of her own. Which was around the time things started going bad for us. I was at a dead-end job, but I felt like it was better than no job at all, so I sat back, but she wouldn’t have it, she kept pushing (in a good way) for me to do better, finish my studies, get a better job, like she had done.
I don’t know how else to put it, other than: I was fine, had the woman I loved, was making enough money to get by, had quite some free time to do whatever I wanted. I was fine.
I was always a home person, she liked going out to parks, walking on the beach and things like that, and I was less than perfect in that department, we most of the times stayed home because I wanted to. I didn’t even take her home mostly by then, which was a 20 minute bus ride.
One day, she said that a guy who worked with her had asked for her cell phone number, which I was okay with, all I said was: be careful not to give him any wrong impressions, and that was it. Over the next few days she talked a little more about him each day. One time, she went earlier to work, and when I asked why, she told me:”Jorge (the guy) asked me to go earlier so we could have a coffee together”. And then I told her that he had feelings for her, but she kept saying that I was just being jealous.
Long story short, after nearly a year of that guy taking a toll in our relationship, among other things. She broke things off, saying she wasn’t feeling the same for me as she once did. And to this day, I don’t have a solid explanation as to why she left me, other than that.
I don’t think it is possible to put into words how it feels, that single moment in time when you can figuratively feel your heart break, to hear that the person you spent four years making life plans with, the person who you shared every detail of your life, is leaving you, that she doesn’t even love you anymore. Those few seconds when you know that your life is about to change.
A few months later, we went to get a coffee, to catch up. When we were in the car, going home, she turned to me, her eyes already watered.
“I need to tell you something. You were right, he did like me back then. I found that out way too late. I am sorry.”
Her expression… It’s engraved in my memory to this day.
When we arrived, before getting out of the car, knowing I wouldn’t hear from her as much, that our lives would, from that moment on, go their separate ways, I sat back on that seat and I talked to myself:
“Tell her! Tell her it isn’t too late for the two of you! How you’ve been crying yourself to sleep most nights for the past months, how you miss the touch of her skin, the smell of her hair, hearing her voice before you fall asleep and right after waking up, how smart she is and how challenging it is to keep up! That you can make it work again! That your plans, they might still come true. It was supposed to be ” always and forever “. Please. Tell. Her.”
I didn’t have enough in me to hear a no.
The funny thing is: I don’t even blame her. If I had been a better boyfriend to her, if I had cherished the amazing, beautiful, one of a kind woman, the absolute force of the nature in the most precious body, that she is.
Had I appreciated what I had, when I had it…
Who knows? Maybe something else would have happened, but I would know that I at least tried, instead of watching as it all crumbled, without even realizing it before it was too late.
Few are the days when I don’t look back, when I don’t miss what we had and I wonder what could have been.
It’s been two years, three months and five days now since that Saturday afternoon, I haven’t felt whole ever since, I don’t think I ever will.