That’s what I wanted — what I desperately needed.
And so I ran.
I ran to get lost in the scenery. I ran to forget. I ran to move forward.
I ran from my thoughts, only for them to confront me at the end. Again.
It’s a cycle I can never escape.
Memories; they run through my mind constantly. I desperately hold onto them and I relive them every day. But they only hurt me, knowing what it’s like now.
As my legs pound against the pavement, propelling me forward, a few cars and motorbikes drive by in the dimness of the back road that is part of my jogging route.
Reaching the sea barrier, I stop short to breathe in what little air I could from the suffocating summer heat. I look out at the Bridge of Friendship and take in the nightly spectacle of lights connecting Taipa and Macau.
The bridge has a strangely anthropological sounding name, I know. But the name’s association jolted me as memories past bombard me. Thinking that running them off proved wrong, but I persist anyway. I really am not one to give up easily.
I focused harder on my quadriceps and hamstrings stretching and contracting respectively. I imagined my calves absorbing the impact as I ran. I tried to think of all the muscle groups being affected by my jog. Anything. But try as I might, I couldn’t ward off the impending arrival of my memories.
All the conversations, the looks, the times spent together. I still remember them and I truly miss those days. Along the way, the line between friendship and something more grew hazy. But I grew to hope a good thing would come out of it.
Maybe he felt the same way. I don’t know. But actions speak louder than words, don’t they? And it seemed like he felt the same. But I don’t want to assume. I didn’t assume. He never confirmed with words. But the gestures? The looks? I don’t know.
I admired him. I still do. His presence, comforting. His humor, engaging. His mind, riveting. And from what I garnered, his values so closely aligned with my own. I enjoyed whatever time I had with him.
Neither of us was ready. He said he wasn’t. I concurred. But only because I assumed that’s what he wanted to hear.
Then suddenly, things changed. Confusion. Uncertainty. Avoidance.
It hurt. It absolutely did. I don’t understand why he avoids me. I tried all that I could to get him to talk to me again — to at least tell me why he was doing what he was doing. But nothing. And it hurts even now.
I care deeply. And that may be the reason why I still hold onto the memories. But allowing myself to think back to them only depresses me. There was even a time I told myself not to care. But I just couldn’t. I just can’t. My friend and confidant told me he wasn’t worth it; she says his actions weren’t right for any man to do. But she doesn’t know him. There must be a reason to his actions.
Or I’m just a fool.
A slight breeze comes wafting from the sea and I look over to the bright lights across on the side of Macau. The night was still early, but the gambling deals all over Macau were most likely nigh on beginning. The buses and taxis come to and fro on the Taipa-Macau Bridge, all following their routes and seeing to their destinations — all very straightforward and methodical. I liked that.
I wish I knew more — I don’t know what I want to know, but I just want to know more.
I miss him. Now, nothing but memories seems to remain.
Was it something that I did? Is it how I acted? Did his feelings change? Was I even right in that regard? If he feels differently now than before, couldn’t we at least patch up things and try to forget? I know I won’t, because of how strongly I feel. Settle on just friendship? I’ll never be content with that, but if only to talk to him again, I’d take it.
But is it too late? Am I too late?
I say that what others do don’t affect me, but I know it does. I say I’m not sensitive, but I guess I am. I hide my real thoughts and emotions, just like I always did in the past. The façade is back. It’s only all an act now. But I know I’m good at that. I always have been. But if it numbs the pain only a little, it’s all I can do.
I’ve been depressed. I’ve hoped. I desperately want him to say something — anything. But he won’t. He hasn’t. And every day, I grow fearful of talking to him.
I guess I should have listened to him. It’s complicated, he said. I don’t know why it’s complicated, since it never seemed to be for me. It is getting complicated now — only now.
Every single day, I just lose a tiny bit of hope. But I’m never one to give up on something that was good. That seemed good. That felt good. That felt right.
It affects me so, despite my denials. Does he think about the past as I constantly do? Or am I The Crazy One?
The night grows deeper and I really need to head back. Today, I failed to stop thinking yet again, just like all the days in the past months. But I’ll give it a rest for now. All that is certain is that these memories will always come back, time and again.
What once was, I wish I still had. The one person I wish I had the guts to talk to — slowly slipping away.
What went wrong? I wish I knew.
My façade is my protection and the only shield against hurting. But it isn’t enough.
I escaped today, only to be captured and shackled by my thoughts again.
I still admire him for everything he is. I still wish for the best for him. I still care about him. But only at a distance now.
I really did fall for him. Hard. And he probably never knew.
I’ve made all the moves I could, but my turn is up. I surrender and relinquish all control over this to him. Whatever he wishes, I will oblige. I don’t know what else to do anymore.
Macau’s bright silhouette is as it always is at this hour. The Tower yonder still overlooks the whole of Macau, but newer casinos, hotels, and residential buildings are soaring higher than it ever has, as time moves forward.
Some things remain constant, but change, as always, is inevitable, in some way or another.