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Love-likes

/ 08:43 PM April 06, 2016
"Every time I read my words, tears fall as constant as likes."

“Every time I read my words, tears fall as constant as likes.”

I was this close to moving on. I just didn’t know where to go.

I have posted so many love statuses on my old Facebook that I have lost track already. Partly, one of the reasons why I deactivated my trusty social account is that every time I read my words, tears fall as constant as likes. I was that post last February, or that ultra-sad keening that sultry April of 2013. My friends, always bothered, went on a limb asking who was that new guy I referred to on my last status and I just gave them my best Mona Lisa smile: mysterious, beatific and vacuously empty and I just said, some guy, remembering Charlotte’s Web. Yes, some pig.

They were, as always with good friends, skeptical. I don’t in the slightest sense blame them because I am that prudent with the affairs of my heart. I don’t divulge information right away, unless you drown me in beer to which case I will gladly decline because I am not a drinker and I haven’t attended a single Oktoberfest. But then there was this one time the guy I was seeing ended what I considered ours for a few months, and the most drastic measure I did was text-brigade my friends never knowing I did not inform them about us. There was a lot of ugly crying from the message. There came torrent of clueless messages that read between questions as to when and how come and who. I dutifully replied to all of them, acknowledging that they deserved the truth.

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I spent the next day dodging lethal stares from those who received my lachrymal text message. They all waited with bated breath for my new status that day and I gave them the shock of their lives when I didn’t refer to any heartaches in my post. Instead I talked about the new book I read, “Middlesex” by Jeffrey Eugenides, and how riveting it was even though as much as possible I stayed away from Pulitzer gems. If they feel that I am on that long and winding road to maturity then honestly they were losing it. That day I was far from being mature. I still text him the day after my tearful goodbye. It went unnoticed and I held onto my phone that night, thinking that if he ever replied at the wee hours of the morning, I would sacrifice my work the next day. He didn’t and I went on with my life. I text him constantly. I never skip. Not a day.

Time and again, I knew that I was this close to getting over it. I no longer see his smiles in the walls of my room, nor hear the sound of his breath in every song in the mixtape that I especially mixed on Spotify because I read somewhere that the soundtrack of our time together should always be punctuated by songs that we care about. It took me weeks to erase the playlist but if I wanted a good cry, I searched for Rachel Yamagata or Sara Bareilles and gave myself a much-deserved whine. I deserved these treats because I had shown bravery and I never flinched whenever my friends asked me about how I felt that day. What I wanted right there was to drag them to these quiet corners in my workplace so I could pour all the tears I had not poured for weeks. I remember telling them that I am in an OK place. I will settle for an OK place more than anything.

Then they started telling me how unfair I was the whole time we were together.  That I  didn’t  even  bother telling them when  I was so  high and  rainbow-hued  was  the  subject  of  our constant disagreements and cold wars. That I just told them when things started to get rough and tough felt like desecrating a holy ground. I was this close to breaking down but I held on because I didn’t want them to see that I had not really moved on and dove in those stages that involved acceptance and denial. Yes, in that order. I was still holding on because a love like ours deserved the many chances it could get. If there were Nobel Prizes for staying on despite reminders of going away, I would have won it hands down. I was proud of all the pain that I hurdled. I thought I was stronger. Was it Kelly Clarkson who said that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger?

Then the inevitable happened. I woke up one day feeling very light. I thought that I was losing weight, my many flabs disappearing overnight. Then I remembered him and expected offshoots of pain but for the first time in a long time, rancor was absent too. This is for the man who kissed me virtually, sent me love struck emojis and floating heart balloons on Messenger yet these feelings of acrimony vanished into thin air and into the dusting motes of the early morning rays in my room. My status that day was a mix of Oprah and David Sedaris. I tried searching for his name on Facebook to see if he’s happy but then I almost forgot that I asked him to block me. We argued. He asked me why. If he was hurting, I took no notice. I told him things about jealousy and self-respect and other gobbledygook. If his clean-slate of a face showed any smidgen of acceptance, again I took no notice. I learned this from old flames. Fortunately, they all sputtered like a dying ember. But I was the one left with a second-degree burn.

Then incredibly, I started receiving messages from him again. In another day, in another time, I would have screen-grabbed those and put in a frame to be stared far too long until my eyes watered from wistful thinking. I am changing.  Screams no longer escaped my lips every time I see his name popping up on my screen. When I saw him again after a month of sleepless nights and waking up in wracking sobs, I honestly did not feel anything. Not even anger to which I swore, that particular balmy night weeks ago, I would certainly feel when I see him up close. This is the man who effortlessly appeared in my statuses and even received the likes that I did not intend him to get. This is the man I was addicted to, obsessed with during a certain epoch of my consciousness. This is the man who brought me to sublime places and incandescent territories. This is the man who, unfortunately, will always be my “maybe.”

I have moved on. I perfectly knew where to go. I logged in and saw some friend requests.

Ryan Faura is an old/new romantic. He “likes writing odes and, yes, elegies (laughs) to his crushes and exes and posting them on his social media accounts” and is “still searching for the right one.” He teaches at San Isidro National High School in Antipolo City and “still goes to bed with a book.”

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