I could have, but I didn’t.

It was 4 a.m. in the morning. I was wide awake staring at the cold, white screen of my monitor.

Beside me is a cup of sweet, old coffee and the sweet tune of my phone, I was reading every message and notes I still have of her before I started working on my thesis.

“Meet you at Starbucks, 6 pm. See you.”

That was the last message I have of her, very anti-climactic.

Ten hours earlier I was sitting alone in one of the less populated corner of Starbucks, probably because the Wi-Fi reception in that certain area is a bit weak compared to the other areas. (And we all know why Starbucks became famous in the Philippines.)

The spot was lighted up in soft, orange light coming from a vintage lantern and I’m surrounded by bland paintings that were obviously randomly picked by the designer.

A few feet away from me, a girl in white blouse is approaching. With her hair tied up and an envelope clutched in her arms. That must be her project she was talking about a few days ago.

We’ve always liked the same spot. A lot of happy moments were planned and made here.

But unlike other dates, this one will leave something… not-so-happy.

We did the usual catching up; how are you? I’m fine, how’s Edgar (the 2 year old pug)? Oh that’s great. So how’s Auntie? I heard she’s getting a driver’s license finally. Are you watching FIFA? Yeah, bad luck for Brazil.

It was a normal, average date. Except that it wasn’t.

We watched a film about a boy with a weird name (Hiccup) and his dragon called Toothless, ate dinner at the closest, cheapest and somewhat presentable diner (Gilligan’s) and sat on a bench under an indoor artificial tree coated with lights coming from all those tiny light bulbs that you see on Christmas lights, everything was picture perfect except that it wasn’t Christmas.

We both know what’s going to happen, we have already talked about it a long time ago and we both feel that it’s the right choice at the moment.

There was just nothing to go back to. Everything that sparked and shined turned into dull lights and agonizing chore.

It was a gradual deterioration, we didn’t notice it at first but it was there, slowly but surely it was eating away our relationship.

Distance, time, misunderstandings, I don’t even know what the cause is. Maybe it was those little moments that got us. I could have sent her a voice mail that one night when she was sick but I didn’t because we were doing film and it was a bit busy, I could have visited her last month even if there’s tons of school work and I’m very occupied, I could have messaged her “Good Morning Beautiful” every morning instead of just ignoring the fact that I can leave a message and just call her some time. I could have took her to more dates like these, watched more films with her, played more games with her, hugged her more, kissed her more and loved her more.

And all those trivial things, all those not-so-important things built up all together and formed one big snowball that crushed everything together.

I could have done everything, but I didn’t.

And now that we’re at the last stretch of our date, our last date. I can feel everything catching up to me.

I could have said “I love you” one last time. Maybe that would have changed everything.

But it won’t come out of my mouth. And all I could say was…

“Goodbye.”

She gave me her usual smile, her teeth covered in braces and her eyes with a bit of moist in them. She kissed my forehead, and whispered.

“Goodbye, thank you for everything.”

She didn’t show me her face afterwards. She was just walking away…

I used to walk with her, but now we are walking different paths as different people.

The figure of the woman I once loved, the slender and petite body of hers covered in white and the flowing of her semi-auburn hair tied up by a pink hairpin.

It was walking away… and away… and away, until she completely disappeared from my sight.

I could have chased after her, i could her hugged her from the back and say “I still love you”.

But I didn’t.

Maybe life is just like that. It will keep on moving on with or without you.

We just have to face the fact that the things we cherish so much might someday be gone for the most trivial of reasons. Living to the fact that we should always cherish them while they’re here and appreciate every moment you have with each other.

Because no matter how perfect, absolute and destined you think you are for each other, you should never forget the fact that…

We live in a world where there are people who are perfect for each other but are not meant to be together.

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