Valentine’s Day. A woman jumped to her death from the 5th floor of a busy shopping mall while I perused eye creams to combat the dark circles around my eyes. The sales ladies whispered among themselves nervously, wondering why she jumped, who was responsible.
When I got out of the department store a tent had already been erected to cover the scene from the prying eyes of mall goers. But a quick search online would show that someone had already uploaded a short clip to Twitter of the woman lying face down on the mall’s tiled, white floor, already lifeless, blood pooling around her. The clip’s caption read, ‘a woman just jumped to her death here in megamall, scary!”
And just like that, her story ended.
Exactly three days before was my birthday. It would have been a happy birthday but I had spent the past two weeks working like a maniac, as if my off the charts productivity could stop the inevitable end of another relationship.
Sometimes you see the end and you run in the opposite direction like a nutjob climbing an escalator that goes downwards. You could definitely try, but the escalator won’t change directions.
Here was a man I held hands with and kissed in public even when I hated public displays of affection. Here was a man I karaoke-sang Madonna’s Crazy for You to on the phone while doing my groceries at the supermarket, nevermind the absolute cheesiness of it all. Here was a man who stood by patiently (ok he also recorded it and may have laughed too) as I ugly cried while hugging an elephant. Here was a man who cared enough about my allergies (marked his messages with !! to remind me not to eat seafood). Here was a man who traveled halfway across the world to be with me. Here was a man who was not afraid to show me his heart, and was not afraid to see mine.
We tried. But in the end, we had to say goodbye.
So I spent my 37th birthday nursing my broken heart, alone in my darkened room asking why things never last (yes, you could be a strong, independent woman and still ask questions like this while crying yourself to sleep in a fetal position. Being strong doesn’t make you immune to pain, just gives you the balls to get through it)
Yesterday was his birthday. I sent him a message at exactly 12am (the same way he did for my birthday) and tried to maintain my composure as I wished him all the happiness and love in this world.
He replied with a warm and friendly thank you, and hoped that I was feeling better.
I let him go.
Somewhere on Twitter someone said, “always rewrite your story.”
But tonight, I am just grateful that I have one.