You stumble upon rants you've made against your parents and siblings when you were a pre-teen and hated the world, gushes you've made about all 500 of your crushes, fights with your friends and how much it pissed you off, and all sorts of typical, self-obsessed dramas. Of course, as you were the one that penned it down, you get to relive your past, and get the privilege to remember things in your own words.
Words have always provided me with a safe, comforting sanctuary whenever I was feeling torn apart. And I had forgotten just how much I'd loved writing about my feelings, even more than 10 years back, when I was writing about how excited I was about going to Penang to stay with an aunt for a week, and how I was so torn between multiple crushes!
It also makes me smile to myself to see that I haven't changed all that much. I still have an unconventional sense of humour and horribly atrocious spelling. Even now, I constantly have to spellcheck everything I write, and it was only a few months ago that I finally learnt how to spell "guarantee". Yes, things are that bad.
But of all the little gems from the past you find, the ones that hit you hardest are the ones that you wrote about people you've loved and lost. Those that have etched a place in your heart, and have left scars which will never fully heal.
And if you're thinking, "oh great, more teenage love tripe", I have this to say: you are most certainly absolutely right. This post is in fact about one of my past relationships. I suppose I'm kind of a Taylor Swift that way; whenever someone phunks with my heart (whoops wrong artist), I absolutely have to express it no matter what. It's just how I cope with heartaches.
But today, when I stumbled upon something I wrote 2 years ago about the boy I was in love with, I realised how naive I was back then, to believe that I could never again love another person. Because I know that I still have my whole life ahead of me to find my soulmate, and I'm looking forward to finally meeting him.
But why waste a good short story?
So I'm patting the old me on the head, and letting my past go. I didn't even remember that I thought I'd never get over you, until I looked back on this and realised I had forgotten all about us. But we're both happier with our lives now, and I know we both want nothing but happiness for each other.
Par Amour (dated 23rd February 2011)
Katelyn's feet gave way. She slumped to the ground, and just lay there. Uncontrollable tears caused her heavy black eyeliner to smudge in ghastly streaks down her face. Waterproof my arse, she thought bitterly.
He never loved her.
For so many years, she had been enthralled by him. Ever since she clapped her eyes on him in high school, she knew that he was something special. She held on to the hope that someday, he too would look at her the same way she looked at him; full of tenderness and compassion.
They would stare into each others eyes for ages, finish each others sentences, hold each others hand, be there for each other. They would laugh and cry together, people would be jealous of how long they lasted, they would do silly sweet things and have gooey nicknames for each other. In short, she wanted him to be her perfect lover. Her first lover.
There was a glitch though, Katelyn had never spoken to him. Nor had he shown any sign of even acknowledging her existence. As almost all puppy love went, Katelyn had a textbook crush. The lowly, common, average to the point of being invisible girl, falling for the popular guy. She was disgusted by falling into the common stereotype, but she didn't care. Not at all.
Eventually she woke up. She realized how out of her league he was, and returned to dating fellow commoners. She ignored how her heart palpitated every time he walked past, she chided herself for being able to recognize him by merely glimpsing his wristwatch from a 100m distance, she forced herself not to cry whenever he was with someone new.
He would never know this, but he had always been on her mind. Despite her dating others, it never lasted. Each relationship she had ended with her leaving, and it was all his fault. She wanted to datehim , trying to substitute him with others just left her consumed with guilt.
She watched from a distance as he went on with his amazingly blessed life, filled with social activities, popularity, and increasingly hot chicks. She couldn't tear herself away from him. She secretly pondered if she may be masochistic; constantly torturing herself by learning all about his hot, steamy relationships through the grapevine. The pain of knowing it wasn't her was like stabbing a jackknife through her stomach, and twisting it 'till she could no longer breathe.
Somehow in the present time, Katelyn managed to sit up. Her hands rigidly clawed into the rocky earth, leaving her delicate fingers scratched and bloody. Her breathing was laboured and choppy, her eyes wild and haunted.
Katelyn didn't register the pain; her mind was at a different place altogether.
It seemed like a dream come true.
She started saying hi to him as they passed in the hallways. She had nothing to lose; he was in yet another relationship, and as much as it hurt her and caused her to breakdown some nights, she wanted to be closer to him. Even if it meant just being friends.
The "hi"s in the hallways led to even lengthier conversations, then led to them talking online almost everyday. Eventually, they started texting constantly. Her face lit up every time his message tone sounded. Even though she constantly reminded herself that he was unavailable, she was still elated. He was exactly the type of person she thought he was, possibly even better.
And then he broke up with his girlfriend and started paying special attention to her.
He started giving her little gifts, calling her sweet little nicknames, and playing with her hair. He walked with his shoulder in constant contact with her shoulder blade; a clear sign of protectiveness and possession. He'd started holding her hand, then started holding her close. His kisses drove her wild with passion and desire. She was living in the her dreams and fantasies, only this time, her eyes were wide open.
Katelyn spat into the ground. 'If only I knew what I was getting myself into.'
For the first time since she collapsed, Katelyn raised her eyes to survey her surroundings. She took in a familiar scene, that is her neighbourhood playground. She recalled coming here dozens of times with her family as a toddler, then eventually with her friends as an adolescent.
Her heart full of foreboding, she still allowed herself one small smile as she recalled the fun times she once had here. Her gaze swept over the climbing set, the monkey bars, the see-saws, and the slide; then eventually came to rest on the swings. She lowered her gaze to the tuft of grass growing directly beside the pole supporting the swing set, where the grass was just one shade greener than all grass around it.
It was the school's annual Valentine's Day dinner.
Katelyn was standing in front of her full length mirror in her dressing room, nervously adjusting the straps on her pale pink dress and rearranging her freshly curled hair over her shoulders. Her cheeks were flushed and her eyes were wide, and she constantly reminded herself to breathe normally.
'Look, you don't wanna look like a freak on your first date', she told herself. Taking a deep breath, she reapplied lipstick to her white, trembling lips. He would be here to pick her up any minute, and when he did, she would be calm, collected, and perfectly poised.
Miraculously though, she managed to pull herself together. Unfortunately, he couldn't care less. He barely glanced at her meticulously prepared make-up or her expensive, flattering dress. He didn't offer to open the car door for her or pull out her chair. Hell, he even changed his seat so he didn't have to sit next to her halfway throughout the dinner. Katelyn was mortified, but too afraid to confront him, fearing the worst.
Katelyn spent the next few days ignoring him; partly because she was embarrassed and angered by his behaviour, partly because she wanted him to apologize to her first.
He talked to her all right, but it was what she never wanted to hear.
Katelyn yanked the grass up by its roots and dug frantically into the soil. Beads of perspiration lined her trickled down her forehead as she searched the compact earth for what she was looking for, for what she had buried at this very spot on that fateful day, exactly two years ago.
A single tiny silver heart, with delicate woven silver flowers and vines on its surface, on a thin silver chain.
"Look, I like you, and you're a great girl. But there's just too many things going on in my life right now. I would prefer it if we just remained friends."
Katelyn stopped rocking gently on her swing. Suddenly she no longer ached for his touch and unconsciously leaned away from him. She'd expected an apology about that fateful night when he'd asked her to meet him here, but she'd got much, much more than a simple "I'm sorry".
She had remained rooted to that spot 'till daylight faded, crying 'till she ran out of tears and her eyes were painfully swollen and her temples aching from her bruised tear ducts.
A lingering, loud shriek pierced through the silent night sky, as agony wrecked through her gut and left her in convulsions; she threw her head back and let her sorrow rip through the air. Again and again, until the heart-wrenching shrieks quietened into silent whimpers.
With a sudden burst of energy, she crouched down and began pawing desperately at the ground. When she felt the hole was large enough, she unfastened the necklace she'd worn around her neck since the day he'd given it to her as a small gift, and stuck it deep in the hole. Her emotions were surprisingly sated once the hole was covered, as if she'd buried her feelings for him along with the trinket.
When she finally left for home that night, she vowed she'd never look back.
Katelyn's fingernail struck something solid with a distinct clink.
Hoping it was not another stupid rock, she pulled it from the ground. Her heart jolted as she saw the dull gray surface of the silver heart, remembering how it felt when he'd first put in around her neck. Unthinkingly, she pressed her lips to it.
As it turned out, she found out she never mattered to him.
Her preconceived notions, her suspicions, they all were proven true. He had only been stringing her along to get closer to her cousin, who invariably belonged to the top gang in the high school social hierarchy. Apparently, he had never missed her, or regretted breaking her heart
Hollywood had made her believe in the lasting romance of the small town girl and the city boy. In retrospect, her rose-tinted glasses had blinded her, and led to inevitable disaster. She vowed to never repeat her stupid mistake again.
He went back to being popular, and she went back to being invisible. When they passed each other in the hallways, their pace would quicken and their eyes would be fixed onto the floor. Life returned to relative normalcy.
Until she found out ten minutes earlier that he had been apologizing to previous lovers for breaking their hearts. Until she found out he expressed regret over what him and his previous lovers would never get to experience. When every single one of his previous girlfriends had been talked to, she realized he'd never talked to her; she wasn't significant enough for him.
Why would he, I'm small fry after all.
And that's when all energy left her body while walking back home one day.
Katelyn fastened the delicate necklace around her neck.
Despite everything, she still remained friends with him.
Despite everything, she still cared for each him.
Despite everything, she still missed him.
Despite everything, after all this time, she still loved him.