Once There Was a Boy Who Took Too Many Photos of Me
Once, there was a boy who took too many photos of me. He thought I’m more wonderful than all sunsets put together and told me so every day for 12 years.
“You’re the best and happiest thing to happen to me,” he’d say.
We’re no longer together, that boy and I. But I remember him, and sometimes, the memory makes me cry.
My heart is raw–hideously raw, and I’m surprised that it still is. I thought I was over this. It took me a long time to stop crying–but it doesn’t take much to get me crying all over again. I cry as I write this, in fact, which is all sorts of ridiculous because I am in the middle of rehearsals for EDSA XXX.
This boy, he loved me. He babied me. He took better care of me than I ever did. He made dental and obegyne appointments for me, and made sure I showed up for them. He shopped for me; how many boys do you know willingly endure shopping for dresses with a girl? He took care of my siblings, too. Yes, it was that kind of babying. I never learned to commute or cross busy streets because he was always there to walk with me or drive me around.
You know what’s funny?
I didn’t have to be in this particular boat to realize that love doesn’t fly out the window the moment that the relationship does. This boy was my best friend since I was 18; and though recent events would have made it easy for me to hate him, I cannot bring myself to.
I want him to be happy; I want all his dreams to come true; I want him to wake up every morning thinking the world is his for the taking—because it is, it should be. He will be 31 this year—life hasn’t even begun to happen to him.
He’s blocked me on all social networks because he wants to move on, and he believes he can’t ever do that if he sees traces of me anywhere. He has to learn to forget me, erase all his memories of me starting with his tattoos of me: my name on his back, my face on his arms.
I wonder if laser can really do that: erase memory completely, not just superficially. The last time we talked, he told me he’d laser me off his skin. I cried. He cried. And then, we resolved never to talk again.The better to get on with moving on, we agreed.
But as for me, I do not want to forget. I want to remember everything because I am grateful. He wasn’t just my best friend and husband; he was mother and father to me, too. He was brother, sister, and girlfriend. He set the bar very high for all the loves that will come after, God willing (because I refuse to believe I’m unlovable and impossible to live with). No matter what happens from this point on, there can be no room in my heart for bitterness or regrets, only fondness, only gratitude, only the dearest hope that one day, he will think kindly of me, too.