“A cold February night reminds me of you. It’s funny to think that most Februaries I had were humid as hell, but these two Februaries are an exception, not only because they were cold and longing, but because with both I had to let go, which directly leads to you…
Two years ago, in a cold February night, a past lover left my heart shattered to pieces, for reasons I do not know. Maybe we got lost in translation, maybe I asked for too much. Maybe it was my fault, maybe it was his. I was a crumpled up piece of paper when he left me.
That very night, I was in a verge of insanity. I gave up myself just to be with him. Looking at it now, the idea humors me. That night I cried, knowing that the one I love will never chase after me, begging that he was wrong and he still loves me. No, he’ll never return. I went to the park and the bridge where we always rendezvous, and as the crisp and cold air strikes my skin, I was longing for his touch and his affections.
I was bawling and crying my eyes out. I can’t help but to smile right now as I’m writing this because I must’ve looked like a desperate and crazy person (which is low key, I was at that night). I cried and cried until I felt my eyes and my body getting heavy. I went home.
Two days later, I returned back to that same spot. I wore the scarf that he gave me. I was no longer crying, but I felt like my heart weighs a million pounds. Still, I thought: “He’s probably over me, why should I drag the whole weight of this sorrow on my shoulders. I should move on already.”
I sighed. I did not know what to do, so I just sighed.
I was ready to go when I noticed someone looking at me. He was at the far end of the bridge, but I sensed like I knew him. His smile was vaguely familiar, but I know who he was.
I smiled and I mouthed him to come to me. He was a friend of mine long ago. It was so long that it seems that he was a different person, but his glinting eyes and his dashing smile gave me the hint that he was just the same ol’ friend I had. We chatted and talked about the past years when we were not in contact with each other.
I wanted to talk more, so we exchanged numbers. Since we were friends long ago, the cloud of awkwardness never came – I always felt comfortable with him.
Weeks passed and a lot was going on – but at least he was at my side. We texted and chatted and talked whenever we could.
But still, whenever he looks into my eyes, I know that he still see the hurt I still had…
A month later and he asked me to go to that very same bridge. We talked, but this time, we let our hearts talked for us; just the unadulterated feelings.
He looked into my eyes and I looked into his. I saw pity, and sadness. Maybe it was for me, maybe not. Maybe it was a fire in a war he never won. I never knew, because he never let his guard down. He took two pieces of paper and pens from his coat. He handed a pair to me.
“What’s this for?” I said.
“I can’t take your loneliness any longer. I know that you want to move on. You cannot move on if you keep dreading on something that will never come back. You keep blaming yourself for something that you never did, and that’s what hinders you. See that pen and paper I gave you? I want you to write every memory you had with him – bad, good, silly, sweet, romantic, whatever. It’s your choice. But be mindful, here’s the catch: whatever you’ve written in that paper, you have to forget about it, no matter how hard it is to forget.” He said.
I held back a sob. Sure, deep down inside, I was still expecting him to come back to me; but I had a realization: I wanted his comfort, his affections, his all, but in the end, the love? It was gone. To be honest, I knew that it was coming. The flame worn out, and we both knew that. I was just desperate for him. That was what I was: desperate.
He gave me a sly smile. Even though it was hard, I wrote all those memories. It was a bit confusing, but he also wrote down in his paper. I peeked, and I saw my name in his paper. I did not dare to read his, so I just focused on mine. This was my way out. This was my new door.
After writing, he held my hand. I felt his warm, sturdy hand into mine. “Now that you’re finished, I want you to form that paper into an airplane. When we launch our airplanes, we have to turn our backs as quickly as we could. We’re going to let these memories go. For good.”
I smiled, but this time, my smile was something quite unfamiliar. It was a smile of determination. We both formed the papers into airplanes, he occassionally peeking into mine and smiling.
“On three?” He said.
“Sure.” I replied.
Then we both let our paper airplanes fly into the warming air, turning our backs and never knowing where it went.”
“So now, I’m writing this for us, my love.
The year that we had was the year I truly felt loved. Because of you, I knew what it feels like to live. And to die. And to love.
It was the fastest year I had in my life. I wish I could extend it, but I can’t. The February that we had last year was the warmest that I’ve ever had: not harsh, but gentle.
I remember everything that we had like an old film. A glimpse of everything – everything that a lifespan of love and life could’ve been, all condensed in a year.
I’ll always remember that December. I was lying on top of you. I was caressing your name, saying it like a chant. Beads of tears in my eyes, I felt love and heartbroken at the same time, and I did not think that was possible. As the people dispersed, I held on the freshly put soil and grass on top of you. You were surrounded by your favorite flowers, the flowers I always brought to you everyday in the hospital. I had to face the music: you are gone.
I’ll always remember that June when you revealed your terminal illness. I couldn’t believe that the Fates were hitting me hard in the face with something I couldn’t bear. I cried and cried, but you calmly shushed me.
You made me accept my flaws. Then and there, I knew I accepted yours. I realized that this was the war that you’d never won: knowing and slowly dying this unevitable death. I promised to love you and take care of you on your remaining lifeline.
I’ll always remember the pain you went through. When you almost died in front of my eyes. When you almost did not wake up. But you always hold my hand and pretend that you were fine. You always smile, and your aura never changed: you were always happy and contented, but I also saw pain.
I remember the last week in your life. You said that I should move on. You said that you showed me how to live and love, and now without you, you urged me to move on and live my life. You said you always loved me, the moment we first met, way, way back.
And now, as I’m writing this in a piece of paper, in the bridge where I lost someone, but had met (again) my One True Love, I’m letting you go, as what you said in your final breath.”
I am alone here in the bridge. Clouds a bit sad, but also sunny, as if fitting itself from my emotions. I folded the paper I wrote into a paper airplane.
“Goodbye.” I muttered to myself.
I let it fly. I turned my back, which was the hardest thing I ever did.
“I let you go, I moved on, but you’ll always be in my heart.” I said to myself as I touch the Paper Airplane tattoo that was drawn over my chest, in my heart, the day after his funeral.
“I’ll never let you go.” I heaved finally as I walked into the unknown….
*Author’s note: Sorry for the long read. I hope you liked it. Credits to my babe TayTay (Taylor Swift) for some of her lyrics. I draw inspiration for writing this piece from her. Lovelots! Happy Heart’s Day! ❤ -thecrazednewyorker