I never thought of you to be kinder. Usually, you’re the type of guy who wreaks havoc in the lives of innocent girls and leaves them picking up the pieces of their heart. So I tried hard to stay away from you. I nearly did. But you were easy to get along with, and we walk the same way home. I figured it wasn’t wrong to be friends. That’s right. I saw you just as a friend back then. But then, circumstances happened. Fights occurred. And to my surprise we ended up fixing things by just talking. I thought it was really different. And really sweet. That’s when I started to hang out with you. Buying and eating lunch together. Go to places together. Send messages. Ask favors. Wait for the other in going home. We did everything together. And I started to guard my heart. But I wasn’t a good cop. Without me knowing, you stole my heart and kept it with you. It was like a conspiracy that I’m a part of. I knew you had it, but I never tried to take it back. I allowed myself to be captured by you. Then a lot of things happened that brought us closer to each other. But the closer we get, the more mysterious you became. But I never asked. I never complained. Because for me, you are perfectly what you are. And the more perfect I see you as, the deeper I fell for you. And I couldn’t do anything about it. I knew I didn’t have the chance. I had thoughts to assume, but I pulled back. Because I knew that the moment I start with the assumptions, there’s no way back to sanity. Along with the feelings, there came fights and reconciliations, and memories to last a lifetime. During that time I was already aware that it would be hard for me to go when the time comes so I kept tabs on the things we did together for me to remember. While I was at that, I realized that I shouldn’t be listing down anymore, because surely I wouldn’t forget. How could I if I did everything with you already. That realization hit me. And it was so damn painful ‘cause I was aware that it would be my ticket to sadness. That year was not long. One day I woke up, and realized that I only had a few days before we say goodbye. I was being emotional and had a lot of thoughts. Of sad thoughts. But I smiled through the pain anyway. Yet you told me that I was too transparent and that you know how I felt that time. That I wasn’t really happy. That I wasn’t really prepared to go. There are a lot of things that you know about me, things that you knew because you’re a good observer. But still, there are things you don’t know. Things I didn’t tell you because I didn’t have the heart to. The truth is, I was afraid. I was afraid of leaving. When you talked me into staying, you had no idea that I had that letter of intent readied all along. But then I thought that if leaving is painful and scary, then it’s much scarier and more painful to stay. I knew that the moment I stay, it was like I was swearing that I’m ready with whatever that will happen this coming year. But reality is, I’m not. I may not know what will come but if there’s one thing I’m sure of, there won’t always be sunshines. We may change along the way. We may get tired of each other and look for another companion. We may fall in love, but not with each other. That will definitely hurt. And since I’m transparent and you’re the one who could always see that, then I couldn’t hide that it’s painful. And since I’m frank about things, I may say out loud that I actually regret staying. I don’t want those things to happen. So before they may occur, I already prevented them to. I’m not actually happy with the decision I made. But I guess it’s for the better of the both of us.
I just finished watching Flipped. You know that story with a boy (Bryce Loski) who was always annoyed by the girl who’s clearly madly in love with him and had been stalking him since second grade, he tried everything to avoid her and then when he already did and she didn’t like him anymore, he eventually came to realize that he really likes her.
I like the film. Not just because the boy who played Bryce Loski is way too cute, (which I’ve been ranting about with my cousin) but because I like the idea of it. Of having the courage to show someone how you really feel. Of not getting tired of loving someone even when you’re not getting something in return. Of having your own spot (like on top of a tree) wherein you always find peace. Of knowing the best way to say you’re sorry. Of knowing when to keep your distance. Of knowing when to stop even when it’s too painful. Of having something to believe in. Of accepting things as they are.
I began to wonder, perhaps I could be Juli, and you could be Bryce. I’m not into sycamore trees or anything but I knew that when I met you, I already flipped. Boy I did try to fight the feeling, but see I kept coming back to you. So I guess maybe someday you’ll flip too?
Sometimes, there are a lot of things that will come our way before we learn. We may or may not be a part of those occurrences. We may be in the light or in the dark. But what’s sure is that at the end of those circumstances, we get to realize a lot of things vital to the shaping of who we are as a person.
I’d always thought I’m the good girl. The one who could understand everyone who needs understanding. The one who doesn’t care about taking sides. The one who’s always just and fair. But I’d never thought I’m no good. I’m just like the others. When I get mad, I curse, I bitch around, I hold grudges – and those, I realized, are what I’m good at. If I got mad, I mean really mad, at someone, I don’t talk with them, I don’t even look at them, I get by the whole day erasing them and their existence in my world.
Looking at the big picture now, it dawned on me that I should never meddle with somebody’s problems. Better yet, not get mad at who they’re mad at. But then, if you’re my friend, then I’ll stand up for you. And that means I, will of course, take your side. Like always. In anything. But then, am I not taking your side because I hear a lot of stories from you that would make worst of the image of the one you’re mad at, then I figured that I’m turning against that person too even when s/he didn’t do anything bad to me. To fix my image, I could say that perhaps there are one or three mistakes that my friend’s foe did towards me, but is it reasonable for me to act like a bitch towards that person? Who, I may add, is technically my friend too. If I’m going to ask this myself then, I’d say yes, without second thoughts. But I’m asking myself this now, and I’d have to say no. Admittedly, I was a bitch.
It was really sad that I get to realize these things just now. When it’s too late to fix things because they’re so damn broken. When that friend once was no longer a friend. I don’t know if it’s divine intervention, but one moment, I just found myself looking back to all the memories, and I realized how dumb I was to easily ruin the friendship I had because of such circumstances.
I thought hard, and I guess God really helps us find a way to somehow retie some knots that were once broken if we really want to. And for a moment in my life, I said sorry. I wasn’t expecting for more. But I really didn’t think that these are people that despite so much pain they went through, they still know how to forgive and still want you back in their lives. These are people whom I’ve hurt a lot of times, and yet, still give me, sincerely, their love and forgiveness.
Things and people happen due to reasons that we may never understand. But what’s sure is that we’ll never be forever blind. The right moment comes in which we get to realize that they have become instruments to make us better than who we were.
Quentin Jacobsen was the last person I trusted my life with. I had always believed in him starting the day I climbed down his bedroom window when we were ten. I’d always believed he understood. But then, like everybody did, he failed me. Instead of saving me from me, he went away. He went back to Orlando. It wasn’t as if I was expecting him to come to New York with me, that would’ve been unfair. Or drag me all the way back to Orlando, that would’ve been much unfair. All I was expecting was for him to fight for what he feels for me. And we could have gone on our own perpetual journey.
Clearly, Q was brave for a moment. He followed all my clues, patiently solving the mystery of my disappearance, and eventually he found me. Then he went back to the typical Q I’ve known for so long. Q is scared as shit to live the life of the unknown. For all I know, he already had his future nicely planned out. Graduate from college, get a nice paying job, marry a quiet reserved perfect almost like him girl, have cutesy carbon copies babies, etc. For a moment, I could laugh at myself for having even thought that Q would choose me. Bravo Q. You didn’t choose the paper girl. Your paper girl who lie all the fucking time because she’s too scared at the first sight of something permanent.
I’m sorry Q. But I lied to you. I lied when I said I didn’t want to be found. I wanted to! Fuck it Q! I wanted to be found by you! That’s why I left all those clues. Because I knew that you’re way too smart and way too in love with me to not figure out. But I didn’t know that you’re stupid enough to think that I really wanted this. I never wanted to leave Q. But you didn’t even ask. You just kissed me. And to tell you, a kiss is always not enough Q.
When I held his hand, I didn’t want to let go. But I had to. I didn’t want Q to see me cry. At least spare him the drama so he wouldn’t blame himself for my actions. I know Q, he could do a lot of worrying.
Looking back, I now understand why I stopped hanging out with Q. I know that it wasn’t just because of the status quo at school. It was more than that. I wanted a future in which I go different places, doing different things that would matter, making people think that Margot Roth Spiegelman is more than who she was – that she only lived in the paper towns but she wasn’t really a part of it. She wasn’t a paper girl. And if I stayed with Q. I couldn’t have done all of it. I would’ve probably be Q’s girlfriend, obeying whatever he wanted, and he wants to stay there. I cannot ever stay at Orlando. I have to find myself somewhere out there, and when I do, I have to find where I truly belong.
Before we part, I promised Q that I would buy a cellphone when I arrived at New York, so I’d be able to call him. Also, I promised that I’d email him. But sometimes, we only say these kind of stuff when we say goodbye, but we don’t really do them. We just make promises just because.
I won’t call Q. I won’t email you. Because I won’t go back. And if I don’t go back, everything will be fine. You see Q. Lace or Becca or Jase, they weren’t really my last string. My last string was you. I tried to believe that it wouldn’t break because I had faith in you. I held onto that. But it’s too late now. My last string broke. I just hope now that the wind would whisper to you to tell you what I told you the night we parted before I left for good.
I. will. miss. hanging. out. with. you.
I. Love. You.